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Thread: Who's the best Fiordiligi?

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    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
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    Default Who's the best Fiordiligi?

    Rewatching my Così, it strikes me that Fiordiligi gets some rather tough arias (great big intervals). Which singers do you think sing this part particularly well? DVD preferred but CD would work.

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    As I was looking around this forum, I came across this thread which had no responses in nine years! So, I thought I’d revive it and see where it goes.

    My first Fiordiligi on records was Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in the Böhm recording on EMI. Later on I got the Lombard recording with Kiri Te Kanawa. My first live performance was graced by Pilar Lorengar, and later Alexandra Deshorties whom I loved in the role.

    This is my favorite excerpt, with Margaret Price. This is the scene and aria. The aria proper starts at about 2:44

    Last edited by MAS; Aug-09-2020 at 07:40.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Leontyne Price hands down

    Miah Persson from Glyndebourne , perfect acting and singing.

    Gundula Janowitz and Kiri Te Kanawa
    Last edited by Rogerx; Aug-09-2020 at 05:31.
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    Schwarzkopf gets my vote. The Bohm EMI recording is so close to perfect that I almost don't need another one. The Jacobs is the other main set that I own. Schwarzkopf certainly sings the part well (although I can imagine that other sopranos may sing the coloratura better due to having more supple voices). However, what sets Schwarzkopf apart is her characterization. She is the sister who crumbles last and no other singer quite manages to convey the icy haughtiness as appropriately.

    N.

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    Schwarzkopf gets my vote. The Bohm EMI recording is so close to perfect that I almost don't need another one. The Jacobs is the other main set that I own. Schwarzkopf certainly sings the part well (although I can imagine that other sopranos may sing the coloratura better due to having more supple voices). However, what sets Schwarzkopf apart is her characterization. She is the sister who crumbles last and no other singer quite manages to convey the icy haughtiness as appropriately.

    N.
    It’s certainly One of those classic Walter Legge productions. It’s perfectly cast and wonderfully recorded, so much so that wonder why it hasn’t received the Warner Deluxe treatment.
    Last edited by MAS; Aug-09-2020 at 07:30.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    Schwarzkopf gets my vote. The Bohm EMI recording is so close to perfect that I almost don't need another one. The Jacobs is the other main set that I own. Schwarzkopf certainly sings the part well (although I can imagine that other sopranos may sing the coloratura better due to having more supple voices). However, what sets Schwarzkopf apart is her characterization. She is the sister who crumbles last and no other singer quite manages to convey the icy haughtiness as appropriately.

    N.
    I agree with this. Not only the icy haughtiness but the softening too. Her Per pieta is really moving and Fra' gli'ampessi with the ardent Kraus quite the erotic thing it should be.

    I also rather like Caballé on the Davis set and have fond memories of Te Kanawa, whom I saw in the role at Covent Garden with Baltsa, Stuart Burrowes and Thomas Allen also under Davis and now on record.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    I agree with this. Not only the icy haughtiness but the softening too. Her Per pieta is really moving and Fra' gli'ampessi with the ardent Kraus quite the erotic thing it should be.

    I also rather like Caballé on the Davis set and have fond memories of Te Kanawa, whom I saw in the role at Covent Garden with Baltsa, Stuart Burrowes and Thomas Allen also under Davis and now on record.
    Per pietà and Fra gli amplessi are my favorite passages in the Böhm recording because they’re done so well.

    I don’t like Caballe in Mozart. For some reason her sound doesn’t quite fit, to my ears. Not sure why, perhaps Schwarzkopf got there first, with the Legge productions of Cosi, Nozze, and Don Giovanni.

    Te Kanawa was my first live Countess in Nozze, San Francisco, 1972. So beautiful, and that golden sound pouring out if her in Porgi, amor. She was an instant favorite.
    Last edited by MAS; Aug-09-2020 at 17:30.

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    I had a cat named Fiordiligi who was the best cat I ever had. (The second best I named Sylvia Poggioli.)
    Last edited by MarkW; Aug-10-2020 at 15:11.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAS View Post
    Per pietà and Fra gli amplessi are my favorite passages in the Böhm recording because they’re done so well.
    Absolutely. Mine too. One forgets the silliness of the plot and commits to the emotions provoked.

