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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Self-explanatory.

Just so you know where I'm coming from, with Martinelli and Bjorling he is my favorite tenor and he NEVER made a bad recording or performance. Just listening to one of my favorite recordings "I love to hate", Ballo under Solti, and he is sublime even if I don't like the recording for multiple reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
That's it I'll meet you outside so we can settle this like men!

I diverge.

Ironically Tsaraslondon I agree with every one of your criticisms (not of Bergonzi).

I always find Americans amusing who insist Callas's Desabata Tosca is the superior one, the French insist it is the Pretre one. That is a great performance by Bergonzi. The Aida, La Boheme and Butterfly recordings are great performances as well, but I dislike each of these recordings like you do. I just do not enjoy the distant miking of the Aida, I am sorry. I agree that Tebaldi is too "fat" in the Butterfly and lacks subtlety. La Boheme also has this distant miking that I hate typical of Decca, and as you point out Tebaldi is hard to accept as a dying heroine.

I love Bergonzi in Ballo (both recordings), but the comparison in sound between the two is amazing, the RCA one is much more effective, the Solti Ballo is again too distant. I don't get it. People don't even sound this way in the opera house in person.

I don't think Bergonzi ever made a bad recording, though his voice did dry with age thats true. I saw him in person many times and I found him PLENTY exciting. Of course maybe what excites me doesn't excite you.

I probably need to re-listen to his Trovatore, for some reason I never spent much time on it though it has an excellent cast and Bergonzi is brilliant as usual. Maybe this morning.

In terms of the Aida I think the famous live performance from the Met with him and Price captures him much better. I adore the Pretre Tosca. The Leinsdorf Ballo is a classic. The Luisa Miller is (to me) the greatest recording of that opera and I have listened to them all and they are all enjoyable (including the one with Lauri-Volpi, or the live one with Tucker). But Bergonzi is over the top perfect and so is his cast.

I hope my reply wasn't too chaotic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok I re-listened to the Trovatore recording. Great cast but I guess the conducting just isn't exciting enough, and though Stella is very good she can't compare with competitors like Callas or Milanov. That's my personal reaction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I went to that Ballo he was awesome his death scene literally brought me to tears. And his high notes sounded fine (and incredibly loud) to me, except of course the night of the disasterous Otello!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm sorry to be tendentious but at least part of your perception of Bergonzi's performance in tose Aida recordings is based on his distance from the mikes, that distant Decca miking is death to an expressive singer like Bergonzi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
There are so many different things that can be exciting to me, not just one aspect or another. I'm turned on by fabulous diction for example, simply because it makes the libretto feel more meaningful, and the drama more real. I love lots of aspects of Bergonzi's singing but his sense of rhythm seemed so perfect for Verdi, bringing out a prominent aspect of his music (as opposed to in Wagner), and makes certain especially elegant roles sound so much better (such as Ballo or Luisa).

Obviously legato makes the melody seem SO much more beautiful. Bergonzi's greatness lied in part that he could combine perfect diction, legato, AND rhythm, that was the thing that made Verdi come alive for me.

I get the ping, high notes, etc, but these are just small parts of the roles, I can't really enjoy them witthout all the other elements. And at the extremes of my enjoyment, I get "excited".

Corelli was awesome, but lets take a famous role supposedly his fach, Manrico. He supplies the high notes of course. But his diction, rhythm and legato are just not very elegant, even under a taskmaster like Karajan. That's why I actually never really enjoy Corelli in Verdi, instead in Puccini or Giordano (for example), where a rhythmic sense is so much less important.

I just realized I have to clarify, I think many of Bergonzi's greatest assumptions were NOT from Verdi, so obviously he had a wealth of qualities he could deploy.
 
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