List Price: $20.98
Rosa Ponselle was one of the greatest sopranos of the century and this superb collection of recordings from her prime makes that evident. Some have long been the standards against which all others are judged–the Aida tomb scene with Giovanni Martinelli, the Norma “Casta Diva,” and much else. Her famous Norma duet, “Mia, o Norma,” with Marion Telvey is here, still striking sparks. Lots of Verdi–the big arias and duets from Aida, Trovatore, and Ernani, all sung in a big, stunningly beautiful voice alive to textual nuances. The arias from Spontini’s La Vestale are wondrous, but so are the parlor songs, the 1920s “crossover” equivalents. Marston includes several alternate takes, and the transfers are excellent. This should be a cornerstone of any operatic collection. –Dan Davis
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