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Puccini: Il Trittico / Bellezza, Serafin, Santini, Gobbi

Release Date: 12/08/1992 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 64165   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Fedora BarbieriPiero de PalmaPlinio ClabassiTito Gobbi,   ... 
Conductor:  Vincenzo BellezzaTullio SerafinGabriele Santini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House ChorusRome Opera House Orchestra
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 2 Hours 41 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is the classic Trittico, and the obvious first recommendation

Unless you insist on the most up-to-date recorded sound, or on buying the individual operas of Puccini's trilogy separately (and that, regrettably, is becoming harder to do these days; most available recordings come as indivisible boxed sets) this is the classic Trittico, and the obvious first recommendation. Gobbi's blackly authoritative but pitiful Michele in Il Tabarro and his genially authoritative Schicchi (the two outer panels of the triptych do match, in an odd sort of way) have seldom been equalled, let alone surpassed. De los Angeles's Angelica is more purely and movingly sung than any other on record, and her Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi is
Read more enchanting. Could it be said, even so, that Il Tabarro is the weak link in this trilogy? It is a three-hander, surely, and neither the soprano nor the tenor are quite in Gobbi's league? Mas is a bit plummy and mezzo-ish, true, but the slight implication this gives that Giorgetta's liaison with the young stevedore Luigi is her last chance at escape from a hateful life and a marriage that has soured adds an extra twinge of pain to a plot in which all three principals are victims. And in this context Prandelli's slightly strenuous rawness of tone characterizes Luigi rather well.

In Gianni Schicchi, Carlo del Monte as Rinuccio also looks like under-casting but in fact he's one of the few tenors who've recorded the part who sounds convincingly young, and his ardent praise of Florence and the 'new men' who are reinvigorating the city is proudly sung. Here, too, Gobbi is surrounded by a constellation of pungent character actors, and de los Angeles in Suor Angelica is teamed with a charmingly girlish, impulsive Genovieffa and with Fedora Barbieri's rigidly implacable Princess (is there another parallel here, with the stiff-necked Zita, 'La Vecchia', in Gianni Schicchi?). With generally very stylish conducting throughout (only Belezza in Il Tabarro is a touch staid, and he omits nearly all of Puccini's off-stage sound effects) only the rather elderly recordings might be seen as a drawback. EMI boldly label the whole set 'stereo', but both Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica sound like minimally 'processed' mono to me: a touch congested in fuller pasages, a hint of fizzy brightness here and there but nothing that's not abundantly worth putting up with for such performances as these.

-- Michael Oliver, Gramophone [6/1993]
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Works on This Recording

Il Trittico by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Fedora Barbieri (Mezzo Soprano), Piero de Palma (Baritone), Plinio Clabassi (Bass),
Tito Gobbi (Baritone), Victoria de los Angeles (Soprano), Anna Maria Canali (Mezzo Soprano),
Carlo Del Monte (Tenor), Mina Doro (Soprano), Giacinto Prandelli (Tenor),
Margaret Mas (Soprano)
Conductor:  Vincenzo Bellezza,  Tullio Serafin,  Gabriele Santini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Chorus,  Rome Opera House Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Language: Italian 
Il Tabarro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Plinio Clabassi (Bass), Piero de Palma (Tenor), Giacinto Prandelli (Tenor),
Tito Gobbi (Baritone), Silvia Bertona (Soprano), Margaret Mas (Soprano)
Conductor:  Vincenzo Bellezza
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1955 
Venue:  Rome 
Language: Italian 
Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles (Soprano), Fedora Barbieri (Mezzo Soprano), Mina Doro (Soprano)
Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1957 
Venue:  Rome 
Language: Italian 
Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Anna Maria Canali (Mezzo Soprano), Victoria de los Angeles (Soprano), Tito Gobbi (Baritone),
Carlo Del Monte (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gabriele Santini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Venue:  Rome 
Language: Italian 

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