Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

AVAILABILITY Preiser Records

 

Mario Filippeschi
Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835)
Norma - Meco all´altar di Venere (with Paolo Caroli) [5:44]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Gugliemo Tell - Ah Matilde, io t´amo (with Giuseppe Taddei) [9:16]; Troncar suoi di (with Giuseppe Taddei and Giorgio Tozzi) [3:25]; O muto asil del pianto [8:12]
Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864)
Gli Ugonotti - Bianca al par [5:29]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Il Trovatore - Ah si ben mio coll´essere [3:24]; Di quella pira [2:08]
La forza del destino - La vita e inferno all´infelice [6:14]
Aida - Celeste Aida [4:22]; Pur ti riveggo mia dolce Aida (with Caterina Mancini, Giulio Neri, Giulietta Simionato, Rolando Panerai) [12:21]; Gia i sacerdoti adunansi [6:51]
Otello - Ora per sempre [2:17]
Umberto GIORDANO (1867-1948)
Andrea Chenier - Un di all´azzurro spazio [4:37]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)
La fanciulla del west - Ch´ella mi creda [2:02]
Turandot - Nessun dorma [3:05]
Mario Filippeschi (tenor)
Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala, Milan/Tullio Serafin
Orchestra and Chorus of Radio Italiana, Turin/Mario Rossi
Orchestra of Radio Italiano, Turin/Argeo Quadri
Orchestra of Radio Italiano, Rome/Vittorio Gui
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano/Argeo Quadri
rec. 1951-56
PREISER 89671 [79:37]
 


Preiser presents an unusually long essay on Mario Filippeschi written by Christian Springer. It takes us from his birth near Pisa in 1907 to his death in Florence seventy-two years later. He began singing lessons at twenty-three and continued studies for a further seven years, only making a small town debut in 1937. Success was fortunately not long in arriving though somewhat serendipitous. Word of mouth led to increasingly important engagements and by the early to mid-1940s he was singing in Rome and on tour. La Scala beckoned after the War’s end and record companies paid him increasing attention – many will know him best from his Norma with Callas. Nevertheless he was not seduced by the prospect of radically upgrading his repertoire to meet international opportunities; he deliberately kept it small but retained works that he knew suited the voice. He retired in 1961, still only in his mid-fifties, and ran an antiques shop. Preiser reprints a most touching letter written by the eighty-six year old Lauri Volpi to Filippeschi a year before the tenor’s death on Christmas Day 1979.
 
A most handsome chap with plainly a fine constitution, Filippeschi made numerous recordings. Preiser has collated an interesting selection. There’s an extract from the famous Columbia Norma, some Cetras, an Italian HMV and a number of important Italian radio performances. It makes for a well-balanced programme, one that ranges sufficiently far into the byways of his repertoire to allow one to gauge his many strengths and his weaknesses as well.
 
He is, to be ruthless, somewhat hectoring and unrelieved in the extract from Norma but far more impressive in Rossini. Here the voice is powerful and penetrating. He’s joined by Taddei and Tozzi and they make for a well integrated and exciting trio. In O muto asil del pianto Filippeschi unleashes that famed “voz de oro” though it must be conceded that characterisation is sometimes sketchy. The Italian radio broadcast recordings are all in fine sound for the time, 1956. His Trovatore strains towards melodrama with its half-caught sobs but his Puccini and Giordano are better and most worthy examples of his art. The clarion part of the voice is put to good use in Nessun dorma though its slightly sickly orchestral forces reduce the impact. In any case the voice is core-centred and powerful but not quite thrilling enough. His was not always a beautiful voice but it was powerful, well supported and well projected.
 
Prepared with care and presented with full biographical information Filippeschi emerges as an estimable, if occasionally limited, singer. The limitations generally centre on powers of character persuasion, not usually matters of vocal production. His colleagues and admirers held him in the highest respect. As Lauri Volpi wrote to him in 1978 – “Today you would be the King of Tenors.”
 
Jonathan Woolf
 

 



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