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Subject: Re: Caballe's commercial recorded legacy; zarzuela arias
From: "Sterling ." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Sterling .
Date:Thu, 11 Oct 2018 02:46:26 +0000
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This has been over-looked: 
One of her most exquisite recordings has, to my uncertain knowledge, never been re-issued on CD.  “Ravishing” is not too strong a word to describe her traversal of Zarzuela arias with Eugenio Marco conducting the Orquestra Sinfonica de Barcelona.  Recorded in April and May 1974 by Discos Columbia S.A., a selection of arias from those sessions was issued in 1976 in this country on the “London” LP label as OS 26435, which thank Heaven I still own.  I continue to pray for a re-issue of the complete set.  Preferably SACD or Blu-ray… 
One cut alone, “Canción veneciana” by Serrano, is worth the whole album.  The “floating pianissimi” are much in evidence, as well as her strong sense of structure, so that her liberal, perfectly placed, rubato does not distort the line.  The build to the climax is… oh well, climactic…  So gorgeous, the first time I heard it I just “fell apart”.  I think it’s right up there with her “Verdi Rarities” usw. 
What a beautiful Human Being; she is sorely missed. 
 
Sterling Fuller-Lewis 
Please visit my secure web site at 
https://www.pathway2opera.com 
 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Donald Levine 
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 10:58 AM 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Caballe's commercial recorded legacy; Anna Bolena; Giovanna Seymour 
 
I am very much in agreement with Max concerning Caballe.  At first, I was 
very turned off by the glottal cluck.   I felt it was a technical problem 
or personal interpretive choice - I was never quite sure.  It took years for that to stop bothering me and over the years, it did become less and less of an issue.  In concert, she could be exquisite and then there was that personality that flowed from the stage into the audience.  Her concerts like her compatriot De Los Angeles were enchanting. 
 
As for the recordings, the three original recitals,minus the coups de 
glotte had much that was so beautiful.    I was bowled over by the Salome. 
Close behind are the Traviata and her glorious Fiordiligi for Davis.  The one recordiing that I never warmed up to was the Gioconda.  I never really like her use of chest voice on that.  It was a hollow, ugly sound totally out of synch with the rest of the voice.  It was almost like a whine.  It just never appealed to me the way she did it and the way it came out. 
 
The piano of course was her great trick.  I found it a somewhat disembodied sound, akin to Gencer's but with a bit more body behind it.  It was not the same as Milanov's.  Milanov seemed to be able to carry the full weight of the voice into the piano. 
 
She was a great singer.  Not perfect.  The voice beautiful as it was, was not perfect but she could be an imaginative and there was a fine musical mind behind everything she did - even when the carried things to excess. 
She did it her way and most of us loved it and loved her for it.  Her last recital appearances were like Bergonzi's, an intensely personal event. 
 
One more recording that I loved was her duet recital with Giuseppe Di Stefano.  He was clearly having problems but her singing in the Pearl Fishers duet and the big scena from Francesca da Rimini, especially the Francesca, were haunting. 
 
Donald 
 
On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 3:56 PM Max Paley <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote: 
 
> Do any of you remember how, when her first major recordings appeared 
> (the RCA aria recital and complete “Lucrezia Borgia”) how perturbed 
> and perplexed the critics were about her “glottal clunk”? Enough that 
> she felt she had to justify in a few interviews the “coup de glotte” 
> that had been part of her training and where and when she did and 
> didn’t use it. Nobody even talks about it anymore. 
> 
> I didn’t always find her voice beautiful. The luminous pianissimo were 
> always spectacularly gorgeous but sometimes I found the actual sound 
> of the voice somewhat reedy, and even in her prime, forte high notes 
> could be hard and even squally. But she had musical magic: she spun 
> those sounds into graceful, arched phrases of incredible delicacy and length. 
> 
> As Turandot and as Tosca, I heard her pump out some high Cs that could 
> go toe to toe with Nilsson. 
> 
> The record that completely dazzled me when it first came out was that 
> RCA LP “Rossini Rarities.” At the time, I wasn’t even that big on 
> Rossini (yet) but I was mesmerized by the exquisite singing and music making. 
> 
> Like Les, I was also surprised and delighted by her Salome. Delicacy, 
> sensuousness, youth but lying in wait were power and volume of immense 
> proportion. 
> 
> I was never quite settled on her recorded Aida. Some stunning effects, 
> also some pushing. But, exquisite as they were, those spun sugar 
> pianissimi never quite sounded like Verdi to me, particularly 
> contrasted with a real Verdian like her colleague on the recording, Cossotto. 
> 
> Perhaps my favorite recording of hers: her dazzling Fiordiligi for 
> Colin Davis. 
> 
> Max Paley 
> 
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