Teresa Berganza – 70th Birthday Tribute

Celebrating a great mezzo

Author: 
Patrick O'Connor

Teresa Berganza – 70th Birthday Tribute

  • (El) Sombrero de tres picos, Suite No. 1 (Scenes and Dances), Introduction Afternoon
  • (El) Sombrero de tres picos, Suite No. 2 (Three dances), The Miller's Dance
  • (El) Amor Brujo, Song of Love's Sorrow
  • (El) Amor Brujo, Song of the Will o' the Wisp
  • (El) Amor Brujo, Dance of the Game of Love
  • (El) Amor Brujo, Finale (The Bells of Morning)
  • (La) Vida breve
  • (El) Gato Montés
  • Carmen, L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera)
  • Carmen, ~, Près des remparts de Séville (Seguédille)
  • Carmen, ~, Les tringles des sistres (Gypsy Song)
  • (Il) Barbiere di Siviglia, '(The) Barber of Seville', ~, Una voce poco fa
  • (Il) Barbiere di Siviglia, '(The) Barber of Seville', Dunque io son?
  • (Il) Barbiere di Siviglia, '(The) Barber of Seville', Contro un cor (Lesson Scene)
  • (La) Clemenza di Tito, Parto, parto, ma tu, ben mio
  • (La) Clemenza di Tito, Deh per questo istante
  • Madama Butterfly, ~, Scuoti quella fronda
  • Madama Butterfly, ~, Io so che alle sue pene
  • Pulcinella
  • (7) Canciones populares españolas
  • Son ancor pargoletta
  • Lamento di Cassandra, 'L'alma fiacca svanì'
  • No, non si speri
  • Vittoria, mio core!
  • Se Florindo è fedele
  • Qual mia colpa, o sevtura ... Se delitto è l'ado
  • Chi vuole innamorarsi
  • (Le) Violette
  • Selve amiche
  • Come raggio di sol
  • (L')Atenaide o sia Gli affetti generosi, Un certo non so che
  • Piango, gemo, sospiro
  • Se tu m'ami
  • Confusa, smarrita
  • Rosa de Rosas
  • Pérdida de Antequera
  • Dindirin, dindirin
  • Tres libros de musica en cifras y canto, Romances:, Triste estava el rey David
  • Dime, triste corazón
  • De dónde venís, amore?
  • (El) Maestro Sonetos, Toda di mi vida os amé
  • Dinos, madre del donsel
  • Tres libros de musica en cifras y canto, Villancicos:, Si me llaman, a mi llaman
  • Romerico, tú que vienes
  • Vos me matastes
  • Tres libros de musica en cifras y canto, Villancicos:, Isabel, perdista la tu faxa
  • Tres libros de musica en cifras y canto, Canciones:, Claros y frescos rios (Wds. Boscan)
  • Con qué la lavaré?
  • En la fuente del rosel
  • Santa María, strella do dia
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Anda, jaleo
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Los cuatro muleros
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Las tres hojas
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Los mozos de Monleón
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Las morillas de Jaén
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Sevillanas del siglo XVIII
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, El café de Chinitas
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Nana de Sevilla
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Los pelegrinitos
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Zorongo
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Romance de Don Boyso
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Los reyes de la baraja
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, La Tarara
  • (15) Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, La maja dolorosa, Oh! Muerte cruel
  • (15) Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, La maja dolorosa, Ay! Majo de mi vida
  • (15) Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, La maja dolorosa, De aquel majo amante
  • (15) Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, El majo discreto
  • (15) Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, El majo timido
  • (15) Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, El tra la la y el punteado
  • Saeta en forme de Salve a la Virgen de la Esperanz
  • Canto a Sevilla, Fantasma
  • Poema en forma de canciones, Cantares
  • (6) Canciones castellanas, Llámale con el pañuelo
  • (6) Canciones castellanas, No quiero tus avellanas
  • (6) Canciones castellanas, Cómo quieres que adivine (Jota)
  • (5) Canciones negras, Cuba dento de un piano (wds. Alberti)
  • (5) Canciones negras, Punto de Habanera (wds. Luján)
  • (5) Canciones negras, Chévere (wds. Guillén)
  • (5) Canciones negras, Canción de cuna para dormir a un negrito (wds. Valdés)
  • (5) Canciones negras, Canto negro (wds. Guillén)
  • (La) Cenerentola, or La bontà in trionfo, 'Cinderella', ~, Nacqui all'affanno
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Los mozos de Monleón
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Las morillas de Jaén
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Sevillanas del siglo XVIII
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, El café de Chinitas
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Nana de Sevilla
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Los pelegrinitos
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Zorongo
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Romance de Don Boyso
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, Los reyes de la baraja
  • (14) Canciones españolas antiguas, La Tarara
  • (15) Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, La maja dolorosa, Oh! Muerte cruel
  • (15) Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, La maja dolorosa, Ay! Majo de mi vida
  • (15) Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, La maja dolorosa, De aquel majo amante
  • (15) Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, El majo discreto
  • (15) Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, El majo timido
  • (15) Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, El tra la la y el punteado
  • Saeta en forme de Salve a la Virgen de la Esperanz
  • Canto a Sevilla, Fantasma
  • Poema en forma de canciones, Cantares
  • (6) Canciones castellanas, Llámale con el pañuelo
  • (6) Canciones castellanas, No quiero tus avellanas
  • (6) Canciones castellanas, Cómo quieres que adivine (Jota)
  • (5) Canciones negras, Cuba dento de un piano (wds. Alberti)
  • (5) Canciones negras, Punto de Habanera (wds. Luján)
  • (5) Canciones negras, Chévere (wds. Guillén)
  • (5) Canciones negras, Canción de cuna para dormir a un negrito (wds. Valdés)
  • (5) Canciones negras, Canto negro (wds. Guillén)
  • (La) Cenerentola, or La bontà in trionfo, 'Cinderella', ~, Nacqui all'affanno

