6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Don 't overlook this AIDA...,
This review is from: Aida (Questa, Orchestra Della Rai, Verna) (Audio CD)
With so much competition, Cetra's rough-and-ready 1956 recording of AIDA is often overlooked. Nevertheless, this is a very fine performance indeed, with a stellar cast that acts and performs as an ensemble. Franco Corelli's Rhadames is simply thrilling; the conductor, Angelo Questa doesn't permit him to over-emote as he could do on occasion; still, the listener is aware from Corelli's first entry and his "Celeste Aida" that here is a committed, passionate Rhadames. He only gets better. Mary Curtis Verna had a short career (she sang at the Met for a season or so, then seemed to disappear). She shows up as well in the old Cetra BALLO (with Ferruccio Tagliavini). She is very fine as Aida, encompassing both the emotion and beauty of the role. Miriam Pirazzini, another under valued singer, is equally good as Amneris. Giangiacomo Guelfi, a long time veteran of the Italian stage, is very dependable as Amonasro. And, in the last years of his magnificent career as one of Italy's finest basso profundos Giulio Neri is excellent as Ramfis, resonant and without a hint of the slight vocal indispostion that one can sense in his Cetra recording of MEFISTOFELE recorded the same year (his earlier Boito, on Preiser, is truly grand). Finally, the quite dependabbe Antonio Zerbini is the King.
Sonically, this is one of Cetra's finest issues---good, rich, and detailed monaural sound.
Again, the singers treat this recording as if they were really performing on stage. There is an air of engrossing, excitement. In short, a fine representation of AIDA. Highly recommended.
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Initial post: 16 Oct 2012 08:38:40 BDT
Viva Verdi says:
I agreed with this recommendation. It's worth getting as a document of Corelli alone. He's not top of my list for tenors but the sheer brilliance his timbre here is quite astounding. He seems to be too close to his microphone or, as probably the case, his volume was greater than that of his colleagues. If you hear his live 1957 Tosca from Covent Garden the same applies - potential ear-drum damage.
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