WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Massenet: Thais / Rudel, Moffo, Carreras, Bacquier, Diaz, New Philharmonia

Massenet / Rudel
Release Date: 02/17/2017 
Label:  Rca   Catalog #: 88985397882   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jules Massenet
Performer:  Anna MoffoGabriel BacquierJosé CarrerasJustino Diaz
Conductor:  Julius Rudel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia OrchestraAmbrosian Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Another CD premiere, one that is sure to excite and delight many opera aficionados, also stars La Moffo. She is heard in the title role of Massenet’s Thaïs in one of her last and most controversial recordings. Dramatically Moffo inhabits the outsized role of a courtesan-turned-saint completely.

-----

REVIEW:

Lushly upholstered at every turn, this should have been a perfect Thaïs, but Anna Moffo in the title role has problems with pitch which mar a vintage recording. However Jose Carreras and Gabriel Bacquier are at the top of their game.

– BBC Music Magazine
Another CD premiere, one that is sure to excite and delight many opera aficionados, also stars La Moffo. She is heard in the title role of Massenet’s Thaïs in one of her last and most controversial recordings. Dramatically Moffo inhabits the outsized role of a courtesan-turned-saint completely.

-----

REVIEW:

Lushly upholstered at every turn, this should have been a perfect Thaïs, but Anna Moffo in the title role has problems with pitch which mar a vintage recording. However Jose Carreras and Gabriel Bacquier are at the top of their game.

– BBC Music Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Thaďs by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Anna Moffo (Soprano), Gabriel Bacquier (Baritone), José Carreras (Tenor),
Justino Diaz (Bass)
Conductor:  Julius Rudel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Much Maligned Gem March 22, 2017 By Richard Weyhausen (Flishing, NY) See All My Reviews "When this recording of Thais came out in 1974, I eagerly grabbed it up after waiting over an hour in line at Sam Goody ... since there was no absolutely complete recording of it available -- the truly fine Renee Doria and Geori Boue recordings had the then-standard cuts to the ballet and Act III. I truly savored Moffo's recording upon first hearing it -- and replayed it so often, even at Thais party a friend held in its honor, that I soon had to buy a second copy (which I still own). What a horror, at the time, to read reviews trashing this dramatic tour de force performance by Moffo et al. As a trained singer and now-retired vocal coach, I was quick to identify her perhaps over indulgence in pitch drooping -- a habit some singers have in letting the pitch drop a bit at the ed of a breath -- in the opening scene, which combined with added weight and use of chest tones, makes for a sultry entrance to be sure. Critics at the time were quick to read that as a voice in near disrepair. Perhaps in a mean-spirited attempt to insult a singer who was no longer in her vocal prime -- and who had just married the "boss" -- a number of reviewers trashed the whole affair. Be warned, you may not enjoy the pitch drooping -- but as the scenes proceed, you will hear an absolutely first-rate performance of the mirror aria and the conversion duet, magnificently partnered by a fierce-sounding Bacquier, thrilling to say the least. The Eros aria and the desert scene are wonderful, and the finale is, for me, breathtaking. In addition to Bacquier, the young Carreras is "pudding to the ear," as a teacher of mine once described him. As much as I like Renee Fleming's recording as well as Eva Mei's and, of course, Bubbles' wonderful account, Moffo's performance has always rung true for me. What a pleasure it is to finally have it on CD so that we can listen to it without the pops and snaps of those wobbly 1970s LPs. Friends have often wondered why the producers and, indeed, Maestro Rudel, upon listening to playbacks might not have had Anna just breathe a bit harder in the opening scene, but I submit that the performance is so commanding all the same that a retake would really have not been unnecessary." Report Abuse
Review This Title