Verdi: Aida - Santunione, Cossotto, Bergonzi, Cossotto, Mastromei, Vinco; De Fabritiis. Japan, 1973
Listen to a Sample:
Many regard the sixties and seventies as a golden age of Verdi singing. If that is true, then one of the unlikely epicenters would have to have been Japan. The NHK symphony managed to attract some of the best artists at the height of their careers. Here they have assembled a stellar cast including Carlo Bergonzi, Fiorenza Cossotto, and Giampietro Mastromei. Bergonzi once again proves his claim as the top Verdi interpreter of his time. He sings with elegance and evenness throughout his vocal and dynamic range. Orianna Santunione takes on the title role. If she does not rise to the level of her colleagues it is only because the bar is so high. Her voice sometimes seems a little labored, however she does manage a very good High C in "O patria mia" (no small feat.) Fiorenza Cossotto's performance does at times flirt with going over the top but it is easy to forgive that in exchange for the thrilling singing she unleashes. The performance is conducted by the great Italian Maestro Oliviero De Fabritiis. There is occasional Japanese commentary at the beginning of acts. I substituted the prelude for one from another performance because of this commentary. Otherwise the sound is very good.