Amazon is currently selling this 10 CD set for $16.98. Many of the selections are from Met broadcasts. The rest were made in the studio. There is some duplication with the multi-CD sets release three years ago in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Tucker’s birth.
The 1st Act duet from Lucia Di Lammermoor is from a 1954 Met sponsored studio recording made with Lily Pons (1898-1976) in the title role – she sang the part 93 times with company between 1931 (she made her house debut as Lucia) and 1958. Though Tucker made his Met debut in 1945, he didn’t become the full throated spinto tenor he is now remembered as until about the time this recording was made. 1st Act Duet – Pons and Tucker
Tucker is at the peak of his form in the duet and in the opera’s final scene which consists of two arias connected by a brief appearance by the bass – Norman Scott in this recording. Though his vocal cannons were large and loaded at the time of this performance, he doesn’t overwhelm what is a lyric part. Lucia Di Lammermoor: Final scene
The ‘live” recordings will be of most interest to listeners. Tucker appeared in about 70 Saturday afternoon broadcasts during his three decade long career at the Met. The 1st Act aria and duet from Don Carlo are from a 1955 performance. The baritone is Ettore Bastianini. Io l’ho perduta! – Dio che nell’alma infondere
Risë Stevens had the title role in Carmen virtually to herself during the 1950s. In total she sang the role 124 times with the company. Tucker was, vocally at least, the ideal Don Jose. He sang the part 60 times with the Met. Here is the death scene from the opera. It’s one of the greatest examples of dramatic writing in all of the genre. C’est Toi!/ C’est Moi!