    Quote Originally Posted by MAS View Post
    Te Kanawa was my first live Countess in Nozze, San Francisco, 1972. So beautiful, and that golden sound pouring out if her in Porgi, amor. She was an instant favorite.
    She both looked and sounded ravishing when I saw her. Just for a moment she split one of the top notes in Per pieta but it was easily forgiveable as she tried for the quietest, but most dangerous of pianissimi.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Lisa della Casa owns the role chez moi. No one sings it so naturally and unaffected. Impeccable diction and good acting even in a studio setting such as the classic Böhm/Decca recording.

    And yes, I am biased. I can't deny it. I'm so in love with her

    Regards,

    Vincula

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincula View Post
    Lisa della Casa owns the role chez moi. No one sings it so naturally and unaffected. Impeccable diction and good acting even in a studio setting such as the classic Böhm/Decca recording.

    And yes, I am biased. I can't deny it. I'm so in love with her

    Regards,

    Vincula
    She was beautiful as well. When I heard her recordings, though, I found that her voice didn’t record as well as the reviews promised. Maybe it’s my ears, but I found her voice (in Vier letzte lieder) somewhat sharp, not as creamy. Perhaps it was the recording, or remastering. I liked her better in Arabella and excerpts from Der Rosenkavalier with Anneliese Rothenberger.
    Last edited by MAS; Aug-10-2020 at 20:25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAS View Post
    She was beautiful as well. When I heard her recordings, though, I found that her voice didn’t record as well as the reviews promised. Maybe it’s my ears, but I found her voice (in Vier letzte lieder) somewhat sharp, not as creamy. Perhaps it was the recording, or remastering. I liked her better in Arabella and excerpts from Der Rosenkavalier with Anneliese Rothenberger.
    And so do I

    I think she sounds glorious with Böhm/Wiener Phil '55 for Decca too:

    della casa mozart.jpg

    Regarding Strauss' Vier letzte lieder I do prefer her live Salzburg recording to the studio one for Decca, mainly because this time Böhm doesn't hold his feet so firmly on the throttle and he achieves a more natural flow.

    arabella.jpg

    BTW, this Arabella's one of the very best too.

    Regards,

    Vincula

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincula View Post
    And so do I

    I think she sounds glorious with Böhm/Wiener Phil '55 for Decca too:

    della casa mozart.jpg
    Regarding Strauss' Vier letzte lieder I do prefer her live Salzburg recording to the studio one for Decca, mainly because this time Böhm doesn't hold his feet so firmly on the throttle and he achieves a more natural flow.

    arabella.jpg

    BTW, this Arabella's one of the very best too.

    Regards,

    Vincula
    Thanks, Vincula. How is the sound on the Orfeo?

    Regards,
    M

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    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAS View Post
    Thanks, Vincula. How is the sound on the Orfeo?

    Regards,
    M
    not vincula, but the sound is excellent. slightly more distant than her studio recording, but the instrumental/vocal balance is better. i like it better than the studio recording, it's one of my favorite recordings of vll. somewhat unusual song order--beim schlafengehen, fruhling, september, im abendrot.

    for best fiordiligi, i favor margaret price, but there are some drawbacks to her two recordings-the klemperer is characterized by some of klemp's questionable tempi, and the live sawallisch has some weak casting for the men.
    Last edited by howlingfantods; Aug-11-2020 at 04:40.

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    not vincula, but the sound is excellent. slightly more distant than her studio recording, but the instrumental/vocal balance is better. i like it better than the studio recording, it's one of my favorite recordings of vll. somewhat unusual song order--beim schlafengehen, fruhling, september, im abendrot.

    for best fiordiligi, i favor margaret price, but there are some drawbacks to her two recordings-the klemperer is characterized by some of klemp's questionable tempi, and the live sawallisch has some weak casting for the men.
    Thank you, howlingfantods! I will check it out.

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