Search - Georges Bizet, Cortis, Gaetano Donizetti :: Antonio Cortis

Antonio Cortis
Georges Bizet, Cortis, Gaetano Donizetti
Antonio Cortis
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #1


      
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The one who got away. (Well, almost....)
W. Hauff | Surfers Paradise, Australia | 02/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After many years of listening to singers from "The Cobweb Department", I happened upon Spanish tenor, Antonio Cortis (1891 - 1952). Jan Neckers listed him as a finalist - "In Search of the Ten Best Recordings of Nessun Dorma" (www.jussibjorlingsociety.com/BestNessunDorma.htm).
On this CD the arias, mainly from mainstream Italian and French opera, are all sung in Italian, with a few Spanish songs bringing up the rear.
Mainly self taught, with some advice from Caruso during a production of Pagliacci in 1917, Cortis sings with a similar command and authority to the great man. His voice is lighter, less baritone, but more agile and perhaps a tonal amalgam of Caruso and Harry Secombe.
While not as markedly characteristic as his compatriot, the mezzo soprano Conchita Supervia, you will hear a similar approach to infectious rhythm and expressive flow. Indeed the flow seemed to me to be more akin to a dancer "playing with the music", sometimes slightly lagging the beat, sometimes moving almost against it; these are very sophisticated lyric-spinto performances.
Cortis gives equal weighting to both music and lyrics. His top notes are easily produced, never excessive - serving the needs of the piece rather than pitching to the audience.
The well written sleeve notes suggest a few reasons Cortis did not make it into the big time. He never sang at the Met (although he sang at other major American houses), perhaps he was badly managed and he did not push himself forward.
There is some surface noise but the voice and approach are so engaging you'll probably say, "What surface noise?"
There is a generous 79 minutes of music.
I have not received a more pleasant aural surprise for years. Top marks.
"