Aida オリジナルレコーディングのリマスター, インポート
Behind the pyramids and the elephants, the long lines of prisoners of war and of slaves carrying booty, the choral shouts of "Glory to Egypt," and the splendid brass sounding the Triumphal March, Aida is the story of a love triangle: Aida, an Ethiopian princess who has become a slave in Egypt; Amneris, an Egyptian princess; and Radamès, the Egyptian general they both love (Aida secretly). There are ironies and conflicts: How can she love a man who is the enemy of her country, but who says he has fought and conquered for the sake of her love? It is suitable only for the biggest opera houses and therefore demands voices capable of great power as well as emotional expressiveness. Montserrat Caballé, Plácido Domingo, and Fiorenza Cossotto provide such voices, and Ricardo Muti conducts with a sense of drama and dynastic glory. --Joe McLellan
I adore Domingo's voice. Yes, his voice has more of the baritone color than what is typically desired in a tenor. Still--at least to me--he uses his warmer, darker voice to express love in a way that is at once masculine, rich and sensitive. (Cue "swoon" here.)
Caballe's voice, on the other hand, is pure feminine beauty. For my ear, it pairs perfectly with Domingo's. She once said that she had done much with Luciano, and more with Jose. But, with Placido she had done everything. For me, this pairing is the ultimate. Too bad there is nothing on video. If there is, please tell me.
In this Aida, Caballe dispels the slogan of the pseudo-experts, "Oh, but she can't act." Always top-heavy, (later, very heavy everywhere) and therefore a bit awkward on stage, she acts with her voice, her face and her hands. On video, I usually forget her size. In an audio recording, her voice does all the work; and here, the results are nothing short of magnificent.
I love Caballe and Cossoto as Adriana and the Princess. I love them as Norma and Adalgisa. I worship them as Aida and Amneris! In this performance of the Princess and the undercover Princess, they are aurally the proverbial "perfect storm".
Cossoto is surely close to a perfect Amneris. Imperiousness, jealousy, deception, vengefulness, hatred, love most desperate, remorse, and grief--all are almost palpable. As Amneris, she achieves expression without resorting to the vocal ugliness that other singers sometimes pass off as drama.
A note on Aida's final scene: Two on the inside of the tomb and one outside -- Caballe, Cossoto and Domingo will just rip your heart out.
On Muti: I appreciate his sensitivity and restraint. Aidas are often loud, louder, and loudest. Some conductors forget that opera is about the singing. Muti's handling of the orchestra was perfect. While he is sometimes criticized for rushing, it seemed to me that he gave the singers plenty of time to bring all the notes and expressive qualities to the listener.
This Aida is a perfect example of a musical event that begs for documentation. What would I not give for a video documentary of the process? To observe this magnificent ensemble of singers, orchestra and condutor bring a major work to life would be a revelation.