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Thread: Some say Mario Lanza’s is the best version

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Default Some say Mario Lanza’s is the best version

    Among the many versions, one Opera-L poster considers the Lanza version the absolute best (even considering Rosa Ponselle, Enrico Caruso and Giuseppe di Stefano versions). What do you think?
    I myself prefer versions by Franco Corelli and Roberto Alagna.



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    Giuseppe di Stefano tends to have the best Neapolitan of any singer (it's impeccable).

    Lanza sounds like a student from the San Carlo high school in Milan. Ponselle, Caruso and Corelli are better with Di Stefano being the model for singers who want to sing it in the original Neapolitan rather than an aproximation.

    N.

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    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    Giuseppe di Stefano tends to have the best Neapolitan of any singer (it's impeccable).

    Lanza sounds like a student from the San Carlo high school in Milan. Ponselle, Caruso and Corelli are better with Di Stefano being the model for singers who want to sing it in the original Neapolitan rather than an aproximation.

    N.
    I agree that other versions easily supersede Lanza’s, whom I always find overwrought and obvious in his histrionic style, as befits his MGM musical star rep.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    I've listened to many versions of this charming little song, and I like almost none of them. They're variously too serious, too calculated, overblown, or just dull, and they're almost all too slow, with singer after singer demonstrating little sense of 19th-century performance style and the vocal graces that go with it.

    I grew up with Caruso, who captures perfectly the song's essential happiness, mixing and contrasting dreamy romance with impulsiveness and humor, conveyed through typical stylistic devices such as portamenti, mordents, mezza voce, and flexibility of tempo, all applied imaginatively yet with complete naturalness and a sense of spontaneity:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u08VBH10vto

    Schipa sings it simply and purely, with his trademark elegance and "flower of the lips" enunciation:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cliePDsavY

    The most appealing modern performance I've found is by Ramon Vargas, from a 1995 recital. He's gentle and poetic, he varies the tempo nicely, and he shades his phrases beautifully:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXqtYZvft4A

    It's too bad that Battistini didn't record this song. His version of another Tosti song, "Ideale," is unsurpassed.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Aug-01-2021 at 00:32.

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