Over the years Puccinis'Rondine has recieved very few recordings, so its always nice to see a new release. This is actually the live soundtrack from a performance at the Puccini Festival at Torre Del Lago.
Svetla Vassileva was as recently as 2008 singing Verdis Giovanna D'Arco in Parma. (My brother was her tenor lead in those performances) She exhibits a fairly good size voice with a strong if somewhat edgy top. She can float some lovely top notes, but the basic quality of the voice is, I think, more suited to Verdi. It doesn't have the lovely sound one associates with Puccini sopranos. Fabio Sartori has the Italianate sound, but has the provincial habit of starting every phrase with the Italian sob or, as I like to put it"kvetch". Its unnecessary, and detracts from what could have been a decent performance. The other singers are fine and actually Alberto Veronesi conducts a very heartfelt, idiomatic performance. He would have done better with better singers. The sound is O.K. if somewhat dry. Stick with the EMI performance with Gheorgiu and Alagna. Its as close to perfection as we'll find nowadays. The older Sony recording with Domingo had a georgeous sounding, but tepid Kiri te Kanawa as Magda. Puccini was just not her "Fach" at all. Evan she recently admitted on a radio program her Tosca was "awful"