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Subject: Re: Maria Caniglia
From: Scott Grunow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Thu, 9 Aug 2018 15:02:48 -0400

text/plain (52 lines)

Behold, the late Albert appointed me High Priestess of the Caniglia Cult.

I concur with the Forza. There are some serious issues at the top in the Ballo, but she had recently given birth, and she admits there was a change in her voice, that the top did not expand in proportion to the middle. But an earlier recording of the gallows aria shows her taking a diminuendo on the high C and phrasing through to the end. 

The Andrea Chenier with Gigli as a complete performance by the entire ensemble leaps out of the speakers.

I also think at times the recording process did not do her justice; one needed to be in a large space to hear the overtones of the voice. 

The Normas of the late 40s were unfortunate, but she admits she was singing parts like it because Pacetti and Cigna had retired. Pedrini was around, and Mancini was just getting started. Who else? 

I found this clip online of a Norma in Naples with Elena Nicolai (not the singing, just the dressed up people for the opening, but there is a brief view of the stage):

The recital items from the late 40s (Wally, Adriana, Cavalleria) show many felicities, and the Fedora and the Francesca from the early 50s show some dead on high notes and an almost unearthly richness to the lower notes. Chestnuts for chest nuts.

The Don Carlo is exciting; she is the queen characterwise, and she has spinto reserves more lyrical voices like Caballe don't have in ensembles, but I must admit the legato and soft high notes are uneven.

Given how many performances she sang, and Bob Rideout supplied an amazing chronology some time ago, I think her voice lasted pretty well into the 1950s. I wish the Fanciullas were in better sound. Her stamina must have been incredible. 

If you really want to hear what she is all about, listen to the Libera me from the Verdi Requiem. She owns it, believes in it, and she nails that final high C. It flashes out like lightning emerging from molten magma.

Scott G., aka Mezzomaniac

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