The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (76): She owns it

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (76): She owns it


norman lebrecht

May 30, 2020


  • David K. Nelson says:

    No argument – but there IS Rosa Ponselle.

    Let’s also take a moment to praise the very nice phrasing by the flute soloist in the beginning. He (or she?) had been taking notice of what was to follow during rehearsals it would seem.

  • jmccarty3 says:

    Indeed she does.

  • Pierre Robitaille says:

    Spellbinding and still uniquely moving.
    This appears to be the famous live Paris OpƩra recording for the ORTF in 1957. The last official event of President Coty before the return of Charles de Gaulle.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Callas, the undisputed and unchallenged queen of the reinstated bel canto style (the style which she herself reinstated).
    Coicidentally, just today I listened to her stunning live Sonnambula with Bernstein.
    Truly the GOAT!

  • Alexander says:

    Happy start of summer season 2020 šŸ˜‰
    PS yes, she owns it, for sure

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Do you know who the conductor was Norman?

    • Novagerio says:

      Tullio Serafin with La Scala in 1954. With Filippeschi, Stignani and Rossi-Lemeni.
      (And an all-male orchestra David K.Nelson)

      • David K. Nelson says:

        John Wion’s invaluable website devoted to the flute lists two possible candidates for playing this solo (of course it might have been someone else). It could be Giuseppe Peloso principal flute 1939-1953, but more likely Glauco Cambursano who served 1954-1996. La Scala likes stability in its flute section it would seem!

  • Edgar Self says:

    Shake, Greg. A true diva, a great performance, and dear old Serafin. One of my many regrets is that I never saw Callas. But I’ve heard “Qui la voce” from Meico City c. 1953!

    I think of Bellini, dying at 33, Chopin loved him and his operas, was away from Paris but rushed back to play the organ at his funeral. I thought also of Zinka Milanov, who recorded this aria with a stupendous “Suicidio!” from “Ponchielli’s “La Gioconda”, as did Callas herself.

    I hear Bellini and bel canto fioritura often in Chopin’s music.

    • david hilton says:

      Chopin played the organ at Bellini’s funeral?Ā  Really?Ā  I have a couple of biographies of Bellini and they both describe the funeral, organised by Rossini and held at Les Invalides, without mentioning this remarkable fact.Ā  And a brief online search brings up further descriptions of the event, again without mentioning the allegedĀ participationĀ of Chopin.Ā  Many other performers who participated are listed, including the remarkable bass LaBlache who was to sing at both of their funerals (as he had at Beethoven’s already!).Ā  So I’m finding this hard to believe.Ā  It has the sound of a too-good-to-be-true urban myth about it.Ā  Apologies in advance, if I am mistaken.

      • Edgar Self says:

        It’s pretty ben trovato, isn’t it? I read it lomg ago, no idea were, and may well have muddled it. But you say Les Invalides. There was no church mass? I think Chopin was at Nohant with Sand when he heard and rushed back to Paris. I would have guessed the Madeleine, from which Chopin would be buried. I hope the story of Rossini and Meyerbeer at Cherubini’s funeral is true.

    • jay says:

      I saw and head her more than once .it was an ugly
      voice.poor technique,and when the wobble came in
      barely tolerable. But when it came to playing the great diva she was without rival, she knew how
      to milk it to the last drop. Lois Marshall does
      this a lot better.

  • Edgar Self says:

    Wiki,source of all knowledge, supports David Hilton, adding that Bellini’s funeral under Rossini’s direction was held in the chapel des Invalides. Niecks’s biography of Chopin is silent on Bellini’s death if his index can be believed. .

    But now it comes to me that Charles Valentin Alkan might have played the organ for Chopin’s funeral in l’eglise de la Madeleine, and I have transferred ties to Chopin and Bellini. Stranger things have happend to my memory, in my memory. I think in future I should follow Niecks’s example.