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Verdi: Arias / Renata Scotto, Ileana Cotrubas


Release Date: 06/27/1995 
Label:  Sony Classical Essential Classics Catalog #: 67180   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Ileana CotrubasRenata ScottoElisabeth Bainbridge
Conductor:  John PritchardGianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia OrchestraLondon Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is the kind of record that you want to be sent for review as often as possible, to go back to play from the beginning once you've reached the end, to send to any aspiring singer who wants to learn about the first principles of singing. Ileana Cotrubas teaches you anew the importance of legato, of words, of evenly produced tone, of attention to detail, and of how to wed the four together into intelligent interpretations. Indeed each of these performances is at once an example of superb singing qua singing, but at the same time an account of the aria in hand that reveals the character's situation, while encompassing the particular style needed for a particular composer.

Over and above that is Cotrubas's peculiarly
Read more individual utterance... It makes her Gilda in Rigoletto touching and vulnerable. Note, too, how the coloratura is here part of the expression of Gilda's joy... The Leonora of Forza del destino finds Cotrubas striking out into new territory, and securely occupying it. Again she has the measure of a character's situation, the cry of "Fatalita" more desperate at each repeat.

-- Gramophone [6/1977, reviewing the Cotrubas selections]

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This is the second of two recitals which mark the welcome return of Renata Scotto to the recording studios. Her strong and touching performance as Ciô-Ciô-Sàn in Barbirolli's Madarna Butterfly (HMV Angel SLS927, 9/67) is now nine years old, and since then she has been rather lost to view by the record-buying public. She was unlucky to come upon the scene at a time when EMI were casting Callas, and Decca Tebaldi, in roles which Scotto might have taken, some of which she did in fact sing for DG in recordings that never quite achieved comparable popularity in this country. Then in the last ten years it has been the fresh, bright tones of Mirella Freni and the velvety ones of Montserrat Caballé that have taken the attention. But all the time Scotto has been giving great pleasure in the opera houses, developing from a singer whose charm and accomplishments were evident when we first heard her, over twenty years ago, into a mature, highly expressive artist of real distinction.

The previous record (CBS 76407, 11/75) presented her in arias of the verismo school, and in these she gave performances sufficiently heartfelt yet nobly restrained to call to mind a great predecessor, Claudia Muzio. This is so again in the present Verdi recital, which contains an intensely moving account of "Addio del passato" from La Traviata, the aria associated most of all with Muzio. The first of the arias from I Vespri Siciliani recalls her also, with its expressive breathing and its slow chromatic scale falling like a sigh. We know from the start of this recital, too, that it is a mature and genuine artist whom we are about to hear, one able to convey the underlying strength of feeling in the lively cabaletta of the extract from La Battaglia di Legnano. With the Nabucco aria it is a new, formidable character that we hear, startlingly vivid as she exclaims with cunning pride how little they know of Abigail's heart. And then, how much we know of Desdemona's when such anxiety overshadows her phrases as in Scotto's performance of the great scene from Otello.

Faults of course there are in this recital, particularly in the rather hard tone of several of the high notes. I still wouldn't be without it!

-- Gramophone [8/1976, reviewing the Scotto selections]
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Works on This Recording

1. Rigoletto: Caro nome by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Ileana Cotrubas (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Pritchard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Gualtier Maldé..." 
2. Nabucco: Ben io t'invenni...Anch' io dischiuso un giorno by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Italy 
Language: Italian 
3. La traviata: Addio del passato by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Teneste la promessa..." 
4. I lombardi: O madre, dal cielo soccorri al mio pianto by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Italy 
Language: Italian 
5. La forza del destino: Pace, pace, mio Dio by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Ileana Cotrubas (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Pritchard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862/1869; Italy 
Language: Italian 
6. La battaglia di Legnano: Voi lo diceste, amiche by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Italy 
Notes: This selection continues with "Quante volte...A frenarti, o cor..." 
7. I vespri siciliani: Arrigo! ah, parli a un core by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855; Italy 
8. I vespri siciliani: Mercè, dilette amiche "Bolero" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855; Italy 
9. Otello: Piangea cantando...Ave Maria by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Elisabeth Bainbridge (Mezzo Soprano), Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
Notes: This selection begins with "Era più calmo?" 

Sound Samples

Lida: "Voi lo diceste...Quanto volte" from La Battaglia di Legano, Act I (Voice)
Abigaille: "Ben io t'invenni...Anch'io dischiuso...Salgo già" from Nabucco, Act II (Voice)
Elena: "Arrigo! Ah! parli a un core" from I Vespri Siciliani, Act IV (Voice)
Elena: "Mercè, dilette amiche" from I Vespri Siciliani, Act V (Voice)
Canzone del salice - Ave Maria (Emila: "Era piu calmo?" - Dsdemona: "Mi parea...Mia madre aveva...Ave Maria") from Otello, Act IV (Voice)
Violetta: "Teneste la promessa...Addio, del passato" from La Traviata, Act III (Voice)
Giselda: "O madre, dal cielo...Se vano è il pregare...No! Giusta causa" from I Lombardi, Act II (Voice)
Gilda: "Gualtier Maldè..."Caro nome" from Rigoletto, Act I (Voice)
Leonora: "Pace, pace, mio Dio" from La forza del destino, Act IV (Voice)

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