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Subject: Georg Friedrich Händel - IL MESSIA - Rai Milano, 17.04.1959 with Anna Moffo
From: Scott Grunow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Sun, 28 Jan 2018 22:44:50 -0500

text/plain (45 lines)

For me, an exciting find:

The Messiah in Italian (heavily cut and definitely not early period practice); a young Anna Moffo is the soprano soloist, and she sings radiantly with intense expression in the recitatives. She here sounds like a lyric soprano; the coloratura in Rejoice greatly is fine, but not spectacular. 

The mezzo is pretty subpar, at the most lackluster (Giovanna Fioroni? who? sounds like a comprimario house mezzo), though it is interesting and kind of exciting to hear her get all chesty in the fast section of He is like a refiner's fire and He gave his back to the smiters. I think Simionato may have sung this part, also in Italian, in the early 50s or late 40s.

Herbert Handt is mellifluous, sure in styl and phrasing, excellent breath control in the runs, but kind of out of place among the admittedly bigger Italian voices.

Ivo Vinco sounds strong and firm, especially when he can declaim like a Tanakh prophet, but the coloratura defeats him.

I feel at times the coloratura also causes the chorus to go off the rails. They are certainly enthusiastic and fortright, but I think they would rather be singing in Aida. Listen to the Glory to God chorus or Lift up your heads. Just around the corner from GLORIA! GLORIA ALL'EGITTO!

I also noticed wind instrument parts which sounded to me like Molinari-Prandelli was using the Mozart version?

And, last, I love this piece in Italian, despite the flaws of this performance; after all, Handel's main musical influence was Italian opera, of course. 

Here is the link:


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