LP0412 (in CD format). ANDREA CHÉNIER, Live Performance, 4 Dec., 1954, w. Fausto Cleva Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Zinka Milanov, Leonard Warren, Mario Del Monaco, Alessio De Paolis, Rosalind Elias, etc. 2-Metropolitan Opera Historic Broadcast Recordings MET 15. Producer: Dorle Soria (Mrs. Dario Soria) & David Hamilton. Audio Engineer: Tom Owen, R & H Archives. The packaging is in the style of the deluxe RCA Victor Soria Series releases - velvet-covered slipcase edition with an inner box that holds, in addition to the records, an elaborate beautifully-illustrated booklet with background on the opera's Met history by Robert Tuggle & Walter Price, photos and biographies of the artists, plus a second booklet containing a libretto with translation. Produced by Nimbus Records in 1988. [ANDREA CHÉNIER was the first CD release in the Historic Broadcast series and the last on LP. The LP-size, Soria-style slipcase boxes were retained for this and subsequent CD releases through MET 23. The inner box contained a molded plastic tray which held the single-disc jewel cases in place].
“Maddalena was a triumph of Milanov’s late career. She would choose it for her farewell in 1966 when she could still sing it with relative ease….In the second-act encounter with Chénier, her emotional involvement with the heroine’s plight is palpable; she is mistress of the swiftly changing moods, and the quieter phrases in particular are beautifully set forth. Her opulent chest voice is startlingly effective at the opening of ‘La mamma morta’, and the piece is splendidly declaimed and spaciously deployed.”
- Paul Jackson, SIGN-OFF FOR THE OLD MET, p.158
“…the title role in ANDREA CHÉNIER, which Bing revived chiefly for Zinka Milanov, who became the Met’s first Maddalena in the twenty-two seasons since Ponselle had last sung it….[featured Richard Tucker and del Monaco], yet when Tucker sang the rôle for the first time a few weeks [after the production’s première], the contrast in refinement and nuance was again apparent in the critics’ columns.”
- James A. Drake, RICHARD TUCKER, pp.140-41
"One of the last of a breed of thoroughbred singers, [Milanov] is mistress of an operatic grandeur that has all but vanished."
- John Ardoin, Metropolitan Opera Archives
"In the dramatic Italian roles, the greatest soprano I ever sang with was Zinka Milanov. Milanov had one of the greatest voices of this century - she had such power, such dramatic drive in her voice - and she had such pure top tones, including a pianissimo even on the high C, if she wanted."
- Alexander Kipnis
"Ah, Milanov, the great Milanov. You must know that for me it was the queen of voices."
- Licia Albanese
"That great voice would resound around the Metropolitan Opera House long after she halted the note. Forte or piano, it didn't matter - either one. I don't have to put on a record to hear Milanov's voice when I want to, either. I can call that sound to mind any time I want just in my head. That's what being unforgettable means."
- Regina Resnik
"When referring to Milanov, who was then in her fifties, the writer - of the article in Time magazine many years ago centering on Tebaldi and Callas - mentioned that as far as sheer beauty of voice was concerned, [Milanov's] was still the most beautiful. I concur. It was luminous, had an amazing ability to blend with the strings of the orchestra, and seemed to come from no place at all, but swim around and fill every contour of the hall. The sound of this particular voice, to me the most beautiful of all voices, continues to fill me with increasing wonder'."
- Raymond Beegle, FANFARE, May/June, 2006
"In my childhood in St. Petersburg I heard Battistini and Tetrazzini. After our family's post-revolution escape to New York, which took in fact several very difficult years, I heard Caruso, Gigli, Destinn, Ponselle, Muzio, Ruffo, Chaliapin. In later life, I heard Milanov, one of the last throwbacks to the great singing of earlier eras. To be able to command the full space of a house the size of the Metropolitan with a mere thread of tone, that is greatness."
- Aida Favia-Artsay