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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

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Tito Schipa IV
HUARTE

Madrigal Espagnole [01:48]
DE CRESCENZO

Ce steva na vota [01:54]
DI CAPUA

O sole mio [02:36]
Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946)

Jota [03:01]
Tito SCHIPA (1889-1965)

Ave Maria [04:22]
A Cuba [02:18]
Prece [03:43]
Angela mia [03:23]
El gaucho [03:02]
Luna castellana [02:55]
ANONYMOUS

La farfalletta [03:10]
BUZZI-PECCIA

La nina querida [02:43]
Mal d'amore [03:26]
Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736)

Nina [02:44]
Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945)

Ave Maria [03:55]
OCHOA-LONGAS

Sevillana [02:25]
Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) -
Playera arranged Spanish Dances, Tito SCHIPA [03:15]
CUTILLO

Femmena 'ngannatora [03:03]
MARVASI-BARTHELEMY

Chi se ne scorda cchiu [2:40]
DI GIACOMO-COSTA

Napulitanata [03:19]
CROSS

I shall return [02:49]
BLAUFUSS-DONALDSON

When you are in love
02:59
Paolo TOSTI (1848-1916)

Ideale [03:00]
Marechiare [02:39]
RAY

Tu sonrisa de cristal [03:06]
Victor HERBERT (1859-1924)

Oh ! dulce misterio de la vida [02:38]
Tito Schipa (tenor)
Unnamed accompanists
Recorded 1925-1930
PREISER 89594 [77.10]

Naxos may have started its Schipa series recently but Preiser has been productively going through his extensive discography for some time. This is the fourth volume in their series and it takes us up to 1930. In truth Schipa reissue discs are hardly thin on the ground but with a voice as honeyed, and an aristocracy of utterance so seldom if ever equalled, it still makes pleasurable acquaintance to meet these early electrics and to admire once more his lyric generosity in even the most lowly of songs.

Not that Schipa would ever have seen it in those terms. He was an assiduous cultivator of the lighter repertoire and wrote a number of songs that his eminence gave him the right to record – there are a fair few here, and a number of his appropriations as well, not least the Granados which falls in spectacular fashion to his unremitting charm.

There are no art songs here and none of the central roles. Instead there’s a steady diet of effulgent warmth and light heartedness. If that’s not what you want from Schipa – or if there’s too much of a high calorific diet - maybe another volume in the series would be a better place to start. To admirers and interested parties I can vouch for the transfers which are first class and Preiser’s notes are succinct and in English as well as German.

A very few highlights will have to suffice to whet the aural appetite. The open vowels and sheer elegance of the Huarte for one, complete with Moorish melismas or the manly legato and wit of Schipa’s De Crescenzo. Fancy maracas? Try the Di Capua O sole mio, done with 1925 style and restraint (compare and contrast the Three Tenors). The de Falla is a delight, showing once more his exceptional popularity in Spain and his own Ave Maria is wondrously prayerful, with the voice not quite as forward as it can be in some of the other recordings. La farfalletta gets a tongue twisting from Schipa and his honeyed legato is paramount in La nina querida. The Pergolesi has grave sentiment, and the Mascagni (despite swoony theatre strings) has noble ardour, with emotive gestures kept reined in. There’s plenty of Spanish vim and vigour, some songs in English (his English is better than Caruso’s) and plenty of spicy exotica throughout.

In fact, unusual though an all-light Schipa disc may be, there are constant examples of his art here and very recommendable they are in these fine transfers.

Jonathan Woolf

 



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