Today's Classical Music Video

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Anna Moffo Sings Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14

June 27 marks the birthday of American soprano Anna Moffo (June 27 1932 - March 9 2006). Born in Pennsylvania to Italian immigrant parents, Moffo studied at the Curtis Institute, and later at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. She made her operatic debut in 1955 as Norina in Don Pasquale. A singer gifted with a gorgeous, naturally-produced voice and great personal beauty, Moffo was a noted Susanna, Nanetta, Mimi, Violetta, Lucia, Gilda, Liu, Nedda, Pamina, Manon, Juliette, Butterfly, among others. She was a Met favourite for seventeen seasons. Moffo left a large recording legacy, mostly on RCA, a company headed by her second husband, Robert Sarnoff. Despite her stupendous vocal gift, Moffo never had a very firm technique, and it caught up with her by the early seventies. Her recordings after the vocal crisis, ie. the title role in Thais and Princess Eudoxie in Halevy's La Juive, found her far below her best. To remember Anna Moffo, here is her spectacularly beautiful Vocalise by Rachmaninoff, one of her very best recordings.

Joseph K. So

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