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Positively Golden - Coloratura Arias / Ruth Ann Swenson


Release Date: 08/16/1994 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 54827   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Vincenzo BelliniCharles GounodGiacomo MeyerbeerGaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson
Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 53 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Though her name seems to be on everybody’s lips just now, this young and eminently successful American soprano has not previously been very spectacularly represented in our record catalogues. She sings the role of Ines in the video of L’Africaine (Pioneer, 3/93), sharing honours with Domingo and Verrett at the San Francisco Opera in 1988, and towards the end of Act 1 many must have welcomed the return of her fresh, youthful voice, absent from the stage since the lovely “Adieu” solo which created such a pleasing first impression near the beginning of the opera. That aria is included in the new recital programme, and is one of its most attractive items, both in respect of performance and of its own haunting and relatively unfamiliar charm. Read more />
This and the excerpt from La sonnambula probably furnish the singer with her most appealing introduction. The aria “Come per me sereno” is sung with gentleness and a fine legato style. In “Sovra il sen” she adds a fitting degree of brilliance to the tone and points the rhythm with a graceful semi-staccato touch, embellishing neatly in the second verse. The opening recitative is also beautifully and expressively sung, addressing the company with affection and softening most winningly for the “dolce pianto di gioia”. Cadenzas, too, are treated with feeling, and throughout this recital they constitute one of its loveliest features. Nor is there any doubt as to the technical expertise of scales, trills, staccatos and so forth, all on display in the cabaletta from Les Huguenots and crowned with a triumphant, full-voiced high D.

If reservations have to be made, they arise, not insistently but rather as faint misgivings, out of three matters. Occasionally the tone on upper notes sung forte sounds less pure than the rest; again just occasionally there come faint suggestions of unsteadiness (probably unnoticeable except that the first phrases of all, in Linda’s recitative, bring it into question); and finally, and more pervasive is a want of really distinctive individuality (partly a matter of timbre, partly of vocal personality, which, in recording at least, does not quite manage to sparkle). Sparkle, I would say, is not a quality that comes to the fore in Rescigno’s conducting, sympathetic and otherwise helpful as it no doubt is. One further niggle: 53 minutes is short duration these days, and the details which the leaflet provides of the soprano’s career to date show that she has a wide and relevant repertoire from which to choose.

-- Gramophone (5/1996)
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Works on This Recording

1.
I puritani: Qui la voce sua soave by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1993 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "O rendetemi la speme..." 
2.
Roméo et Juliette: Je veux vivre dans le rêve "Waltz Song" by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1993 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: French 
3.
Les Huguenots: O beau pays de la Touraine by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/1993 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: French 
4.
Lucia di Lammermoor: Regnava nel silenzio by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1993 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5.
Linda di Chamounix: O luce di quest' anima by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1993 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Ah! tardai troppo...." 
6.
La sonnambula: Come per me sereno...Sovra il sen by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1993 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "A te, diletta...." 
7.
Le pardon de Ploërmel "Dinorah": Ombre legère by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/1993 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: French 
8.
L'Africaine: Adieu, mon doux rivage by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1993 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: French 

Sound Samples

Linda di Chamounix: "Ah! tardai troppo... O luce di quest'anima (Act I - Recitativo e Cavatina)
Lucia di Lammermoor: Regnava nel silenzio...Quando rapito in estasi (Act I)
I Puritani: O rendetemi la speme...Qui la voce...Vien diletto (Act li Aria)
La Sonnambula: "A te diletta, tenera madre... Come per me sereno... Sovrail sen" (Act I Scena e Cavatina)
Romeo et Juliette: Je veux vivre (Waltz)
L'Africaine: "Adieu, mon doux rivage... pour celle qui m'est chere" (Act I Romance)
Les Huguenots: "O beau pays de la Touraine!... A ce mot seul s'anime" (Act Ii Aria)
Dinorah: "Ombre legere... qui suis mes pas (Shadow Song)" (Act II Aria)

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