Jussi Björling

Composers

Biography

Born: February 5, 1911   Died: September 9, 1960   Country: Sweden  
Jussi Björling was one of the most admired tenors of the twentieth century. He was never an effective actor on stage nor was he particularly handsome, but his excellent technique, scrupulous musicianship, and beautiful voice, with its powerful and focused top, made him one of the most-demanded stars of his day. Those with a fondness for such comparisons consistently called him "the second Caruso" or "the Swedish Caruso." Some found his rather Read more smooth timbre inexpressive, particularly those used to Gigli's frequent use of sobs and other extra-musical effects, but others found that its directness, combined with his sensitivity to phrasing, made the music all the more expressive. At times he did have a tendency to sing slightly sharp, but to listeners without an acute sense of pitch it was almost undetectable.

Björling came from a musical family and began his career early -- his singing debut came at the age of five. His father, David, was a fine singer who formed the Björling Male Quartet with the older three boys, Olle, Jussi, and Gosta. They performed world-wide, made some recordings for American Columbia (including Jussi's first solo recordings), and settled in the United States in 1920. While they were wildly popular, they had financial problems, and when David Björling died in 1926, the quartet broke up.

In 1928, Jussi succeeded in getting an audition with Karl-Martin Oehmann. Oehrmann was so impressed that he recommended Björling to the Royal Opera in Stockholm, where he was given a stipend for room, board, studies at the conservatory, and a new suit. Two years later, Björling made his operatic debut as the Lamplighter in Puccini's Manon Lescaut and took on his first leading role a month later as Don Ottavio in Mozart's Don Giovanni. In 1933, he first sang the role of Romeo in Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, a role with which he would later become strongly associated. He met Anna-Lisa Berg, a lyric soprano, while at the Swedish Music Academy and Royal Opera school, and their marriage lasted until his death, despite the alcoholism that troubled his entire adult life.

He made his Vienna debut in 1936, his United States debut in a Carnegie Hall concert in 1937 (his United States operatic debut was a short time later that same year, as the Duke of Mantua, in Chicago), and his Salzburg debut as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. In 1936, he also began a long recording association with HMV. He made his Met debut in 1938 in La Bohème and in 1939 his Covent Garden debut as Manrico. Like those of most other opera singers, his international career was limited by World War II, but when the war was over, he again sang all over the world. In 1950, he took the title role in the famous Met production of Verdi's Don Carlo that inaugurated Rudolf Bing's administration. As his career expanded and he was able to be more selective about his stage roles, he began to limit his repertoire to the major Italian and French lyric roles, with a few forays into the lyrico-spinto repertoire. However, he recorded and performed in concert excerpts from many roles he had never explored on stage, as well as lieder and his beloved Swedish songs.

In March of 1960, Björling had a heart attack before a performance at Covent Garden. While he chose to finish the performance, his symptoms became still more serious, and he and his family returned to Sweden, where he died that September. Read less

There are 147 Jussi Björling recordings available.

