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Subject: Re: Cetra CD reissues. Some more.
From: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 8 Jul 2017 17:19:18 -0400
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Albert, Kenneth, Rudi,

Thank you all for your contributions to my Pagliughi collection.  I had no
idea the "Traviata" existed and as Albert stated what a panacea for all the
overwrought ladies giving it the hard sell.  Much as I admire and respect
Callas, she can sometimes be as exhausting on her audience as she is on
herself.

Some of my earliest operatic addictions were those Galli-Curci excerpts and
Lina fills out Amelita's promise in her complete take on the role with one
notable exception.  Pagliughi, like her mentor Tetrazzini, but
unlike GC, seems to me to have had a huge voice - despite the girlish
timbre both LT and LP could fill out the Grand Phrase - there is no
compromise with LP's  "Ammai Alfredo" just as LT delivers a very satisfying
account of Aida's "Big Girl" moments.

As to those Cetra releases, can anyone give a history behind how they were
made, and what did and did not get released in the "Verdi Year."  For
example, we had "Un Giorno di Regno" but no "Macbeth" a "Battaglia di
Legnano" but no "Vespri" ...why did Callas get "Traviata" to the neglect of
this exquisite Pagliughi...etc...While some of the singing on these
releases can be inconsistent, I find the series as a whole to be visceral
and idiomatically alive, especially in the cleaned up "Warner" editions.

Steve

On Sat, Jul 8, 2017 at 4:18 PM, Kenneth Bleeth <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Albert,
>
> The link you provided is to a 1952 *Traviata* with Tebaldi, Prandelli, and
> Orlandini, Giulini conducting. The performance you're referring to is a
> 1950 RAI broadcast; Paolo Silveri is the Germont (
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwmmIgsmo9k).
>
> On Sat, Jul 8, 2017 at 1:58 PM, albert innaurato <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > I am glad to see a mini celebration of Pagliughi and can second Rudi's
> > recommendation. She was one of a number of Italian singers who had great
> > charm in lighter music (Carosio, Pederzini and of course, Schipa are
> > examples).
> >
> > I love Pagliughi's sound and manner. Her Gilda on Cetra is very touching
> > and most sweetly sung, even if now and then she uses some "workarounds"
> in
> > very difficult moments. Her first recording (with the fine sounding
> > baritone Piazza) is a little freer at the top and several recordings of
> > excerpts in the thirties are exciting (some are live). But the Cetra
> > Rigoletto has the wonderful Taddei in spectacular form (he surpasses
> > himself, although only by a little, in a phenomenal account of Carlo
> Quinto
> > in the Cetra Ernani) and another terrific supporting cast. The conductor,
> > Questa, is yet another underrated pro. He presided over the should be
> > famous Tosca in Vienna (released on Westminster) with Dall'Argine and
> > Scattolini as soprano and tenor -- wonderful voices, no techniques -- and
> > the great baritone (there's no one like him in the world today) -- Scipio
> > Colombo. And where else would you get Ludwig Weber and baby Walter Berry
> > mispronouncing Italian with such flair? That's one red-blooded
> performance.
> >
> > The problem with the Cetra Rigoletto is Tagliavini who sings white and
> > decidedly flat high notes.
> >
> > Pagliughi is also wonderful on that great Falstaff on Cetra, with a
> > phenomenal Taddei and a terrific supporting cast. That's another good
> > conductor, Mario Rossi. It is one of my favorites. I prefer it to most
> > others -- there is Toscanini at Salzburg, a different animal than the
> hyped
> > bandmaster of the forties and early fifties. Although one has to search
> for
> > the listenable selenophone version, his ability to draw a very
> distinctive
> > sonority from the orchestra in those days, and the freedom of his
> > conducting, spontaneous, spirited, not overdriven with a willingness to
> > give an excellent cast some leeway to make their points is wonderful.
> >
> > Taddei gave an amazing demonstration of great opera singing, now
> vanished,
> > in Falstaff at the Met in 1985 when he was 69. I saw five and couldn't
> > believe he still had so much voice, infinite charm, was very funny and
> was
> > also effortlessly heartbreaking. More than 30 years before, all of those
> > qualities with a gorgeous, rounded, immensely resonant tone are there but
> > having seen him one misses his physical presence.
> >
> > On Cetra, Pagliughi is irresistible, funny and very touching in The
> > Daughter of the Regiment (in Italian). Her singing is an infinite caress.
> > Valetti lowers the big scene to avoid the high C's but is so charming it
> > doesn't matter.
> >
> > I once jokingly said to Mirella Freni that I was said to resemble Lina
> > Pagliughi. "You are much too tall," she answered, "but if you were much
> > shorter the two of you could roll around like barrels". I actually don't
> > think she liked either of us (although Lina was spoken about with great
> > warmth by the older singers I talked to). I hung around Mirella because I
> > adored her second husband (I also liked the first one, Leone Magiera, who
> > was and perhaps still is, hilarious, and certainly knew where all the
> > bodies were buried). Ghiaurov who had stunned me (and a great many
> others)
> > in the 60's and then gradually declined had sung at the Bolshoi on his
> > travels before becoming famous in the West.
> >
> > He had known Reizen and Pirogov, one amazing bass and one very fine one,
> > who had loathed one another, and had such passionate fans they occasioned
> > riots and now and then warfare. He had stories for days (they were both
> > immense, eccentric characters with mean streaks according to him). He had
> > also known Koslovsky, Lemeshev, and Obukhova, the last, someone I
> adored. I
> > have to say they came to my apartment in NY and listened to records of
> > Russians and cried at Obukhova. Freni listened as entranced as I was to
> his
> > stories (she can't have been all that bad, although she would squeeze, my
> > upper arm, when I visited Modena in the summers, and say, "you'd make a
> > nice stew".)
> >
> > RAI broadcast a Traviata with Pagliughi. I'm not sure it was ever made
> into
> > a record (I have it on tape). That was in 1952. I think it's one of the
> > great recordings of the role (the performance has the lovely sounding
> > Prandelli and the baritone Oralndini, Rossi conducts.) She sings with
> > tremendous intensity and temperant, managing the outbursts and lower
> lying
> > music easily, and she is heartbreaking. We are so used to the hard sell
> in
> > this opera, indeed, it's become the standard to which all aspire. But
> > Pagliughi projects the ongoing frailty and vulnerability, the youth, of
> > Violetta to wonderful effect and sings with great beauty. It is available
> > on YouTube:
> >
> > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E4TMQqKCns
> >
> > AI
> >
> > On Sat, Jul 8, 2017 at 1:22 AM, Rudi Van den Bulck <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Stephen Charitan wrote about Pagliughi :
> > >
> > > "her timbre and demeanor are so grateful to these
> > > sometimes "overCallased" ears that even in decline she seems "Younger
> > than
> > > Springtime..."  Like her mentor, Tetrazzini, or the great Galli-Curci,
> > she
> > > is an unalloyed pleasure each time I turn her on.  Has any Nanetta,
> > Amina,
> > > or Gilda ever cut so quickly to the heart with so little *apparent*
> > > effort?"
> > >
> > > Try her two "unpublished" films songs which are pure gems to my ears :
> > >
> > > La vite a una canzone :
> > >
> > > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-axiUVuAmWs
> > >
> > > and : Quando ti guardo ( a Walter Jurman song)
> > >
> > > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mVEyQNOWAQ
> > >
> > >
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