COMPOSERS: Alessandrescu,Bellini,Bizet,Brediceanu,Dendrino,Donizetti,Gluck,Gounod,Loewe,Martini,Massenet,Pergolesi,Puccini etc,Scarlatti,Tosti,Verdi
ALBUM TITLE: Angela Gheorgiu: Live at La Scala
WORKS: Songs and arias by Martini, Scarlatti, Pergolesi, Gluck, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Gounod, Bizet, Massenet, Alessandrescu, Brediceanu, Tosti, Dendrino, Loewe, Puccini etc
PERFORMER: Angela Gheorghiu (soprano),
Jeff Cohen (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 394 4202
Singers often let themselves into recitals gradually and at her La Scala date Gheorghiu begins with some of the standard arie antiche that all vocal students learn. They keep mainly to her lower register and her tone sounds covered. Her personality starts to show with the two Bellini items, and she brings sensitivity to the major/minor shifts of Donizetti’s ‘Me voglio fa’na casa’. By the time she reaches Verdi’s ‘Stornello’ she’s firing on most cylinders, though her diction’s still cloudy. To the other Verdi items – a ‘Brindisi’ and ‘In solitaria stanza’ – she brings a flamboyance and shapeliness of line that represent her near her best.
In the second half of the programme – beginning with Gounod’s ‘Sérénade’, Bizet’s
‘Chant d’amour’ and Massenet’s melancholy ‘Élégie’ – her magic as an artist is on full display. The Romanian items are all unusual and worthwhile. These are the gems of the collection. A mixed bag, then, though the best is extremely fine.
Her accompanist is responsive and utterly reliable, though it’s a pity that the sound favours him over her.
It doesn’t flatter either of them, in fact, with the piano tone registering as brittle. George Hall