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Biography

Born: February 5, 1911   Died: September 9, 1960   Country: Sweden  
Jussi Björling was one of the most admired tenors of the twentieth century. He was never an effective actor on stage nor was he particularly handsome, but his excellent technique, scrupulous musicianship, and beautiful voice, with its powerful and focused top, made him one of the most-demanded stars of his day. Those with a fondness for such comparisons consistently called him "the second Caruso" or "the Swedish Caruso." Some found his rather Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Un Ballo in Maschera - Highlights: Prelude
Act I: Posa in pace, a' bei sogni ristora
Act I: S'avanza il Conte - La rivedrà nell'estasi
Act I: Il cenno mio di là con essi attendi
Act I: Alla vita che t'arride
Act I: Il primo giudice
Act I: Volta la terrea
Act I: Signori, oggi d'Ulrica - Ogni cura si doni al diletto
Act I: Zitti...l'incanto non dèssi turbare - Re dell'abisso, affrettati
Act I: Arrivo il primo! - È lui! è lui! ne' palpiti
Act I: Su, fatemi largo
Act I: Che v'agita così?
Act I: Della città all'occaso
Act I: Su, profetessa - Di' tu se fedele
Act I: Chi voi siate
Act I: È scherzo od è follia
Act I: Finisci il vaticinio
Un Ballo in Maschera - Highlights: Act II: Prelude
Act II: Ecco l'orrido campo ove s'accoppia
Act II: Ma dall'arido stelo divulsa
Act II: Teco io sto - Non sai tu che se l'anima mia
Act II: Oh qual soave brivido
Act II: Ahimè! S'appressa alcun! - Odi tu come fremono
Act II: Seguitemi
Act II: Ve' se di notte qui colla sposa
Act III: A tal colpa è nulla il pianto
Act III: Morrò, ma prima in grazia
Act III: Alzati! Là tuo figlio
Act III: Eri tu che macchiavi
Act III: Siam soli. Udite.
Act III: E chi vien? Tu?
Act III: Il messaggio entri - Ah! Di che fulgor
Act III: Forse la soglia attinse ... Ma se m'è forza perderti
Act III: Fervono amori e danze
Act III: Saper vorreste
Act III: Ah! Perchè qui! Fuggite
Act III: Ella è pura: in braccio a morte
Rigoletto - Highlights: Act I: Prelude
Act I: Della mia bella incognita borghese
Act I: Questa o quella
Act I: Partite? Crudele!
Act I: Gran nuova! Gran nuova!
Act I: Ch'io gli parli - Oh tu che la festa audace hai turbato
Act I: Quel vecchio maledivami!
Act I: Pari siamo!
Act I: Figlia! Mio padre! - Deh non parlare al misero
Act I: Ah! veglia, o donna
Act I: Giovanna, ho dei rimosi - È'il sol dell'anima
Act I: Che m'ami, deh! Ripetimi - Addio, addio speranza ed anima
Act I: Gualtier Maldè! - Caro nome che il mio cor
Act I: Riedo!... Perchè?
Act I: Zitti, zitti moviamo a vendetta
Rigoletto - Highlights: Act II: Ella mi fu rapita!... Parmi veder le lagrime
Act II: Duca, duca! - Scorrendo uniti remota via
Act II: Povero Rigoletto!
Act II: Cortigiani, vil razza dannata
Act II: Mio padre! - Dio! Mia Gilda!
Act II: Parla siam soli - Tutte le feste al tempio
Act II: Compiuto pur quanto - Sì, vendetta, tremenda vendetta
Act III: E l'ami? - Sempre
Act III: La donna è mobile
Act III: Un dì, se ben rammentomi
Act III: Bella figlia dell'amore
Act III: M'odi! - Venti scudi, hai tu detto?
Act III: Ah piu non ragiono
Act III: Della vendetta alfin giunge l'instante!
Act III: Chi e mai, chi e qui in sua vece?- V'ho ingannato...
Requiem: Kyrie
Dies irae
Offertorio
Libera me
Te Deum
Rigoletto (1997 Digital Remaster): Questa o quella
Rigoletto (1997 Remastered Version): Questa o quella
Madama Butterly, Act I, Bimba dagli occhi...Vogliatemi bene
Madama Butterly, Act I, Bimba dagli occhi...Vogliatemi bene
L'Arlesiana (1997 Digital Remaster): E la solita storia
L'Arlesiana (1997 Remastered Version): E la solita storia
Act I: Overture
Vérone vit jadis deux familes rivales
L'heure s'envole joyeuse et folle
Eh bien? cher Pâris!
Ah! Qu'elle est belle!..Écoutez! écoutez!
Allons! Jeunes gens! Allons! Belles dames!
Enfin la place est libre...Mab, la reine des mensonges
Eh! bien!
Voyons nourice...Je veux vivre dans le rêve (Juliet's Waltz)
Le nom de cette belle enfant?..Ange adorable
Quel qu'un!...C'est mon cousin Tybalt! - Que la fête recommence!
Act II: Entr'acte
Ô nuit! sous tes ailes obscure
L'amour! L'amour!...Ah! Lève-toi soleil!
Hélas! Moi, le haïr!
Écoute! On vient!...Personne! Personne!
Ô nuit divine!
Ah! ne fuis pas encore!
Roméo et Juliette: Act III: Entr'acte
Mon père! Dieu vous garde!
Dieu, qui fis l'homme à ton image
Depuis hier je cherche...Que fais-tu blanche tourterelle
Ah! Ah! Voici nos gens!
Allons! Tu ne me connais pas
Qu'est-ce donc? C'est Tybalt!...Ô jour de deuil!
Eh quoi? Tou-jours du sang!...Ah! Jour de deuil et d'horreur
Act IV: Entr'acte
Va! Je t'ai pardonné...Nuit d'hyménée
Ah! tu dis vrai, c'est le jour!
Mon père! Tout m'accable!...Buvez donc ce breuvage
Act V: Juliet's Slumber
C'est la! Salut!...Ô ma femme!
À toi, ma Juliette!
Console-toi, pauvre âme
La Bohème (1997 Digital Remaster): Che gelida manina
La Bohème (1997 Remastered Version): Che gelida manina
