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Thread: TOSCA on CD--which of these should I keep

  1. #61
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    [/QUOTE]

    I've owned this set since it was issued, first on LP, now on CD, and it's one of my favorites. Vishnevskaya is indeed past her prime, but even in her prime, her vocalism was never ideally steady, and even at this late date, her delivery screams "DIVA", which is what Tosca must be, first and foremost. Bonisolli never gets much respect - he was apparently more than a little crazy, even by tenor standards of behavior - but it's a real voice, and he's on his best behavior. Better to have Bonisolli on his best day, fully committed, rather than the always competent but generic Domingo. Best of all is the criminally underappreciated Matteo Manuguerra, who is the best Scarpia on records. He may not snarl like Gobbi, but he has twice the voice, and plenty of interpretive and musical skill.

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  3. #62
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    ^^^ Though I can't share your enjoyment of an over-the-hill Vishnevskaya (who really was extraordinarily fine in her prime, ideally steady or not), perhaps Manuguerra would redeem the production for those who, like me, consider Scarpia the most interesting character and true center of the opera. It's really only the dramatic creativity and magnetism of Callas and Gobbi in the Covent Garden production that have induced me to return to Tosca over the last few decades, except for purposes of comparison (in which all other performances come up wanting).

    I have to agree with Callas that Tosca is not an interesting woman (which, she said, is why she worked so hard to excel in the part), and Puccini certainly makes next to nothing of Cavaradossi. On the other hand, Scarpia is gruesomely compelling, and his spirit (if that's the right word) pervades the work from beginning to end. I agree with Joseph Kerman that Puccini should not have brought back the tune from "E lucevan le stelle" at the end - a cheap gesture of pathos - but should have kept the focus on Scarpia and the triumph of evil. He didn't repeat the mistake in Madama Butterfly, where he could have made a sentimental gesture but went with the shock and horror of Butterfly's death and Pinkerton's discovery of the meaning of what he had done.

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  5. #63
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Regardless, I would buy the Vishnevskaya Tosca in a heartbeat if I could find a cheap copy. Hey, is that one sung in Italian? I know there is another Tosca recording with her that is sung in Russian. That would be weird.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  6. #64
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    Regardless, I would buy the Vishnevskaya Tosca in a heartbeat if I could find a cheap copy. Hey, is that one sung in Italian? I know there is another Tosca recording with her that is sung in Russian. That would be weird.
    IIRC, the Russian one has Milashkina, Atlantov, and maybe Chernov, Ermler conducting. The Vishnevskaya is in Italian.

    BTW, the Vishnevskaya is on Spotify.
    Last edited by wkasimer; Nov-13-2018 at 19:12.

  7. #65
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    IIRC, the Russian one has Milashkina, Atlantov, and maybe Chernov, Ermler conducting. The Vishnevskaya is in Italian.

    BTW, the Vishnevskaya is on Spotify.
    Here she is in the bonus section of this set with Tosca sung in Russian:
    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; Nov-13-2018 at 20:19.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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  9. #66
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    Here she is in the bonus section of this set with Tosca sung in Russian:
    That Russian recording is a different one, which I didn't realize had seen the light of day commercially. Worth hearing for Noreika, a fine and underappreciated (hell, virtually unknown) tenor.

    Here's the one to which I was referring, which I have on LP:

    tosca.jpg
    Last edited by wkasimer; Nov-13-2018 at 20:35.

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    Senior Member Dimace's Avatar
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    Fritz, my friend, keep the Leontyne and the Maria. (the Sony- Metropolitan and the EMI)
    Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis;
    das Unzulängliche, hier wird's Ereignis;
    das Unbeschreibliche, hier ist's getan;
    das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan.

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  13. #68
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer;1540471
    Here's the one to which I was referring, which I have on LP:

    [ATTACH=CONFIG
    109828[/ATTACH]
    My memory was faulty. This is sung in the original Italian, not in Russian.

  14. #69
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    How about this set?
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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  16. #70
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    How about this set?
    This is one of the three Toscas that I keep on my shelf. I keep it for Carreras' Cavaradossi, recorded a year or two before his voice began to deteriorate. The other two are De Sabata (for Callas) and the Rostropovich (for Manuguerra).

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