Tag Archives: Enrico Caruso

The End of Right Thinking

Last night Verdi’s Macbeth was performed at the Met without Placido Domingo in the title role as originally scheduled. Domingo is the latest casualty in the ongoing culture war against naughty or really bad behavior depending on your vantage point. More about vantage points later. Fifty one years at the Met and the tenor instantly…


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The I Lombardi Trio

Two days ago I posted the the great trio from Verdi’s I Lombardi, Qual voluttà trascorrere, sung by Erwin Schott, Anna Netrebko, and Jonas Kaufmann. Listening to it caused me to revisit the recording of this number made exactly 100 years ago by Enrico Caruso with Frances Alda and Marcel Journet. Caruso interpolates two high notes near the end and likely had his head…


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Everybody Wants to be Somebody Else

I just wrote a short piece on the young American tenor Michael Spyres. Mr Spyres has an alter ego who has delusions of bassness. See the video below. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXnX6W9TXDI] Of course, Spyres is not the first tenor to masquerade as a bass. Enrico Caruso sang the Coat Song from La Boheme during a performance in Philadelphia on December…


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The Recordings of Enrico Caruso 1919 – 1920 The End

This is the eighth and final installment of my cursory tour through the recorded legacy of Enrico Caruso. The last two years of Caruso’s recording life contained relatively few operatic numbers. As mentioned, there wasn’t much left for him to put to disc. In February of 1919 he got together with Giuseppe De Luca and…


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The Recordings of Enrico Caruso 1916 – 1918

In 1916 Caruso again recorded Je crois entendre encore from the first act of The Pearl Fishers – this time in French. This version compared to that of 1904 is a great improvement though still not up to Gigli’s standard. It’s transposed down a half tone. The final high note is full voiced rather than…


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The Recordings of Enrico Caruso 1914 – 1916

Caruso’s first recording in 1914 was the only one he ever made with his great coeval Titta Ruffo. Allegedly, they also recorded the first act duet from La Gioconda at the same session, but destroyed the matrix before it could be released. Why, if the story is true, the recording was axed is unknown Caruso…


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The Recordings Of Enrico Caruso 1911 – 1913

Caruso returned to the recording studio in November of 1911. Two of the arias he recorded were from Leoncavallo’s La Boheme. This opera might have had a chance at modest success if Puccini’s extraordinary setting of the same story hadn’t appeared at about  the same time. In Leoncavallo’s version Marcello is sung by a tenor.


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The Recordings of Enrico Caruso 1910

Caruso made 25 recording in 1910. Here’s a selection, Solo, profugo, reietto, from Flowtow’s Martha that’s not “M’appari”. It’s almost never played today. Caruso was in splendid voice and makes a fine case for this rarity. The bass in Marcel Journet. The number also shows the tenor’s liberal use of portamento; tenors today are a…


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The Recordings of Enrico Caruso 1905 – 1907

Caruso’s only recording session in 1905 took place in New York on February 27th. He recorded just five numbers. He was again accompanied only by a piano. Though still singing French arias in Italian, the two French selections are the most successful. Caruso’s vocal control was getting more secure. Still he fell back on falsetto…


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The Recordings of Enrico Caruso 1902 – 1904

In the mid 1950’s RCA records issued a deluxe compilation of many of Enrico Caruso’s recordings. The multi-disc set was enclosed in a faux leather case and contained a well illustrated booklet written (though not with strict accuracy) by the Met’s then assistant general manager Francis Robinson. Since purchasing that collection, I’ve been buying different…


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