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Subject: Re: Cetra CD reissues. Some more.
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 8 Jul 2017 18:36:21 -0400
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Max and list

First of all, I agree with you about Taddei except that ultimately, I
prefer Gobbi, whose voice, though not of gteat intrinsic beauty,
was steadier and more in tune. I saw Taddei as Scarpia in Vienna
and as Falstaff at the Met, two very great performances.

Max, he sang Di Luna in Vienna, ONCE, and that should tell us something
about his suitability for the role, since he sang over 400 performances
in 27 operas at the Staatsoper, and it is the only role that did not have
any
repeat performances. It was probably a notch or two uncomfortably high!

To hear him at his very best, listen to Andrea Chenier from RAI in 1955
with Stella and Del Monaco. They are all in superb voice and give, for
me, the most memorable performance of one of my favorite operas.
It exists in very good sound on animber of labels.

Bob

On Saturday, July 8, 2017, Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I'll need to check these out in their Warner versions.
>
> In the LP era it was difficult; none of these recordings would be on an
> audiophile list but this was made worse by Italian pressings that seemed
> made of sandpaper. Then Everest, a label once known for true audiophile
> quality, fell into bad hands and released miserable "rechanneled for
> stereo" versions. The only choice, if you could find them, was the German
> pressings made by DGG.
>
> I sought those out for singers like Pagluighi and Carteri but, for me, the
> true glory was Taddei.  To me he represented the "reference" Italian and,
> particularly, Verdi baritone. Voice and artistry, sound and interpretation,
> Stimme und Kunst.
>
> He was also one of the few Italian singers of that generation who could
> also sing Mozart with style and authority. I find his Leporello and Figaro
> for Giulini superb.
>
> I love his Scarpia for Karajan and possibly even more on the quite
> beautifully recorded (mono) Philips 1957 Naples version (I bought it on the
> Columbia label) conducted by Serafin. Not a favorite set overall because
> Stella, in good form, still isn't on my Tosca hot list and the tenor is
> Poggi, but Taddei's Scarpia is magnificent.
>
> With all great respect to Gobbi, Taddei is the sound I find myself always
> yearning for in a Scarpia. Fat, rich, both menacing and beautiful in the
> way he pours that liquid black gold into the contours and angles of
> Puccini's music.
>
> This was the role in which I finally saw him live in 1978 in San Francisco
> (with Caballé - out to prove that she hadn't lost her Cs by honking them
> Nilsson style - and Pavarotti). One performance was particularly and, for
> me, unexpectedly exciting when Gwyneth Jones took over the title role on
> one of her unpredictable great nights and entered in Act 1 looking so
> lovely and winsome that one could see normally bored Pavarotti do a double
> take.
>
> One question for the experts here: did Taddei never take on De Luna? I'd
> love to hear how he tackled some of the major challenges in "Il balen del
> suo sorriso" but have been able to find neither hide nor hair.
>
> Max Paley
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On Jul 8, 2017, at 13:13, albert innaurato <[log in to unmask]
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
> >
> > Oops, the YouTube is a Tebaldi performance, misidentified on Google.
> Sorry.
> >
> > AI
> >
> > On Sat, Jul 8, 2017 at 12:58 PM, albert innaurato <
> > [log in to unmask] <javascript:;>> 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]
> <javascript:;>>
> >> 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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