Inese Galante - Début Recital
This must be one of the most exciting debut recitals from any opera singer for a long time. I hope it won't be overlooked by discerning collectors as it definitely deserves their attention. Galante is a young Latvian soprano who has already been heard widely in eastern Europe and also at the Frankfurt opera. Mehta has been astonished by her talent. Her voice is a lyrical, sappy one with prospects of entering the spinto repertory. It most resembles that of the young Carol Vaness. At the moment it is ideally suited to the lighter Puccini heroines, most particularly Mimi. Indeed Mimi's Farewell (wrongly labelled on the disc) is the most affecting performance, finely shaded, warmly sung, tenderly felt, but the same character's narration and Lauretta's ''O mio babbino caro'' aren't far behind. Nedda's soaring Ballatella and Margarita's heartbroken solo (from Mefistofele) are other well-known solos that find Galante responding in a free-ranging, spontaneous manner. She does well with Micaela's aria, less so with Violetta's ''Addio del passato'', where the phrasing is choppy.
Indeed, the downsides of this enormous talent are faults in stylistic approach that urgently call for attention by a good coach, who would teach her to phrase more idiomatically and to use words, particularly consonants, to enhance expression. Were there a Tullio Serafin around today he could undoubtedly turn Galante into a notable singer because the intelligence does seem to be there. In the meantime, enjoy the lovely sound and the secure, easy technique, particularly welcome in the soupy arrangements of Bach and Caccini, not incidentally for the fastidious. There, where words hardly matter, the results are gorgeous.
The support is undistinguished: Vilumanis's lethargic tempo contradicts the message of Juliette's ''Je veux vivre''. The recording catches the full bloom of Galante's tone. The documentation is inadequate.'