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NIMBUS RECORDS, TETRAZZINI, PRIMA VOICE
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 21, 2007
Format: Audio CD
In her time Luisa Tetrazzini and Enrico Caruso were the biggest stars on planet.In fact,there is even a funny anecdote where upon seeing Caruso in train station,one woman excitedly claimed to her friend:"You see,I told you it was Tetrazzini!" Wealth and fame were not kind to Tetrazzini who died alone and forgotten in 1940. with the state paying for her funeral - but on this compilation we can hear why she was so famous.To put it simply,woman was bundle of joy,almost cartoonish coloratura who chirped like a drunken canary bird and her oompa-pah version of "Ah!Non giunge" from "La Somnabula" and "Una Voce poco fa" by Rossini are pure delight,it never fails to cheer me up.(Occasionaly,I find myself singing along with her when Im shaving,she is SO good) In some paralel universe I would introduce Tetrazzini to Mrs.Miller and let them sing me to Heaven.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2007
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
For those of us who were not around to experience this brillian talent this CD is a wonderful look into the Golden Era of opera! Tetrazzini had a beautiful color to her voice and it is just magic to hear the way she flys up and down the scales like a little bird. If you have the chance I encourage you to experience Tetrazzini for yourself and I know you will love her just as much as I.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Luisa Tetrazzini was one of the great sopranos at the turn of the twentieth century. Trying to gauge her skills from those ancient recordings is a real challenge. The recordings were made between 1911 and 1914, when she was over forty years old.

A sampling of the cuts on this CD (filled with 19 different offerings). . . .

From Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor," "Regnava nel silenzio." Tetrazzini displays a clean, light voice (given the sound quality of the recording). Even though she was 40 years old, her voice still had a fresh sound. Her lower tones were a bit weak. Her trill was weak in this cut. She floated a nice high note at the end. There was not a great deal of ornamentation. A bit bland, in the final analysis.

Rossini's "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" features a terrific bel canto piece--"Una voce poco fa." At the outset, there is some nice coloratura singing. She displays a decent trill in this work. She features an agile voice; her final high note is a bit thin and strained (something that I think shows up on a number of cuts--although that may be a function of the primitive recording technique).

From Donizetti's "La Sonnambula," two illustrations of her art. "Ah non credea mirarti" features a decent trill. That rather weak lower register also is manifest. She has a nice soft high note to conclude the piece. The cabaletta, "Ah! Non giunge" follows. Appoggiaturas are well done. No trilling; the repeat features otherwise nice coloratura technique. There are some weird effects toward the end of this work. The final high note has an unpleasant tone.

She sings "Ardon gl'incensi" from Lucia di Lammermoor "Mad Scene." Regrettably, the great cabaletta, "Spargi d'amaro pianto" is not included. However, the actual recorded item features good technique. The trills vary from weak to adequate. The high notes toward the end are hit accurately, but they seem a bit thin.

Delibes' "Lakme" features the wonderful coloratura soprano work, "The Bell Song." Tetrazzini demonstrates a smooth line, an agile voice. Toward the end of the repeat, she displays a good trill (her trilling technique is pretty uneven across this CD) at the end, but another strained thin high note (is this the result of the recording technology of the time? I don't know enough to be able to speculate).

In Verdi's "Rigoletto," there is a great ensemble piece, "Bella figlia dell'amore." This is great singing on her part. Enrico Caruso sings the role of the Duke of Mantua, a miserable cad. Her voice is able to soar above the ensemble and orchestra. She hits a nice high note at the end. Her performance, in the end, is quite impressive.

So, what about Luisa Tetrazzini? She has uneven trills and her lower voice is a bit weak. Sometimes her high notes appear thin and strained. On the other hand, she clearly demonstrates an agile voice with good coloratura technique. As noted earlier, I don't know the extent to which the then extant technology may have rendered her singing less impressive than it might have been with better recording techniques. Even with that caveat, though, this CD provides a good introduction to Tetrazzini's work.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is a sumptuous recording of Tetrazzini. She was so beloved that the Italian dish, "Chicken Tetrazzini", was named after her.
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