Tosca (1997 Digital Remaster): E lucevan le stelle (Act 3)
Tosca (1997 Remastered Version): E lucevan le stelle (Act 3)
La Fanciulla del West (1997 Digital Remaster): Ch'ella mi creda libero
La Fanciulla del West (1997 Remastered Version): Ch'ella mi creda libero
La Gioconda (1997 Digital Remaster): Cielo e mar!
La Gioconda (1997 Remastered Version): Cielo e mar!
Ideale
Ideale (1997 Remastered Version)
'O sole mio
'O sole mio (1997 Remastered Version)
The Vagabond King (1997 Digital Remaster): Only a Rose
The Vagabond King (1997 Remastered Version): Only a Rose
Faust: Salut! demeure chaste et pure (Act III)
Faust: Salut! demeure chaste et pure (Act III) (1997 Remastered Version)
Martha (1997 Digital Remaster): M'appari tutt'amor
Martha (1997 Remastered Version): M'appari tutt'amor
Stabat mater (1997 Digital Remaster): Cujus animam gementem
Stabat mater (1997 Remastered Version): Cujus animam gementem
Il Trovatore (1997 Digital Remaster): Ah! sì, ben mio, coll'essere
Il Trovatore (1997 Remastered Version): Ah! sì, ben mio, coll'essere
Il Trovatore (1997 Digital Remaster): Di quella pira
Il Trovatore (1997 Remastered Version): Di quella pira
Rigoletto (1997 Digital Remaster): Questa o quella
Rigoletto (1997 Remastered Version): Questa o quella
Rigoletto (1997 Digital Remaster): E il sol dell'anima
Rigoletto (1997 Remastered Version): E il sol dell'anima
Fedora: Amor ti vieta (Act II)
Fedora: Amor ti vieta (Act II) (1997 Remastered Version)
I Pagliacci (1997 Digital Remaster): Recitar!....Vesti la giubba
I Pagliacci (1997 Remastered Version): Recitar!....Vesti la giubba
Mattinata
Mattinata (1997 Remastered Version)
L'Elisir d'amore (1997 Digital Remaster): Una furtiva lagrima
L'Elisir d'amore (1997 Remastered Version): Una furtiva lagrima
Les Pêcheurs de Perles (1997 Digital Remaster): Je crois entendre encore
Les Pêcheurs de Perles (1997 Remastered Version): Je crois entendre encore
Roméo et Juliette (1997 Digital Remaster): Ah! lève-toi, soleil
Roméo et Juliette (1997 Remastered Version): Ah! lève-toi, soleil
L'Arlesiana (1997 Digital Remaster): E la solita storia
L'Arlesiana (1997 Remastered Version): E la solita storia
Cavalleria Rusticana (1997 Digital Remaster): O Lola (Siciliana)
Cavalleria Rusticana (1997 Remastered Version): O Lola (Siciliana)
Roméo et Juliette (1997 Digital Remaster): Ange adorable
Roméo et Juliette (1997 Remastered Version): Ange adorable
L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra
L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra (1997 Remastered Version)
Når jag för mig sjålv i mörka skogen går Op. 5 No. 1
Når jag för mig sjålv i mörka skogen går Op. 5 No. 1 (1997 Remastered Version)
Bland skogens höga furustammar Op. 5 No. 4
Bland skogens höga furustammar Op. 5 No. 4 (1997 Remastered Version)
Land, Du Välsignade
Land, Du Välsignade
Adelaide, Op.46
Adelaide, Op.46 (1997 Remastered Version)
4 Lieder, Op.27 (1997 - Remaster): Morgen
4 Lieder, Op.27 (1997 Remastered Version): Morgen
4 Lieder, Op.27 (1997 - Remaster): Cäcilie (Hart)
4 Lieder, Op.27 (1997 Remastered Version): Cäcilie (Hart)
6 Songs, Op.4 (1997 - Remaster): In the Silence of the Night
6 Songs, Op.4 (1997 Remastered Version): In the Silence of the Night
12 Songs, Op.21 (1997 - Remaster): Lilacs (Beketova)
12 Songs, Op.21 (1997 Remastered Version): Lilacs (Beketova)
Jeanie with the light brown hair
Jeanie with the light brown hair (1997 Remastered Version)
Jungfrau under lind Op. 10 No. 1
Jungfrau under lind Op. 10 No. 1 (1997 Remastered Version)
Trollsjön
Trollsjön (1997 Remastered Version)
Så tag mit hjerte
Så tag mit hjerte (1997 Remastered Version)
Demanten på marssnön Op. 36 No. 6 (The Diamond on the March Snow)
Demanten på marssnön Op. 36 No. 6 (The Diamond on the March Snow) (1997 Remastered Version)
Julsång
Julsång (Cantique de Noël)
La bohème (2002 Digital Remaster), Act One: Sì. Mi chiamano Mimi (Mimi/Rodolfo)
La bohème (2002 Remastered Version), Act One: Sì. Mi chiamano Mimi (Mimi/Rodolfo)
Preludio
"O lola ch'ai di latti la cammisa" (Siciliana)
"Gli aranci olezzano sui verdi margini"
"Dite, mamma Lucia"
"Il cavallo scalpita"
"Beato voi, compar Alfio...Inneggiamo, Il Signor"
"Voi lo sapete, o mama" (Romanza)
"Tu qui, Santuzza?...Fior la giaggolo"
"Fior di giaggiolo"
"Ah! lo vedi"
"Oh! Il Signore vi manda" (Duetto)
Intermezzo Sinfonico
"A casa, amici" - "Comare Lola"
"Viva il vino spumeggiante" (Brindisi)
"A voi tutti salute"
"Mamma, quel vino è generoso" - "Turiddu?! Che vuoi
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus - Overture
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 1 - Nr.1 Introduktion: "Täubchen, das entflattert ist"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 1 - Da schreibt meine Schwester Ida...Nein, mit solchen
