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Your Recorded Heritage: Rossini
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago
Voices12/1/2005

Our ears are convinced by much of the legato singing we hear in early Rossini recordings: Its elegance wears the years lightly. Coloratura, however, is another story: Once we get past 1920, florid Rossini (especially as far as male singers are concerned) is rarely handled with the astonishing expertise to which we’ve grown accustomed in the decades since Marilyn Horne initiated the “Rossini renaissance.” Major artists today are also expected to ornament Rossini with a degree of authenticity that was not part of the operatic scene when the singers cited in this article were making records. There is nonetheless a good deal to be learned from pre- 1960 Rossini recordings as regards individuality and beauty of timbre, grace of phrasing, and sheer force of personality.

About the Author: Editorial Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago

Summer 2014 Magazine Issue
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