Puccini: Tosca - Pobbe, Raimondi, MacNeil; Argento. Genova, 1965


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Marcella Pobbe was almost a cult figure in the world of opera.  She had a great stage charisma, she was quite beautiful and her performances were always very exciting,.  Perhaps it was that intensity that meant a slight unevenness in her vocal production which evidences itself occasionally.  "Vissi d'arte" starts a little under-pitched but she manages to correct it and delivers a great b flat in the final phrase, singing it in one breath.  Otherwise the dramatic moments are hair-raising.  Cornell MacNeil was at the height of his powers in 1965 and delivers a truly terrifying Scarpia.  His voice has such a natural bite to it that he never has to push it like some other Scarpias have been known to do resulting in a vulgar characterization as opposed to a suave gentleman who is able to control his own evil.  Gianni Raimondi delivers a sweet-voiced Cavaradossi and although some of the climaxes do no have the heft that some of his colleagues brought to the role,  he manages admirably.  The sound is excellent.

OD 10359-2