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Thread: Verdi baritones

  1. #301
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivalagentenuova View Post

    Excellent Verdi baritone. What a timbre! Definitely singing for the stage and not the microphone.
    American baritone Richard Bonelli (1889-1980) seems rather forgotten. I discovered these recordings by chance just a few years ago. He had a long career beginning in 1915.

  2. #302
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Pristine XR with MOT have recently been releasing some great vintage Verdi performances, two here with Stracciari made in small studio (not radio broadcast typical of this time period, or post 1931 at MET with RCA) sound is excellent like you would expect on a good 1950s mono recording......Duck is right these singers are masters of their vocal art, very fluid and imaginative bringing characters to life, amazing versatility in vocal deliveries.......I listen and learn

    HFT will be happy to have full opera not isolated arias, soprano Mercedes Capsir is of the Galli Curci school with extra vocal ornaments light canary like tone (very unlike Callas) not well known today......

    I stopped buying and have subscription to Pristine XR streaming now, great stuff to explore
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Jan-25-2020 at 06:39.

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  4. #303
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post



    Pristine XR with MOT have recently been releasing some great vintage Verdi performances, two here with Stracciari made in small studio (not radio broadcast typical of this time period, or post 1931 at MET with RCA) sound is excellent like you would expect on a good 1950s mono recording......Duck is right these singers are masters of their vocal art, very fluid and imaginative bringing characters to life, amazing versatility in vocal deliveries.......I listen and learn

    HFT will be happy to have full opera not isolated arias, soprano Mercedes Capsir is of the Galli Curci school with extra vocal ornaments light canary like tone (very unlike Callas) not well known today......

    I stopped buying and have subscription to Pristine XR streaming now, great stuff to explore
    Stracciari should be familiar to all baritone conoisseurs; I've known him since my high school years. The surprise for me on those recordings was Borgioli, an elegant lyric tenor who carried into the mid-20th century the real bel canto tradition. I can't think of a single tenor singing today who's capable of his kind of vocal chiaroscuro. There's plenty of him on YouTube for those interested.

  5. #304
    Senior Member Bonetan's Avatar
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    I'm aware that he has already appeared in the thread, but I must say that this is the complete Verdi baritone package for me. Does anyone else tick all the boxes like he does?


  6. #305
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonetan View Post
    I'm aware that he has already appeared in the thread, but I must say that this is the complete Verdi baritone package for me. Does anyone else tick all the boxes like he does?

    Bastianini leaves a lot of boxes unticked. Magnificent natural instrument, but that's about the extent of it. He sounds best when loudest, and seems to know it. Too mant aspirates, too many notes without vibrato, vibrato sometimes slows on high notes - can belto, not bel canto. And he's musically bland; is there a less imaginative performance of this (well, there's Leonard Warren...)? Legato? Rubato? Tone color? Dynamic shading? Embellishment? Compare Stracciari, Amato, Battistini. The last of these has eveything Bastianini lacks:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFsV-1tRzjg

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  8. #306
    Senior Member Bonetan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Bastianini leaves a lot of boxes unticked. Magnificent natural instrument, but that's about the extent of it. He sounds best when loudest, and seems to know it. Too mant aspirates, too many notes without vibrato, vibrato sometimes slows on high notes - can belto, not bel canto. And he's musically bland; is there a less imaginative performance of this (well, there's Leonard Warren...)? Legato? Rubato? Tone color? Dynamic shading? Embellishment? Compare Stracciari, Amato, Battistini. The last of these has eveything Bastianini lacks:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFsV-1tRzjg
    He ticks all of my personal boxes at least for me the vigour of his voice & his ability to sing all of the notes with strength is major. The singers who can't sing the low A I'm giving a red card. Those tenors are out! From my own experience I know its easier to be imaginitive when a role sits low for you & the low notes aren't held against you. & I think the excitement I get from Bastianini's singing is because of where the roles lie for him. So personally, in Verdi, I'd rather listen to Bastianini than Battistini.

