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The Singers: Leontyne Price Enhanced, Original recording remastered

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Oct. 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00005NY7A
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 403,949 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Aida: Ritorna Vincitor!
  2. Aida: Qui Radames Verra!/O Patria Mia
  3. Un Ballo In Maschera: Ecco L'orrido Campo/Ma Dall'arido Stelo Divulsa
  4. Un Ballo In Maschera: Morro, Ma Prima In Grazia
  5. Otello: Mi Parea/Piangea Cantando/Ave Maria
  6. Ernani: Surta E La Notte/Ernani! Ernani Involami/Tutto Sprezzo
  7. Messiah: He Shall Feed His Flock
  8. Messiah: How Beautiful Are The Feet
  9. Panis Angelicus
  10. What Child Is This?
  11. I Wonder As I Wander
  12. Away In A Manger
  13. O Come, All Ye Faithful - Leontyne Price/L'Ens Vocal Tudor De Montreal

Product Description

DEC 467913 2; DECCA - Inghilterra; Classica Lirica Recital

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La Splendissima still splendid in her mid-fifties? Simply put, the answer is YES! My devoted admiration for LP is boundless, the voice late in her career being for me something really special: thicker, darker, larger than ever. The first half of this CD's programme (73+ minutes) features numbers (Mehta/1980) from her three Verdi signature roles (Aida, Amelia and Elvira), as well as a part (Desdemona) which her fans wish that she had recorded in full (not having sung it on the stage): without doubt, the finest Verdian soprano of her time. The second half (Dutoit/1983) includes two MESSIAH numbers, Franck's PANIS ANGELICUS (this will make you weep), and four traditional songs. The enhanced CD includes texts, links, and a photo gallery, where you can print out LP's superb public and private pictures. What a voice!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x90bec108) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a88e3a8) out of 5 stars black venus in furs 28 Sept. 2001
By C. Roe - Published on Amazon.com
Ok,I must first admit that Miss Price is my favorite diva, so this review will be biased. Yet this cd is a great introduction for even those unfamiliar with the greatest Verdi soprano of the 20th century. You will hear her in Aida, Un Ballo, Ernani, and Otello, and you will see her too. This series, "The Singers," has the added bonus of a cd-rom feature that lets you look at glamour photos of Price from her Decca years, and believe me, this is a woman who looks divine in her furs. You can also print out the photos of her if you've been unlucky with your E-bay auctions. Furthermore, you will find the texts to the arias and songs on the disc, which is an inconvenience for those without a computer. It would have been nice to have had both the texts on the cd and in the skimpy booklet included, for Price, Nilsson, London, Sills, and the others in this series deserve deluxe packaging for their deluxurious voices.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9042372c) out of 5 stars AGELESS BEAUTY: Leontyne Price sings Verdi Arias and Music of the Christmas Season 18 July 2006
By Donizetti's Kid - Published on Amazon.com
The great American soprano Leontyne Price has been an legend almost since the beginning of her international Operatic career. She: Triumphed in every musical capital; Was chosen to open the New MET in an opera (ANTONY and CLEOPATRA) written expressly for her voice; Holds the record for the most Grammys ever awarded to a sole classical vocalist (16)sixteen; Holds the record for the longest MET ovation (42 minutes at her debut in IL TROVATORE); Has been acclaimed as "Diva di tutte le dive"..."the Stradivarius of Singers"..."our great Verdi would have found her the perfect Aida"..."America's Diva assoluta" - and is one of the most-recorded (studio)and celebrated Prima Donnas in the history of Opera. So when the diva recorded the arias on this CD in the early 80's, she was inevitably inviting comparison to the catalog of her incomparable recordings of old. The arias on this CD hail from some of Ms. Price's most illustrous Verdi roles (AIDA, AMELIA, and ELVIRA), and the OTELLO scena, that she previously recorded in the mid-60's. There is no question that soprano Leontyne Price in 1980 was a different singer from the Mississippi-born soprano of the 1960s. Her voice is dark and weightier in the middle with less throb, chesty in the lower regions, with a slight loss of thrust and/or power in the upper regions. Despite those cavils, these performances demand little to no apology or allowances for age or longevity. Ms. Price sings beautifully throughout, with few new musical insights to be sure, but compensatory glorious tone - minus wobble, suspect intonation, and/or loss of range that other divas of her generation failed to escape.

