LEONTYNE PRICE IN CONCERT Arias of Meyerbeer, Mozart, Weber, Charpentier, Verdi, Puccini, Richard Strauss, Debussy, Cilea and Gershwin
Leontyne Price, soprano/Bavarian Radio Symphony,Carlo Franci, cond./San Francisco Symphony, Seiji Ozawa, cond.
GALA GL 328 (B) (ADD) TT: 75:47
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Leontyne Price made no commercial recordings superior to those heard on this budget-priced Gala CD, recorded live with the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Carlo Franci conducting. On January 27, 1968, in Munich, Price was in glorious voice for arias from L'Africaine, The Marriage of Figaro, Der Freischutz, Suor angelica, La Rondine, The Egyptian Helen, and Louise ("Depuis le jour" is incredibly beautiful). Verdi's "Ernani involami" is delivered with a security and tonal beauty unheard among the current rash of sopranos, and as an encore Price tosses off Summertime with the confidence of an artist who has the audience at her feet.
Also on this CD are performances with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Seiji Ozawa from a concert January 23, 1973: arias from Cosi fan tutte, Don Carlos, L'Enfant prodigue, Adriana Lecouvreur and Tosca. These, too, are superb, if less well recorded than the earlier recital. Wonderfully natural sound, perfectly balanced. There is extraordinary value here. Price recorded all of this music in the studio, but never better than what is heard here.
R.E.B. (Sept. 1999)