In May 1990 Teresa Berganza appeared with the orchestra of Swiss-Italian radio. On a disc of about 70 minutes, less than half an hour features Ms. Berganza: she sings Salvatore Sciarrino’s orchestration of the Rossini cantata Giovanna d’Arco, and then Berio’s orchestration of Manuel De Falla’s Siete canciones populares espaÒoles.
1990 found Ms. Berganza nearing the end of her career, and though the booklet essay (by Arrigo Quattrocchi – I did not make that name up) accurately praises her “musical intelligence…and elegant choices,” threaded throughout her performance are slight moments of strain. She manages the quick runs in the Rossini piece with experience, but as the lines take her higher, the tone turns edgy. The Falla pieces have fewer technical demands, but the effects of time and a full career on the instrument produce a slight tremble. For some ears, this may be affecting, and when taken in with Ms. Berganza’s handsome, classy stage persona, the performance has its rewards.
The opening three dances from Rossini’s Guglielmo Tell come across as a quick warm-up for the orchestra, led by one Nino Bonavolont‡. Unfortunately, later in the program when they perform Bizet’s second suite from L’ArlÈsienne, the orchestra still sounds scrappy, and charm is conspicuously absent.
Surely this disc, as with the others Fabula has produced from similar Lugano recitals (see the archives), is for fans of the singer. Those who cherish the quite cherishable Ms. Berganza may choose to seek this out. Others should note the reservations noted above.
image_description=Teresa Berganza Live in Concert
product_title=Teresa Berganza Live in Concert
product_by=Teresa Berganza, Orchestra della Televisione Svizzera Italiana cond. Nino Bonavolont‡
product_id=Fabula Classica DVD 603