First of all, let me say…if someone would have pretended to be paid 50$, for playing this recording to me, after I have heard “this” Cesare Siepi, I would have given him 100$ more. This is the best and most stunning “Basso Imperiale” that I ever heard in my life.
# Composer – Italo Montenezzi
# Performers – Placido Domingo, Anna Moffo, Cesare Siepi
# Orchestra – London Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor – Nello Santi
# Vinyl (1977)
# Number of Discs: 2
# Format: FLAC (Tracks)
# Label: RCA
# DR-Analysis: DR 13
# ASIN: B000009W7N
# Size: 2.09 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory
This is a strong rare, terrific recording of a (mostly) terrific opera. Yes, the ending is anti-climactic but there is some absolutely dynamite material through the first two acts. Siepi is everything that Rydl is not in the Koch/Schwann recording (avoid this one at all costs!)– dignified, powerful, frightening, and vocally solid as can be. If this is his last recording, it is a magnificent exit.
The opera is a fascinating document of the time of its composition, and of the attempts of the generation that included Montemezzi, Martucci, and others to marry Italian lyricism with Germanic orchestral writing. One wishes that there were other recorded works of Montemezzi to see what other solutions he devised to these problems. This was, to me, clearly a very talented composer with a distinctive voice that is not available to be heard except in this one work. Too bad!
From the opening bars of this opera you get the feeling that something very dramatic is about to unfold before you. Then, you get swept away by the prelude. I’ve rarely heard music THIS passionate and convincing. I felt like a falcon soaring above the castle before finally coming to land on the wind-swept terrace where Flaminio has just led Archibaldo; just in time to hear Archibaldo say “Grazie Flaminio.”
The music is very compelling. Imagine the most tuneful Strauss (say `Beim Schlafangehen’ or that beautiful cello interlude in `Die Frau Ohnne Schatten’)…well infuse that with some Italian `verismism’ and you begin to understand what I’m getting at…or you could just listen to this gorgeously harmonic opera. Of ALL the Italian operas I’ve ever listened to, this is the most amorous.
Domingo as Avito is superb….not the `spring chicken’ clarion bell he formerly was but I like the slightly `smokey’ flavour to his voice. Don’t take this as merely fanaticism….his performance is truly excellent and his voice is in very good condition. Anna Moffo, particularly for those of us who were familiar with her before, had started to show her vocal decline. Like Simionato, she sang with a passion, beauty and drama that took a heavy toll on her voice. It meant a shorter career but such performances!! So there is a slight grate….VERY slight….in the voice towards the beginning. Whether it’s the addictive performance or her `warmed up’ vocals, however, all trace of `wear and tear’ disappear towards the end. In fact, it all works rather well when you think about it: if you’ve just woken up from an amazing amorous encounter, wouldn’t you be slightly `winded’ and a little `sandy’? Well this brings me to my final remark about these to wonderful singers: everything about their performance oozes sex! And wait until you get to Act II!!!!! Phenomenal!
Good faithful Flaminio is superbly sung by Ryland Davies. He brings beauty and drama to his minor role, making it truly memorable. Cesare Siepi casts a spell of darkness about you with his seemingly depthless, sonorous bass. You therefore have no trouble appreciating the emotions of the blind, suspicious and vengeful old monarch, Archibaldo. He characterises his moods very well. “O ricorda!”…”Italia! Italia!” sees the old dragon rise again on the winds of past memories, pulsing with virility. Then the apparition fades as he resigns himself to the blind, old man again: “Tu taci,” he says to a silent Flaminio who understandably doesn’t share his enthusiasm for conquest. “Io son servo,” Flaminio explains. He seems to brush aside the old man’s folly as lack of vision rather than lack of sight. Then the music changes and we’re off again on more of Motemezzi’s swirling symphonic tide!
While all (and I do mean ALL) the other (minor) roles are very good -including a stunning chorus that rises and ebbs as one body- final mention goes to Pablo Elvira’s heart-wrenching Manfredo. Talk about smouldering baritone….actually, it’s more the upper baritone range but it gains all the more depth for his sonorous voice. He also sings with a most affecting `sob’ in the voice without actually sobbing. To hear it is to understand.
One of my all-time favourites; enjoy!
Analyzed folder: /96kItaMo_Amo3Re_SieMofDom/96k Montemezzi – L’Amore Dei Tre Re’ – Moffo-Domingo
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR12 -0.41 dB -18.45 dB sideA.wav
DR12 -0.12 dB -17.24 dB sideB.wav
DR11 -0.36 dB -16.10 dB sideC.wav
DR11 -0.09 dB -16.74 dB sideD.wav
Number of files: 4
Official DR value: DR12
- RCM: Okki Nokki
- TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
- Phono amp: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Light de-Clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising
If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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