Opera Duets

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Opera Duets

  • (L')Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love', ~, Caro elisir!
  • (L')Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love', ~, Chi è mai
  • (L')Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love', ~, Esulti pur la barbara
  • Lucia di Lammermoor, '(The) Bride of Lammermoor', ~, Lucia perdona
  • Lucia di Lammermoor, '(The) Bride of Lammermoor', ~, Sulla tomba ... Qui di sposa eterna fede
  • Lakmé, ~, D'où viens-tu?
  • Roméo et Juliette, 'Romeo and Juliet', ~, Va! Je t'ai pardonné
  • Roméo et Juliette, 'Romeo and Juliet', ~, Nuit d'hymenée!
  • Manon, ~, Toi! Vous!
  • Rigoletto, ~, Signor nè principe
  • Rigoletto, ~, T'amo! T'amo

There's some good singing here, most of it by the tenor, but what moved me was the surge, the grace, the Frenchness of the melodies in Delibes, Gounod and Massenet. Of course they are all very familiar, but one of the things I like about such concoctions as these is that they sometimes have a way of taking you by surprise—you hadn't quite remembered that this tune came here, or that it was quite so lovely. ''C'est le Dieu de la jeunesse'', ''Non, ce n'est pas le jour'', even Des Grieux's ''Quel le ciel m'avait fait durable que pour un instant'', suddenly released from their mysterious resting-places in the little grey cells set the pulse racing for a moment or two, and the world is young again.
Young, one might say, as the well matched pair of singers, sparkling of eye, slender of waist, photographed all smiles and in an elegant setting on the cover of the accompanying notes. Their voices also have the freshness of youth, and, though not exactly similar, are certainly very compatible. Eva Lind makes a rather more satisfying impression than she did on her recital disc a few months ago (Philips (CD) 422 397-2PH, 12/89) and sometimes, as in Gilda's first phrases or Lucia's ''Verranno a te'', offers a genuine purity of tone and line. Even so, too much of her singing lacks proper firmness, and the tonal shallowness communicates itself to the characterization so that (for instance) Manon's final appeal (''N'est-ce plus ma main'') simply does not have the emotional power and glamour that could sweep her lover out of St Sulpice and holy orders. Araiza, nevertheless, allows himself to be duly swept and responds with passionate conviction: he is in excellent form throughout these duets, and gives a charmingly spontaneous performance in L'elisir d'amore. Ralf Weikert proves a sympathetic conductor, allowing sufficient rubato in ''E il sol dell'anima'' and shaping the bewitching melody at the start of the Romeo duet with proper appreciation of its quality.'

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