Gounod: Faust (In Italian) - Kraus, Freni, Raimondi; Belardinelli. Bilbao, 1969
Listen to a Sample:
All three of the main players in this recording were able to distinguish themselves in the French repertoire despite their Italian and Spanish roots, respectively. In this recording they have the opportunity to display their affinity with that style while being able to communicate in their original language in the case of Freni and Raimondi or adoptive language as with the case of Kraus. Alfredo Kraus in many ways was perfect in parts like Faust. His voice conveyed elegance in every role that he did but when dramatic singing was called for his pointed voice had no problems slicing through the orchestration. And no one should be surprised that his C in aria is spot on. He actually manages to begin it piano and swell to forte which is quite a remarkable accomplishment. Mirella Freni was in her prime in 1969. She begins the opera a Lyric coloratura, demonstrating astonishing precision in the jewel song and as the opera progresses switches gears into a true Lyric Spinto. Ruggiero Raimondi may not be the true bass that one expects in this role, but he makes up for it in rich, suave black tones and extra ease in the high lying passages. The sound is very good and I have included excerpts of Mirella Freni singing French arias.
Mirella Freni Sings French Arias