This is the Tebaldi comeback album that introduced the mature Tebaldi to her fans in 1964 after her vocal crisis. The gorgeous Tebaldi sound of the 50s was no longer there but in stead there was a mature, dramatic voice that she was able to push in both ends, most spectacularly in the lower range. In softer passages, I often notice even more warmth than before and that's my favourite new attribute of the new sound.
Tebaldi didn't attempt most of the roles she sings on this recital on stage but in studio at least she sounds great. Amelia benefits from her firm spinto sound and I'm sorry she didn't record the role next to Bergonzi on that Solti Ballo. In questa reggia is impressive for its strength and Joan Sutherland is rumoured to have used it as a model for her own recording. The aria from La Rondine wouldn't be my fist choice for the mature Tebaldi but I'm happy this unsurpassed Puccini soprano added it to her recorded legacy. To a lesser extent I feel the same about her Elisabetta and Giovanna d'Arco as I feel the younger Tebaldi sound was more suitable to Verdi but tastes differ. Others find the mature Tebaldi perfect for the dramatic dimensions of these roles.
Suicidio, voi lo sapete and Esser madre un inferno and were in my opinion the ideal arias for Tebaldi at this stage and these are my favourite items here. The first two are hair raising for their intensity while the third brought me to tears. I've never heard the emotional turning point in suicidio's domando al cielo sung with such a heartbreaking effect.
Excellent new classic recitals release therefore but it's now time Decca released the '55 recital with those stunning Cecilia arias.