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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful, 29 July 2013
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This review is from: A Verdi Collaboration (Audio CD)
Simply wonderful singing from a young Anna Moffo.Why it has taken 50 years for one of her best recordings to arrive on CD is a mystery but hurrah at last!The programme is a broad one and covers roles that would have been unwise choices on stage, as many are better suited to grander and bigger sized voices like her RCA stablemate Leontyne Price-that said the singing is unfailingly musical,the technical challenges met squarely and honestly.Some gorgeous piano singing in the Aida and Otello,a spectacular top E in the Vespri,and D flat in the Trovatore all show her in the very best light and she can shade the voice to encompass a more spinto sound for the Ballo aria.I have always considered this her best recital disc and it makes one ever sadder that her career went off kilter within 10 years of this disc.Would it be churlish to hope that RCA/Sony might reissue her lighter repertoire discs from this period with Sergio Franchi and Skitch Henderson?The remastering has been well managed and shows orchestra and singer in a flattering light as does the cover photo.Please buy and be glad that this disc is a golden reminder of a remarkable talent caught at its freshest.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAGICAL MOFFO, 9 Aug. 2013
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Jim Brooks (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Verdi Collaboration (Audio CD)
The term "rollercoaster" might have been coined to describe the career of the American-Italian Anna Moffo. After high school she turned down an offer to go to Hollywood in order to study with Eufemia Giannini-Gregory, sister of soprano Dusolina Giannini. In 1954 she left for Italy to complete her studies in Rome with Mercedes Llopart and Luigi Riccu, making her official operatic debut in 1955 as Norina in Spoleto. In 1956 an Italian television performance of Madama Butterfly made Moffo an overnight sensation throughout Italy. Offers from Aix-en-Provence, Vienna, Salzburg and Milan quickly followed.

Moffo's 1957 American debut was as Mimi opposite the Rodolfo of Jussi Bjorling in Chicago and in 1959 she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Violetta, singing a wide range of roles over seventeen seasons: Lucia, Gilda, Adina, Mimi, Liu, Nedda, pamina, Marguerite, Juliette, Manon, Melisande, Perichole and the four heroines of Les Contes d'Hoffmann. Through her stage and TV appearances she became not only hugely popular in the US, but greatly loved by her admirers, who stood by her when physical exhaustion caused a serious and very public vocal collapse in 1974, from which she never fully recovered. Although she resumed her career in 1976 and continued to record she appeared only sporadically. After retiring from singing Moffo remained active in the opera community as a Board Member of the Metropolitan Opera Guild and giving occasional masterclasses. She spent the last years of her life in New York City, where she died of a stroke at age 73 following a decade-long battle with breast cancer, leaving a considerable legacy of recordings, the finest of which are the EMI recordings of the 1950s and those for RCA in the early to mid 1960s. This is one of the most interesting from the RCA catalogue and its first CD issue is a cause for celebration.

The prospective buyer may be intrigued by the choice of arias, half of which would have been beyond Moffo's physical capabilities on stage, but the recording captures perfectly her lovely, warm, essentially lyric voice and the vividness of her projection of the text. This is not the disembodied, creamy-toned beauty of a Fleming or Margaret Price; it's a more vibrant, immediate sound, and time and time again Moffo's tonal beauty and musicality charm and enchant the listener. The attack is secure, there is no sliding up to notes, the pianissimi are ravishing and trills are perfectly executed. Above all, there is so much "face", such individuality of a kind rarely heard today. The least successful number is Amelia's lament from "Ballo", excellently sung but the tone is too girlish and the approach not grand enough. The Trovatore Leonora's "D'amor sull'ali rosee" is one of the highlights of the disc, with Moffo making light work of the technical difficulties, and suffusing her singing with an aching longing that stands comparison with the finest versions. Here Franco Ferrara's sometimes ponderous approach is a more comfortable fit with Moffo's forward, impulsive approach.

As for the claim in the notes that the recording has been remastered.... It was analogue. Now it's digital. End of story. I have no problem with retaining tape hiss if it preserves the original brilliance of the recording, but there has been no attempt to reduce hiss between the tracks and, more seriously, nothing has been done to reduce the obvious and irritating effect of print-through from the original master. This means that what should be an expectant, atmosphere-building hush before Desdemona's Willow Song is occupied by two audio "ghosts" of the final chord of Giovanna's aria, and Desdemona's great cry of "Ah, Emilia, Addio!" is previewed twice as it approaches train-like from the distance. Moffo was a great and cherishable artist who deserves better treatment.

Please don't be put off by these reservations, which I feel in fairness should be aired. This is a hugely enjoyable and welcome reissue that should enhance Moffo's reputation - if not that of the engineer - and which makes for rewarding and heart-warming listening pleasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Verdi Collaboration CD, 21 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: A Verdi Collaboration (Audio CD)
Brilliant. Not heard any Anna Moffo before. Lovely CD What more can I say. I have run out of words
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars anna moffo at her best, 5 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: A Verdi Collaboration (Audio CD)
what a voice fabulous. so underrated. the stereo recording is outstanding. this all verdi programme of anna moffo's is a triumph compared to the very disappointing anna netrobeko verdi cd that i also purchased.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anna Moffo: A Verdi Collaboration., 16 Nov. 2013
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W. Grubb (Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Verdi Collaboration (Audio CD)
It is great to have this recital available on CD and shows how broad the repertoire she was capable of singing in her prime in the early 1960's.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Listen!, 14 Aug. 2014
This review is from: A Verdi Collaboration (Audio CD)
Wonderful melodies and superb voice!
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