OP1741. I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI (Bellini), Live Performance, 24 Sept., 1958, w.Maazel Cond. RAI Ensemble, Roma; Fiorenza Cossotto, Antonietta Pastori, Renato Gavarini, etc. (E.U.) 2–Myto 00166. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 8014399501668
“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.
Cossotto made her operatic début as Sister Matilde in the world premiere of Poulenc's THE DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES in 1957. Her international début was at the 1958 Wexford Festival as Giovanna Seymour in Donizetti's ANNA BOLENA. Her Covent Garden début was in 1959 as Neris in Cherubini's MEDÉE, with Callas in the title rôle. A 1961 performance of the lead in LA FAVORITA at La Scala led to wider fame and she made her Chicago début in the same rôle in 1964 and as Amneris at the Met in 1968.”
- Anne Feeney, allmusic.com
“Mr. Maazel, when he’s ‘on’, has led some of the finest, most impassioned, most insightful performances in memory. When he’s good, he’s so good that he simply has to be counted among the great conductors of the day. Yet, enigmatically, it’s extremely difficult to predict just when he is going to be good or in what repertory.
In 1989, he was on a short list of candidates to succeed Herbert von Karajan at the Berlin Philharmonic. When Claudio Abbado was chosen instead, Mr. Maazel insisted that he never had any intention of leaving his Pittsburgh orchestra, and canceled his Berlin dates - not, he said, in a fit of pique, but so that Mr. Abbado would have more time to whip the orchestra into shape.
He is also, it would seem, a coldly defensive man, and perhaps that coldness coats his work with a layer of ice.”
- Allan Kozinn, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 13 July, 2014