One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



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

Sample: See what you will get

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

Availability
The Complete Gramophone Company Recordings 1902-1909
Fernando De Lucia (tenor) with accompanists as below
rec. 1902-1922
Notes, no libretti
Full track-listing below
MARSTON 54004-2 [4 CDs: 316:50]

Fernando De Lucia (1860-1925), the great tenor born in Naples, travelled to Milan in 1902 to record a sequence of discs designed to show bel canto in what he considered its truest light. Marston has collected all his G&T recordings, made between 1902 and 1909, and has added a selection of his Phonotype discs, made in Naples between 1917 and 1922. There are four very well filled CDs, and they represented a most important resource for lovers of singing on record. He was only in his early 40s when he made his first sides but they already enshrine what is, for many, a controversial element of his vocal art, namely the bleat in his voice which, allied sometimes to an almost baritonal colour, makes it both distinctive and problematic. It’s a feature one has little choice but to accept since it is so endemic a matter. Michael Aspinall’s extensive and excellent booklet notes go into some detail regarding this and many other points. Purchasers will have a good hour’s worth of reading ahead of them, which frequently illuminates the recordings in pertinent ways.
 
There are many arias in this set and they outnumber the songs, beautiful though the latter are. Some of the arias reveal curious oddities; La donna è mobile (Milan, 1902) is full of metrical freedom but is rather too much crooned. The extract from Giordano’s Fedora, however, is sung in excellent style, again quite free, but here untainted by sentimentality. Like a number of the earliest discs in this sequence it lasts less than two minutes. Faster music, such as Tosti’s Marechiare, ensures that the bleat in the vibrato – which in most cases has seemed to worry Anglo-Saxon critics more than Italian ones - is not so obtrusive. The Carmen aria, Transposed down a semitone to C, sounds as if De Lucia had two voices – his normal one and a fluttering falsetto. The Manon aria from this time (November 1902) lacks repose and ends too loudly, whilst De Lucia’s voice frays on the final note of the Siciliana from Cavalleria rusticana. Set against this is a splendid run of sides that reveal the sheer lyricism of his Lohengrin and, once again, the beautifully descriptive Giordano Fedora arias. He finds true pathos in Adriana Lecouvreur and a mezza voce in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville (Ecco ridente in cielo) – wholly different to today’s singing, indeed a reproach of sorts.
 
De Lucia had a caressing quality, as in his Bizet Pearl Fishers arias, that can be considered either warmly sensitive or just a bit too self-regarding, according to one’s perception. At his best he remained a wondrous artist, expressive in Rigoletto (Milan 1906), playing with time and elasticity of Dalla sua pace — he otherwise recorded little Mozart — and when re-recording, as happened quite a bit, bringing new qualities to bear. Some of his most impressive singing comes in Bellini (May 1908) where he joins soprano Maria Galvany in a series of duets from La Sonnambula. He is in his element, too, in a song such as Sulla bocca amorosa or the delicious 1909 performance of O sole mio – and, for what it’s worth, I agree with the notes that the accompanying instrument is a guitar and not a piano.
 
The later Phonotype recordings were made in Naples, and we hear a selection only, as many were made and have survived. Some, such as Amor ti vieta from Fedora, revisit earlier discographic successes. His voice was still in fine estate, and his technique remained superb. In Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini he is splendid, if sometimes variable, but he is similarly fine in Mignon. His Fedora reveals an exemplary interpreter of verismo. I would also point to his Lohengrin as a significant example of Italian bel canto Wagnerian singing. Newcomers to his art might want to start with the songs, Neapolitan and other, of which Tosti and Barthélemy are amongst the finest.
 
The question of pitch in these recordings is one that has occupied scholars in the field for many years. Ward Marston devotes two pages to the matter in the booklet notes and acknowledges that not every listener will agree with his decisions.
 
