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Subject: Re: Cetra CD reissues. Some more.
From: albert innaurato <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:albert innaurato <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 7 Jul 2017 15:18:29 -0500
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Geary and Mammano are the smartest about these recordings it seems to me.
It's amazing we get a Callas fetish making a preposterous claim, but Geary
was the first to acknowledge that a composer was conducting his own work
with a very apt cast (The Callas Traviata is THE GREATEST? With its
mediocre tenor and more than gruff baritone and a dead conductor on the
podium, what could that poor fat lady DO?). Tassinari and Tagliavini are
ideal in L'Amico Fritz, and Pini and Meletti are excellent as Beppe and
Fritz (no longer a rabbi in 1942!).

Mammano is right that really these recordings are most wonderful in the
verismo operas. All of the singers had grown up with verismo and worked
with the many still living composers of the operas. The Trittico is easily
the most colorful and compelling overall recording of the three operas.
It's not only a matter of queen fetish singling out a particular lady for
praise but someone with a brain understanding how much these works depend
on give and take delivered with utter certainly by singers with exactly the
same comfort with and understanding of the rhetoric of the pieces. And the
casts are very strong and sometimes wonderful from Petrella's sexy, sad
Georgetta to Taddei's marvelous Gianni Schicchi to Carteri's touching and
beautifully sung Suor Angelica. But the other characters in all these
recordings are wonderfully presented and the level of singing is high. And
this style is hard to conduct. it is notable for small moments that
accumulate into bigger statements. The dialogs and apparently casual
interchanges must have a naturalness, a rightness of emphasis and
transitions (often brief) must be well judged for the big outbursts to seem
in balance and convincing. The three conductors might not have been world
beaters but they have absolute authority in this style.

(For a world beater one can turn to the remarkable Clemons Krauss broadcast
from Stuttgart which not only has the same sureness of touch even in German
but a master's attention to small details).

The Fanciulla seems to me a central performance, despite small cuts.
Basile, also not a world beater, also understands how the opera needs to
move, he has tremendous thrust and energy and the kind of control that
creates a sense of inevitable movement. Gavazzi is fantastic for the color
and intensity of her Minnie; her singing is also very strong throughout the
range. The gruff Savarese, a loss as Germond Pere, is perfect as Rance and
his scenes with Gavazzi are sizzling. The tenor has an iffy middle but a
ringing top and tremendous ardor.

Little by the little the certainty of touch, the sureness in the style of
this recording, is lost in the '50's although no one would dismiss the
Mitropoulos account, and only the Callas freak would dismiss the thrilling
Tebaldi performance. Still, the raw energy and life or death stakes of the
Cetra performance is I think closest to the real thing. With the awful EMI
despite the great Nilsson (killing herself to get it right but fish out of
water), secondary support, and the Nazi Von Matecic conducting, it's
missing instruments ("I have two great loves Adolf and Music", Walter
Legge) we start to get far afield, something that continues. (Although it's
interesting to hear the Sinopoli and Thielemann (!) broadcasts).

Oh, well, a waste of time, I assume and just my minor opinions.

