Hello everybody -
Received from Berkshire yesterday:
Otello - Tokyo - 1961 Tucci, del Monaco, Gobbi - Erede
Trovatore - Scala - 1964 Tucci, Simionato, Bergonzi, Cappuccilli
Mose - RAI - 1968 Zylis Gara, Verrett, Ghiaruov, Garaventa
All on the Frequenz label - all $9 and change with shipping.
Otello - I am not a huge del Monaco fan, that's for sure, but he
is overwhelming in this performance. The voice has a magnificent
ring, the passion is apparent throughout, and the thrill of some
of those top notes is a wonder. His best days were behind him,
or so it seemed, until I heard him on this set. Gobbi is at his
very best, I think better than on the RCA set and Tucci is a
lovely and sympathetic Desdemona. Her pianissimi are glorious.
Nicely conducted and the sound is very good.
Trovatore - Simionato was getting along in years and it shows in
the middle register especially, but there is still so much to
enjoy in her reading of the score, and so much excitement in the
vocalism that the encroaching hollowness in sound is of little
consequence. Tucci is again, very affecting as Leonora and
Bergonzi is, what can I say, splendid from every point of view.
This was his absolute best period when it had all come together
to present the complete singer, the one in my experience who
could do it all. Cappuccilli is a known commodity, great voice
not much shape or "face" to his characters, but the singing is
impressive. The sound is fine.
Mose - Ghiaurov is an overpowering vocalist in his prime and this
recording is no exception. I am very fond of this opera and
am very happy to have it, if only for his huge sound. Zylis
is hard pressed in the florid sections but has a lovely tone
and Verrett is her usual committed, exciting self. Too bad that
Christoff never recorded it, though he sang it a bazillion times.
It would have been more interesting, I'm sure, but this is very
impressive singing, at least. Sawallisch sounds fine to me.
I am real happy with my new aquisitions. Maybe you will be happy
with them too, especially the Otello. It is a great performance.
I'd have been happy to spend the 27 bucks for it alone!