Lucio Gallo - From Mozart to Wagner
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791)
Don Giovanni
1. Madamina, il catakogo è questo [5:45]
2. Deh, vieni alla finestra [1:47]
3. Finch’han dal vino [1:22]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 - 1868)
Guglielmo Tell
4. Resta immobile [2:56]
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1897 - 1848)
Don Pasquale
5. Bella siccome un angelo [3:00]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813 - 1901)
6. Perfidi! … Pietà, rispetto, amore [5:22]
7. Vanne! La tua meta … Credo in un Dio crudel [5:04]
8. Era la notte [3:13]
9. Cortigiani, vil razza dannata [4:30]
Charles GOUNOD (1818 - 1893)
10. Avant de quitter cez lieux [3:20]
Piotr TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 - 1893)
Eugene Onegin
11. Vi mnye pisoli [4:57]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 - 1924)
Gianni Schicchi
12. Ah, vittoria, vittoria [2:27]
Umberto GIORDANO (1867 - 1948)
Andrea Chenier
13. Nemico della patria? [4:54]
Richard WAGNER (1813 - 1883)
Der fliegende Holländer
14. Die Frist ist um [11:16]
Lucio Gallo (baritone)
Münchner Rundfunkorchester/Ulf Schirmer
rec. March 2009, Grosses Studio des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich, Germany
sung texts but no translations enclosed
SOLO VOCE 8553198 [59:59]
Lucio Gallo has been active as a professional singer for almost a quarter of a century, having released his first LP in 1988. Inevitably the passing years have taken some toll on his voice and here it often sounds rather worn. He has developed a wobble on sustained notes at forte. This is no doubt a drawback for a sound recording, when we are bereft the visual aspects. In the theatre he has excellent stage presence, which can be witnessed on the recent DVD of La fanciulla del West (see review). For the evil character Jack Rance he was eminently suitable. And it is also the insight and characterisation of the various roles that makes this recital worth people’s attention, even though the sheer vocalism leaves something to be desired.
He opens with an exciting catalogue aria from Don Giovanni, making the most of the words and being quite apt at patter-singing. Generally he is better suited to Leporello than to the Don himself and he also lacks the bel canto flexibility for Malatesta’s aria from Don Pasquale. His Verdi is much better. True, he wobbles his way through much of Iago’s Credo but he makes a believable portrait of this Devil in disguise, and also Era la notte is masterly in many ways. His Rigoletto is a tortured man and his Eugene Onegin is more than passable. Gianni Schicchi is vivid and his Gerard in Andrea Chenier has deepened further in characterisation since he recorded it complete with Bocelli, but the singing has suffered.
Best of all is, quite surprisingly, the Holländer’s monologue. This is a deeply penetrating reading of a notoriously testing scene. The voice is frayed and grey-sounding but the interpretation has a Hotter-like monumentality and under-the-skin sensitivity.
Ulf Schirmer is an excellent accompanist and the Munich orchestra is first-class. The recording cannot be faulted and my only regret is that there are no translations of the sung texts. Most readers will probably know these arias anyway so this should not deter anyone from acquiring the disc. The crucial point is whether one can accept the limitations of the singing. This is not a disc for voice-fanciers but for those who value truthfulness and insight.
Göran Forsling 

Not a disc for voice-fanciers but for those who value truthfulness and insight.