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Subject: Cesare Valletti
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 12 Feb 2018 00:43:35 -0500

text/plain (36 lines)

I was so happy to see that there are still some here who remember Cesare Valletti so 
fondly and with such affection.  I too still speculate about what could have possibly 
transpired between him and Rudolph Bing.  At any rate, it was a real slap-in-the-face to 
an superb artist who did such distinguished work at the Met for a good length of time.  I 
cherish his recordings (though I don't have the Cetra ones), the first of which is that 
classic EMI Giulini recording of "L'Italiana in Algeri" where he sings Lindora to the Isabella 
of Giulietta Simionato on what is to me the greatest recording of the opera (yes, it's 
substantially cut, and Simionato, while not in Marilyn Horne's league in the vocal 
fireworks department -FAR from it---- remains the only Isabella to me who really 
captures the comic elements and charm of Isabella better than anyone else).  I also have 
that famous RCA Barbiere with Peters, Merrill, etc, where Valletti attempts to perform 
that fabulous second aria of Almaviva (made commonplace with the coming of Blake, and 
especially Florez).
     But most of all I treasure Valletti's recitals of French Melodies, Schumann, and the 
excerpts from "Werther" alongside of Rosalind Elias.  Valletti certainly lacked the facility 
in the uppermost register that Florez possesses, and he certainly didn't sing as many 
roles (his ultimate comfort note was a B flat, I believe), but he sang with so much lyric 
beauty, such sincerity, and with such refined style, that I find his short top register no big 
deal.  His Sonnambula performances with Callas at La Scala were legendary (and she 
admired him greatly) as were their "Traviata" performances over the years.  I have those 
recordings as well.  Lastly, his Met "Manon" with de los Angeles is still wonderful to hear.
Valletti was a great artist, and deserves to be remembered with respect and admiration.

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