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Icon - Beniamino Gigli - Tenor Legend


Release Date: 03/23/2010 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 55693  
Composer:  Gaetano DonizettiArrigo BoitoPietro MascagniUmberto Giordano,   ... 
Performer:  Beniamino GigliNerina BaldisseriTitta RuffoAmelita Galli-Curci,   ... 
Conductor:  UnknownJosef PasternackRosario BourdonGiulio Setti,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  OrchestraMetropolitan Opera OrchestraMilan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Number of Discs: 5 
Recorded in: Mono 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The reason for [Gigli's] popularity is simple enough, yet it is not just a matter of voice or of voice combined with the charm of a personal and highly recognizable style. It has something essentially to do with his naturalness, the sense that this unforced, glorious stream of tone was as natural to its possessor as leaves are to a tree; you felt he could go on singing all night and that the voice itself would be the last thing to tire... And through all these years there is hardly a note that is not true in the quality of tone or accuracy of intonation; hardly a phrase, moreover, that is not stamped with the personality of a singer whose art was so securely based that he never needed to be anything other than himself.

--
Read more Gramophone [12/1978]

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How could there not be [pleasure], with this lovely voice pouring out the generous melodies with all the warmth of the Neapolitan sun under which so many of them were written[?]

-- Gramophone [8/1990]

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["Tu qui, Santuzza?" from Cavalleria Rusticana is] the best-or perhaps just the best-matched-of Gigli's duets. Giannini's Santuzza, formidable as she is, pleads most touchingly, and the whole encounter is vivid as though on film... "Di quella pira" shows how well he could simulate the voice and manner of the tenore robusto without impairing the natural beauty of his tone, and the Improvviso from Andrea Chenier affords a fine demonstration of his development as an expressive artist since the time of his first recording... There is still charm in his singing of the Aubade from Le roi d'Ys, and in the last item of all, the "Nessun dorma", it is moving to hear again how much of the young voice remained even as Gigli was approaching 60...and for an encore I shall return to that "Recondita armonia" of 1938.

-- Gramophone [5/1990, reviewing EMI 61052]

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Beniamino Gigli was the most popular and successful Italian tenor in the first half of the 20th century. Acclaimed as the second Caruso, he was a great popular favourite both on the operatic stage and the concert platform from his debut in 1914 to his retirement in 1955.

Gigli recorded extensively for HMV (now EMI) and his records were among the company’s best sellers for many years.

This ICON set covers the whole of Gigli’s recording career, starting with his very first records made in Milan in October and November 1918 to his farewell concert at Carnegie Hall, New York, in April 1955.

The programme begins with some of Gigli’s early 78 rpm records of operatic arias, duets and ensembles, made up to the middle of the 1930s. Then come extracts from the recordings of complete operas that Gigli made from 1934 onwards, starting with highlights from one of his most famous roles, the tragic clown Canio in Pagliacci by Leoncavallo.

Then come further extracts from Gigli’s famous complete recordings of La Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Cavalleria rusticana, Andrea Chénier and Un ballo in maschera, followed by more solo recordings from 1940 onwards, climaxing with a spectacular ‘Nessun dorma’ made in 1949.

Gigli’s honeyed tone and his ability to infuse his singing with a great deal of light and shade made him a perfect interpreter of songs, including Neapolitan and Italian popular songs as well as classic ballads. CDs 5 and 6 present a wide selection of this repertoire including such popular titles as ‘’O sole mio’, ‘La danza’, ‘Mattinata’ and ‘La paloma’.

The final CD begins with some of Gigli’s last recordings of popular songs, including the delightful ‘Papaveri e papere’ (‘Poppies and ducks’) and ends with a live recording of Gigli’s farewell concert to an adoring audience at Carnegie Hall, New York, in April 1955 that includes a generous selection of operatic arias and songs from his extensive repertoire.
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Works on This Recording

