C1276. HERBERT von KARAJAN Cond. Berlin Phil., w.Leontyne Price, Giulietta Simionato, Giuseppe Zampieri & Nicolai Ghiaurov: Manzoni Requiem (Verdi). (England) Testament SBT 1491, Live Performance, 9 Aug.,1962, Salzburg Festival. - 749677149123
“Testament's series of previously unpublished live concert recordings made by the Berlin Philharmonic offers listeners a rich library of notable performances by some of history's greatest conductors. Herbert von Karajan had first conducted Verdi's REQUIEM as a young assistant Kapellmeister in Ulm in 1933. It became one of his signature works, and Karajan conducted the work frequently, recorded it several times and it was the last work he conducted with the Berlin Philharmonic shortly before his death in 1989. This live performance from the 1962 Salzburg festival features four top-level soloists, headlined by soprano Leontyne Price.
The revelation of the vocal performance remains soprano Leontyne Price, whom Karajan had deemed ‘an artist of the future’ when he first auditioned her. Bass Nicolai Ghiaurov appeared new to the Festival, and his broad, dark tones illuminate his ‘Tuba mirum’ and the later ‘Confutatis maledictus’. Ghiaurov intones a moving picture of a frail, contrite humanity. The husky mezzo of Giulietta Simionato punches forward the valediction of the ‘Liber scriptus’ that heralds more gnashing of teeth. Simionato and Price combine, quasi-Aďda-style, for the plaintive ‘Quid sum miser’, there joined by tenor Giuseppe Zampieri, a regular at Salzburg since 1957.”
- Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition, 30 Jan., 2014
"Leontyne Price's voice was a spinto soprano of great beauty. She had a wonderful feeling for the sweep of the long phrases of Verdi and her technique allowed her to encompass all of the difficulties of Donna Anna (DON GIOVANNI) and Elvira (ERNANI). Her lower register had a quality often described as ‘dusky’ which many listeners found quite sensual. Leontyne Price will always be remembered as one of the greatest Verdi sopranos of the twentieth century.”
- Richard LeSueur, allmusic.com
“Giulietta Simionato was the greatest Italian mezzo-soprano of her era, an artist whose singular career was shaped as much by her innate elegance as by her extraordinary musical and dramatic gifts. In an era before opera singers were pigeonholed as ‘specialists’, Simionato constructed a personal repertoire that stretched from the eighteenth-century graces of Mozart, Gluck and Cimarosa to the bel canto heroines (and heroes) of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini to the formidable ladies of Verdi, Mascagni, Ponchielli and Cilča. One cannot resist the spontaneity of her phrasing, the unerring simplicity with which she weights every word and reveals her profound connection to her music. It is a gift that will always set her apart from her rivals, if one chooses to accept that she had any."
- F. Paul Driscoll, OPERA NEWS, May, 2010
“Herbert von Karajan had first conducted Verdi's REQUIEM as a young assistant Kapellmeister in Ulm in 1933. It became one of his signature works, and Karajan conducted the work frequently, recorded it several times and it was the last work he conducted with the Berlin Philharmonic shortly before his death in 1989. Privately, Karajan was a dignified man, with elegant bearing. But when he came onstage to demonstrate movements, his own became very strange. He strutted about like a cock in a henhouse, his rear end stuck out and his head in the air. I grant, this rustic description does not fit into the Karajan myth, but it was exactly so."
- Birgit Nilsson, LA NILSSON, p.110