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

  1. #106
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SixFootScowl View Post
    There seems to be a 5th recording with Price:

    New York -- April 11, 1959: Eleanor Steber, Carlo Bergonzi, George London; Kurt Adler
    http://www.amazon.com/Puccini-Eleano...dp/B0017U5G4M/
    Aren’t you confusing Price with Steber?

  2. #107
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAS View Post
    Aren’t you confusing Price with Steber?
    Oh yeah. Amazon searches are not so reliable, nor my ability to parse the results.
    "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12

  3. #108
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    SixFootScowl, there seem to be two recordings that you don't have that I really think you should invest in. If Price is your favourite Tosca then is just one of her recordings enough? I have three of her recordings including the one you have, but I would rate the Mehta as bottom of the three.

    As others have pointed out her earlier studio recording is one of the best all round recordings of the work and the only studio recording to rival the legendary De Sabata. If you prefer Price over Callas, then it is essential.

    Tosca - vk.jpg

    There is also another lacuna in your collection and that is the lack of a set with Corelli as Cavaradossi. His studio recording is flawed as others have pointed out and I think his best version of the role with a good supporting cast is the live one with Price on Sony. (He preferred his performance in Parma, but that may be because there was more drama in the histrionics of the audience than there was on stage!) However, this is another essential set!

    Tosca - ka.jpg

    I also have the Mehta (so that's three Price sets!) but that's only because it comes in the Price box set. As mentioned further up thread I also have five recordings with Callas (the two studio and three live).

    Then I have two with Magda Olivero (Verona with Labo' and Gobbi and her RAI studio which captures her in much better sound, although the drama isn't as high as in Verona).

    N.
    Last edited by The Conte; Oct-23-2020 at 15:49.

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  5. #109
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    Last edited by doors1991; Nov-26-2020 at 20:41.

  6. #110
    Senior Member Handelian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doors1991 View Post
    Interesting but non-essential I would say.

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  8. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handelian View Post
    Interesting but non-essential I would say.
    I agree. Doming is better in his earlier sets and despite the fact I'm a huge Freni fan, Tosca wasn't her role, it's better than her other set, though...

    N.

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  10. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    I agree. Doming is better in his earlier sets and despite the fact I'm a huge Freni fan, Tosca wasn't her role, it's better than her other set, though...

    N.
    A bit of a sleeper is the contemporary set with Eva Marton, Jose Carreras and Juan Pons conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas on Sony and Hungaroton.

    I had no great expectations but the engineering was excellent, Carreras was in better form than I expected and the conducting had impetus. Marton has a big rich voice which marks it out among practically all the digital versions, and unlike with Karajan II, Sinopoli or Pappano we have a baritone Scarpia which I take to be a plus.




    I find it a more animated production than the Sinopoli - despite its distinguished looking cast - and I recall listening to Tilson Thomas' set right through and being rather taken with it.

    I don't suppose it threatens a number of the old favourite sets but at the same time it doesn't particularly deserve to be lost in the shuffle.

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  12. #113
    Senior Member Badinerie's Avatar
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    A note on the Nilsson Corelli Set. I do enjoy it even if it isnt a top fave but I would never part with it if only for Corelli's heart breaking E lucevan le stelle. It gets me every bloomin time I hear it.
    Did I miss something already?

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  14. #114
    Senior Member adriesba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badinerie View Post
    A note on the Nilsson Corelli Set. I do enjoy it even if it isnt a top fave but I would never part with it if only for Corelli's heart breaking E lucevan le stelle. It gets me every bloomin time I hear it.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who enjoys it!
    "Pop music is for the body, but opera is for the soul." — Angela Gheorghiu

    "I've always tried to remember what my mother used to tell me: stay close to the earth. Then when you fall down, it won't hurt so much." — Birgit Nilsson

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  16. #115
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badinerie View Post
    A note on the Nilsson Corelli Set. I do enjoy it even if it isnt a top fave but I would never part with it if only for Corelli's heart breaking E lucevan le stelle. It gets me every bloomin time I hear it.
    I agree. This was one of "his" roles. Volcanic "Vittoria! vittooooriaaaaaaah!
    Last edited by MAS; Dec-04-2020 at 17:00.

