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Joel Kasow
Fanfare, September 2009

During my adolescence, Lisa Della Casa was one of my heroines, from the time she sang Mozart and Strauss operas at the Met in the 1950s and 1960s. This Orfeo CD offers selections from performances at the Vienna Opera from 1955 to 1971, some of the assumptions unfamiliar, such as Donna Anna or Ilia. The earliest is a 1955 Don Giovanni already available in its entirety on CD. Despite the handicap of its being sung in German, Della Casa shows that she is just as sovereign an interpreter of that role as her customary Elvira. Karl Böhm is at his best at the helm, but Giovanni was one of the operas in which he excelled. Anton Dermota is a worthy partner in duet, as is Werner Krenn in an excerpt from Idomeneo (1971), though for some reason the soprano does not sound entirely comfortable.

Throughout the CD, one marvels at the vocal beauty that is put at the service of the characterization, while those of us fortunate to have seen her on stage can remember the physical beauty as well. © 2009 Fanfare Read complete review

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