Casta Diva 1919
Rosa Ponselle was 22 years old when she recorded this aria. She had never sung the complete opera, which didn’t achieve up to 1927. In the final part of Casta Diva, when the song connects with “A bello a mi retorna”, there is a strange turn, or at least different to the standard way that we know today. In 1929, she recorded this aria once again and already made it in the orthodox form that today we know.
There are several explanations to abandon the orthodoxy in the recording of 1919. The first one is that she was not still prepared for this aria and the second is that in that time, this was the standard form of singing it. It is necessary to remember that Bellini wrote this aria to his friend Giuditta Pasta and that as it says the history, she was an extraordinary singer, but she was not very good for the very sharp notes.
Anyone has the reason, the young and inexpert Rosa Ponselles interpretation is extraordinary, nevertheless, the bad quality of the acoustic recording that was the effective one in the time.