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Mirella Freni: The First Recitals 1959-1961

Freni / Bellini / Bizet / Verdi
Release Date: 09/11/2012 
Label:  Preiser Records   Catalog #: 93481   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Vincenzo BelliniGeorges BizetPietro MascagniGiacomo Puccini,   ... 
Performer:  Mirella FreniGino Del FerroViktor Remsey
Conductor:  Ino SaviniArgeo Quadri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony OrchestraVienna Volksoper Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

These are Mirella Freni’s first two recitals, recorded in 1959 and 1961. The voice is a perfect lyric—full bodied, absolutely even over the whole range, the top blossoming, and all of it utterly beautiful. Her legato is textbook perfect; her phrasing inherently musical; her diction flawless. She is then, as always, cautious—there’s never a hint of a push or a chest tone—and completely without vulgarity of any kind.

In the first recital (all but the Bohème, Turandot, and Butterfly excerpts), Freni lacks any interest in interpreting, but for her, just singing the notes as written offers us the character she’s portraying. Nanetta’s aria from Falstaff is delicious; Micaela’s aria (in Italian) almost makes you like the
Read more piece; Giulietta’s “Ah, quante volte” sounds as if a young girl is both singing it and experiencing it. Yes, we may want more pathos in Suor Angelica and more sadness in Sonnambula, but not as much as we revel in such glorious singing. Her Mimi is well-known and wonderful; Liu’s two arias actually do bring out some overt emotionalism (and glorious high pianissimos); and the Butterfly Love duet is nicely fragile—perhaps too much so: one wants more voice. But her fans will revel in the artistry, the unassuming charm, the sheer delight in a sound that cannot help but caress the ear. One always went elsewhere for blatant drama and vocal fireworks (Freni does not sing the cabaletta to Amina’s “Ah, non credea mirarti” or any florid music here at all), but for honesty and loveliness (somehow without ever being boring), she remains unmatchable.

-- ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. La sonnambula: Oh! Se una volta sola by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ino Savini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
2. I Capuleti e i Montecchi: Eccomi in lieta vesta by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ino Savini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Italy 
3. Carmen: Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante "Micaëla's Aria" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ino Savini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Notes: Mirella Freni sings this aria in Italian, as: 'Io dico, no, non son paurosa'. The recording includes the preceding recitative. 
4. L'Amico Fritz: Son pochi fiori by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ino Savini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Italy 
5. Suor Angelica: Senza mamma, o bimbo, tu sei morto by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ino Savini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
6. Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ino Savini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
7. Turandot: Tu, che di gel sei cinta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Argeo Quadri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
8. Turandot: Signore, ascolta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Argeo Quadri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
9. La Bohème: Si, mi chiamano Mimì by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Argeo Quadri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
10. La Bohème: Donde lieta uscì by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Argeo Quadri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
11. Madama Butterfly: Viene la sera...Bimba dagli occhi pieni by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Gino Del Ferro (Tenor)
Conductor:  Argeo Quadri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
12. La Bohème: O soave fanciulla by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Viktor Remsey (Tenor)
Conductor:  Argeo Quadri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
13. Falstaff: Sul fil d'un soffio etesio by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano)
Conductor:  Ino Savini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Bliss October 12, 2012 By Burr Phillips (Dallas, TX) See All My Reviews "Is it any wonder that the elegant vocal and artistic foundation so clearly in evidence here produced one of the most ravishing Italian soprano sounds of the 20th century? To hear the young Freni in this framework makes one appreciate the gift of having heard her multiple times in her prime. Long live this queen!" Report Abuse
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