Anita Cerquetti - Anita Cerquetti Recital (CD ALBUM (1 DISC))

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Anita Cerquetti
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Anita Cerquetti - Anita Cerquetti Recital (CD ALBUM (1 DISC)) A famous Decca operatic recital, long unavailable, celebrating the thrilling voice and short-lived career of a soprano who set operatic stages alight in the late 1950s. Anita Cerquettimade only two commercial recordings, both for Decca under the baton of GianandreaGavazzeni. In 1957 she sang the title role in a complete La Giocondawith Mario del Monaco and Giulietta Simionatoalso reissued by Eloquence. From the year before we also have this operatic recital in early stereo sound. There should have been many more recordings, but Cerquettiwas forced to retire both from the stage and from singing altogether in 1961, aged only 30, with vocal problems putting paid to an all-too-meteoric career. A projected recording of Norma was begun, but as the story goes, Cerquettiwas indisposed and the recording was abandoned. An instantly recognisablefixture within Decca's 'GrandiVoci' series during the 1990s, the recital then gained considerable second-hand value once deleted. Its reissue on Eloquence makes available once more the astonishing sound of Cerquettiin full flood. Recorded at the peak of her career, the recital mixes repertoire she would never sing on stage (Spontini'sAgnes von Hohenstaufen a premiere on record as well as Verdi's Ernaniand Vesprisiciliani) with signature roles such as Tosca, Aida and Abigaillein Nabucco. Leonora's last-act Prayer from La Forza del destinohas the urgent immediacy befitting the heroine's plight, and the performance catches the sorrowful quality in Cerquetti'stone. In Opera on Record (Hutchinson, 1979), Lord Harewood commented: 'The voice is splendid; this dramatic and emotionally persuasive performance makes one regret her very short career'. There is 'Castadiva', unavoidable and unforgettable, especially since the role of Norma propelled her to stardom in 1958 after she replaced an indisposed Callas at short notice in Rome while continuing to fulfil a contract to sing in Florence. The recital concludes with a pair of extracts from the complete Giocondarecording including the set-piece 'Suicidio' aria. 'A naturally warm, lyrical voice of considerable power and infinite tonal variety. Her mezza voce at the beginning of "Castadiva" recalls Rosa Ponselle, and her clear diction and keen sense of dramatic characterisationput her in the front rank of Italian sopranos.' EMG Monthly Letter, June 1957 Tracklistings: GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813 1901) 1 Aida: Qui Radames verr ¦ O patria mia 2 I vesprisiciliani: Mercè, diletteamiche VINCENZO BELLINI (1801 1835) 3 Norma: CastaDiva GASPARE SPONTINI (1774 1851) 4 Agnes von Hohenstaufen: O rei deicieli GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813 1901) 5 Nabucco: Ben iot'invenni Anch'iodischuisoun giorno 6 Ernani: Surtaè la notte Ernani! Ernaniinvolami GIACOMO PUCCINI (1858 1924) 7 Tosca: Vissid'arte, vissid'amore GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813 1901) 8 La forza del destino: Pace, pace, mioDio AMILCARE PONCHIELLI (1834 1886) 9 La Gioconda: Suicidio! 10 La Gioconda: E un anatema! Il miobracciat'afferra! Giulietta Simionato, mezzo-soprano÷ Mario del Monaco, tenor÷ Ettore Bastianini, baritone Anita Cerquetti, soprano Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino GianandreaGavazzeni


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