One thing you will also notice is the informality of some of the sessions. There’s a lot of studio chat in Fenesta che lucive for example, though I finds its preservation interesting and revealing. There is much to savour in this set. It preserves a voice that is simultaneously remote from us and yet more than capable of delivering important lessons from the grave.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 
Full track-listing
CD 1 [79:07]
Gramophone & Typewriter, Ltd.
Milan
1. Ideale (Tosti; Errico) 2:10
30 November 1902(1); (2861R) 52410
2. WERTHER: Pourquoi me réveiller (Ah! non mi ridestar) (Massenet) 1:59
30 November 1902; (2862R) 52435 Transposed down a whole tone to E Minor
3. RIGOLETTO: La donna è mobile (Verdi) 1:31
30 November 1902; (2863R) 52411 Transposed down a semitone to B-flat
4. IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA: Se il mio nome (Rossini) 1:44
30 November 1902; (2864W2) 52427 Transposed down a whole tone to G Minor
5. FEDORA: Amor ti vieta (Giordano) 1:40
30 November 1902; (2865W2) 52436 Transposed down a semitone to B
6. Marechiare (Tosti; Di Giacomo) 1:47
30 November 1902; (2866W2) 52412
7. Napulitanata (Costa; Di Giacomo) 2:37
30 November 1902; (2867W2) 52413
8. TOSCA: Recondita armonia (Puccini) 2:23
30 November 1902; (2868R) 52414 Transposed down a semitone to E
9. Fenesta che lucive (Cottrau; Genoino, Paolella) 2:31
30 November 1902; (2869R) 52415
10. MANON: En fermant les yeux (Chiudo gli occhi) [Il sogno] (Massenet) 2:23
30 November 1902; (2870W2) 52416
11. CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA: O Lola ch’ai di latti [Siciliana] (Mascagni) 2:25
3 December 1902; (2897b) 52652 Transposed down a semitone to E Minor
12. A suon di baci (Baldelli) 2:31
3 December 1902; (2898W2) 52651
13. CARMEN: La fleur que tu m’avais j’etée (Il fior che avevi a me tu dato) (Bizet) 2:41
3 December 1902; (2899R) 52437 Transposed down a semitone to C
14. Sei morta ne la vita mia! (Costa; Capitelli) 2:06
3 December 1902; (2900R) 52438
15. LOHENGRIN: Nun sei bedankt, mein lieber Schwan (Mercè, mercè, cigno gentil) (Wagner) 2:37
3 December 1902; (2905W2) 52650 Transposed down a semitone to A-flat
16. FEDORA: Mia madre, la mia vecchia madre (Giordano) 2:48
6 October 1904; (2153L) 52077 Transposed down a semitone to G-flat
17. FEDORA: Vedi, io piango (Giordano) 2:28
6 October 1904; (2154L) 52078 Transposed down a semitone to F-sharp Minor
18. Occhi di fata (Denza; Tremacoldo) 3:11
6 October 1904; (2155L) 52079
19. LA TRAVIATA: Ah sì, da un anno … Un dì felice, eterea (Verdi) 2:16
6 October 1904; (2156L) 52080
20. LA FAVORITA: Una vergine, un angel di Dio (Donizetti) 3:15
6 October 1904; (2156L) 52081 Transposed down a whole tone to G
21. La Serenata (Tosti; Cesareo) 2:05
6 October 1904; (2158L) 52082
22. Lontananza (Cilea; Carugati) 2:37
6 October 1904; (2159L) 52084
23. ADRIANA LECOUVREUR: L’anima ho stanca (Cilea) 2:17
6 October 1904; (2160L) 52083 Transposed down a semitone to B-flat Minor
24. FAUST: Il se fait tard (Tardi si fa) (Gounod) 3:54
with Celestina Boninsegna, soprano6 October 1904; (213m) 054043
25. IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA: Ecco ridente in cielo (Rossini) 4:21
6 October 1904; (214m) 052078 Transposed down a semitone to B
26. LOHENGRIN: Atmest du nicht (Di’, non t’incantan) (Wagner) 2:51
September-October 1905; (7339b) 2-52472
27. LOHENGRIN: Kommt er dann heim (S’ei torna alfin) (Wagner) 2:56
September-October 1905; (7340b) 2-52473
28. LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES: De mon amie (Della mia vita) (Bizet) 2:04
September-October 1905; (7341b) 2-52474 Transposed down a semitone to C-sharp Minor
29. MIGNON: Adieu, Mignon! (Addio, Mignon!) (Thomas) 3:52
September-October 1905; (549c) 052111
30. MIGNON: Elle ne croyait pas (Ah! non credevi tu) (Thomas) 2:54
1 May 1906; (8054b) 2-52518
31. MIGNON: Ah! que ton âme enfin (La tua bell’alma) (Thomas) 2:13
September-October 1905; (7342b) 2-52475
 