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 1 - Nr.2 Terzett: "Nein, mit solchen Advokaten"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 1 - Nr.3 Duett: "Komm mit mir zum Souper"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 1 - Nr.4 Terzett: "So muss allein ich bleiben"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 1 - Nr.5 Finale: "Trinke, Liebchen, trinke schnell"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 1 - "Ich höre Stimmen!"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 1 - "Mein Herr, was dächten Sie von mir"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 1 - "Nein, nein, ich zweifle gar nicht mehr"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 2 - Nr.6 Introduktion: "Ein Souper heut uns winkt"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 2 - Nr.7 Couplet: "Ich lade gern mir Gäste ein"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 2 - Nr.8 Ensemble und Couplet: "Ach, meine Herr'n und Damen"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 2 - "Mein Herr Marquis"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 2 - Nr.9 Duett: "Dieser Anstand, so manierlich"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 2 - Nr.10 Csárdás: "Klänge der Heimat"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 2 - Nr.11 Finale: "Im Feuerstrom der Reben"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 2 - "Herr, Chevalier, ich grüsse Sie!"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 2 - "Genug damit, genug"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 3 - Nr.12 Entr'acte
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 3 - Herr Direktor! Wo is'er denn?..Ein fideles Gefängnis
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 3 - Nr.14 Couplets: "Spiel' ich die Unschuld vom Lande"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 3 - Nr.15 Terzett: "Ich stehe voll Zagen"
J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 3 - Nr.16 Finale: "O Fledermaus, o Fledermaus"
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), PROLOGUE: Si può? Si pùo? (Tonio)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Eh!...Son qua! (Coro/Canio/Beppe)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Un grande spettacolo a ventrité ore (Canio/Coro/Tonio/Beppe)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Un tal gioco, credetemi... (Canio/Nedda/Coro)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Don, din, don... (Coro)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Qual fiamma avea nel guardo...Hui! Stridono lassù (Nedda)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Sei là! Credea che te ne fossi andato
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: So ben che difforme contorto son io (Nedda/Tonio)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Nedda!...Silvio! A quest'ora che imprudenza (Silvio/Nedda)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: E fra quest'ansie in eterno vivrai! (Silvio/Nedda)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Non mi tentar! (Nedda/Silvio/Tonio)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: E allor perché, di', tu m'hai stregato (Silvio/Nedda)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Cammina adagio e li sorprenderai! (Tonio/Silvio/Nedda/Canio/Beppe)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Recitar! Mentre preso dal delirio
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Vesti la giubba (Canio)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 1: Intermezzo (Orchestra)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), ACT 2: Ohè! Ohè! Presto, affrettiamoci (Coro/Tonio/Beppe/Silvio/Nedda)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), The Play (La Commedia): Pagliaccio, mio marito (Nedda (Colombina) )
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), The Play (La Commedia): Ah! Colombina, il tenero (Beppe (Arlecchino) )
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), The Play (La Commedia): Di fare il segno convenuto (Colombina/Tonio (Taddeo)/Coro/Arlecchino)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), The Play (La Commedia): Arlecchin! ...Colombina! (Colombina/Arlechino/Taddeo/Canio (Pagliaccio) )
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), The Play (La Commedia): Coraggio! Un uomo era con te (Pagliaccio/Colombina/Taddeo)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), The Play (La Commedia): No, Pagliaccio non son (Canio/Coro/Silvio/Nedda)
Pagliacci (1998 Digital Remaster), The Play (La Commedia): Suvvia, così terribile (Nedda/Canio/Beppe/Tonio/Silvio/Coro)
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
1. Requiem
2. Dies irae
2. Tuba mirum
2. Liber scriptus
2. Quid sum miser
2. Rex tremendae
2. Recordare
2. Ingemisco
2. Confutatis
2. Lacrymosa
Offertorium: Domine, Jesu Christe
Offertorium: Hostias
4. Sanctus
5. Agnus Dei
6. Lux aeterna
Libera me: Libera me
Libera me: Dies irae
Libera me: Requiem aeternam
Libera me: Libera me


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