On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 2:02 PM, albert innaurato <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Geary and Mammano are the smartest about these recordings it seems to me.
> It's amazing we get a Callas fetish making a preposterous claim, but Geary
> was the first to acknowledge that a composer was conducting his own work
> with a very apt cast (The Callas Traviata is THE GREATEST? With its
> mediocre tenor and more than gruff baritone and a dead conductor on the
> podium, what could that poor fat lady DO?). Tassinari and Tagliavini are
> ideal in L'Amico Fritz, and Pini and Meletti are excellent as Beppe and
> Fritz (no longer a rabbi in 1942!).
>
> Mammano is right that really these recordings are most wonderful in the
> verismo operas. All of the singers had grown up with verismo and worked
> with the many still living composers of the operas. The Trittico is easily
> the most colorful and compelling overall recording of the three operas.
> It's not only a matter of queen fetish singling out a particular lady for
> praise but someone with a brain understanding how much these works depend
> on give and take delivered with utter certainly by singers with exactly the
> same comfort with and understanding of the rhetoric of the pieces. And the
> casts are very strong and sometimes wonderful from Petrella's sexy, sad
> Georgetta to Taddei's marvelous Gianni Schicchi to Carteri's touching and
> beautifully sung Suor Angelica. But the other characters in all these
> recordings are wonderfully presented and the level of singing is high. And
> this style is hard to conduct. it is notable for small moments that
> accumulate into bigger statements. The dialogs and apparently casual
> interchanges must have a naturalness, a rightness of emphasis and
> transitions (often brief) must be well judged for the big outbursts to seem
> in balance and convincing. The three conductors might not have been world
> beaters but they have absolute authority in this style.
>
> (For a world beater one can turn to the remarkable Clemons Krauss
> broadcast from Stuttgart which not only has the same sureness of touch even
> in German but a master's attention to small details).
>
> The Fanciulla seems to me a central performance, despite small cuts.
> Basile, also not a world beater, also understands how the opera needs to
> move, he has tremendous thrust and energy and the kind of control that
> creates a sense of inevitable movement. Gavazzi is fantastic for the color
> and intensity of her Minnie; her singing is also very strong throughout the
> range. The gruff Savarese, a loss as Germond Pere, is perfect as Rance and
> his scenes with Gavazzi are sizzling. The tenor has an iffy middle but a
> ringing top and tremendous ardor.
>
> Little by the little the certainty of touch, the sureness in the style of
> this recording, is lost in the '50's although no one would dismiss the
> Mitropoulos account, and only the Callas freak would dismiss the thrilling
> Tebaldi performance. Still, the raw energy and life or death stakes of the
> Cetra performance is I think closest to the real thing. With the awful EMI
> despite the great Nilsson (killing herself to get it right but fish out of
> water), secondary support, and the Nazi Von Matecic conducting, it's
> missing instruments ("I have two great loves Adolf and Music", Walter
> Legge) we start to get far afield, something that continues. (Although it's
> interesting to hear the Sinopoli and Thielemann (!) broadcasts).
>
> Oh, well, a waste of time, I assume and just my minor opinions.
>
> AI
>
> On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 9:38 AM, ANGELO MAMMANO <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>> I picked up the Trittico at a cheapo store years ago and found the
>> recordings to have excellent sound and
>>
>> excellent performances by outstanding casts.  Schicchi has Corena as
>> Simone and Taddei as Schicchi.
>>
>> Angelica is with Carteri and Tabarro is with Petrella.  These are on the
>> Nuova Fonit Cetra label and are among
>>
>> my prize possessions.
>>
>>
>> Angelo from Boston
>>
>>
>> >
>> >     On July 6, 2017 at 4:05 PM LANE WHITESELL <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> >     House of Opera has the same cast in a live recording:
>> >
>> >     http://www.operapassion.com/cd1545000.html
>> >
>> >     Lane A. Whitesell
>> >
>> >         > >
>> > >         On July 6, 2017 at 3:57 PM Dennis Ryan <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>> > >
>> > >         The contributions to this thread lead me to recall one
>> performance that appeared later on Everest Records, which re-issued many
>> beloved Cetra recordings, but I do not believe that it had ever been
>> previously issued on Cetra. This is a simply FABULOUS performance of
>> Rossini's "Petite Messe Solennelle" with Renata Scotto, Fiorenza Cossotto,
>> Alfredo Kraus, and Ivo Vinco. I have never heard a greater performance of
>> this great work. I believe that this showed up on CD on an obscure Italian
>> label briefly, but I know of no place where it is available on CD now.
>> Everest Records, of course, was well known for re-issuing many of the old
