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ClassicsOnline Home » Opera Arias (Soprano): Tetrazzini, Luisa - BELLINI, V. / DAVID, F. / DONIZETTI, G. / TOSTI, F.P. / ROSSINI, G. / GRIEG, E. (1904-1914)
La Regina was a nickname given to Leyla Gencer for her interpretation of Donizetti's queens, but before Gencer was even born, Luisa Tetrazzini was the Queen of Coloratura.
It is amazing how clear these records sound, given the oldest was cut over 100 years ago. Tetrazzini's rich, golden tone pours out without any difficulty. Her ease and virtuosity in the high register is incredible. The strength and purity of the top is magnificent. There are no thin high notes here!
The highlight, for me, is Sempre Libera from La Traviata. Why? After all, there are better displays of bravura facility elsewhere. But Tullio Serafin taught his Violettas that Sempre Libera, which is in my opinion the most vital part of La Traviata, must be bubbling and uncontrollable like champagne: the singing must be effervescent.
Tetrazzini provides this effervescence while simultaneously displaying natural legato and flawless execution of the coloratura.
Certainly, Tetrazzini's middle and low registers were not perfect. The middle is white and open, which does not please Anglo-American listeners. However, just as it isn't right to take a baritone singing Iago to task for avoiding the lines of A naturals, it isn't relevant to bully Tetrazzini for a middle that does not meet the expectations of audiences 100 years later!
If nothing else, and if the buyer has no sentimental attachment to Tetrazzini, then it is still worthy buying because it gives a window into a vanished world. It's a bit difficult to explain. Listen to some samples and you'll see what I mean: the miracle of these recordings from so long ago becomes clear. People with lots of Tamagno records will understand perfectly.more....
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Opera Arias (Soprano): Tetrazzini, Luisa - BELLINI...