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Anna Moffo, soprano extraordinaire/Stokowski, American Symphony Orchestra
|What a magical album. There have been many recordings of Canteloube's Songs of the Auvergne, but all fall short of emulating Anna Moffo's creamily seductive interpretations. Moffo in her prime had everything that one could wish for in a lyric soprano - warmth, power, thrilling high notes, and a beguiling sense of phrasing. (Not for nothing was she known in Italy as "the female Mario Lanza.") Her sensuous Bailero is as good a starting place as any. Forget the uninvolved approach of Federica Von Stade and her ilk - here's a lover who means every word. |
The Rachmaninov Vocalise and Villa-Lobos's demanding Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 are equally compelling, and Moffo is ably supported by the celebrated Stokowski in top form. My only regret is that a "blip" has appeared near the end of the Vocalise (which was not on the original LP), thus creating the impression that the ending was a retake.
This is one of my desert island soprano albums. Now if BMG could just be persuaded to release Anna's sublime One Night of Love album from the early 1960s, then I'll be packing that one as well...