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Ritorna Vincitor! - The Legendary Birgit Nilsson

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Customer Reviews

compilation is ok, but could be better

Birgit Nilsson does not have the voice of an angel. She does, however, have the voice of a conquering army marching into a city. Her talents are overwhelming, not subtle, and she deserves a compilation that adequately showcases them. This one, while not wholly inadequate, doesn't live up to its promise.

Nilsson gave countless memorable performances. Some of them are here. The conclusion of the album with "I Could Have Danced All Night," with which Nilsson ended many of her live recitals, is particularly charming. And the malicious glee in her voice when she sings the role of Lady Macbeth is well worth the price of admission. However, where is Turandot? It's the role Nilsson performed more often than any other, but no aria from Turandot is present. And why only the first half of Brunnhilde's immolation scene? Instead of those two pivotal roles, we get a bunch of Lieder that do not show Nilsson at her best. Did somebody fall asleep at the wheel?

Bottom line: it's the only Nilsson album on iTunes as of the time I write this review. So if you're after speed and convenience (like I was--unfortunately), go for it. If you're willing to wait, try shopping around a little for something that does this enormous voice justice.


Born: May 17, 1918 in Västra Karups, Sweden

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

The vocal talents of Birgit Nilsson were first recognized when she began to sing in her church choir. She studied voice with Ragnar Blennow in Bastad and later at the Royal Music Academy Stockholm with Joseph Hislop and Arne Sunnegärdh. She made her opera debut at Stockholm where her first important role was Agatha in Der Freischütz, and in 1947 she sang Lady Macbeth in Verdi's Macbeth there. Her first important international appearance came in 1951 as Elettra in Mozart's Idomeneo at the Glyndebourne...
Full Bio

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