What was it I loved about Cecilia Bartoli? I always think that her brain runs so much faster than mine, like a slow motion camera that catches every detail about each note, how it begins and ends, precisely where it lies in the phrase. I have never heard such precise phrasing from anyone, not even the magnificent Marilyn. There's just so much there to hear. I love a person who can stimulate my brain.
After listening to all this Rossini, does Cecilia's Rossini Heroines still stand up? Every note is like three of someone else. There is joy in these completely precise, completely expressive outpourings. Her rubato is the best ever. Yes, rubato in Rossini. No one else comes close.
Still, after all these years, I have never loved a singer this much.