Spontini: La Vestale - Gencer, Casoni, Merolla, Cava; Franci. Roma, 1973


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Listening to works by composers like Spontini is always fascinating because it seems to show the link between the classical world and what was on its way to becoming bel canto. That said, La Vestale is more than just a dusty relic. The music has great drive to it and it is a wonderful vehicle for a dynamic leading lady. Enter Leyla Gencer. To be fair, Gencer was certainly passed her prime in 1973 when this performance took place and the rough edges around the voice make it all the more difficult to envisage her as a vestal virgin. Despite these rough patches, she still was in formidably command over her instrument and redeems these flaws by delivering a committed and exciting performance. The sound is fair to good.

OD 10757-2

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