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ALLA BREVE: VERDI, PARKENING, BABBITT

June 08, 1986|ALLAN ULRICH

VERDI: "ATTILA." Cristina Deutekom, Carlo Bergonzi, Sherrill Milnes, Ruggero Raimondi; Ambrosian Singers; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lamberto Gardelli. Philips 412 875-2 (two compact discs). Reissued on the CD format, this 1972 performance of Verdi's eighth opera still merits attention for its overall coherence rather than for individual vocal contributions. There is one exception, Carlo Bergonzi's Foresto, a triumph of style and Italianate lyricism. Raimondi's soft-grained Attila turns the rapacious Hun into the nicest guy on the block. Deutekom hurls her overparted resources into Odabella's bloodthirsty ravings, while Milnes only partially shows the potential he would reveal later. Credit Gardelli for stressing the moments of originality while de-emphasizing the platitudinous, oom-pah-pah episodes of the 1846 opera. Only slight tape hiss betrays the recording's analog origins.

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