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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare but well-polished Verdi gems., 4 Oct 2001
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John Austin "austinjr@bigpond.net.au" (Kangaroo Ground, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Les Introuvables Du Chant Verdien (Audio CD)
Classical music enthusiasts will have become aware that EMI have been marketing several boxed sets with a French title containing the word "introuverables". The word suggests that when you open the box you'll find items that are so rare as to be almost unobtainable. It suggests also that their rarity is not due only to age or production limitations, it is also due to the incomparability of their quality.
Few would quibble about the quality of what is to be found in this splendid collection of Verdi "introuvables". You will hear how Emmy Destinn portrayed Aida yearning for her homeland in 1908, and how Elisabeth Schwarzkopf portrayed Violetta intereacting with her lover's father in 1953. You will hear several items duplicated. Francesco Navarini, recorded in 1907 with a piano, makes a stunning Fiesco in the "Simon Boccanegra" prologue, as is not up-staged by the more familiar Alexander Kipnis version which follows.
You might regret that your favourite Verdi record is not here. You'll have opportunities to make comparisons, however. I could never believe that anyone could equal Giuseppe de Luca'a 1930 "O sommo Carlo" from "Ernani, but here I have a chance to hear for the first time how the famous baritone Mattia Battistini did it in 1906.
Keith Hardwick compiled and transferred this collection originally in the late 1980s. He has augmented and transferred that issue onto 8 CDs, and provided the annotations. Full recording details are provided, there are many singer photographs but no singer biographies.
The recording dates range from 1903 to 1953. Sadly, almost all the singers - Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf being a notable exception - are all dead by now. Those of us who have opportunities to hear and collect their work, however, can be grateful that the older we get the better it sounds. Indeed, I have never heard any of the items included here in better transfers.
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Les Introuvables Du Chant Verdien
Les Introuvables Du Chant Verdien by Giuseppe Verdi (Audio CD - 2001)
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