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Subject: Re: Clarification of my Tebaldi - Manon Lescaut comment
From: "Takis Pavl." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Takis Pavl.
Date:Fri, 18 Nov 2016 08:20:24 +0000

text/plain (38 lines)

Yes, this is the one recording I struggle with Del Monaco the most (I haven't dared his Duke in Rigoletto yet). Tebaldi is exquisite as Manon Lescaut but he ruins the duets for me. Another option would have been Giuseppe Campora, he recorded the first Butterfly and Tosca recordings with Tebaldi and though I prefer Bergonzi, Campora would have been much more lyrical than Del Monaco. Campora is a fantastic Radames in Tebaldi's Aida soundtrack and some of her Violettas, where he sounds much better than on his early Decca recordings. Fortunately Tebaldi recorded the final scene of Manon Lescaut with Di Stefano for RAI in 1954 and it's stunning. Eugenio Fernandi again for RAI in 1958 is also quite good so there are other options to enjoy the duets with Tebaldi but without Del Monaco..

Bjoerling and Tebaldi were not a good pairing in my opinion. He's too Nordic for her free Italian sound. Even in the famous filmed Boheme duet their sounds just don't match, his acting is also way too stiff. I also wish Del Monaco had recorded Cavaleria Rusticana with Tebaldi.  

      From: Max Paley <[log in to unmask]>
 To: [log in to unmask] 
 Sent: Friday, 18 November 2016, 7:06
 Subject: Re: Clarification of my Tebaldi - Manon Lescaut comment
Ya, neither Bergonzi nor Björling were options for Decca in 1954 when the "Manon Lescaut" was made (one of the very first stereo opera recordings).  Both would have become possible if they'd done it 3 years later.  Bergonzi signed with Decca in early 1957 and in 1956 Decca and RCA signed their agreement that allowed swapping of artists and use of each other's tech crews (hence Björling and Tebaldi together on the Erede "Cavalleria" and Leinsdorf "Turandot").

I wish Decca had used Bergonzi (and Serafin, for that matter) for Tebaldi's stereo "Tosca" as they had for the "Boheme" and "Butterfly."  But Del Monaco was serious Decca capital and he didn't like sitting sessions out and was particularly pissed off that Karajan refused to have him for the stereo "Aida."

Max Paley

Sent from my iPad

> On Nov 17, 2016, at 21:56, Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Speaking of Manon Lescaut and Tebaldi, her Decca studio commercial recording is badly crippled by the bellowing of Mario del Monaco, who had about as much charm and elegance as he who is about to become our new leader.  When Tebaldi sings alone, the sound is ravishing, but when she has to compete with del Monaco's blatantly loud Otello-like approach to Des Grieux, the bellowing seems to overtake HER as well.  The recording should have used a different tenor, like a very young Carlo Bergonzi.  Bjoerling would not have been possible because of his affiliation with RCA.  I admire del Monaco on a few of Tebaldi's recordings, but most certainly not on this Manon Lescaut.  I suppose we should be grateful that he didn't end up on her Butterfly or Boheme recordings, where Bergonzi sang so beautifully.
> Just a passing opinion.


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