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Giuseppe Verdi: La Forza del Destino

A review from Gramophone, January 1989

This Decca recording of La forza del destino, made in Rome in the summer of 1955, has always had a tolerably good press. And, it is true, the set has many virtues: it is more or less complete, there is a generally radiant and often purposeful performance of Leonora from Tebaldi, a fine Carlo from Bastianini, lively and cogent conducting of the tolerably proficient Santa Cecilia forces, and a recording that since its 1959 stereo reissue has always been notable for its general spaciousness and clarity. That said, I would find it extremely difficult to live with a set in which del Monaco's Alvaro keeps cropping up, the singing, stentorian and ungainly, infecting famous ensembles and duets as well as Alvaro's solo numbers, and Simionato's Preziosilla is none too steady either. At full price, the slightly abbreviated Callas set with Serafin on EMI is to be preferred or, at mid price, the complete RCA/Schippers with Leontyne Price Tucker, Merrill, Verrett, and others, recorded in 1964 and reviewed last month.






Leonora: Renata Tebaldi
Don Alvaro: Mario Del Monaco
Don Carlo: Ettore Bastianini
Padre Guardiano: Cesare Siepi
Preziosilla: Giulietta Simionato
Fra Melitone: Fernando Corena
Marchese: Silvio Maionica
Trabuco: Piero de Palma
Curra: Gabriella Carturan
Mayor: Ezio Giordano
Surgeon: Eraldo Coda

Santa Cecilia Academy
Orchestra and Chorus, Rome
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli

Decca 421 598-2


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