V1712. ADELINA PATTI, Vol. II, incl. Songs by Crouch, Tosti, Hook & Yradier; Arias from Norma, La Sonnambula & Mignon – recorded 1906; EMMA ALBANI: Complete Recordings, incl. Songs by Bach-Gounod, Chaminade, Bishop, etc.; Arias from Xerxes, Theodora, L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Le Pré aux Clercs & Clari – recorded 1903-07; FANNY TORESELLA: Complete Recordings, incl. Arias from I Puritani, Lucia & L’Elisir d’Amore (Prendi, per me sei libero [att. de Bériot]) – recorded 1902. (Germany) Truesound Transfers 3001. Transfers by Christian Zwarg.
“Patti’s records preserve only the ‘beaux restes’ of her voice, as Klein delicately puts it; by this time much of her vocal brilliance was gone, her command of more ambitious ornamentation a thing of the past. Her voice bears a resemblance to the smile of the Cheshire cat; it has not quite disappeared and her tone is still beautiful, if no longer young sounding. It is the details of her singing, its finesse that remain. She is still capable of a seemingly infinite variety of vocal colouring, and her voice is still alive to every rhythmic subtlety.
Her technique she acquired when she was young: the flawless legato; the different weights of tone in portamento according to the width of the interval and duration of the notes; the turns and mordents always executed limpidly and in perfect proportions; the trill, whether major or minor, free of any suggestion of mechanical contrivance—indeed, her recording of the opening measures of the Jewel Song from FAUST remains, after the best part of a century, peerless. We can agree with Hugo Wolf when he writes of her Vienna farewell: ‘It is the fastidious taste of her singing... the agility and refinement in the execution of fioritura, [that] excite admiration now as before’."
- Ned Ludd
“Correct breathing, scales, shake, ornaments, fiorituri of every kind, all came naturally to [Patti] and required only the finishing touches. She just had to be shown the various roulades and cadenzas, to put them into her voice, as it were, then let them out again in a tone that resembled a nightingale’s – pure, rich, luscious, warm, penetrating and of a haunting beauty. It grew with her from childhood to womanhood, developing from year to year with ever-increasing loveliness and power.”
- Herman Klein, GREAT WOMEN-SINGERS OF MY TIME, pp. 37-38
“[Truesound] transfers have been an absolute revelation to me….Amazingly, Christian Zwarg has managed to unlock the sound of these recordings in such a way as to present [voices] such as I have never heard before. Here the sound has a sheen and glow which is quite beautiful. It is as if an old masterpiece painting has been cleaned and restored, allowing rays of brilliant light to emerge….”
- Davyd Booth, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2012