1.
La Favorita: Spirto gentil by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Unknown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Written: 1843 
2.
Mefistofele: Dai campi, dai prati by Arrigo Boito
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Unknown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Italy 
3.
Iris: Apri la tua finestra! by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Unknown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
4.
L'Amico Fritz: Suzel, buon dì "Cherry Duet" by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor), Nerina Baldisseri (Soprano)
Conductor:  Unknown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Italy 
5.
Fedora: Amor ti vieta by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Unknown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Italy 
6.
La Gioconda: Cielo e mar by Amilcare Ponchielli
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Josef Pasternack
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Written: 1876 
7.
L'Africaine: O paradis sorti de l'onde by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Germany 
8.
Martha: Ach, so fromm by Friedrich von Flotow
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
9.
La Gioconda: Enzo Grimaldo...O grido di quest' anima by Amilcare Ponchielli
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor), Titta Ruffo (Baritone)
Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Italy 
10.
La forza del destino: Solenne in quest' ora by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor), Titta Ruffo (Baritone)
Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862/1869; Italy 
11.
Rigoletto: Bella figlia dell' amore [Quartet] by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor), Amelita Galli-Curci (Soprano), Louise Homer (Alto),
Giuseppe de Luca (Baritone)
Conductor:  Giulio Setti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
12.
Lucia di Lammermoor: Chi mi frena in tal momento? (Sextet) by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Angelo Bada (Tenor), Giuseppe de Luca (Baritone), Beniamino Gigli (Tenor),
Amelita Galli-Curci (Soprano), Louise Homer (Alto), Ezio Pinza (Bass)
Conductor:  Giulio Setti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
13.
Lucia di Lammermoor: Tombe degl'avi miei...Fra poco a me ricovero by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
14.
Lucia di Lammermoor: Tu che a Dio spiegasti l'ali by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor), Ezio Pinza (Bass)
Conductor:  Giulio Setti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
15.
Mignon: Elle ne croyait pas by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; France 
Language: Italian 
16.
Stabat mater: Cujus animam by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832/1842; Italy 
17.
Faust: Salut! demeure chaste et pure by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir Eugene Goossens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
Language: Italian 
18.
Carmen: La fleur que tu m'avais jetée "Flower song" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Franco Ghione
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Language: Italian 
19.
Les pêcheurs de perles: Je crois entendre encore by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir Eugene Goossens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; France 
Language: Italian 
20.
Manon: Instant charmant...En fermant les yeux "Dream of des Grieux" by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
Language: Italian 
21.
La Bohème: Che gelida manina by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir Eugene Goossens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
22.
Serse, HWV 40: Ombra mai fu "Largo" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738; London, England 
23.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Una furtiva lagrima by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
24.
Rigoletto: La donna è mobile by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Franco Ghione
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
25.
Aida: Celeste Aida by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Walter Goehr
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
26.
I Pagliacci: O Colombina il tenero fido "Beppe's Serenade" by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Iva Pacetti (Soprano), Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Franco Ghione
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
27.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Tu qui, Santuzza? by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Dusolina Giannini (Soprano), Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
28.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Mamma, quel vino è generoso "Addio" by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
29.
I Pagliacci: Un tal gioco by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Giuseppe Nessi (Tenor), Iva Pacetti (Soprano), Mario Basiola (Baritone),
Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Franco Ghione
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
30.
I Pagliacci: Recitar!...Vesti la giubba by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Franco Ghione
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
31.
I Pagliacci: Corraggio! by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Iva Pacetti (Soprano), Mario Basiola (Baritone), Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Franco Ghione
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
32.
I Pagliacci: No! Pagliaccio non son! by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Leone Paci (Baritone), Iva Pacetti (Soprano), Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Conductor:  Franco Ghione
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
33.
I Pagliacci: Suviva così terrible by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor), Mario Basiola (Baritone), Iva Pacetti (Soprano),
Giuseppe Nessi (Tenor), Leone Paci (Baritone)
Conductor:  Franco Ghione
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
34.
La Bohème: O soave fanciulla by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor), Licia Albanese (Soprano)
Conductor:  Umberto Berrettoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
35.
La Bohème: Excerpt(s) by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Afro Poli (Baritone), Beniamino Gigli (Tenor), Licia Albanese (Soprano),
Tatiana Menotti (Soprano)
Conductor:  Umberto Berrettoni
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Notes: Act III
Marcello. Finalmente (Rodolfo/Marcello/Mimì)
Mimì è una civetta (Rodolfo/Marcello)
Mimì è tanto malata! (Rodolfo/Marcello/Mimì)
Addio...Donde lieta uscì (Mimì/Rodolfo)
Dunque è proprio finita (Rodolfo/MimìMarcello/Musetta)  

