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Renata Scotto - Italian Opera Arias


Release Date: 09/22/1998 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 60524   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Giacomo PucciniAlfredo CatalaniFrancesco CilèaPietro Mascagni,   ... 
Performer:  Renata ScottoRenato BrusonElena Obraztsova
Conductor:  Gianandrea GavazzeniEve QuelerLorin MaazelJohn Pritchard,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraOpera Orchestra of New YorkSchola Cantorum New York,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

Special Order:  This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Soprano Renata Scotto's Metropolitan Opera career spanned the years 1965 to 1987, during which time she was featured in a number of "Live From the Met" telecasts in roles ranging from Mimi in La Bohème to the title role of Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini. Both her debut and farewell at the Met were as Puccini's Butterfly, a role for which she was famous. During her Met years, particularly from the mid 70s on, she took on increasingly heavier parts, with the unfortunate result that, despite her consistently engrossing stage presence and canny dramatic instincts, the wear and tear on her voice became increasingly harder for even her staunchest supporters to ignore, particularly the tendency of sustained high notes to wobble Read more and fray under pressure. Scotto's early career intersected Callas 's: She sang and recorded Glauce to Callas's Medea, and it was Scotto who took on the infamous Edinburgh Sonnambula that Callas would not add to her own schedule. For a riveting example of Scotto at her lyric-coloratura best, find her 1967 Lucia from Tokyo with Carlo Bergonzi, baritone Mario Zanasi, and conductor Bruno Bartoletti (this can be seen on a Legato videocassette and shows up periodically on CD); Callas wasn't the only one who could make Lucia a dramatically compelling figure. And in the years after Callas, it was Scotto along with her contemporary Mirella Freni (they were born almost exactly a year apart), who came to epitomize what a real Italian soprano—i.e., one with style, presence, and voice—was supposed to be.

As Scotto herself points out in an introductory note, this disc restores to the catalog her very first American recording, taped (actually in London) in December 1974. The 12 arias of that album make for utterly compelling listening, demonstrating from beginning to end Scotto's absolute technical control, impeccable musical phrasing, unfailing attention to the color and meaning of words, and her ability to gain and hold the listener's attention through an extraordinary array of vocal effects. (Whether calculation ultimately takes precedent over spontaneity in her use of these effects is something the listener can decide.) There are myriad impressive details, in fact too many to mention, but here are some. Listen to the varied treatments of the phrase "Non ti scordar di me!" in the opening aria from Le villi; the portamento on "silenzio," the imploring touch of chest voice on "m'agghiaccia," and the way Scotto opens up both vocally and emotionally as Manon recalls Des Grieux's caresses, lips, and embraces in "In quelle trine morbide"; how desperation and beauty of sound combine to maximum effect in Manon's "Sola, perduta, abbandonata"; how the seemingly insignificant preposition "del" (at "Così l'effluvia del desio") in "Quando me'n vo'" somehow conveys musical meaning; how the sustained, 10-second (3:54^:05) pianissimo A of "dimmi" makes magic in "Senza mamma"; or how, in that same aria, the repetition of the word "fredde" becomes a link to the next phrase. Throughout all of this, Scotto is extraordinarily partnered by her "favorite maestro," the late Gianandrea Gavazzeni, whose contribution cannot be overpraised. (A personal note: Gavazzeni's conducting in a 1976 Met Trovatore with Scotto and Pavarotti taught me more about tempo relationships in Italian opera—and specifically about the relationship between aria and cabaletta—than any other single performance I've ever heard.)

To fill out the disc, Sony has appended excerpts from four of Scotto's complete opera sets. Of these, only the final duet from II segreto di Susanna with baritone Renato Bruson and conductor John Pritchard makes the right kind of impression. Eve Queler's conducting in the Edgar sequence and Lorin Maazel's in the two arias from Scotto's Butterfly suffer in comparison to Gavazzeni's (especially Queler's), and the Adriana duet with Elena Obraztsova and James Levine will make no sense whatsoever to anyone who doesn't know the opera's plot, since there are no notes about the music at all, though we do get texts and translations. But we should still be grateful—in fact, very grateful—for the return of the Scotto-Gavazzeni album to the catalog; get this disc for that.

-- Marc Mandel, FANFARE [1/1999] Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Le Villi: Se come voi piccina by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Non ti scordar di me..." 
2.
Manon Lescaut: In quelle trine morbide by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3.
Manon Lescaut: Sola, perduta, abbandonata by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
4.
La Bohème: Quando m'en vo' soletta "Musetta's Waltz" by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5.
Suor Angelica: Senza mamma, o bimbo, tu sei morto by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
6.
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
7.
La Wally: Ebben?... Ne andrò lontana by Alfredo Catalani
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
8.
Adriana Lecouvreur: Io son l'umile ancella by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
9.
Adriana Lecouvreur: Poveri fiori by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
10.
La Rondine: Ch'il bel sogno di Doretta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
11.
Lodoletta: Flammen, perdonami by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
12.
Iris: Un dì era piccina by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898/1899; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1974 
Venue:  Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
13.
Edgar: Addio mi dolce amor by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Eve Queler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Opera Orchestra of New York,  Schola Cantorum New York
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/1977 
Venue:  Carnegie Hall, New York City 
Length: 3 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
14.
Madama Butterfly: Un bel dì vedremo by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1978 
Venue:  All Saints Church, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
15.
Madama Butterfly: Tu, tu, piccolo iddio [Death of Butterfly] by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1978 
Venue:  All Saints Church, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
16.
Il segreto di Susanna: O gioia la nube leggera by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
Performer:  Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Pritchard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1980 
Venue:  EMI Studios, London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Respiro, e andanto..." 
17.
Il segreto di Susanna: Ti colgo questa volta! by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
Performer:  Renato Bruson (Baritone), Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  John Pritchard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/1980 
Venue:  EMI Studios, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
18.
Adriana Lecouvreur: Non risponde..Aprite! by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Elena Obraztsova (Mezzo Soprano), Renata Scotto (Soprano)
Conductor:  James Levine
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/1977 
Venue:  EMI Studios, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "E sia!..." 

Sound Samples

"Non ti scordar di me" from Le villi, Act I
"In quelle trine morbide" from Manon Lescat, Act II
Sola, perduta, abbandonata from Act IV of Manon Lescaut
"Quando m'en vo' soletta (Musetta's Waltz)" from La bohème, Act II
Senza mamma, o bimbo, tu sei morto from Suor Angelica
"O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi
"Ebben? Ne andrò lontana" from La Wally, Act I (Voice)
"Io son l'umile ancella del genio creator" from Adriana Lecouvreur, Act I
"Poveri fiori" from Adriana Lecouvreur, Act IV
"Chi il bel sogno di Doretta" from La rondine, Act I (Voice)
"Flammen perdonami" from Lodoletta, Act III
"Un di (ero piccina) al tempio" from Iris, Act II
"Addio, mio dolce amor!" from Edgar (Act III) (Voice)
"Un bel dì, vedremo" from Madama Butterfly
"Tu, tu, piccolo iddio!" from Madama Butterfly (Act III)
"Respiro, e andanto...O gioia la nube leggera" from Il Segreto di Susanna
"Ti colgo questa volta! (Duet)" from Il Segreto di Susanna
"E sia! Non risponde (Duet)" from Adriana Lecouvreur, Act II

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