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Artist Argeo Quadri
Title Tosca
Release Date Thursday, September 14, 2006
Genre Opera > Opera
Copyright © Preiser Records

Promotion Text

Paperback Opera

The Tosca recording made by the Westminster Company in 1951 in Vienna had extremely poor sales prospects on the international market because it was released on three long-playing records, while the recordings released by Decca and His Master’s Voice in 1952 filled only two. In addition, Westminster’s cast could not complete with Renata Tebaldi, Giuseppe Campora and Enzo Mascherini on Decca and Benjamino Gigli, Maria Caniglia and Armando Borgioli on His Master’s Voice; while they were excellent singers, they were not as well known internationally as their competition. Even the versions that had been reduced to two long-playing records enjoyed only a short catalogue life because other competing recordings were soon released – in particular the De Sabata interpretation with Maria Callas, Giuseppe Di Stefano and Tito Gobbi. In the end, Westminster gave up and deleted the recording from its catalogue. It was not until 1974 that it was re-released by ABC-Paramount. From the standpoint of today, however, this recording appears in a completely different light. On the one hand, it was the first modern recording of the opera and, on the other, it was outstanding both from an artistic and a technical point of view. The three main roles are sung by singer who today would be absolute world stars. Argeo Quadri’s interpretation leaves nothing to be desired, and the performance by the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera is flawless. The casting of the other roles is also very interesting, with such Viennese singers as Alfred Poell and Karl Dönch and later stars such as Waldemar Kmentt and Walter Berry in the comprimario roles. So even if you already own five or six complete recordings of this opera, you can add this one to your collection with complete confidence. You will be glad you did.