Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati







Buy through MusicWeb for £7.00/7.70/8.50 postage paid.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Musicweb Purchase button


Cesare Siepi - Giuseppe VERDI etc
Orchestra Sinfonica Radio Italiana/Arturo Basile (1-6); unknown (7, 9, 10); Alfredo Simonetto (8), remaining items unknown
rec. 1947-1948

Experience Classicsonline


Cesare Siepi
Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901)

1. Infelice! e tu credevi [3:39]
2. Tu sul labbro dei veggenti [4:54]
Arrigo BOITO (1842–1918)

3. So lo Spirito che nega [3:07]
Giuseppe VERDI

I vespri Siciliani:
4. O tu, Palermo [4:18]
Don Carlo:
5. Ella giammai m’amo! [8:12]
Amilcare PONCHIELLI (1834–1886)

La Gioconda:
6. Si, morir ella de’ [4:38]
Vincenzo BELLINI (1801–1835)

La sonnambula:
7. Vi ravviso [3:03]
Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792–1868)

L’Italiana in Algeri:
8. Le femmine d’Italia [3:22]
Il barbiere di Siviglia:
9, La calunnia [4:22]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791)

Don Giovanni:
10. Deh vieni alla finestra [2:16]
Paolo TOSTI (1846–1916)

11. L’ultima canzone [4:41]
12. Non t’amo più [4:46]
13. Malia [3:08]
Luigi DENZA (1846–1922)

14. Occhi di fata [3:23]

15. Serenata [3:17]
Augusto ROTOLI (1847–1904)

16. Mi sposa sara la mia bandiera [4:56]
Renato BROGEI (1873–1924)

17. Visione Veneziana [3:34]
Vincenzo BILLI (1869–1938)

18. E canta il grillo [3:12]
Cesare Siepi (bass)

This is a disarmingly fine selection of early Siepi recordings made between 1947 and 1948, the earliest of them when the bass was only twenty-four. They show an almost fully formed artist with a powerfully, resonantly deployed voice, still perhaps a touch unsupported in the very lowest register but nevertheless of exceptional quality. An added pleasure is to encounter some of these none-too-easy to locate Cetras and especially so in such good nick. Though they date from the early post War years several of the 78s are harder to find than one might suppose.

Sonorous, controlled, eloquent – all words that came to mind as one listens to the first track, the extract from Ernani. The eighteen sides are not presented chronologically so we have to measure one’s judgement in the knowledge that, say, the Don Carlo and I Vespri Siciliani arias precede those from Ernani and Nabucco in the chronological run of things. The fifteen months between the earliest 1947 sessions and the October 1948 ones do show a perceptible technical advance. But even in that earlier stage, with his saturnine Mefistofele aria, we encounter the powerful sense of characterisation, the adept lightening of tone, the personable impersonation, that remained such intense features of his singing.

Note too his prudence and tact in O tu, Palermo, the aria from I Vespri Siciliani – nothing exaggerated here, full of serious command. Given his minimal training the assurance is really rather astonishing. So too the gripping Don Carlo – in which he marries command of textual nuance with theatrical perception; perhaps, to be super critical, there is not quite the last ounce of characterisation but it’s a close run thing. His Bellini is elegantly phrased and his Rossini is predictably engrossing – suave humour enlivens his approach and he’s a stylishly natural Rossinian. His famous Mozartian persona was already seemingly in place by c.1948 – some of these Cetras can’t be dated with certainty but they must be contemporaneous with the dated 1947-48 sequence. The lighter songs shows that he has the grace and vocal agility to caress Tosti, to billow in the Arcadian forests of Billi and to revel in the strength of Denza.

Siepi’s youthful élan permeates every bar of this wholesome and impressive selection, which is finely transferred and well annotated into the bargain.

Jonathan Woolf

see also reviews by Goran Forsling and Robert Hugill


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.