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The Creators Of Verismo Vol. 1: Bellincioni, Pandolfini, And The Siberia Creator-recordings


Release Date: 10/01/2010 
Label:  Marston   Catalog #: 52062  
Composer:  Umberto GiordanoArrigo BoitoPietro MascagniGiuseppe Verdi,   ... 
Performer:  Gemma BelliconiSalvatore CottoneAngelica PandolfiniAmelia Pinto,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The claims of verismo are superbly documented in this engrossing set.

Once again Marston has compiled a two disc set of great imagination and rarity value, reaching back well over a century for recordings of considerable historic importance. We have, then, the voices of ‘six verismo sopranos’ and they represent, according to the booklet rubric, ‘six studies in passion, technique and style’. Certainly one can argue the pros and cons of individual singers and performances but to have such recordings made available in this way and in such splendid sound, is something that no lover of the vocal art should easily spurn.
 
Not the least reason for excitement is that many of the performances are ‘Creator’
Read more recordings — sung by the very artist who gave first performances of the work in question. Such a cachet offers a palpable frisson, not least when the composer himself is either present or known to have coached the singer. Prestigious collectors and a particularly prestigious collection, held at Yale, have surrendered their copies for transfer.
 
The set begins with Gemma Bellincioni (1864-1950), who was both long-lived and an important international artist. Her 1903 Milan G&Ts are fascinatingly uneven examples of her art. She has what will be for many a bleaty vibrato, and for those who find Supervia unacceptable on this account — and there are some — Bellincioni will provide similar analogous problems. In her Boito some of her runs are a touch speculative and there is a hint of wear in the voice, though she was still only 39. Her tempi are certainly free, indeed erratic. Her Mascagni represents a Creator role and is a most important document, though her Traviata aria is musically undisciplined, though of some interest because both Verdi and Boito heard her sing. She re-recorded Ah, fors’è lui in Paris two years later on the less immediate Pathé sides. Vissi d’arte preserves the intense flutter of her vibrato, whilst her Bohème extract remains a touch superficial. Nevertheless we have her complete recordings here, an invaluable fourteen sides that preserve a most important singer’s oeuvre.
 
We also have the complete recordings of Angelica Pandolfini, a precious five in all, recorded once again in Milan in 1903. As with the Bellincioni recordings in the city, the pianist was Salvatore Cottone. These sides are all exceptionally rare, having been withdrawn soon after publication. She didn’t much like them herself. Her Boito Mefistofele is, for me, superior both vocally and musically to Bellincioni’s recording of it. The runs are more accurate, the vibrato is under better control, she is florid when called for, and eminently characterful. It’s rare, in this context, to hear Mozart but she essays Deh vieni creditably and also displays the lighter side of her art with a lovely rendition of Godard’s Chanson de florian. Amelia Pinto is represented by ten sides; G&Ts from Milan in April 1902 and a selection of Fonotipias from 1908-14. The 1902 session is heard in its entirety and includes an interesting rarity in Bottesini’s Romanza di Ero. Both published takes of Vissi d’arte are quite slow but very convincing. She was born in 1876, remained in pretty good voice to the end of her recording career and impresses every time one hears her, whether in Tosca or the Sicilian songs she sang in May 1914.
 
The fourth soprano is Cesira Ferrani (1863-1943) whose six selected recordings come from December 1902. The composers represented are Puccini — Manon, Bohème — Boito, once again Mefistofele (most movingly done here), and Gounod. She sang in the first performance of Manon Lescaut in 1893 which makes these two extracts of great significance. Her portamenti are fluid and fortunately her unnamed accompanist’s piano has been well recorded which means the performances are very listenable in these fine transfers. There is also the Gounod, a duet with the negligible tenor Giovanni Apostolu. Emma Carelli is the next soprano, born in Naples in 1877. These are, again, very rare 1903 sides, and were not available for long. The singing is powerful and committed albeit not without technical fault. In some sides she is joined by partners; Mario Sammarco in Mascheroni’s Lorenza and in Vissi d’arte (notable for Sammarco’s vivid laughter and her own highly theatrical performance), and Elvino Ventura for the Fedora extract. The remaining tracks are devoted to Giordano’s Siberia, recorded in Milan in 1904 with its all-star cast including De Luca, Rosina Storchio, Antonio Pini-Corsi and Giovanni Zenatello amongst others. There are nine sides, all with the original cast members preserving, however imperfectly, their contributions. The results are suggestive and fascinating, and transferred with great skill.
 
As ever the booklet presents full biographies, excellently reproduced photographs and a first class essay by Michael Aspinall. The claims of verismo are superbly documented in this engrossing set.
 
