C1083. CARLO MARIA GIULINI Cond. Philharmonia Orch., w.Sutherland, Cossotto, Ottolini & Vinco: MANZONI REQUIEM (Verdi), Live Performance, 21 Aug., 1960, Usher Hall, Edinburgh. (E.U.) Myto 00309. - 0801439903098
“In Bergamo, Mr. Giulini came to the attention of Toscanini and, more significantly, Victor de Sabata, who immediately took Mr. Giulini to La Scala, where in 1953 he succeeded de Sabata as principal conductor. Mr. Giulini attributed his ability to empower each musician in an orchestra into collective music-making to his own youthful experience playing the viola. Yet Mr. Giulini was never particularly articulate about how he achieved such remarkable music-making from orchestra players….his insights were always piercing, and his ear for nuance, texture and rhythmic subtleties was flawless.
By the late 1960's, Mr. Giulini had grown disheartened with working in opera houses, where he said he had to contend with insufficient rehearsal time, musically obtuse directors and too many singers interested more in jet-setting international careers than in substantive work. He restricted his appearances, and even the Metropolitan Opera was never able to engage him.
Far from being an autocratic conductor or a kinetic dynamo of the podium, Mr. Giulini was a probing musician who achieved results by projecting serene authority and providing a model of selfless devotion to the score. His symphonic performances were at once magisterial and urgent, full of surprise yet utterly natural. He brought breadth and telling detail to the operas of Mozart and Verdi. Handsome and impeccably tailored, he was a deeply spiritual musician. Through most of his career, Mr. Giulini resisted assuming full-time responsibility for an orchestra. He had little patience with administrative details and a distaste for the glad-handing typically required of a music director of a major institution. Needing frequent periods for reflection and study, he preferred guest-conducting associations.
He had a 23-year relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, starting in 1955 (his first American engagement). From 1969 to 1978 he was its principal guest conductor. He was also the principal conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra for three years during the 1970's. In 1978 he became the principal conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Being a leading cultural figure in America's star-struck movie capital might have seemed a curious role for this discerning and reclusive Italian. He mostly restricted his commitment to 10 weeks per season, which brought criticism that he was not giving the full-time commitment the post demanded.”
- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 16 June, 2005
“An acclaimed and versatile conductor, Carlo Maria Giulini started his musical studies as a violinist, attending the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome. He studied conducting with Bernardino Molinari at Santa Cecilia and Alfredo Casella at Accademia Chigiana in Siena.
During his tenure as conductor of the Italian Radio (RAI) Orchestra of Rome, he attracted notice for his innovative programming which included revivals of forgotten operas by Italian Baroque composers, such as Domenico Scarlatti. His theatrical début was at Bergamo, in Verdi's LA TRAVIATA.
Giulini's conducting incorporates elements of Furtwängler's and Toscanini's styles. His dynamism and purity of sound are reminiscent of Toscanini, but the spacious, Romantic approach reminds one of Furtwängler. His particular attentiveness to inner voices results in a rich sound. Giulini eschews podium theatrics or autocratic attitudes. Instead, he approaches the musicians as co-workers serving the music. After his retirement from Los Angeles, Giulini continued working as a guest conductor, mostly in Paris, Chicago, Milan, Berlin, and Vienna, and eventually limiting his activities to appearances with the major orchestras of these cities.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com
“Joan Sutherland’s singing was founded on astonishing technique. Her voice was evenly produced throughout an enormous range, from a low G to effortless flights above high C. She could spin lyrical phrases with elegant legato, subtle colorings and expressive nuances. Her sound was warm, vibrant and resonant, without any forcing.”
- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 11 Oct., 2010
“While best known for the fiery, scenery-chewing Verdi roles such as Azucena, Amneris, Lady Macbeth, and Eboli, Fiorenza Cossotto was also a prominent performer of bel canto parts such as Rosina in Rossini's BARBIERE, Leonora in LA FAVORITA, and Adalgisa in NORMA. Such large and powerful mezzo voices, particularly with a secure top, are rare compared to the lyric mezzo, and from the late 1960s through the early 1980s, she was THE Verdi mezzo, the successor to Simionato and the predecessor to Zajick.”
- Anne Feeney, allmusic.com