Vissi d'arte: The Magnificent Voice of Montserrat Caballé

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
No one floated soft high notes as exquisitely as Montserrat Caballé. The great Catalan lyric soprano had a big, powerful voice, too, that could fill the balcony, but when singing sotto voce, she was in a class by herself. Listen, for example, to her way with a rarity such as "Depuis le jour" from Charpentier's Louise, included on this excellent two-disc overview of Caballé's art, to sample some stunning pianissimos high above the staff. She was also blessed with a richly colored voice that remained remarkably even throughout its range try the virtuoso "Come scoglio" from Mozart's Così fan tutte, which opens the program, for some impressive vocal acrobatics, and she had a ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
No one floated soft high notes as exquisitely as Montserrat Caballé. The great Catalan lyric soprano had a big, powerful voice, too, that could fill the balcony, but when singing sotto voce, she was in a class by herself. Listen, for example, to her way with a rarity such as "Depuis le jour" from Charpentier's Louise, included on this excellent two-disc overview of Caballé's art, to sample some stunning pianissimos high above the staff. She was also blessed with a richly colored voice that remained remarkably even throughout its range try the virtuoso "Come scoglio" from Mozart's Così fan tutte, which opens the program, for some impressive vocal acrobatics, and she had a seemingly innate ability to shape a melodic line beautifully listen to the blissful way she begins Meyerbeer's "O beau pays de la Touraine" or her heartrending performance of Liu's "Signore, ascolta!" from Turandot -- talk about soft high notes!. She may have lacked the burning intensity of Callas or the sparkle of Sutherland -- arguably her two greatest contemporaries -- but Caballé's voice, certainly one of the finest of the century, was uniquely adaptable to a wide range of roles. And, indeed, wide-ranging is a fitting description of this collection, including 18th-century and bel canto music, selections from Verdi, French and verismo composers, and even the stirring final scene from Strauss' Salome. Perhaps it's best that there's no sample from Barcelona, Caballé's infamous duet album with Freddie Mercury, but we do get some great tenors singing along here -- Pavarotti, Bergonzi, Carreras, and others -- as well as Dame Joan in the great duet scene from Norma. As for the title track, Puccini's celebrated "Vissi d'arte," Caballé's fervent and touching performance is worth the price of the album alone.
All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
With the 70th birthday of arch-diva Montserrat Caballé at hand, major classical record companies are falling over one another in releasing appropriate tribute packages. BMG has three of them in the pipeline, and EMI has launched a double-disc "very best" already. Decca's handsome double-disc edition Vissi d'arte: The Magnificent Voice of Montserrat Caballé should not go ignored. Decca has thankfully shied away from the typical "best of" and/or "greatest hits" monikers and has focused instead on Caballé's marvelous instrument itself -- probably necessary as all of these selections consist of excerpts from complete opera sets, rather than selections from recital-styled albums. These recordings were made from 1970 to 1984, an entirely comfortable period for Caballé's voice. In addition to the usual suspect arias and ensembles from operas such as "Così fan tutte," "Turandot," "Tosca," and "Norma," there are representative slices drawn from such rarities as Verdi's "Il Corsaro" and "I Masnadieri" and Rossini's "Elisabetta." Almost all of the selections are drawn from Italian opera, save those from Meyerbeer's "Les Hugenots," Gustave Charpentier's "Louise," and the finale from Richard Strauss' "Salome." There is no bad Caballé here, and the sound quality is consistent and good throughout. Nonetheless, a small number of these excerpts feature Caballé in secondary parts or as a member of an ensemble cast -- a less than ideal situation given that Caballé is the main subject of the compilation. Depending on what you are looking for in a Caballé collection, this may be viewed as an entry that is at least different from the rest, and may help shed some light into corners of Caballé's career that are not visible at a cursory glance.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/10/2003
  • Label: Decca Import
  • UPC: 028947370420
  • Catalog Number: 473704
  • Sales rank: 251,440

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Così fan tutte, opera, K. 588: Temerari! Sortite ... Come scoglio immoto resta - Colin Davis & Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (5:36)
  2. 2 Così fan tutte, opera, K. 588: Ei parte, senti, ah no! - Colin Davis & Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1:34)
  3. 3 Così fan tutte, opera, K. 588: Per pietà, ben mio, perdona - Colin Davis & Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (7:36)
  4. 4 Il Corsaro, opera: Nè sulla terra creatura alcuna - Giuseppe Verdi & Ambrosian Singers (4:29)
  5. 5 Il Corsaro, opera: Ah conforto è sol la speme - Giuseppe Verdi & Ambrosian Singers (2:59)
  6. 6 Il Corsaro, opera: La terra, il ciel m'abborrino - Giuseppe Verdi & Ambrosian Singers (2:20)
  7. 7 I Masnadieri, opera: Venerabile o padre - Giuseppe Verdi & Carlo Bergonzi (2:43)
  8. 8 I Masnadieri, opera: Lo sguardo avea degli angeli - Giuseppe Verdi & Carlo Bergonzi (4:00)
  9. 9 I Masnadieri, opera: Qual mare, qual terra - Giuseppe Verdi & Carlo Bergonzi (3:25)
  10. 10 Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra, opera: Quant' è grato all'alma mia - Gioachino Rossini & Ambrosian Singers (3:28)
  11. 11 Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra, opera: Questo cor ben lo comprende - Gioachino Rossini & Ambrosian Singers (3:09)
  12. 12 Les Huguenots, grand opera in 5 acts: Ô beau pays de la Touraine - Giacomo Meyerbeer & Montserrat Caballé (7:11)
  13. 13 Turandot, opera: Signore, ascolta! - Giacomo Puccini & Giuseppe Adami (2:44)
  14. 14 Turandot, opera: Tu che di gel sei cinta - Giacomo Puccini & Giuseppe Adami (2:33)
  15. 15 La Gioconda, opera in 4 acts: Suicidio! - Amilcare Ponchielli & Arrigo Boito (4:59)
  16. 16 La Gioconda, opera in 4 acts: La barca s'avvicina - Amilcare Ponchielli & Arrigo Boito (7:50)
  17. 17 Andrea Chénier, opera: La mamma morta - Montserrat Caballé & Umberto Giordano (5:35)
  18. 18 Andrea Chénier, opera: Vicino a te - Montserrat Caballé & Umberto Giordano (3:40)
  19. 19 Andrea Chénier, opera: La nostra morte è il trionfo dell'amor! - Montserrat Caballé & Umberto Giordano (3:21)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Un ballo in maschera, opera: Ecco l'orrido campo - Giuseppe Verdi & Colin Davis (1:27)
  2. 2 Un ballo in maschera, opera: Ma dall'arido stelo divulsa - Giuseppe Verdi & Colin Davis (5:08)
  3. 3 Un ballo in maschera, opera: M'ami, m'ami! - Giuseppe Verdi & Colin Davis (4:19)
  4. 4 Luisa Miller, opera: Padre, ricevi l'estremo addio - Giuseppe Verdi & Montserrat Caballé (5:28)
  5. 5 Mefistofele, opera in prologue, 4 acts & epilogue: Notte cupa, truce - Montserrat Caballé & Arrigo Boito (3:13)
  6. 6 Tosca, opera: Vissi d'arte - Colin Davis & Giacomo Puccini (3:40)
  7. 7 Louise, opera: Depuis le jour - Gustave Charpentier & Montserrat Caballé (6:14)
  8. 8 Lucia di Lammermoor, opera: Ah! Verranno a te sull'aure - Gaetano Donizetti & Ambrosian Opera Chorus (5:29)
  9. 9 Lucia di Lammermoor, opera: Il dolce suono mi colpi di sua voce! - Gaetano Donizetti & Ambrosian Opera Chorus (6:49)
  10. 10 Lucia di Lammermoor, opera: Ardon gli incensi - Gaetano Donizetti & Ambrosian Opera Chorus (4:04)
  11. 11 Norma, opera: Mi chiami, o Norma! - Romano Romani & Vicenzo Bellini (2:16)
  12. 12 Norma, opera: Deh! Con te, con te li prendi - Romano Romani & Vicenzo Bellini (3:48)
  13. 13 Norma, opera: Mira, o Norma - Romano Romani & Vicenzo Bellini (5:14)
  14. 14 Norma, opera: Sì, fino all'ore estreme - Romano Romani & Vicenzo Bellini (2:17)
  15. 15 Salome, opera, Op. 54 (TrV 215): Es ist kein Laut zu vernehmen (Closing Scene) - Oscar Wilde & Richard Strauss (17:13)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Montserrat Caballé Primary Artist
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