Three Edison Tenors

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Ruggiero Leoncavallo, Gaetano Donizetti, Friedrich (Adolf Ferdinand) von Flotow, Gioachino Rossini, Georges Bizet, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Meyerbeer, (Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas, Amilcare Ponchielli, (Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes, Giacomo Puccini

Label: Marston

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Acoustic
ADD

Catalogue Number: 51002-2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Pagliacci, 'Players' Giuseppe Anselmi
Ruggiero Leoncavallo Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
(L')Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love' Gaetano Donizetti Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Alessandro Bonci
Lucia di Lammermoor, '(The) Bride of Lammermoor' Giuseppe Anselmi
Gaetano Donizetti Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Martha Friedrich (Adolf Ferdinand) von Flotow Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Alessandro Bonci
(Il) Barbiere di Siviglia, '(The) Barber of Seville' José Mojica
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Gioachino Rossini Composer
(Les) Pêcheurs de Perles, '(The) Pearl Fishers' Georges Bizet Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Giuseppe Anselmi
Lucia di Lammermoor, '(The) Bride of Lammermoor' Alessandro Bonci
Gaetano Donizetti Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Rigoletto Giuseppe Verdi Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Alessandro Bonci
(L')Africaine, '(The) African Maid' Giacomo Meyerbeer Composer
Giuseppe Anselmi
(Anonymous) Orchestra
(Les) Pêcheurs de Perles, '(The) Pearl Fishers' Georges Bizet Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
José Mojica
Mignon Giuseppe Anselmi
(Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Aida Giuseppe Verdi Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Alessandro Bonci
(La) Gioconda Amilcare Ponchielli Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Giuseppe Anselmi
(La) Favorita Giuseppe Anselmi
Gaetano Donizetti Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
(Les) Huguenots Giacomo Meyerbeer Composer
José Mojica
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Lakmé José Mojica
(Anonymous) Orchestra
(Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes Composer
Tosca Giacomo Puccini Composer
Alessandro Bonci
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Luisa Miller Alessandro Bonci
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
(L')Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love' José Mojica
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Gaetano Donizetti Composer
As the producer, Lawrence F. Holdridge, points out in his excellent notes, this is a three-tenors record with a difference. Yet all were famous in their time, which was, for Anselmi and Bonci, the first two decades of the century and for Mojica the third and fourth. All were lyric tenors, Anselmi and Mojica enjoying the good looks to go with their romantic roles, Bonci compensating for his shortness of stature with sweetness of tone. Anselmi, “the tenor of the ladies”, was particularly admired in Russia; Bonci became Oscar Hammerstein’s answer at the Manhattan to Caruso at the Metropolitan; and Mojica, after a decade with the Chicago Opera, went into films, became a missionary priest in Peru, and wrote an autobiography called I, a sinner.
They also recorded for Thomas Edison, which was a passport to rarity-status in the collectors’ market. Results are happiest with Mojica, in the mid-1920s. The voice has an attractive individuality and is consistently well caught. He sings a graceful, fluent “Ecco ridente” (Barbiere di Siviglia), an elegantly poetic “Bianca al par” (Raoul’s “Plus blanche” in Les Huguenots), and his Lakme aria compares well with Schipa’s. There used to be an LP of him on Club 99 but otherwise he has not been favoured with reissues, and the present disc is particularly welcome for his sake.
The Anselmi and Bonci selections are of more variable quality and value. On the whole, the Fonotipia recordings of both tenors are preferable (for instance, Anselmi’s “Vesti la giubba” is more expressive and less wayward in the earlier version). With Bonci it is interesting to compare the Columbias made in the same year (the Columbia “Quando le sere”, for example, is sweeter, more passionate, and more characteristically Bonci). Yet the Edisons have lovely things too, both of the tenors sounding most gracefully ‘at home’ in the solos from Lucia di Lammermoor. I wouldn’t want to listen to them again in sequence – too many incidental regrets arise concerning intonation, breaths taken in the wrong places, and so forth – but the disc will be in constant use for reference; and individually even the most flawed of the items have something special, some quality of grace, imagination or individuality which is distinctively of their time as opposed to our own.'

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