on 21 March 2013
It is a great score - melodious, lyrical and dramatic. For the price it is hard to grumble but there is good and not so good here. It is an old Cetra mono recording but clear and crisp for its age. The Luisa is Lucy Kelston, more a Minnie than a Luisa.She has a fine dramatic voice but her vocal technique is hard pushed by the trills, runs and staccato passages. It is all rather laboured but enthusiastic. I have never found much to like in Vaghi's woolly tones and nothing he contributes here changes that. The baritone however is a real artist though mostly forgotten now. Scipio Colombo is the real thing - a Verdi baritone with a focussed pliable baritone and an unerring dramatic sense. Why forgotten? Well he has none of the gleaming richness of a Bastianini not the power of a Cappuccilli but I forgot all others as I listened to his Miller. The surprise was the legendary Lauri-Volpi, by then well past his prime. In another Cetra recording of 'Il Trovatore' he was hard to take as every note ( very soft, very loud and nothing in-between) betrayed his age. I was dreading the same here but what I got was a Master of Verdian phrases, by turn lyrical and declamatory and quite the best version of the aria that I can ever remember hearing. Mario Rossi knows how to keep the score moving and detailed. I have heard it several times now and I have no doubt that for less than £6 there is a lot to enjoy even if the whole will never be at the top of the available recordings. However if you want to hear a fine forgotten baritone and the great Lauri-Volpi on fire then I suggest that your money is well spent.