Angela Gheorghiu's Live La Scala Recital on EMI

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Angela Gheorghiu's Live La Scala Recital on EMI

Post by Lance » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:43 pm

~ New Release ~

Angela Gheorghiu (soprano)
Jeff Cohen, piano
EMI Records, 94420, 65:33, DDD
[Recorded April 3, 2006]

Track listing: 1-Martini: Plasir d'amour; 2-A. Scarlatti: O cessate di piagarmi; 3-Perisotti: Se tu m'ami; 4-Gluck: O del mio dolce ardor (Paride ed Elena); 5-Bellini: Malinconia, ninfa gentile; 6-Bellini: Vanne o rosa fortunata; 7-Donizetti: Me voglio fà na casa; 8-Verdi: Stornello; 9-Verdi: In solitaria stanza; 10-Verdi: Brindisi II; 11-Gounod: Sérénade; 12-Bizet: Chant d'amour; 13-Massenet: Élégie; 14-A. Alessandresu: Cind perdeaua dragil mele; 15-D. Checiu: Si daca; 16-T. Brediceanu: Floricicâ de ne apa; 17-T. Brendiceanu: Bade, pentru chil tal; 18-Val, badita, dragi ne-avem Dragu-mi, mândro, de tine; 19-G. Dendrino: Te lubesc!. Encores: 21-Tosti: A vucchella; 22-Lerner & Lowe: I Could Have Danced All Night (My Fair Lady); 22-Puccini: O mil babbino caro (Gianni Schicchi).

Angela Gheorghiu, for me, is one of the most exciting voices I've heard in quite a few years. The Romanian-born soprano, now married to tenor Roberto Alagna, has a large voice that she controls with ease, one that is imbued with heartfelt expression. Hers is a voice that constantly appeals. Now, having just celebrated her 42nd birthday, she is at the absolute peak of her career, one which I hope will last for a long time.

This collection greets you first with sonics that are a bit strange. The piano, at times, has more prominence than the voice. The disc says in the tray inlay that it is "issue[d] under exclusive license to EMI Classics," and a further indication that it wasn't recorded by EMI themselves, but realised by the Teatro alla Scala Sound Department. It's not a first-rate recording but is certainly adequate for a live recital. The piano, unfortuantely, sounds like a bar-room piano, heavily glassy in the upper registers. A photo indicates in might be a Steinway concert grand, but it is difficult to ascertain this for certain. While Jeff Cohen plays admirably, his art is hampered by an inferior instrument.

Normally we are used to hearing Angela Gheorgiu in operatic arias, but here, she has focused on songs by mainly operatic composers, featuring "antique" arias, that kind of music largely from the Baroque period in music. Gheorgiu explains that this kind of repertoire is "less like songs, more like arias ... I thought that for such a big house it would be more appropriate." The audience, quite obviously, loves it.

The generous and delightful surprise in new repertoire for recordings is the large group of Romanian songs, which are absolutely uplifting and, from the response, very much admired by the audience. The only real opera aria in this collection is Puccini's "O mio babbion caro" from Gianni Schicchi, thus giving something of great opera to a most appreciative audience as a final encore.

The recital provides another facet of the brilliant voice of Angela Gheorghiu and is highly recommended.
Lance G. Hill

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]


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Post by Brahms » Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:33 pm


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Post by slofstra » Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:04 pm

Lance, like you, I really admire and enjoy Georghiu. I often play a La Traviata DVD in which she sings Violetta, with Solti as conductor. Would you call her voice "big"? It certainly is lovely and well controlled.

I especially enjoy recitals like this with piano accompaniment. It gives the voice more presence than orchestral accompaniment, and I like to hear arias presented in this way.

There are only two such discs that I possess. One is Cecilia Bartoli in recital, with Thibaudet on piano - I also have the DVD of this.
The other: Jussi Bjoerling at Carnegie Hall, one of my absolute favourite of all discs, hands down.

There must be other voice and piano recital discs, that are "must owns", definitive performances. Any thoughts, anyone?

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