Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

Not available in the USA

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK
Download: Classicsonline

 

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 – 1924)
Il tabarro, Opera in one act (1918) [51:57]
Tito Gobbi (baritone) – Michele, bargemaster; Giacinto Prandelli (tenor) – Luigi, bargeman; Piero De Palma (tenor) – Il Tinca (The Tench), bargeman; Plinio Clabassi (bass) – Il Talpa (The Mole); bargeman; Margaret Mas (soprano) – Giorgetta, wife of Michele; Miriam Pirazzini (mezzo) – La Frugola, wife of Il Talpa; Renato Ercolani (tenor) – A song peddler; Sylvia Bertona (soprano) and Piero De Palma (tenor) – Two lovers; Rome Opera House Chorus and Orchestra/Vincenzo Bellezza
rec. October 1955 in the Teatro dell’Opera, Rome
Appendix: Tito Gobbi – Opera Arias
Giacomo PUCCINI
La fanciulla del West
Minnie, dalla mia casa son partito [2:48]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791)
Don Giovanni
Deh, vieni alla finestra [2:08]
Le nozze di Figaro
Non più andrai [3:37]
Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792 – 1868)
Il barbiere di Siviglia
Largo al factotum [4:51]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901)
La forza del destino
Urna fatale [3:36]
Otello
Vanne! … Credo in un Dio crudele [4:28]
Tito Gobbi with orchestras conducted by Umberto Berrettoni, James Robertson and Alberto Erede
rec. 1942, 1948, 1950
NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111307
[73:25]

 

Experience Classicsonline


It is good to have the three one-acters from Il trittico issued separately, so that listeners can pick and choose. In the case of the 1950s mono Trittico on EMI Classics, from which this Tabarro comes, the three parts were recorded with different conductors and various singers in the leading roles. Gobbi also sang Gianni Schicci. Victoria de los Angeles was his daughter Lauretta there, besides assuming the role of Suor Angelica. On the Trittico closest in time to the EMI, Decca’s early 1950s recording, Lamberto Gardelli conducted all three operas while Renata Tebaldi, slightly past her best, sang all three of the heroines. That set, now available in a 15 CD box in harness with all the other mature Puccini operas at a true give-away price, is in stereo and good at that. Decca from the late 1950s were always at the forefront sonically. The drawback may be that the voices can seem too recessed in relation to the orchestra but there is clarity and the dynamic range is impressive. The EMI mono recording is small-scale in comparison but the voices emerge well and no one need fight shy of the disc on sonic grounds. The Rome Opera forces perform well under the rarely recorded Vincenzo Bellezza. This late example of verismo becomes a chilling experience.

There is some excellent singing in the comprimario roles. Piero de Palma, quite early in his career, has more sap in his voice than he could muster later and is as expressive as ever. Renato Ercolani in the wee small role of song peddler is likewise good. Those two also appeared on the Decca recording for which they swapped roles. Plinio Clabassi is a sonorous Il Talpa and Miriam Pirazzini’s grand mezzo-soprano is a pleasure to hear as Il Talpa’s wife.

But it is the three main characters that count and the trump-card is Tito Gobbi. He was at least as good an actor as he was a singer. His is a constantly illuminating impersonation of the bargemaster. This is evident from the initial everyday realism to the heart-rending scene with his wife who rejects him, followed by his monologue Nulla! Silenzio! and the final killing of Luigi. This is masterly acting – and singing. The French soprano Margaret Mas, whose only major recording this was, at the time just turned thirty, lacks the creamy tones of Tebaldi but her voice has character and a thrill of its own. Giacinto Prandelli was a more regular guest at the recording studios singing, among other things, Rodolfo opposite Tebaldi’s first Mimi. The owner of a well-schooled, rather bright but not too big voice, he sings a sensitive Luigi. Only in the ultimate love scene (tr. 8) is he strained.

Their counterparts on the Decca set are undoubtedly starry with Robert Merrill singing Michele’s role superbly. However as an interpreter he pales beside Gobbi. Tebaldi had retained most of her golden tone but Margaret Mas, though occasionally a bit ‘screamy’, is more involved. As for Luigi there is no denying that Mario del Monaco has a glorious voice but little feeling for nuance.

Providing one can accept the mono sound this is as good a version of Il tabarro as one is ever likely to come across. As a bonus there is more than twenty minutes’ worth of arias with Tito Gobbi, recorded during the 78 era when he was at his freshest. All six arias were included on a Nimbus disc with Gobbi that I reviewed less than a year ago. I refer readers to that review for comments on the music. I have done some comparative listening and technically the transfers are practically inseparable.

Are you in need of a recording of Il tabarro and feel you don’t want to spend a fortune on it? Here is the answer. Instead of buying a full price version you can have this one, which almost certainly is musically superior, and still have money left for two bottles of decent red wine.

Göran Forsling 

 





 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

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

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      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

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

Nostalgia

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

Comment
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

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
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
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
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
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
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.