on August 19, 2002
Hmm...the conundrum of what constitutes an "American". The book that this CD accompanies devotes an entire chapter to Caruso, though this collection only slips him in with Geraldine Farrar. I agree, too, that Callas should most definitely be included, as she was born in New York. As far as squeezing in Pons, I believe that although she was native to France, she took American citizenship after her US film career took off. I could be wrong here. Please correct me if I am! And the comments about Heppner being Canadian, he is slipped in on a track with Voigt, so this is more excuseable. My question is, should Saskatchewan-born Jon Vickers be included?
But this is just squabble...this collection is a wonderful sampling of the rich history American singers have had to offer. My only regrets would be to replace the Aida track of Ponselle's with her wonderful "Tu che invoco" from Spontini's La Vestale, and how unfortunate it is that such a dynamic artist as Marian Anderson did not record operatic arias until so late in her career. Her Ulrica is thrilling, but it is undeniable that her technique was beginning to show age by the time this track was recorded.
All in all, a wonderful collection, especially Pons's wonderful Bell Song, and Vaness's seething anger via Elettra.
on June 21, 2001
I believe that Canada is still part of America. This set then could have included Leopold Simoneau, Maureen Forrester etc.etc. More importantly, this very fine collection could have included Cornell MacNeil and my favorite, Maria Callas.I shouldn't harp on what's not included. This is a very fine collection.