Beethoven: Fidelio (In Italian)- Dow, Berdini, Christoff, Taddei, Gasperone, Calabrese; Gui. Roma, 1955

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Upon listening to this recording I was surprised at how natural it was to fear Fidelio in Italian.  That is not to say that there is really anything that Italian about this performance, in fact the players are pretty successful at delivering a stylized version that is true to the opera.  However,  there  are few moments that might inspire a sly grin.  For example "Abscheulicher!" is tranlated to "Ah, Perfido!"  (I wonder if the translator knew about the concert aria.)   Dorothy Dow sings quite beautifully and is actually very well cast for an Italian language Leonora as her voice possesses the purity and control that Beethoven demands of sopranos who attempt Leonore and as a bonus a voluptuous quality that lends itself to the language.  Amedeo Berdini also brings a welcome Italianate spin to Florestan.  Giuseppe Taddei delivers a terrifying Pizzaro and I was surprised at how human Boris Christoff's was as Rocco.   I suppose I had only heard him sing larger than life kings/Czars.  Vittorio Gui must also be applauded for his efforts.  The prelude to Act II in particular is very well crafted.  The sound is very good.

OD 10501-2

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