Teresa Berganza: mezzosoprano, Lucia Valentini-Terrani: contralto
Chorus master: Norbert Balatsch
New Philharmonic Orchestra
Riccardo Muti, conductor
EMI, 1977 (1987)
While I was wandering about my first post on sacred music, I almost immediately decided for Vivaldi. Gloria, Magnificat, a CD where the voices of Teresa Berganza and of the late Lucia Valentini-Terrani are combined under the direction of Riccardo Muti to creare a marvellous jewel of singing and spirituality.
Maybe you have listened so many times critics and fans linger on the two singers’ formal exquisiteness and technique, on their phrasing softness and on their beatiful timbre, but it is necessary to underline it one more time because this will help demonstrating how these two voices are perfectly mixed together in the Laudamus te (from Magnificat). Here the amalgam is perfect from the timbric point of view and for the perfect equilibrium they install between them. You will never hear a voice prevail over the other and this is real greatness: everyone here works only for music’s safe. To add a particular note for each singer, I stress the perfect agilities of Berganza and her moving accents in Domine Deus from Magnificat and, for what Valentini-Terrani concerns, I remember at least her elegance and ease in performing the arduous Esurientes from Magnificat.
The New Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti is simply brilliant, while the Philharmonia Chorus is solemn and magnificent.