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Thread: Puccini on disc - La Fanciulla del West

  1. #16
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    Another recording of note is a 1976 recording from Vienna with Neblett and Bonisolli. Both are very good. The special treat of this recording, however, is the Vienna Philharmonic playing this score. Even in this live recording, I heard some new details, and the phrasing of some of the solo parts is truly striking. I really wish there had been a studio recording with the VPO and a conductor experienced with the Wagnerian style of drama this opera assays. My dream recording includes Flagstad as Minnie. That would be interesting. Back to reality, the big weak link in this recording is sadly enough the formerly wonderful Giangiacomo Guelfi as Rance, who has lost his voice or was ill. Honestly, he is painful. You can get this one at Opera Depot.

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    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    That 67 live Fanciulla is one of my favourites, however, it is in better sound on the OOP Myto if you can get it. My set looks like this:

    Attachment 120678

    (I used to have the Bel Canto Society version and then tried it against the Myto and found the Myto much cleaner in terms of sound - as if it were a couple of generations closer to the master than the BCS.)

    N.
    Thanx for the tip Conte, Myto up to old tricks using cover photo from Adriana LeCouvreue

    Regarding Miss Olivero we have to remember that most recordings we hear are from when she is already late middle age (born 1910) and voice has darkened from her youth, as a contrast check this early career 1939 Traviata track and notice voice change and more daring style....

    https://youtu.be/czrd7QacHdc
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Jun-26-2019 at 04:53.

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  5. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    Thanx for the tip Conte, Myto up to old tricks using cover photo from Adriana LeCouvreue

    Regarding Miss Olivero we have to remember that most recordings we hear are from when she is already late middle age (born 1910) and voice has darkened from her youth, as a contrast check this early career 1939 Traviata track and notice voice change and more daring style....

    https://youtu.be/czrd7QacHdc
    I have almost all her recordings (except for some of the Manon Lescauts, Toscas and Adrianas), it's amazing the difference between her first career voice and her second career one. I love her in both and apart from her 90s recordings that were made in rather sub-standard sound I adore every one of her recorded output. A true gem that all recording labels should still be kicking themselves for overlooking.

    N.

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    The main contender when it comes to studio Fanciullas is the Mehta with Domingo and Neblett who get under the skin of Johnson and Minnie in a way that eludes Del Monaco and Tebaldi. The sound is clearer than the Decca recording (if not as rich, especially where the strings are concerned) and then there is Milnes. Milnes may not have as dark and aesthetically pleasing a tone as MacNeil on the Decca set, but he gets Rance just right, menacing and frustrated. This makes this the go to set overall, with three great singers, good, solid conducting and very good, modern, studio sound.

    Fanciulla.jpg

    N.
    Last edited by The Conte; Jun-26-2019 at 21:40.

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  9. #20
    Senior Member Azol's Avatar
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    Daniels.
    Domingo.
    Milnes.

    Best voice AND acting Minnie all-around.

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    Good singing, acting but staging...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    Good singing, acting but staging...
    RIght. But we can tune that out somewhat. Else, what would we do with this wonderful production:
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    RIght. But we can tune that out somewhat. Else, what would we do with this wonderful production:
    Now, this one get my thumps up, just for Westbroek alone .
    Seeing it live was even better.

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  18. #25
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    "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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    If you can tolerate live older performances, these two are phenomenal and would trump all other studio recordings:

    Steber/del Monaco/Guelfi/Mitropoulos (Firenze 1954)




    Tebaldi/Barioni/Guelfi/Basile (radio broadcast, 1961)




    For the former, Steber, del Monaco and Guelfi were at their youthful prime, and the giant Mitropoulos read the score as of a symphonic poem. For the latter, Tebaldi's voice was entirely at ease and much more expressive compared to her studio recording (in which she sounded taxed and screamy). Barioni, while didn't compete with the "ringing" sound of a del Monaco, gave a convincing lyrical reading of Dick Johnson.

    Bonus: Here is the love duet for your quick sampling if you are hesitant to take on a 1953 live recording. Oh my, his tone rings with echo, and she is singing with ecstasy. And these details in the score Mitropoulos pays attention to...

    Last edited by silentio; Jul-23-2019 at 00:48.
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    Very fine recommendations, from all; too bad that the best of the male "Puccini specialists" - Bjorling - never recorded a complete "La Fanciulla …". The latter's "Ch'ella mi creda" is good enough, as a representation of what COULD have been.

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    I think we have pretty much covered all the best recordings of Fanciulla between us. I'd just like to write a few thoughts about two of the live recordings out of those that have been mentioned.

    Fanciulla - Votto.jpg

    This is possibly the best all round recording of the opera as far as performance goes (the sound is standard mid 50s live from La Scala and so less than ideal). When you have Corelli and Gobbi in the two male leads and a more than competent Minnie from Frazzoni you are in for a performance that engages in high drama. A must for anyone who is a fan of this opera or the two singers in the main male roles.


    Fanciulla - Fabritis.jpg

    This is my favourite recording of this opera, had Puccini composed the card scene alone and nothing else, it would be enough to prove his genius. When the protagonists are Olivero and Guelfi who play the scene as the two stage animals steeped in Verismo lore that they were, you have opera perfection!

    N.
    Last edited by The Conte; Aug-10-2019 at 12:51.

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  25. #29
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    I got interested in this opera because including the two Puccini masterpieces I've traveled through, Amazon France sells the Mehta recording with libretto brand new for 6€ plus delivery. During this challenge, with old historical recordings that muffle both the orchestra and the voice sound, it's difficult for me to follow the opera as a continuous drama. There was a huge omission in the broadcast I watched from Munich and I get lost through Act II and III.

    And I really hope the Matacic recording becomes a surprise, because I don't find any reliable name in the cast besides Birgit.

    I've listened to the Votto in Scala 1956 and it shows the problems I'm talking about. I get lost. But Corelli and Gobbi deliver epic singing in this performance.




    I listened to the Opera d'Oro release, but is this any better? (ASIN 8865440139)

    Quote Originally Posted by vivalagentenuova View Post
    Another recording of note is a 1976 recording from Vienna with Neblett and Bonisolli. Both are very good. The special treat of this recording, however, is the Vienna Philharmonic playing this score. Even in this live recording, I heard some new details, and the phrasing of some of the solo parts is truly striking. I really wish there had been a studio recording with the VPO and a conductor experienced with the Wagnerian style of drama this opera assays. My dream recording includes Flagstad as Minnie. That would be interesting. Back to reality, the big weak link in this recording is sadly enough the formerly wonderful Giangiacomo Guelfi as Rance, who has lost his voice or was ill. Honestly, he is painful. You can get this one at Opera Depot.
    I would certainly love to review this one. Now listening to the video and waiting for the Halloweeen week to begin so I can purchase it in OD.
    Last edited by Granate; Oct-26-2019 at 12:04.

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  27. #30
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granate View Post
    I would certainly love to review this one. Now listening to the video and waiting for the Halloweeen week to begin so I can purchase it in OD.
    I have every commercial DVD of this opera and never heard of this one. Amazon give the CD set for both the bar code you listed and for the bar code on the back image of the (DVD?). Comments say the vocalists are wonderful, but sound is poor.
    "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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