Sound Samples

La favorita: Spirto gentil (2009 Digital Remaster)
Dai campi, dai prati (Mefistofele, Act I)
Iris (1989 Digital Remaster): Apri la tua finestra!
L'amico Fritz: Suzel, buon dì (Cherry Duet)
Fedora: Amor ti vieta (2009 Digital Remaster)
La Gioconda: Cielo e mar (2009 Digital Remaster)
L'africaine: Mi batte il cor...O paradiso (2009 Digital Remaster)
Martha: M'apparei tutt'amor: M'apparì tutt'amor
La Gioconda: Enzo Grimaldo, Principe di Santifior!
La forza del destino: Solenne in quest'ora (2009 Digital Remaster)
Rigoletto: Bella figlia dell'amore (Act 3)
Lucia di Lammermoor (1988 Digital Remaster): Chi mi frena (Sextet)
Lucia di Lammermoor: Tombe degl'avi miei...Fra poco a me ricovero
Lucia di Lammermoor: Oh, meschina!...Giusto cielo, rispondete...Tu che a Dio spiagasti l'ali (2009 Digital Remaster)
Mignon: Ah! non credevi tu (2009 Digital Remaster)
Stabat mater (1990 Digital Remaster): Cujus animam gementem
Faust: Qual turbamento ... Salve dimora, casta e pura (Act 3)
Carmen: Il fior che avevi a me (Act 2)
Les Pecheurs de Perles, Act 1: Romance: Mi par d'udir ancora [Je crois entendre encore]
Manon: O dolce incanto ... Chiuder gli occhi (Act 2)
La Bohème: Che gelida manina (Act 1)
Serse (1988 Digital Remaster): Frondi tenere...Ombra mai fu (Xerxes)
L'elisir d'amore: Una furtiva lagrima (Act II) (1998 Digital Remaster)
Rigoletto: La donna e mobile (Act III) (1998 Digital Remaster)
Aida, Act 1, Scene 1: Romanza: Se quel guerrier io fossi!....Celeste Aida
I Pagliacci (1990 Digital Remaster), Act 2: Ah! Colombina (Serenata d'Arlecchino)
Cavalleria Rusticana (1990 Digital Remaster): Tu qui, Santuzza?
Cavalleria rusticana: Mamma, quel vino è generoso
Pagliacci: Un grande spettacolo...Un tal gioco (1989 Digital Remaster)
Pagliacci: Recitar!...Vesti la giubba (Act I) (1998 Digital Remaster)
Pagliacci, ACT 2: Coraggio! Un uomo era con te (Canio/Nedda/Tonio)
Pagliacci, ACT 2: No, Pagliaccio non son (Canio/Coro/Silvio/Nedda)
Pagliacci, ACT 2: Suvvia, così terrible (Nedda/Canio/Beppe/Tonio/Silvio/Coro)
La Bohème (1990 Digital Remaster), ATTO PRIMO/ACT 1/ERSTER AKT/PREMIER ACTE: O soave fanciulla (Rodolfo/Marcello/Mimì)
La Bohème (1990 Digital Remaster), ATTO TERZO/ACT 3/DRITTER AKT/TROISIEME ACTE: Marcello...Finalmente (Rodolfo/Marcello/Mimì)
La Bohème (1990 Digital Remaster), ATTO TERZO/ACT 3/DRITTER AKT/TROISIEME ACTE: Mimì è una civetta (Rodolfo/Marcello)
La Bohème (1990 Digital Remaster), ATTO TERZO/ACT 3/DRITTER AKT/TROISIEME ACTE: Mimì è tanto malata! (Rodolfo/Marcello/Mimì)
La Bohème (1990 Digital Remaster), ATTO TERZO/ACT 3/DRITTER AKT/TROISIEME ACTE: Addio ... Donde lieta usci al tuo grido d'amore (Rodolfo/Mimì/Marcello/Musetta)
La Bohème (1990 Digital Remaster), ATTO TERZO/ACT 3/DRITTER AKT/TROISIEME ACTE: Dunque è proprio finita (Rodolfo/Mimì/Marcello/Musetta)

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