In "Ritorna Vincitor" the Aida Ms. Price gives us is an intense, fiery, and determined heroine whose repeated declamations of "struggete" (fight them!) are nearly hurled at her absent Ethiopian brethren. (here, and so often in her singing, the rasp of her lower voice serves the dramatic intent admirably.) She's stated her belief that Aida should be portrayed as a princess in captivity, and the soprano delineates the conflicts that overwhelm the young Ethiopian royal expertly, though the sound is much darker and less ductile than before. "Numi pieta" is sung with broader strokes than in previous times, but is still suppliant and touching. The second AIDA aria "O Patria Mia" finds Ms. Price in nearly miraculous form, spinning out velvety soft highs, creamy, dark-hued tone in the middle, and a gorgeous, long-held high C at the aria's climax - all representative of the singer from 10 years earlier. Ms. Price starrred in a series of UN BALLO IN MACHERA performances at the MET (in the mid-60's) and the San Francisco Opera, and on a classic recording (RCA)as well. In 1980, we miss the femininity and vulnerability that the soprano generated in her earlier essays of the Act II scena. The dramatic intensity is lessened and more general in scope. Ms. Price sings with forthright security overall, the middle produced with notably less vibrato than usual, but the tops still lovely, if less refulgent than before. "Morro ma prima in Grazia" is probably the least successful of all of the arias on this set. Ms. Price's singing is almost blunt in delivery, phrasing choppy, and lacking cohesion. Dramatically, she seems uninterested and lethargic, with her voice mirroring all of the above. The OTELLO scena is more nuanced, and sung with a greater attention to dynamic shadings. Ms. Price's singing rightly focuses on the melancholy and foreboding of the doomed heroine, the tonal panapoly yields more somber, yet softer hues.This Desdemona sounds much more mature vocally than the silvery creation Ms. Price left on her earlier recording, though no less beautiful. "Ernani involami" ( ERNANI) is actually an improvement over the thrillingly sung, but somewhat technically awkward version on the Thomas Schippers-led complete set of this opera. Here Ms. Price sings the cavatina with the fluid assurance of a bel canto specialist, the voice supple, warm, and brilliant in the upper regions. She sings the cabaletta with greater ease, handles the fioritura with bravura, capping it with a high C worthy of any she previously sang in this piece. Maestro Zubin Mehta, usually one who could elicit greater emotional involvement from the diva, contributes a great deal of unimmaginative conducting here. There is little sweep in the more dramatic pieces, and even less chiaruscuro in the slower arias, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's playing - while proficient- is pallid throughout as a result. The focus however, is on the SINGER in this recital, and Leontyne Price clearly shines in the spotlight - one that had been trained on her for nearly 25 years!!

The other selections are from a previously-released follow-up to Ms.Price's universally-acclaimed Christmas album with Maestro Herbert Von Karajan in 1960. There is no comparison between the two in terms of vocalism. Ms. Price's voice here is a more mature-sounding instrument, with loss of clarity in the bottom, dark, straighter tone in the middle, and a definite diminution of power in the upper register. The arrangements are lusher, grander, and more distracting than the earlier recording. Indeed, they tend to swamp the diva's singing at times, and offer nothing that further highlights her unique vocal qualities. What sustains these selections is Leontyne Price's ability to infuse the music with her innate spirituality and humility. She radiated those same qualities in the earlier recording, but the sheer beauty of her voice sometimes overwhelmed everything else. Here, the listener is able to better appreciate the profound inner stirrings of a great artist in the latter stages of her career, where the voice serves the emotions and texts. The CD-Rom format allows you to enjoy a fabulous gallery of photos from Ms. Price's splendid career, many of which were absent to the US public for years. There is also a discography, and biographical notes.

This collection is not recommended to LEONTYNE PRICE neophytes, as her voluminous earlier studio output truly displays her talents at their zenith. Indeed this Verdi collection excludes IL TROVATORE and LA FORZA DEL DESTINO , both indelibly linked to this diva. Rather, this is a collection for Opera-lovers, connoisseurs, and of course, Price fans, who appreciate, understand, and celebrate the value of an artist's maturity - and want to revel in the amazing vocalism that accompanies it - "La Splendissima" Leontyne Price.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90057d68) out of 5 stars Sing like this woman if you can 9 Dec. 2009
By Filippo Secondo (aka AB) - Published on Amazon.com
La Splendissima still splendid in her mid-fifties? Simply put, the answer is YES! My devoted admiration for LP is boundless, the voice late in her career being for me something really special: thicker, darker, larger than ever. The first half of this CD's programme (73+ minutes) features numbers (Mehta/1980) from her three Verdi signature roles (Aida, Amelia and Elvira), as well as a part (Desdemona) which her fans wish that she had recorded in full (not having sung it on the stage): without doubt, the finest Verdian soprano of her time. The second half (Dutoit/1983) includes two MESSIAH numbers, Franck's PANIS ANGELICUS (this will make you weep), and four traditional songs. The enhanced CD includes texts, links, and a photo gallery, where you can print out LP's superb public and private pictures. What a voice!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x904750b4) out of 5 stars Dependably perfect 26 Mar. 2004
By D. Fair - Published on Amazon.com
An excellent, excellent disc. The Aida arias were recorded later in her vocal life and it's amazing that she still has the chops to take on these taxing arias. The voice is still soaring and radiant. You absorb from this CD that she has the technique to take on anything! She has a voice like none other. The Christmas songs are just beautiful and wonderful. Her "I Wonder as I Wander" is now my favorite rendition ever. "O Come All Ye Faithful" is a little oversung, but I want that last night to be the last thing I hear before I die. Perfectly placed on pitch and powerful as anything. That's our Leontyne! Dependable and perfection in everyway.
HASH(0x90616b94) out of 5 stars Five Stars 4 Feb. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
SUPERIOR!!!! The item was in perfect shape.
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