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Alla Breve

November 20, 1994|Walter Price

COLORATURA ARIAS: TRACY DAHL, soprano; Calgary Philharmonic, Mario Bernardi, cond. CBC records SMCD5125. Dahl represents a throwback to the type of coloratura soprano in vogue before the bigger voiced Callas, Sutherland and, currently, Anderson and Devia changed the way we hear this music. As pure sound, the soprano's voice is small, not intrinsically beautiful, monochromatic in color and just plain chirpy. She misses much of the tongue-in-cheek humor in "Glitter and be gay," the sophisticated drollness of Zerbinetta's aria, while Mozart is beyond her. She is at her best in such showpieces as Adele's "Mein Herr Marquis," and Olympia's aria from "Contes d'Hoffmann," where deep introspection is not needed. Bernardi's accompaniment is discreet.

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