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  18. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badinerie View Post
    A note on the Nilsson Corelli Set. I do enjoy it even if it isnt a top fave but I would never part with it if only for Corelli's heart breaking E lucevan le stelle. It gets me every bloomin time I hear it.
    I agree, I have it (along with the Recondita armonia) on a compilation disc. I also have the studio versions of the arias he did for EMI and Cetra, which I think makes something like four recordings of each aria. Big Corelli fan here!

    N.

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    Senior Member vivalagentenuova's Avatar
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    My favorite Tosca is Dorothy Kirsten. To me she's the best at walking the line between making Tosca at all sympathetic and making her still egotistical and hot headed. She uses her chest voice very effectively and never ever shrieks any of the many strenuous top notes. Of course, the recording is cut, but what are you going to do? Barioni is good with just a little strain on top (he started as a baritone and doesn't sound 100% comfortable with the tessitura yet, although his voice is very beautiful in the middle and low range and he has excellent instincts for phrasing). I don't think this one's available on CD anywhere, but if you can get the Vinyl or don't mind listening to it on YT it's very rewarding.
    Last edited by vivalagentenuova; Dec-04-2020 at 18:43.

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  22. #118
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivalagentenuova View Post

    My favorite Tosca is Dorothy Kirsten. To me she's the best at walking the line between making Tosca at all sympathetic and making her still egotistical and hot headed. She uses her chest voice very effectively and never ever shrieks any of the many strenuous top notes. Of course, the recording is cut, but what are you going to do? Barioni is good with just a little strain on top (he started as a baritone and doesn't sound 100% comfortable with the tessitura yet, although his voice is very beautiful in the middle and low range and he has excellent instincts for phrasing). I don't think this one's available on CD anywhere, but if you can get the Vinyl or don't mind listening to it on YT it's very rewarding.
    A worthwhile peek into the past. Thanks. Sampling most of act 2, I hear a finely sung, acted and conducted performance we wouldn't presently get the like of at the Met. Kirsten was certainly an impeccable singer and an intelligent artist; she does all the right things and the voice never falters. Yet somehow she doesn't move me particularly; her lovely, healthy tones in "Vissi d'arte" are short on pathos and despair. Frank Guarrera, another Met stalwart back then, is really good.

    I'll admit that in my experience with this opera I find that it takes some very charismatic singers (such as you-know-who) to raise it above the level of melodrama and make me care. My shortcoming, perhaps.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Dec-04-2020 at 20:31.

  23. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    A worthwhile peek into the past. Thanks. Sampling most of act 2, I hear a finely sung, acted and conducted performance we wouldn't presently get the like of at the Met. Kirsten was certainly an impeccable singer and an intelligent artist; she does all the right things and the voice never falters. Yet somehow she doesn't move me particularly; her lovely, healthy tones in "Vissi d'arte" are short on pathos and despair. Frank Guarrera, another Met stalwart back then, is really good.
    Interestingly I also I find Vissi d'arte to be one of her weakest points in the recording. It's not at all bad, but as you say it's not especially inspired either. Much better are her confrontations with Scarpia, such as Orsu Tosca parlate, at 1:04:00 and at the end of the act when she murders him. Her "muori dannato" is downright chilling. She's also fantastic in the beginning of Act III, when she and Barioni make a hit or miss duet all hit. Her singing of Tosca's tale of Scarpia's murder up through their duet at "Amro sol per te" is just the best I've heard. She is so comfortable with her technique that she's able to respond effortlessly to every demand of the score, which not only allows me to sink into a purely receptive state of mind, but also allows her to make sense out of the dialogue. Because her registers are so responsive I feel totally involved in everything that she sings. I feel that she does the best job I've heard at painting Tosca's shifting psychological states.

    And yes, Guarrera is great and deserves to be remembered. Mitropoulos always did a good job with Puccini's scores.
    Last edited by vivalagentenuova; Dec-04-2020 at 22:31.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    It's a great pity we have only a poor radio transcription of Act One from a live 1932 San Francisco performance with Claudia Muzio, Dino Borgioli and Alfredo Gandolfi, under the direction of Gaetano Merola. Even through the static and the sometimes distant micing the vocal prowess and style of these people is not to be missed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKAB2S2PAbU

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