(The) Sublime Voice of Carlo Bergonzi

Carlo Bergonzi receives the compilation treatment and reminds us what a superb singer he was

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Giuseppe Verdi, Francesco Cilea, Giacomo Puccini, Ruggiero Leoncavallo, Amilcare Ponchielli, Pietro Mascagni

Label: Decca

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

ADD

Catalogue Number: 467 023-2DX2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Rigoletto Milan La Scala Chorus
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Fiorenza Cossotto
Renata Scotto
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Carlo Bergonzi
Rafael Kubelík
Milan La Scala Orchestra
Adriana Lecouvreur Francesco Cilea Composer
Carlo Bergonzi
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Madama Butterfly Giacomo Puccini Composer
Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
Enzo Sordello
Fiorenza Cossotto
Renata Tebaldi
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Carlo Bergonzi
Tullio Serafin
Aida Carlo Bergonzi
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Herbert von Karajan
Renata Tebaldi
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
(La) traviata John Pritchard
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Joan Sutherland
Maggio Musicale
Carlo Bergonzi
(Un) ballo in maschera, '(A) masked ball' Sylvia Stahlman
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Carlo Bergonzi
Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Georg Solti
(Un) ballo in maschera, '(A) masked ball' Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
Sylvia Stahlman
Georg Solti
Carlo Bergonzi
Pagliacci, 'Players' Carlo Bergonzi
Ruggiero Leoncavallo Composer
Herbert von Karajan
Milan La Scala Orchestra
Madama Butterfly Enzo Sordello
Renata Tebaldi
Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Fiorenza Cossotto
Carlo Bergonzi
Giacomo Puccini Composer
Tullio Serafin
(Il) trovatore Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Carlo Bergonzi
Milan La Scala Chorus
Milan La Scala Orchestra
Tullio Serafin
Ettore Bastianini
Otello Giuseppe Verdi Composer
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Carlo Bergonzi
Nello Santi
(La) Bohème, 'Bohemian Life' Tullio Serafin
Gianna d' Angelo
Ettore Bastianini
Renata Tebaldi
Carlo Bergonzi
Giacomo Puccini Composer
Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
(La) Bohème, 'Bohemian Life' Renata Tebaldi
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Giacomo Puccini Composer
Carlo Bergonzi
Tullio Serafin
Ettore Bastianini
Gianna d' Angelo
Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
(La) Bohème, 'Bohemian Life' Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
Giacomo Puccini Composer
Ettore Bastianini
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Tullio Serafin
Renata Tebaldi
Gianna d' Angelo
Carlo Bergonzi
Manon Lescaut Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Carlo Bergonzi
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Giacomo Puccini Composer
Madama Butterfly Carlo Bergonzi
Fiorenza Cossotto
Enzo Sordello
Renata Tebaldi
Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
Giacomo Puccini Composer
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Tullio Serafin
Tosca Carlo Bergonzi
Giacomo Puccini Composer
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Gianandrea Gavazzeni
(La) Bohème, 'Bohemian Life' Carlo Bergonzi
Giacomo Puccini Composer
Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
Tullio Serafin
Gianna d' Angelo
Renata Tebaldi
Ettore Bastianini
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Adriana Lecouvreur Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Francesco Cilea Composer
Carlo Bergonzi
Gianandrea Gavazzeni
(Un) ballo in maschera, '(A) masked ball' Carlo Bergonzi
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Georg Solti
Sylvia Stahlman
Aida Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Renata Tebaldi
Carlo Bergonzi
Herbert von Karajan
Rigoletto Fiorenza Cossotto
Rafael Kubelík
Milan La Scala Chorus
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Carlo Bergonzi
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Renata Scotto
Milan La Scala Orchestra
(Un) ballo in maschera, '(A) masked ball' Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
Carlo Bergonzi
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Georg Solti
Sylvia Stahlman
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Madama Butterfly Fiorenza Cossotto
Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
Carlo Bergonzi
Tullio Serafin
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Renata Tebaldi
Giacomo Puccini Composer
Enzo Sordello
Don Carlo Georg Solti
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Carlo Bergonzi
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden
(Un) ballo in maschera, '(A) masked ball' Georg Solti
Carlo Bergonzi
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Sylvia Stahlman
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
(La) traviata Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Carlo Bergonzi
Joan Sutherland
Maggio Musicale
John Pritchard
(La) traviata Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Joan Sutherland
Maggio Musicale
Carlo Bergonzi
John Pritchard
(La) Bohème, 'Bohemian Life' Giacomo Puccini Composer
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus, Rome
Tullio Serafin
Carlo Bergonzi
Ettore Bastianini
Gianna d' Angelo
Renata Tebaldi
(La) Gioconda Amilcare Ponchielli Composer
Lamberto Gardelli
Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome
Carlo Bergonzi
Cavalleria rusticana Milan La Scala Orchestra
Fiorenza Cossotto
Carlo Bergonzi
Herbert von Karajan
Pietro Mascagni Composer
(Il) trovatore Milan La Scala Chorus
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Carlo Bergonzi
Milan La Scala Orchestra
Ettore Bastianini
Tullio Serafin
Rigoletto Milan La Scala Chorus
Renata Scotto
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Rafael Kubelík
Milan La Scala Orchestra
Carlo Bergonzi
Fiorenza Cossotto
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
'Carlo Bergonzi is known as the tenor's tenor' apparently. He was also very much the critic's tenor and, as far as I can recall, he was the public's too. For a different opinion see Opera Fanatic ('Bergonzi is overrated'), spring 1986. Meanwhile, start listening.
The collection opens with one of the warmest gelide manine ever. The voice is at its freshest and most beautiful (the recording comes, with other excerpts, from the 1959 Boheme under Serafin), but impresses especially with the variety of its handling, the fertility of imagination. A year earlier, the Butterfly is similarly delightful, Bergonzi's Pinkerton being all confidence and energy, ardent in his Yankee patriotism as in his very Italian love-making. These are some of the best things, but the composer most closely associated with Bergonzi, and of whom we hear most, is not Puccini but Verdi. From the Rigoletto of 1964 (Kubelik) all of the Duke's solos find something very close to their ideal singer, the clean cut of the voice suiting their requirement for an elegance of manner. That is an immediate presence, too, in the items from Un ballo in maschera (Solti, 1962) : Bergonzi's voice at the start of the second disc enters with magical lightness and grace in the opening phrases of 'La rivedra nell' estasi'. Then, how the Karajan Aida (1959) challenges its singers with those (you'd think) impossibly slow speeds - and how nobly Bergonzi meets the challenge in his 'Celeste Aida'.
Not everything is as good as that: he unexpectedly turns his verse of 'Parigi, o cara' to mush (perhaps anticipating what Sutherland is about to do with hers), and I wouldn't for choice choose his 'Di quella pira' to take into battle. Otello's monologue (1975) is not really in his voice or sensibility. Some of the excerpts end abruptly, and sometimes the sequence is disconcerting. Transfers are generally fine, but tracks from the 1958 recital under Gavazzeni have a rough surface on the voice. This is a collection for dotting around rather than listening from start to finish, but whatever the procedure, I can't think it is going to win many recruits for the 'Bergonzi-is-overrated' lobby.'

Gramophone Print

  • Print Edition

From £67/year

Subscribe

The Gramophone Digital Club

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive
  • Reviews Database
  • Events & Offers

From £90/year

Subscribe

Gramophone Reviews

  • Reviews Database

From £67/year

Subscribe

Gramophone Digital Edition

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive

From £67/year

Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.