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Paperback Opera: Pagliacci GA 1930

Artist Francesco Merli / Rosetta Pampanini / Carlo Galeffi / Gino Vanelli / Giuseppe Nessi / Lorenzo Molajoli
Title Paperback Opera: Pagliacci GA 1930
Release Date 2010-08-10
Genre Classical > Opera
Copyright © Preiser Records
Country AUSTRIA

Promotion Text

Paperback Opera

Following the introduction of the electrical recording process in 1925 and 1926 – the exact date varies from country to country – there was an increasing tendency to record complete operas. Both His Master’s Voice and Columbia Records had access to the singers of La Scala in Milan. Since the two labels were competitors at the time, they often released competing recordings of the same opera. From a present-day perspective we can say that Columbia led by a nose: the label succeeded in signing artists who were thus not permitted to record for His Master’s Voice. Among Columbia’s sopranos were Giannina Arangi Lombardi, Lina Bruna Rasa, Mercedes Capsir, Gina Cigna, Gilda Dalla Rizza, Mafalda Favero, Maria Gentile, Iva Pacetti, Rosetta Pampaninni, Bianca Scacciati and Maria Zamboni. The label’s mezzo-sopranos included Aurora Buades, Maria Capuana, Ebe Stignani and Giuseppina Zinetti. Among the tenors were Dino Borgioli, Lionello Cecil, Alessandro Granda, Aroldo Lindi, Enzo de Muro Lomanto, Luigi Marini, Antonio Melandri and Francesco Merli. The baritones included Carlo Galeffi, Emilio Ghirardini, Gino Lulli, Carmelo Maugeri, Enrico Molinari, Giacomo Rimini, Riccardo Stracciari and Gino Vanelli, while the basses were Salvatore Baccaloni, Nazzareno De Angelis and Tancredi Pasero. The artists mentioned here are only those who participated in complete opera recordings. The series began in November 1928 with La traviata featuring Mercedes Capsir, Lionello Cecil and Carlo Galeffi, followed by Aida with Giannina Arangi Lombardi, Maria Capuana, Aroldo Lindi, Armando Borgioli and Tancredi Pasero. Then came La Boheme with Rosetta Pampanini, Luigi Marini, Gino Vanelli and Tancredi Pasero. With these three operas Columbia Records launched what was to become an extensive series. In September 1929 came Madama Butterfly with Rosetta Pampanini, Alessandro Granda and Gino Vanelli and in November Il barbiere di Siviglia with Riccardo Stracciari, Dino Borgioli and Mercedes Capsir. They were followed by Tosca with Bianco Scacciati, Alessandro Granda and Enrico Molinari, Lucia di Lammermoor with Mercedes Capsir, Enzo de Muro Lomanto and Enrico Molinari, and Cavalleria rusticana with Giannina Arangi Lombardi, Antonio Melandri, Gino Lulli. I pagliacci was also indispensable, of course, and featured Francesco Merli, Rosetta Pampanini, Carlo Galeffi and Gino Vanelli. In October 1930 Rigoletto followed, with Riccardo Stracciari, Mercedes Capsir, Dino Borgioli and Ernesto Dominici. The same October Il trovatore was recorded with Francesco Merli, Bianca Scacciati, Giuseppina Zinetti and Enrico Molinari. Other recordings of that year were Andrea Chenier with Lina Bruna Rasa, Luigi Marini and Carlo Galeffi and Manon Lescaut with Maria Zamboni, Francesco Merli and Lorenzo Conati. The year 1931 saw recordings of Fedora with Gilda Dalla Rizza, Antonio Melandri and Emilio Ghirardini, and La gioconda with Giannina Arangi Lombardi, Ebe Stignani, Alessandro Granda, Gaetano Viviani and Corrado Zambelli. In March 1932 there was Mefistofele with Nazzareno De Angelis, Mafalda Favero, Gianna Arangi Lombardi and Antonio Melandri followed in April by Falstaff with Giacomo Rimini, Pia Tassinari, Ines Alfani Tellini, Aurora Buades, Roberto D’Alessio and Emilio Ghirardini. In April and May the company recorded Carmen with Aurora Buades, Aureliano Pertile, Benvenuto Franci and Ines Alfani Tellini. Thus in the space of only three and a half years, 18 complete operas were recorded under the musical direction of Lorenzo Molajoli with the chorus and orchestra of La Scala, Milan.