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Renata Tebaldi - Voice of Gold
Giuseppe VERDI
(1813 - 1901)

Son giunta!...Madre pietosa Vergine (La Forza del Destino) (1862) [6.31] (1)
Le vergine degli angeli (La Forza del Destino) (1862) [3.27] (1)
Pace, pace mio Dio (La Forza del Destino) (1862) [5.59] (1)
Timor di me...D'Amor sull'ali rosee (Il Trovatore) (1853) [4.56] (2)
O patria mia (Aida) (1871) [6.53] (3)
Addio del passato (La Traviata) (1853) [4.29] (4)
Era pių calma…Canzone del Salce ... Ave Maria (Otello) (1887) [11.48] (5)
Umberto GIORDANO (1867 - 1948)
La mamma morta (Andrea Chenier) (1896) [6.00] (6)
Franceco CILEA (1866 - 1950)
Ecco: respiro appena…Io son l'umile ancella (Adriana Lecouvreur) (1902) [3.33] (7)
Poveri fiori (Adriana Lecouvreur) (1902) [3.17] (7)
Alfredo CATALANI (1854 - 1893)
Nč mai dunque avro pace (La Wally)  (1892) [3.39] (8)
Pietro MASCAGNI (1863 - 1945)
Ah! il suo nome…Flammen, perdonami (Lodoletta) (1917) [4.32] (9)
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 - 1924)
Sola, perduta, abbandonata (Manon Lescaut) (1893) [3.21] (10)
Signore, ascolta (Turandot)  (1924) [2.45] (11)
Tu che di gel sei cinta (Turandot) (1924) [2.51] (12)
Renata Tebaldi (soprano)
Luisa Ribacci (mezzo) (5)
Ugo Savarese (baritone) (6)
Mario del Monaco (tenor) (12)
Chorus of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia (1, 12); Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome/Francesco Molinari-Pradelli (1, 10); Orchestra of the Grand Theatre, Geneva/Alberto Erede (2); Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome/Alberto Erede (3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12); Orchestra of La Scala, Milan/Antonino Votto (4); Orchestra of RAI, Turin/Arturo Basile (6)
rec. 1952 (3,4); 1953 (6, 11, 12); 1954 (5,10); 1955 (1,7,8,9); 1956 (2)
REGIS RRC1297 [73.59]
Experience Classicsonline

The careers of Renata Tebaldi's and Maria callas ran in parallel and they had a number of roles in common. But whereas Callas made her Italian debut in the dramatic title role of La Gioconda, Tebaldi only moved into the more dramatic repertory in the 1960s after a year off attending to vocal problems.
This new disc from Regis samples a selection of her main roles, with arias all taken from a series of complete recordings made for Decca in the 1950s. Often recordings were made back to back during those summer months.
The disc opens with three arias from La Forza del Destino. As transferred here, the recordings themselves seem to be showing their age. But once the ears are accustomed to the orchestral sound, we can begin to appreciate what made Tebaldi such a fine recording soprano.
Her performance is not about the vividness of the moment, such as with Callas's best recordings. Instead she gives us strong musicianship, a fine silvery voice with a remarkable range of power and a superb sense of line. You might miss Callas's attention to detail, but Tebaldi is generous with tone, superb of line - no squalling or wobbling here - and able to deliver ravishing pianissimos. Though not as detailed in characterisation as Callas, she does not turn in a generic performance - her Leonora comes over as a real person.
In D'Amore sull'ali rosee, the other Leonora's aria from Il Trovatore, Tebaldi's soft singing is superb but her louder passages tend towards the steely. This aria is followed by a touching account of O patria mia from Aida. Tebaldi's bright, forward vocal placement suggests Aida's youth, with a fine flexibility of line. Though again the top is not quite relaxed enough. Her Desdemona is near ideal, fragile but not too girlish, distinctly womanly but still very touching.
In La mamma morta from Andrea Chenier Tebaldi shows her fire. Here she is as vivid and dramatic as one could wish, whilst retaining her fine sense of line. This continues into the two items from Adiana Lecouvreur where Tebaldi has the gift of seeming to make the music more than it really is. The extract from La Wally is the less familiar Ne mai dunque avro pace and this is followed by the equally unknown Flammen, perdonami from Mascagni's Lodoletta. Both receive lovely musical performances.
Manon Lescaut is represented by Sola, perduta abbandonata, in which Tebaldi displays her generous tone. Finally two items from Turandot where she makes a touching Liu, but with a thread of steel running through.
This is an ideal disc for anyone unfamiliar with Tebaldi's art. Whilst you may not wish to buy the complete recordings you can hear the soprano in all her youthful  prime.
Robert Hugill


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