<< -- 2 -- Robert Anderson WONDERFUL SOUNDS
This Radamès is a tenore robustissimo, far more apt to thwack
the Ethiopians than to adore Aida. So he is at his best and worst at the
outset of the opera. Here he yearns for command of the Egyptian army
[listen -- CD1 track 3, 0:00-1:00]. If Verdi asks for
pppp in the course of 'Celeste Aida', Del Monaco takes not the slightest notice
and woos in the only fashion he knows. Always thrilling, he is seldom subtle.
The rival women are soon at it, with Ebe Stignani an outstanding Amneris,
spitfire, triumphant and ultimately stricken, and Renata Tebaldi's Aida
floating wonderful sounds to assuage her agony. Only Ramesses II could have
found this boring [listen -- CD1 track 4, 4:26-5:24].
With the campaign successfully over, the whole cast assembles in ancient
Thebes (modern Luxor) to hymn the praises of Egypt's sacred land and Isis
its protectress. This gives a fine chance for the Rome chorus to thunder its
satisfaction and to prepare for the revelation that Amonasro, king of the
Ethiopians, is among the captives
[listen -- CD1 track 13, 0:52-1:58].
Copyright © 1 February 2004
Robert Anderson, London UK