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Subject: MRe: Milanov's !955 Ballo Live From The Met
From: Scott Grunow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:54:23 -0400

text/plain (31 lines)

"Milanov does some things to perfection; it registers as a genuine disappointment that one can enjoy one phrase and not the next, or one part of an aria and not what follows....The pattern is clear by this time: where there are high notes to be floated, soft passages to be sung with a creamy tone, phrases where the solo voice can hold a long line uninterrupted by declamatory or other passages, then all is more than well."  -- John Steane, The Grand Tradition

Steane uses primarily the commercially recorded Aida with Bjoerling  (recorded 1955), as an example of the above. She had been singing since 1927, mostly the Italian dramatic soprano repertoire, as Don Levine emphasizes. Almost thirty years! 

And also by the time she came to record whole roles, she was past her prime, though I would call the early 50s commercial Trovatore and the highlights from Forza with Peerce prime, not just inconsistent glimmerings of autumnal splendor. 

I also enjoy much of  her commercial Cavalleria, It's temperamentally tame compared to Simionato live, Mancini, or even poor Bruna Rasa, but the auditor of Milanov in that recording is aware of how much Mascagni owes to Ponchielli. Santuzza must sing long, wide-ranging lines and soar over an ensemble. Just as some of La Gioconda points toward the different vocal and tempermental demands of verismo, so Cavalleria looks back to the grand, wide-ranging phrases of Ponchielli.


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