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Opera Arias & Songs 1902-1904
The Complete Caruso: Volumes 1 - 12 The Italian tenor Enrico Caruso holds a unique place in musical history, as the first operatic singer whose recordings sold in millions, and who created an international reputation on t... more »
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The Complete Caruso: Volumes 1 - 12 The Italian tenor Enrico Caruso holds a unique place in musical history, as the first operatic singer whose recordings sold in millions, and who created an international reputation on the strength of these. Caruso's robust tone and musical sincerity made him both an ideal stage and recording artist, whose voice the primitive acoustic recording technology of the early twentieth century was able to reproduce with startling fidelity. The Naxos Historical Caruso edition constitutes the complete cycle of all Caruso's recordings issued in chronological order. In addition, the transfers have been immaculately undertaken by top sound engineer Ward Marston, unrivalled for his knowledge of the specialized world of acoustic opera recordings, and his rare ability to retrieve all of the music lying in the grooves of the original recordings. Naxos Historical's incredible price (12 CD'S FOR THE PRICE OF 10) puts this unique legacy of great singing within the reach of all music-lovers. This! complete cycle of recordings represents a major document in the history of sound recording, and one which no collector and enthusiast of great singing will wish to be without. "There is no series of vocal records that have a greater documentary value, that meant more to the development of the phonograph record, or that are as consistently capable of providing pleasure to lovers of great singing. ...One of the most significant recording industry events of the decade." Fanfare
Essential edition for opera lovers
Todd L. Kosovich | St James, Minnesota United States | 01/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set gives you the opportunity to follow the entire recording career of one of the greatest singers in Operatic History. Enrico Caruso was the first superstar of the 20th century -- and this without the benefit of mass media. His person and his records were his greatest publicity.
The set begins with Caruso's Italian made recordings. They show a great raw talent. The artistry is lacking with many sobs, over acting and mistaken cues. The 1902 and 1903 clearly show a tenor with a lot to learn. But learn it he did. His 1904 sessions show a mature artist on par with any heard since. His voice matures before your very ears and by 1910, you wonder if you will ever listen to any other tenor the same way again.
The engineering used for this set is wonderful. There is no attempt at all to use the soundstream process of computer sound enhancement as heard on the RCA issued sets. These are near perfect mint conditioned discs copied by engineer extraordinary Ward Marston. They sound like natural 78s, they way Caruso himself must have heard the playbacks at the (RCA) Victor studios.
Also included are outtakes and extra takes. There is a "Celeste Aida" from 1908, complete with a broken high note, previously released by RCA in a 1973 set commemorating the tenor's centenary birthday. But there are new treasures here as well, including extra takes of two of Caruso's greatest recordings, the Italian song "L'Alba separa dalla l'uce ombra" and an aria from Rubinestine's Nerone. Listening to them, one wonders what Caruso could have possible thought inadquate in those long lost altenative takes.
Finally, there is the simple joy of hearing so many things so well sung. Caruso was the pinnacle of the tenor art. He can be compared to no other single tenor since ... he has the brilliant ring of Bjorling, the passion of Gigli, the beauty of Gedda, the youthful enthusiasm of Lanza, the warm tonal quality of Tucker, the pure strength of Corelli, the charasma of Pavarotti and the artestry of Domingo.
Whether you are an opera fan, a voice fan or just a music lover. This set is worth every penny.
Get It While You Can
Kevin J. Roberts | 10/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This may not be easy to get in the USA for very long.....don't miss it."
Charming in it's antiquity...
T. Braselton | Olathe, Kansas United States | 12/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an absolutely necessary for any true Opera buff. Caruso is, with out a doubt the greatest tenor of all time, and this recording shows that well. The only reason I gave it a 4 instead of a 5 is the fact that it has a lot of hiss. This is unavoidable since all of the songs were recorded between 1902 and 1910, but I would not recommend buying this set if you cannot stand that sound for long. The technique, the passion... it's all there! It's a good collection of the world's "pioneer" tenor."