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Subject: Re: La Boheme with Gianni Poggi
From: Gualtier Malde <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Gualtier Malde <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 19 Oct 2004 15:42:46 -0400
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If you are interested in Poggi as Puccini's Rodolfo, you may want to check
out the MYTO release of highlights from "Andrea Chenier" (with Tebaldi,
Barbieri and Del Monaco) and "La Boheme" from La Scala performances circa
1947.  The "Boheme" scenes feature a very young Gianni Poggi and Margherita
Carosio.  The sound is shockingly good because the excerpts were made by a
German who had a high quality early portable tape recorder.  This German
had to leave Milan quickly since the authorities suspected him of
espionage.  This German left behind his tape recordings with his pirate
opera on it. I like to think of him as a master spy who had a secret
passion for opera.  Anyway, Gianni Poggi is a revelation in 1947 - I am not
saying he is Bjoerling but you understand why his career took off in major
theaters.  Not a bit of the pinched whining or puffy-toned bellowing.  His
voice is fresh, attractive-toned, compact and very musical.  Like a softer-
grained Gianni Raimondi.

  Not every dog singer of that post-WWII period started out as a dog.
Italy had a tendency to push singers on the stage quickly and they would
have one or two good seasons and then many bad ones.  Also many singers had
their careers interrupted by the war.  The 1940's recordings and films of
Mario Filippeschi show a tenor with a full pleasant middle voice and a free
and easy top.  He was not imaginative dramatically nor did he have stylish
phrasing like Tagliavini, Gigli or the young Di Stefano.  But around 1948
Filippeschi had a solid and attractive instrument and the man was handsome
resembling the young Vittorio De Sica.  Carlo Tagliabue who sounds so tired
and unsteady on many EMI and Cetra recordings from the 1950's was excellent
in the 1930's and 1940's.  Alda Noni had a gorgeous voice circa 1942 but
evidently childbirth made her voice age.  I think that World War II had an
seismic effect not only on Europe but on the voices of a generation of the
singers who emerged before the war.  Often after the war by 1950, European
singers who had been at their peaks in the thirties were past it.  Think of
Gina Cigna, Tibbett and others.  Singers who sang in New York weren't
impacted as badly so singers like Dorothy Kirsten, Robert Merrill and Jan
Peerce sang well from the early 1940's to the 1070's.  The golden age of
the 1950's were all singers who debuted after the war.  Mario Del Monaco
debuted before the war but with a tiny voice singing roles like Ernesto.
After the war he retooled his voice with the Melocchi method and emerged as
a huge voiced tenore robusto.

Gualtier Malde

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