This is a terrific recording. The sound is excellent, and all the artists right down to the Comprimario roles are strong.
I only recently discovered Maria Slatinaru. I was looking for a good live "La Gioconda" with Franco Bonisolli as Enzo and found The live Radio Broadcast from The War Memorial Hall with the San Francisco Opera 1983.What a Gioconda she was on that recording, and what a voice.On the strength of this, I looked her up, to discover this recording of Forza.
This undoubtedly was one of the truly great sopranos of the 20th Century. What a shame that she was so sparcely recorded commercially.Therefore, this is very precious.There is a Turandot from the Studio around the same time temporarily out of stock, and I await this with bated breath. I have unashamedly been a slave to the Tebaldi voice and her various Leonoras all my life, but now Hmm!.
Slatinaru shows no weaknesses right through from top to bottom and her three big arias provide no problems,and her scene with Padre Guardiano is magnificent.
The rest of the cast are also new to me. The Alvaro Ludovic Spiess possessed a large Spinto and is very exciting. He rarely sings softly but is never vulgar. At times in the middle of his register,there is a marked resemblance to Jon Vickers.
I have never heard a Baritone voice on record bigger than that of Herlea-Don Carlo.The only one comparable, would be that of Gian Giacomo Guelfi.He is formidable,and one can sense his thirst for revenge
As Padre Guardiano Nicolae Florei displays a beautiful sonorous Bass,and the Mellitone-Constantin Gabor has a magnificent baritone.
The Orchestra and Chorus under Litvin are up to the highest standards.
In my opinion this can stand beside any other recording- Current or Past and we all grew up thinking that only Italians could sing Italian Opera. Some Romanians-these on this Set.