CD 2 [79:31]
Gramophone & Typewriter, Ltd./Gramophone Company, Ltd.(2)
Milan
(continued)
1. FAUST: Salut! demeure chaste et pure (Salve! dimora casta e pura) (Gounod) 3:19
1 May 1906; (8058b) 2-52519 Transposed down a semitone to G
2. LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES: Je crois entendre encore (Mi par d’udir ancora) (Bizet) 2:59
1 May 1906; (8059b) 2-52520 Transposed down a whole tone to G Minor
3. LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES: Ton coeur n’a pas compris (Non hai compreso) (Bizet) 4:00
with Josefina Huguet, soprano 1 May 1906; (621c) 054082
4. IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA: All’idea di quel metallo (Rossini) 3:47
with Antonio Pini-Corsi, baritone1 May 1906; (619c) 054080 Transposed down a semitone to G-flat
5. IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA: Numero quindici (Rossini) 2:47
with Antonio Pini-Corsi, baritone1 May 1906; (8053b) 5429
6. IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA: Ah! qual colpo (Rossini) 3:06
with Josefina Huguet, soprano and Antonio Pini-Corsi, baritone1 May 1906; (630c) 054083 Transposed down a semitone to E
7. LA TRAVIATA: De’ miei bollenti spiriti (Verdi) 2:44
1 May 1906; (622c) 052129 Transposed down a semitone to D
8. LA TRAVIATA: Parigi, o cara (Verdi) 4:11
with Josefina Huguet, soprano 1 May 1906; (620c) 054081 Transposed down a semitone to G
9. RIGOLETTO: È il sol dell’anima (Verdi) 4:01
with Josefina Huguet, soprano1 May 1906; (638c) 054084 Transposed down a semitone to A
10. Pietà, Signore (attributed Fétis) 2:57
July-September 1907; (10512b) 2-52608
11. L’ELISIR D’AMORE: Ecco il magico liquore … Obbligato, obbligato (Donizetti) 2:46
with Ernesto Badini, baritoneJuly-September 1907; (10513b) 54357
12. MANON: En fermant les yeux (Chiudo gli occhi) [Il sogno] (Massenet) 2:50
July-September 1907; (10515b) 2-52607
13. LOHENGRIN: Nun sei bedankt, mein lieber Schwan (Mercè, mercè, cigno gentil) (Wagner) 3:55
with La Scala Chorus, July-September 1907; (1174c) 052184
14. LOHENGRIN: Mein Held, mein Retter … Nie sollst du mich befragen (Mio salvatore … Mai devi domandarmi) (Wagner) 4:14
with Josefina Huguet, soprano July-September 1907; (1171c) 054175
15. LOHENGRIN: Das süsse Lied verhallt (Cessaro i canti alfin) (Wagner) 4:07
with Josefina Huguet, soprano July-September 1907; (1170½c) 054171
16. CARMEN: Votre mère avec moi sortait de la chapelle … Ma mère je la vois! (La tua madre … Mia madre io vedo ancor) (Bizet) 4:37
with with Josefina Huguet, sopranoJuly-September 1907; (1171c) 054175
17. CARMEN: La fleur que tu m’avais j’etée (Il fior che avevi a me tu dato) (Bizet) 4:05
July-September 1907; (1175c) 052185 Transposed down a semitone to C
18. FAUST: Il se fait tard (Tardi si fa) (Gounod) 3:12
with Josefina Huguet, soprano July-September 1907; (1173c) 054173
19. DON GIOVANNI: Dalla sua pace (Mozart) 3:30
May 1908; (11164b) 2-52666 Transposed down a semitone to G-flat
20. DON GIOVANNI: Il mio tesoro intanto (Mozart) 2:33
May 1908; (11166b) 2-52661
21. IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA: Ecco ridente in cielo (Rossini) 4:09
May 1908; (1442c) 052250 Transposed down a semitone to B
22. IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA: Se il mio nome (Rossini) 3:04
May 1908; (11167b) 2-52667 Transposed down a whole tone to G Minor
23. IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA: Ah! qual colpo (Rossini) 2:39
with Maria Galvany, sopranoMay 1908; (11168b) 54384
 
