Rosa Ponselle Volume 1 1923-1939

"There are those who say that once they had heard Ponselle in the flesh they never wanted to hear her recordings for they did her such scant justice. That is quite credible, though the reaction might conceivably have been different if the records could have been heard reproduced as they are here." Gramophone



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Review "Briefly a protegee and stage partner of Caruso until his untimely death, Ponselle is as great as her mentor; the ne plus ultra of dramatic sopranos, vocally virtually perfect and close to that as an interpreter. Her range, both in tessitura and repertoire, was extraordinary and she added to her glamour by retiring early to marry, and occasionally threatening a comeback which never materialised. The richness of her lower register, the velvet timbre of her middle range, the security of her top are things of wonder today - and she had that gift of a special vocal intensity and character which etches itself on the memory; it is very easy to bring her voice to mind singing certain memorable phrases inimitably - a gift shared perhaps most notably by Muzio and Callas. Despite singing heavy roles such as Aida incomparably, rivalled only by Emmy Destinn there, she could lighten her voice to sing with fluting intensity, as in the famous exotic "Sadko" aria. Everything she sings sounds as if it had been written for her voice and she left a wealth of recorded legacy to prove it."- Ralph Moore
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