  9. #307
    Senior Member Bonetan's Avatar
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    Do you all find Domingo acceptable in any of this rep? Let's pretend he was never a tenor & just came on the scene lol


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    Senior Member Sieglinde's Avatar
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    Domingo has committed crimes against Verdi and his music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonetan View Post
    Do you all find Domingo acceptable in any of this rep? Let's pretend he was never a tenor & just came on the scene lol

    I attended I Due Foscari with Domingo, Meli, Agresta and Pappano conducting at Covent Garden and thoroughly enjoyed Domingo's performance.

    I too had heard less than complimentary things about his singing, contemporary broadcasts which arguably sound even worse than the Macbeth above and rather wondered if buying the ticket was worth the risk. In the end, it wasn't a great opera but he was good in it.

    I wanted to hear him and make up my own mind. In the house, I was pleasantly surprised by the volume and timbre of his voice, his phrasing was shapely and I did not recognise characteristics which are occasionally grating to me on records - what you might take to be nasality or a rather insistent vibrato were actually fine.

    You'll understand why I thought I'd offer a different perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sieglinde View Post
    Domingo has committed crimes against Verdi and his music.
    Probably...there have always been old singers who would carry on too long given the chance. Rather goes with the territory.

    If there are young singers who sound like Zancanaro or Manuguerra (I'm not exactly holding out hope for another Battistini and Ruffo) I think we'd all love to hear them.

  15. #311
    Senior Member Sieglinde's Avatar
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    Fortunately Zancanaro teaches, so at least younger singers have a good master to learn from. George Petean is one of his students, and while a bit on the lyric side, I quite like him. Not as powerful as his big brother Alexandru Agache, but overall a sympathetic singer.

    For the younger generation, I love Ruciński, he's working his way into Verdi and he already said he intends to wait with the real big challenges (Rigoletto, Boccanegra) until he feels 100% ready. He's got a beautiful voice and solid technique, and he's a really good actor too.

    There is also David Pershall who has already done Rodrigo (really well, too, there is a video of the whole performance), and apparently also di Luna and Germont. He looks impossibly young but he's got to be over 30 by now. Hoping he takes it slow and frankly, companies should give him Billy Budd stat - he'd be a dream. Verdi is quite dangerous.

    Leon Kim is another young singer I have hopes for. He managed to impress me as Paolo, and that's quite hard in such a thankless role, so the lad knows something!

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  17. #312
    Senior Member Bonetan's Avatar
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    This has a Verdi baritone in it, therefore:


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  19. #313
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonetan View Post
    This has a Verdi baritone in it, therefore:

    A duet that, sadly, was never heard in the opera house, as Caruso died at 48, before he could take on the role. Ruffo, however, did sing Iago: Here's his "Credo," followed by another great Verdi baritone and superb singing actor, Lawrence Tibbett, whose Iago can be heard complete on live from the Met recordings (from which this sounds like an excerpt):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ydf7iMz7Hvg

    Walter Legge heard Ruffo in 1922 and wrote this:

    "From the his first phrase the audience was vanquished by the overwhelming beauty of his voice—manly, broad, sympathetic, of unsurpassed richness. Such ease of production, such abundance of ringing high Gs! But more: Ruffo's infinite subtlety, variety of tone-colour, interpretive insight and sincerity, his magnificent control, stupendous breathing powers, and impeccable phrasing stamped him as a genius."

  20. #314
    Senior Member Bonetan's Avatar
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    I'm going to start by saying something blaspemous. I think the 'King of Baritones' was probably a tenor who chose to sing baritone. But what a stylish & elegant singer he was. I can't get enough. Thanks to Wooduck, Wkasimer, Viva, & others for influencing me to do my homework on this fine artist (I've also become a big Stracciari fan thanks to this thread).



    Is there no 'il Balen' recording of Battistini?? I need that in my life...

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  22. #315
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonetan View Post
    I'm going to start by saying something blaspemous. I think the 'King of Baritones' was probably a tenor who chose to sing baritone.
    I've read the same comment about Leonard Warren and Heinrich Schlusnus.

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