>> Cetra performances in wretched sound on worse-than-wretched vinyl. Does
>> anyone know where this performance might currently be found on CD? Does
>> anyone know of other great Italian performances of the late '40's and 50's
>> that have likewise been lost?
>> > >         Cheers,
>> > >         Dennis Ryan
>> > >
>> > >         -----Original Message-----
>> > >         From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
>> > >         To: OPERA-L <[log in to unmask]>
>> > >         Sent: Thu, Jul 6, 2017 1:50 pm
>> > >         Subject: Re: Cetra CD reissues. Some more.
>> > >
>> > >         Must haves
>> > >
>> > >         L'Amico Fritz - Tassinari F. Tagliavini
>> > >         Tassinari's "Son Pocchi Fiori" is as beautiful as anything
>> I've
>> > >         ever heard.
>> > >         Suor Angelica - Carteri
>> > >         Nabucco and Ernani - C. Mancini
>> > >
>> > >         I don't disagree with any of the others previously mentioned,
>> though my
>> > >         enthusiasm is not as great as for those I've listed. I
>> absolutely love
>> > >         these four recordings.
>> > >
>> > >         Of course, I cannot ignore the first Callas Gioconda, her
>> 1949 recital,
>> > >         and to a lesser extent, her Violetta, which are among the
>> greatest things
>> > >         ever committed to record.
>> > >
>> > >         Bob
>> > >
>> > >         On Thursday, July 6, 2017, Juan Dzazopulos <
>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> > >
>> > >             > > >
>> > > >             George, I share your selection. But I would add some
>> more that I have in
>> > > >             my collection, and have been a continious source of
>> pleasure:
>> > > >
>> > > >             L'Amico Fritz: Pîea Tassinari, Saturno Meletti (1941,
>> Tagliavini first
>> > > >             complete recording). A lesson of singing....
>> > > >             La Sonnambula: Lina Pagliughi, Cesare Siepi (1952)
>> > > >             Werther: Pia Tassinari, Marcello Cortis (1954)
>> > > >             Un ballo in maschera: Mary Curtis Verna, Pia Tassinari,
>> Giuseppe Valdengo
>> > > >             (1954)
>> > > >             Marta: Elena Rizzieri, Pia Tassinari, Carlo Tagliabue
>> (1955)
>> > > >             Mefistofele: Marcella Pobbe, Disma De Cecco, Giulio
>> Neri (1956)
>> > > >             Tosca: Gigliola Frazzoni, Gian Giacomo Guelfi (1956)
>> > > >
>> > > >             Ernani: Gino Penno, Caterina Mancini, Giuseppe Taddei,
>> Giacomo Vaghi (1951)
>> > > >             Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Giuseppe Taddei, Giulietta
>> Simionatao, Luigi
>> > > >             Infantino,Carlo Badioli (1950)
>> > > >             Aida: Mary Curtis Verna, Franco Corelli, Miriam
>> Pirazzini, Gina Giacomo
>> > > >             Guelfi, Giulio Neri (1956)L
>> > > >             La Fanciulla del West: Carla Gavazzi, Vasco Campagnano,
>> Ugo Savarese (1950)
>> > > >
>> > > >             Enjoy them!
>> > > >
>> > > >             Juan
>> > > >
>> > > >             --------------------
>> > > >
>> > > >             El Thu, 6 Jul 2017 11:02:05 -0400
>> > > >             George Rios <[log in to unmask]> escribió:
>> > > >
>> > > >             I've found Cetra CD remasterings on Warner/Fonit seem
>> to have gone back to
>> > > >
>> > > >                 > > > >
>> > > > >                 the original tapes or at least very good LP
>> pressings and I've found most
>> > > > >                 of them to be very good to excellent. But the
>> original Cetra label was
>> > > > >                 never noted for its sonics, so the sound quality
>> can vary. Some that I can
>> > > > >                 vouch for are:
>> > > > >
>> > > > >                 BOHEME Carteri, Tagliavini, Taddei, Santini cond.
>> > > > >                 RIGOLETTO Taddei, Pagliughi, Tagliavini, Questa
>> cond.
>> > > > >                 OTELLO Guichandut, Broggini, Taddei, Capuana cond.
>> > > > >                 IL SEGRETO DI SUSANNA Rizzieri, Valdengo, Questa
>> cond.
>> > > > >                 The FALSTAFF with Taddei, Carteri, Pagliughi,
>> Rossi cond. is something of
>> > > > >                 a heartbreaker.
>> > > > >                 It seems the original recording was never very
>> good. Depending on your
>> > > > >                 tolerance it's listenable but sonically a
>> letdown, especially regrettable
>> > > > >                 since the performance itself is
>> > > > >                 really marvelous.
>> > > > >
>> > > > >                 Likewise the GUGLIELMO TELL with Taddei, Carteri,
>> Filippeschi, Rossi
>> > > > >                 cond. is a mostly fine performance, although
>> Filippeschi is appalling. But
>> > > > >                 the sound is poor and sometimes afflicted with a
>> ghastly wow. Avoid this
>> > > > >                 one.
>> > > > >
>> > > > >                 Of course, all of these sound leagues better than
>> those horrifying
>> > > > >                 "rechanneled for stereo" LP issues on
>> Everest/Cetra from the 60s. I have
>> > > > >                 always wondered who was the idiot responsible for
>> those monstrosities.
>> > > > >
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