Tito Schipa sings Opera Arias and Songs

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Tito Schipa sings Opera Arias and Songs

  • Serse, 'Xerxes', ~, Fronde tenere
  • Serse, 'Xerxes', ~, Ombra mai fu (Largo)
  • (Il) Barbiere di Siviglia, '(The) Barber of Seville', ~, Ecco, ridente in cielo
  • (Il) Barbiere di Siviglia, '(The) Barber of Seville', Se il mio nome
  • (L')Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love', ~, Adina, credimi
  • (L')Elisir d'amore, 'Elixir of Love', Una furtiva lagrima
  • (La) traviata, ~, Un dì, felice
  • (La) traviata, ~, Parigi, o cara
  • Rigoletto, ~, Ella mi fu rapita!
  • Rigoletto, ~, Parmi veder le lagrime
  • Martha, ~, Ach so fromm (M'appari tutt'amor)
  • Lakmé, ~, Fantaisie aux divins mensonges
  • Mignon, Adieu, Mignon! Courage!
  • Werther, ~, Traduire
  • Werther, ~, Pourquoi me réveiller?
  • Pagliacci, 'Players', ~, O Colombina (Serenade)
  • O lieb, so lang du lieben kannst
  • Valencia
  • Princesita
  • Campana di San Giusto
  • Plaisir d'amour
  • Chi se nne scorda occhiu!

The word 'garbo' (see the Italian dictionary) means, among other things, ''elegance'', ''grace'', ''courtesy''. By association, and in matters of voice-production and vocal style, 'Schipa' means much the same. It is almost axiomatic that he probably ''never made an inelegant record'', as the notes to this recital claim. Yet there are some curious anomalies. For instance, at the very start of the first track here, ''Fronde tenere'' has a stylistically inelegant 'lift' to the ''tenere'', and the first note of ''Ombra mai fu'' is approached from well below centre. In the Barbiere arias, though the fioriture are clearly articulated, they lack ideal ease and panache. ''Una furtiva lagrima'', which does have the ideal poise and elegance of tone, leaves one disappointed that there is no phrasing across into ''m'ama'' in the first verse and that the cadenza is a little tame in the second. Then, where this elegant singer often seems to be most truly, joyfully himself is in such distinctly plebeian ditties as Valencia and the irresistible Chi se nne scorda occhiu!.
He is not, then, quite such a straightforward, impeccable exponent of garbo as is generally assumed. Having said that, of course, one could go back to the Rigoletto solo, the Traviata duets, the Mignon, Lakme and Werther arias and find that, in these, that is exactly and superbly what he is: each of them is a locus classicus, a touchstone in any collection. They are heard clearly in these transfers, with surfaces unfiltered, as is this company's policy (Plaisir d'amour being a matter for some chagrin in respect of its sound-quality); I also found a slightly more rattly 'top' to some of them than is usual in this series.'

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