Monday, February 2, 2015

d'amore al dolce impero

It has been more than two weeks, and I cannot stop listening to this.
Originally released on the RCA LP "Rossini Rarities" in 1967, Spanish soprano, Montserrat Caballe is not only in peak vocal condition here, but shows a musicality and vocal elasticity, the likes of which are virtually impossible to come by today (or ever?). I've listened to other recordings of this piece, and usually the results are that someone has barely managed to get through a very difficult aria (notable exceptions go to Cristina Deutekom and Maria Callas), but no one comes close to the seemingly effortless musicality and joy that Caballe brings to this performance. Not only does she toss off the most difficult coloratura with ease, but she makes this devil of a piece sound musical and even fun. The extended run of triplets (1:34) is astounding, and when the tempo increases for faster and more extended runs (3:04), it is simply mind-boggling. I understand this will only interest a few of you, who fall into a rather small "specialty market" category of music listeners, but if you are at all interested in great singing, this is really well worth a listen: