Raina Kabaivanska is at her most luscious. The Bulgarian soprano combines an original somewhat Slav timbre with Italian style. She is not an easy somewhat lame victim in ” La mamma morta “, who surrenders from despair a la Tebaldi but an iron willed lady who sings the aria as a kind of defiance. Subtle her interpretation is not and in decibels she gives tit for tat to the tenor and the baritone though there is never a hint of shrillness.
Aldo Protti is one of Italy’s most underrated baritones. He was lambasted after his early Decca-recordings because he didn’t bring Gobbi’s subtle inflections in his interpretations of Rigoletto and Jago but he had a big healthy baritone voice that could easily fill any house. He was an extremely short man, with a barrel-like breast so that he looked almost as wide as he was tall. This probably didn’t help him with some critics but the sound is exciting and well-modulated.
Conductor Paolo Peloso (a name new for me) knew his Giordano and he paces the performance excellently, giving his singers space to breath without overindulging them. All in all not the greatest _Chenier_ available but a worthy alternative if you happen to have a soft spot for one of the principals.
image_description=Umberto Giordano : Andrea Chenier
product_title=Umberto Giordano : Andrea Chenier.
product_by=Carlo Bergonzi (Andrea Chenier); Aldo Protti (Carlo Gerard); Raina Kabaiwanska (Maddalena); Laura Zanini (Bersi); Vico Polotto (Fleville); Graziano Dal Vivo (L’incredibile); Alfredo Mariotti (Roucher). Orchestra and chorus of the Teatro de la Fenice Venezia; Paolo Peloso (cond.).
product_id=Living Stage LS 1114/2 [2CDs]