CD 3 [79:45]
Gramophone Company, Ltd.
Milan (May, 1908)/Naples (21 May 1909)
(continued)
1. ROMÉO ET JULIETTE: Ah! lève-toi soleil (Deh, sorgi o luce in ciel) (Gounod) 2:52
May 1908; (11165b) 2-52660 Transposed down a whole tone to A
2. LA SONNAMBULA: Prendi, l’anel ti dono (Bellini) 3:52
with Maria Galvany, sopranoMay 1908; (1443c) 054217 Transposed down a semitone to G
3. LA SONNAMBULA: Son geloso del zeffiro (Bellini) 3:47
with Maria Galvany, sopranoMay 1908; (1444c) 054215 Transposed down a semitone to E
4. LA SONNAMBULA: Ah! perchè non posso odiarti (Bellini) 2:21
May 1908; (11169b) 2-52676 Transposed down a semitone to A
5. LUISA MILLER: Quando le sere al placido (Verdi) 3:59
May 1908; (1445c) 052239 Transposed down a semitone to G
6. Sulla bocca amorosa (Barthélemy; Di Gennaro) 2:40
21 May 1909; (13331b) 2-52698
7. Era de maggio (Costa; Di Giacomo) 2:48
21 May 1909; (13332b) 2-52699
8. Triste ritorno (Barthélemy; Forzati) 2:23
21 May 1909; (13333b) 2-52700
9. Serenamente (Barthélemy; Marvasi) 2:02
21 May 1909; (13334b) 2-52772
10. Oilì, oilà (Costa; Di Giacomo) 1:46
21 May 1909; (13335b) 2-52722
11. ‘O sole mio (Di Capua; Capurro) 2:19
21 May 1909; (13336b) 2-52701
12. Carmela (De Curtis; De Curtis) 3:01
21 May 1909; (13337b) 2-52773
13. Nun me guardate ‘cchiù (Gambardella; Russo) 2:40
21 May 1909; (13338b) 2-52723
14. ‘A surrentina (E. De Curtis; G De Curtis) 2:52
21 May 1909; (13339b) 2-52774Sung in A Minor
15. Luna, lù! (Ricciardi; Rovito) 2:46
21 May 1909; (13340b) 2-52724
Appendix
Phonotype
Selected recordings
Naples
16. L’ELISIR D’AMORE: Una furtiva lagrima (Donizetti) 3:48
24 June 1917 M1754-2(3) Transposed down a semitone to A Minor
17. L’ELISIR D’AMORE: Una parola, o Adina … Chiedi al rio (Donizetti) 7:19
with Angela De Angelis, soprano 23 November 1919; M 2223/2224 Transposed down a semitone to D
18. LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR: Tombe degli avi miei … Fra poco a me ricovero (Donizetti) 7:51
2 September 1917; M 1813/1814 Transposed down a whole tone to D-flat/C
19. LES HUGUENOTS: Ah! quel spectacle … Plus blanche (O qual soave vision … Bianca al par) (Meyerbeer) 4:19
2 September 1917; M 1812 Transposed down a whole tone to A-flat
20. LA FAVORITA: Spirto gentil ne’ sogni miei (Donizetti) 4:24
5 August 1917; M 1759/2 Transposed down a whole tone to B-flat
21. ERNANI: Mercè, diletti amici … Come rugiada al cespite (Verdi) 4:31
2 September 1917; M 1811 Transposed down a whole tone to B-flat
22. MEFISTOFELE: Dai campi, dai prati (Boito) 2:37
24 May 1917; M 1750 Transposed down a semitone to E
23. MEFISTOFELE: Ascolta … Colma il tuo cor (Boito) 2:49
18 April 1920; C 2344 Transposed down a whole tone to B-flat
 
