I was truly astonished to read official reviews of this recording, which has also been awarded the "record of the year" pize by Gramophone magazine! The support Gheorghiu gets from record companies and the press is no secret. Yet in my opinion any comparison with Verdi singers of the past seems an insult to their truly great art as well as an insult to the ears and mind of anyone who has heard Gheorghiu onstage. It is true that her gifts are remarkable but far from those of a Verdi spinto soprano: neither the size nor the colour of the voice can be compared with those of Tebaldi, Leontyne Price, Milanov or even Scotto and Aprile Millo, let alone Callas, all of them sopranos who have served Verdi's music in more than adequate ways. Nor does Mrs Gheorgiu's on-stage contribution so far explain why she should be compared to them or included in their company. On records of course ... well that is another matter, but even there things show.One cannot darken the colour of the voice sufficiently enough or make the lower part of the voice more resonant. If one listens carefully, one can also hear the less than required size of the voice. But then, appearance counts, and Mrs Gheorghiu is a beautiful woman, even if the chilly picture of the record booklet doesn't do her much justice. Or does it perhaps?
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