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Pavarotti - The Early Years Vol 1


Release Date: 09/13/1994 
Label:  Rca Victor Gold Seal Catalog #: 62541   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Vincenzo BelliniGaetano DonizettiJules MassenetGiacomo Puccini,   ... 
Performer:  Luciano PavarottiGiuseppe MorresiMirella Freni
Conductor:  Argeo QuadriNino BonavolontàNino SanzognoPeter Maag,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Catania Teatro Massimo Bellini Opera OrchestraRome Symphony OrchestraMilan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 0 Hours 51 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Probably the unique penalty of singing as well as Pavarotti has been doing in his late fifties is that records of 'the early years' come as less of a revelation than they do with most other tenors. The impact is also lessened by the relatively late age at which these years find him. We have one item from 1964, when he was 29, but most of the rest come from 1967-69 when he was in his thirties. On the whole, the famous Italian tenors of the century were well-established internationally and on record by then, and we would be unlikely to include recordings made at, say, the age of 34 among those of the early period. What we have from Pavarotti in these two discs is a voice already in its prime and an art already mature.

The
Read more essential basis of the art is the legato style, the even binding of notes within the phrase. The first item of all on the disc, the "Una furtiva lagrima", is commonly regarded as a test-piece, with the result that tenors are often on best behaviour for the duration and return to their bad old ways as soon as it is over.. But hear Pavarotti's legato in the waltz, "Qual destin", from La fille du regiment: of course it is the nine top Cs that take the attention, but those are incidentals, and the basis lies in the fine evenness with which the melody is sung. He also refrains from disrupting the surface of a melody with the intrusive H, about which so many of his countrymen (critics as well as singers) seem more or less indifferent: thus the end of the Traviata recitative does not go "tu-hu-tto-ho i-hil pa-ha-ssa-ha-ha (etc.)-to" but is a broad, smooth, respectable piece of singing. He can also be discovered singing softly, offering (for example) a gracefully quiet ending to the RigoIetto aria only to have its most testing note, the final G flat, drowned in cries of "Braviss!". For variety of touch try "La donna è mobile", for tenderness of expression "Che gelida manina", for bitterness the Luisa Miller excerpt.

That aria also illustrates some of the artistic limitations, for the mood is too simply defined, just as the melodic line is too unimaginatively handled. The Puritani solos want light-and-shade and the more refined sensibility we gesture towards when we say 'poetry'. Never mind: it is a refined art compared with many, and the voice is a marvel.

The two discs (it will be observed) are not just another reassortment of the usual plentifully anthologized studio recordings, but instead come live from Rome, Catania, Modena and Turin. There are also five extracts from performances at La Scala, and one from the Grudgionz Festival of 1964. This is the "Nessun dorms" of which it would be pleasant, but untrue, to say that it is a revelation of youthful sensitivity to mood and the opportunities for shading: it is, in fact, just a lusty 'sing', and not markedly different from the performance which rang round the world more recently. I did find genuinely exciting the passage from I Capuleti e i Montecchi (La Scala, 1966), and very charming the duet from La fille du regiment with Mirella Freni.

Recorded sound is always clear though rather variable in level and quality. The items are presented in no discernibly logical order, though at least the three Rigoleuo solos are grouped together. Neither of the discs can be called generous in their timings, respectively, of 51 and 46 minutes. As most of them appear to derive from complete performances, one would have thought it might have been possible to extract a little more.

-- Gramophone [10/1995]
reviewing volume 1 and volume 2
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
I puritani: A una fonte afflitto...Corre a vale by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Argeo Quadri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Catania Teatro Massimo Bellini Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 03/22/1968 
Venue:  Live  Catania, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Una furtiva lagrima by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nino Bonavolontà
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/01/1967 
Venue:  Live  Rome 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Quanto è bella! Quanto è cara! by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nino Bonavolontà
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/01/1967 
Venue:  Live  Rome 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
4.
La fille du régiment: Ah, mes amis...Pour mon âme by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Giuseppe Morresi (Bass Baritone), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nino Sanzogno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/11/1969 
Venue:  Live  Teatro Alla Scala, Milan, Italy 
Length: 7 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5.
Manon: Ah! fuyez, douce image by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Peter Maag
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
Date of Recording: 05/31/1969 
Venue:  Live  Teatro Alla Scala, Milan, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
6.
Manon: Instant charmant...En fermant les yeux "Dream of des Grieux" by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Peter Maag
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
Date of Recording: 05/31/1969 
Venue:  Live  Teatro Alla Scala, Milan, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
7.
La Bohème: Che gelida manina by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nino Bonavolontà
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/01/1967 
Venue:  Live  Rome 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
8.
La Bohème: O soave fanciulla by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Leone Magiera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Modena Teatro Comunale Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/29/1967 
Venue:  Live  Modena, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
9.
La fille du régiment: Depuis l'instant by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Mirella Freni (Soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nino Sanzogno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/11/1969 
Venue:  Live  Teatro Alla Scala, Milan, Italy 
Length: 8 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
10.
Stabat mater: Cujus animam by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832/1842; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/22/1967 
Venue:  Live  Rome 
Length: 6 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: Latin 

Sound Samples

Act II: Una furtiva lagrima
Amici miei, che allegro giorno
Ah, dispar, vision
Son già lontani ... Corre a valle, corre a monte
A viva ... Da quell'istante
Act I: Che gelida manina
Cujus animam
Quanto è bella, quanto è cara
Act II: Chiudo gli occhi
Act I: O soave fanciulla

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