-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fedora: O grandi occhi lucenti by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
2.
Mefistofele: L'altra notte in fondo al mare by Arrigo Boito
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
3.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Voi lo sapete, o Mamma by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
4.
La traviata: Ah, fors' è lui by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
5.
Mefistofele: L'altra notte in fondo al mare by Arrigo Boito
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1905 
Venue:  Paris 
6.
Mignon: Connais-tu le pays? by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; France 
Date of Recording: 1905 
Venue:  Paris 
7.
Carmen: L'amour est un oiseau rebelle "Habañera" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano)
Written: 1873-1874 
Date of Recording: 1905 
Venue:  Paris 
8.
Carmen: En vain pour éviter les réponses amères "Card Aria" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1905 
Venue:  Paris 
9.
La traviata: Ah, fors' è lui by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1905 
Venue:  Paris 
10.
Ave Maria by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1905 
Venue:  Paris 
11.
La Bohème: Si, mi chiamano Mimì by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1905 
Venue:  Paris 
12.
Faust: Je voudrais bien savoir...Il était un Roi de Thulé by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1905 
Venue:  Paris 
13.
Tosca: Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1905 
Venue:  Paris 
14.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Voi lo sapete, o Mamma by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Gemma Belliconi (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1905 
Venue:  Paris 
15.
Adriana Lecouvreur: Io son l'umile ancella by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Angelica Pandolfini (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
16.
Mefistofele: L'altra notte in fondo al mare by Arrigo Boito
Performer:  Angelica Pandolfini (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
17.
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Giunse alfin il momento...Deh vieni, non tardar by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Angelica Pandolfini (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
18.
Chanson de Florian by Benjamin Godard
Performer:  Angelica Pandolfini (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
19.
All’ombra di quel faggio by Taubert,
Performer:  Angelica Pandolfini (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
20.
Germania: All' ardente desio by Alberto Franchetti
Performer:  Amelia Pinto (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Date of Recording: 4/11/1902 
Venue:  Milan 
21.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Voi lo sapete, o Mamma by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Amelia Pinto (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Date of Recording: 4/11/1902 
Venue:  Milan 
22.
Ero e Leandro: Romanza di Ero by Giovanni Bottesini
Performer:  Amelia Pinto (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 4/11/1902 
Venue:  Milan 
23.
Tosca: Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Amelia Pinto (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Date of Recording: 4/11/1902 
Venue:  Milan 
24.
La Gioconda: Suicidio! by Amilcare Ponchielli
Performer:  Amelia Pinto (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Italy 
Date of Recording: 4/11/1902 
Venue:  Milan 
25.
Marcella: Son tre mesi by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Amelia Pinto (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 11/3/1908 
Venue:  Milan 
26.
Siberia: Non odi là il martir by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Amelia Pinto (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903/1921; Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/3/1908 
Venue:  Milan 
27.
A la Barcillunisa by Traditional
Performer:  Amelia Pinto (Soprano)
Written: Sicily, Italy 
Date of Recording: 5/1/1914 
Venue:  Milan 
Notes: Arrangement: Favara 
28.
'Razioni di San Stansillàu by Traditional
Performer:  Amelia Pinto (Soprano)
Date of Recording: 5/1/1914 
Venue:  Milan 
Notes: Arrangement: Favara  
29.
Manon Lescaut: In quelle trine morbide by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Cesira Ferrani (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1902 
Venue:  Milan 
30.
Manon Lescaut: L'ora, o Tirsi by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Cesira Ferrani (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1902 
Venue:  Milan 
31.
La Bohème: Si, mi chiamano Mimì by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Cesira Ferrani (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1902 
Venue:  Milan 
32.
La Bohème: Addio, senza rancor by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Cesira Ferrani (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1902 
Venue:  Milan 
33.
Mefistofele: L'altra notte in fondo al mare by Arrigo Boito
Performer:  Cesira Ferrani (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/1902 
Venue:  Milan 
34.
Faust: Il se fait tard by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Cesira Ferrani (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
Date of Recording: 12/1902 
Venue:  Milan 
35.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Voi lo sapete, o Mamma by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Emma Carelli (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
36.
Iris: Un dì era piccina by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Emma Carelli (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898/1899; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
37.
Lorenza: Vana bellezza mia by Edoardo Mascheroni
Performer:  Emma Carelli (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
38.
Lorenza: Io son bella, tutta bianca by Edoardo Mascheroni
Performer:  Emma Carelli (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano), Mario Sammarco (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
39.
Tosca: Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Emma Carelli (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
40.
Tosca: Quanto? Quanto?...Il Prezzo! by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Emma Carelli (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano), Mario Sammarco (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
41.
Fedora: Tutto tramonta, tutto gilegua by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Emma Carelli (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano), Elvino Ventura (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
42.
Andrea Chénier: La mamma morta by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Emma Carelli (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
43.
Manon: Adieu, notre petite table by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Emma Carelli (Soprano), Salvatore Cottone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
Date of Recording: 1903 
Venue:  Milan 
44.
Siberia: O mia bella by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Oreste Gennari (Voice), Raffaele Delli Ponti (Piano), Giuseppe de Luca (Baritone),
Gaetano Pini-Corsi (Tenor), Vittorio Pozzi-camola (Voice)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 1904 
Venue:  Milan 
45.
Siberia: No! se un pensier torture...Nel suo amor by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Rosina Storchio (Soprano), Raffaele Delli Ponti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903/1921; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1904 
Venue:  Milan 
46.
Siberia: Quest' orgolio by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Giuseppe de Luca (Baritone), Raffaele Delli Ponti (Piano), Rosina Storchio (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903/1921; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1904 
Venue:  Milan 
47.
Siberia: T'incontrai per via by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Raffaele Delli Ponti (Piano), Giovanni Zenatello (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903/1921; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1904 
Venue:  Milan 
48.
Siberia: Cani ed avari by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Raffaele Delli Ponti (Piano), Antonio Pini-Corsi (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903/1921 
Date of Recording: 1904 
Venue:  Milan 
49.
Siberia: Orride steppe by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Raffaele Delli Ponti (Piano), Giovanni Zenatello (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903/1921; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1904 
Venue:  Milan 
50.
Siberia: E’ qui con te il mio destin by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Giovanni Zenatello (Tenor), Raffaele Delli Ponti (Piano), Rosina Storchio (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903/1921; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1904 
Venue:  Milan 
51.
Siberia: Non odi là il martir by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Rosina Storchio (Soprano), Raffaele Delli Ponti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903/1921; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1904 
Venue:  Milan 
52.
Siberia: La conobbi quand’era fanciulla by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Raffaele Delli Ponti (Piano), Giuseppe de Luca (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903/1921 
Date of Recording: 1904 
Venue:  Milan 

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