CD 4 [78:27]
Phonotype
Selected recordings
Naples
(continued)
1. MEFISTOFELE: Forma ideal purissima (Boito) 2:26
18 April 1920; C 2343 Transposed down a semitone to A
2. MEFISTOFELE: Giunto sul passo estremo (Boito) 4:17
3 June 1917; M 1751/2
3. LA GIOCONDA: Cielo e mar (Ponchielli) 3:24
31 May 1917; M 1756 Transposed down a semitone to D
4. MANON: Je suis seul! … Ah! fuyez, douce image (Io son solo … Ah! dispar vision) (Massenet) 4:23
5 August 1917; M 1794 Transposed down a whole tone to D-flat
5. CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA: Mamma, quel vino è generoso (Mascagni) 4:27
with unidentified soprano, presumably Angela De Angelis1 July 1917; M 1774 Transposed down a whole tone to G-flat
6. L’AMICO FRITZ: Suzel, buon dì … Tutto tace [Cherry Duet] (Mascagni) (4) 8:13
with Angela De Angelis, soprano5 October 1919; M 2153/2154Side 2 Transposed down a semitone to A-flat Minor/Major
7. L’AMICO FRITZ: Ed anche Beppe amò … O amore, o bella luce (Mascagni) (4) 4:21
11 November 1917; M 1844 Transposed down a whole tone to E
8. PAGLIACCI: Bada, Pagliaccio … Un tal gioco, credetemi (Leoncavallo) 4:09
with unidentified tenor as ‘The Villager’11 November 1917; M 1843 Transposed down a semitone to E
9. PAGLIACCI: Recitar! mentre preso dal delirio … Vesti la giubba (Leoncavallo) 4:06
17 April 1921; C 2560 Transposed down a semitone to E-flat Minor
10. PAGLIACCI: O Colombina (Leoncavallo) 2:31
17 April 1921; C 2562 Transposed down a whole tone to G Minor
11. PAGLIACCI: No! Pagliaccio non son (Leoncavallo) 3:38
19 August 1917; M 1803 Transposed down a whole tone to C-sharp Minor
12. MANON LESCAUT: Donna non vidi mai (Puccini) 3:13
17 April 1921; C 2558 Transposed down a whole tone to A-flat
13. MANON LESCAUT: Tra voi belle (Puccini) 2:10
17 April 1921; C 2559 Transposed down a semitone to E-flat
14. LA BOHÈME: Che gelida manina (Puccini) 4:32
18 January 1920; M 2234 Transposed down a whole tone to G-flat
15. LA BOHÈME: Quest’ è Mimì (Puccini) 1:38
15 August 1920; C 2396 Transposed down a whole tone to D Minor
16. ANDREA CHÉNIER: Colpito qui m’avete … Un dì all’azzurro spazio [Improvviso] (Giordano) 5:59
6 February 1921; C 2531/2532 Transposed down a whole tone to A-flat
17. IRIS: Apri la tua finestra (Mascagni) (4) 2:37
7 November 1920; C 2452 Transposed down 3 semitones to D
18. TOSCA: E lucevan le stelle (Puccini) 3:18
18 January 1920; C 2233 Transposed down a semitone to B-flat Minor
19. FEDORA: Amor ti vieta (Giordano) 2:38
29 July 1917; C 1788 Transposed down a whole tone to B-flat
20. FEDORA: Mia madre, la mia vecchia madre (Giordano) 2:43
11 November 1917; C 1846
21. Marechiare (Tosti; Di Giacomo) 3:44
24 September 1922; C 3148

(1) The Gramophone Company recording ledgers prior to 1909 have been lost and consequently, all De Lucia recording dates up to, and including CD 3 Track 5, are based on deduction.
 
(2) On 17 November 1907, Gramophone & Typewriter, Ltd. became The Gramophone Company, Ltd. Therefore, in our track listing we have given both company names.
 
(3) The Phonotype record company used the same number for the matrix and catalogue
 
(4) De Lucia created this role on stage
 
Language: All tracks are sung in Italian
 
Accompaniment:
CD 1: Tracks 1-15: piano, presumed to be Salvatore Cattone, officially credited on Tracks 2 and 5; Tracks 16-21, 24-31 piano, Carlo Sabajno; Tracks 22-23: piano, Francesco Cilea
 
CD 2: Tracks 1-2, 5-7, 9-12: piano, Carlo Sabajno; Tracks 3-4, 8, 13-17 orchestra, conducted by Carlo Sabajno; Tracks 18-23: unidentified pianist
 
CD 3: Tracks 1-5: unidentified pianist; Tracks 6-9: small instrumental ensemble; Track 10: violin, piano, and chorus; Track 11: violin, piano, and mandolin; Track 12: violin, piano, mandolin, and chorus; Tracks 13-14: violin and piano; Track 15: violin, piano, mandolin, and chorus; Tracks 16-23: orchestra, conducted by Salvatore Sassano (The Gramophone Company recording files list piano as one of the accompanying instruments on CD 3, Tracks 10-15. To our ears, there is no piano evident. The instrument sounds like a guitar with the low E string tuned down.)
 
CD 4: Tracks 1-16, 18-20: orchestra, conducted by Salvatore Sassano; Track 17: piano; Track 21: mandolins, guitars, and chorus conducted by Raffaele Calace