Friday, May 18, 2018

OK, next.....

This will be a shorter post. Perhaps inundating my senses with Verdi Requiem performances isn't such a good thing. Really good performances become just OK and sub-par performances become colossally terrible. Nevertheless, your intrepid reporter has braved yet another Verdi Requiem performance, one of long acquaintance through many long drives (in a car with a much better stereo than that mentioned in my second post of this series), and one that is considered very fine indeed. This is an RCA Gold Seal recording of Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra with Herva Nelli, Fedora Barbieri, Giuseppe di Stefano, and Cesare Siepi, along with the Robert Shaw Chorale. It also features other Verdi choral works and arias. How can one go, "Meh" to that? The performancs are great! I confess I didn't know soprano Herva Nelli, but she was fully the equal of the other three soloists. Mr. Toscanini was with the NBC Orchestra from 1950 to 1954, but the exact year of this recording is not given. Although I didn't hear the precision in the orchestra I heard in the two La Scala recordings I wrote about, it was still a fine performance. I did hear great things from the four soloists. Beyond that, as a reason to buy this CD? With the wealth of audio and video resources out there, this is something to buy only if you're interested in Toscanini or one of the soloists specifically. I'm glad I own this CD collection, but I'm not sure I'd buy it today.

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