Puccini: La fanciulla del West - Stella, Limarelli, Colzani; De Fabritiis. Tokyo, 1963
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In my opinion people underestimate the influence of La Fanciulla del west in defining a musical lexicon for American composers. The open fifth and augmented chords worked their way into many works by Aaron Copland and other noted American composers. In this recording Antonietta Stella assumes the title role. She embodies all of the strength and innocence of Minnie. She is joined by Anselmo Colzani as a savage Jack Rance. The poker scene is one of the best I have ever heard. Both artists give so much. Even the way they color small lines like "fante" and "due" is truly extraordinary. Less strong is Gastone Limarelli whose voice is not able to convey the rugged sensuality of Dick Johnson. The sound is excellent.