This four-CD set, issued to coincide with Teresa Berganza’s 70th birthday, is a mostly satisfying and joyful celebration of her long career, as well as her association with DG. As Berganza explains in an interview with Rafael Banús in the booklet, the foundation of her technique was always based on traditional bel canto methods, drawn from 17th- and 18th-century arias. She never strayed from roles or music that were right for her temperament, but within the limits she imposed on herself, she had a wide range of dramatic and vocal resources.

The first disc is devoted to Falla and starts with brief but exhilarating snippets from The Three-Cornered Hat, Berganza superb as the Miller’s Wife, accompanied by Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony. Four extracts from El amor brujo, this time with the LSO under García Navarro, act as a prelude to a complete La vida breve.Berganza never sang the part of Salud on stage, but with José Carreras as her faithless lover, Paco, and splendid recording, again the LSO under Navarro from 1978, it is a full-blooded account of this tricky work. At the end is a brief extract from Penella’s El gato montés, Berganza’s final DG recording in 1991 with Plácido Domingo and a large cast.

Disc Two is opera extracts, including the 1977 Carmen and 1971 Il barbiere di siviglia, both conducted by Claudio Abbado, as is Rossini’s La cenerentola. Berganza as Cinderella, in her white wedding gown, singing the final rondo is one of the brightest memories of Jean-Pierre Ponelle’s much-travelled production. Perhaps the most beautiful items of all, though, are Sesto’s two arias from Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito. This, under Karl Böhm, was Berganza’s second recording of the part (the first had been for Decca with Kertész). Although her Mozart roles par excellence, Cherubino and Dorabella, are not here, she makes Sesto noble and passionate. This disc ends with extracts from Abbado’s recording of Pulcinella, and then Falla’s Seven Popular Spanish Songs, with Narciso Yepes providing the guitar accompaniment (and also features on the last disc in García Lorca’s traditional song settings, Berganza sounding refined and charming).

The third disc starts with arie antiche, old favourites such as Pergolesi’s ‘Se tu m’ami’ and Scarlatti’s ‘Le violette’ juxtaposed with rarer items, including Cavalli’s wonderful ‘L’alma fiacca svani’ – Casandra’s lament – all accompanied by Ricardo Requejo.

The one drawback here is the absence of any texts or translations, especially vexing where a group of 16 medieval songs is concerned.While Berganza sings them with exquisite tone and emotion, one really needs to know what the poems are about, even though some, such as Alfonso X El Sabio’s Santa Marìa and Rosas das rosas, speak for themselves. That aside, the set is a splendid tribute to this much-loved mezzo. The final item is Montsalvatge’s Canciones negras, and as so often in concert, Berganza is accompanied by her husband, Felix Lavilla. The composer autographed her score with a dedication, to his ‘perfect interpreter’.

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