Zinka Milanov in Song 1943 & 1955



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"Zinka Milanov is one of the great sopranos in recorded sound. She "ruled" in the Metropolitan Opera in its "Italian" repertoire from the late-1930s through the mid-1960s. I suspect that recordings do not capture the sound she created from the stage--a full, probably startling and "surrounding" sound. Her voice would probably seem enormous by today's standards, where large voices are in the minority, and I believe today's listeners might find her slightly old-fashioned, where operatic sopranos, for good or for bad, are more stylized in their approach (perhaps influence by popular music)? Milanov brings to these songs an amazing flow of sound and a legato that astounds. She also brings her passion. Just listen to "Caro mio ben," the first selection: the voice is full and rock-solid with spot-on intonation. She is heart-felt; I believe every word. Sopranos of her time greatly admired her technique, and in this first Italian art song, the listener can hear why. Today's listeners also need to get used to a very large voice in art song, and clearly Milanov carefully chose songs that display her wide dynamic range while allowing her to sing spinning, pianissimo phrases. Listen to her famous version of "Do not go my love," included on this recording, to hear one of the most beautiful sounds ever recorded--her final pianissimo ending the song. Rarely do we hear Milanov sing in a language other than Italian. Her Italian and English diction (to my ear) always has a Slavic undertone, and I suspect her German, which sounds correct to me, does as well, but it is a pleasure to hear her sing in German and in her native Croatian. These Croatian songs to round out the CD were recorded in the mid-1940s, perhaps when Milanov was at her vocal height . . . and what a height it was. Highly recommended for Milanov fans and for anyone interested in hearing a great operatic voice in art songs." - Anonymous

"This recording is a must for Milanov fans because it includes some of the arias and songs not heard on her other recordings - for example Strauss songs and Giordani's Caro mio ben. The sound is very good. Highly recommended." - Anonymous

"The recordings are graet and the sound magnificent. Greate job done by Nimbus Records. I am very happy to find this historical recordings on CD format. No scratches and tracks sound just great." J. M. Lopez


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