Search - Jules Massenet, Giacomo Puccini, Gaetano Donizetti :: Prima Voce - Caruso

Prima Voce - Caruso
Jules Massenet, Giacomo Puccini, Gaetano Donizetti
Prima Voce - Caruso
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1

Sounding across the years, through the haze of primitive (though remarkably vivid) recordings, the voice of Enrico Caruso is still a miracle. The sense of style, the feeling of effortless control and power held in reserve,...  more »

      
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Amazon.com
Sounding across the years, through the haze of primitive (though remarkably vivid) recordings, the voice of Enrico Caruso is still a miracle. The sense of style, the feeling of effortless control and power held in reserve, and, most of all, the uncanny expressiveness that comes through in Caruso's combination of phrasing, accent, and intensity: it all compels the greatest admiration. Nimbus helpfully specifies the provenance of the takes collected on this disc. They span a period of 17 years, from several matrices recorded early in 1904--two years after Caruso had made his first recordings for The Grammophone Company--to a 1920 Victor recording of "Rachel, quand du Seigneur" from Halévy's La Juive, one of the tenor's signature pieces. Caruso died at the age of 48, when a lot of today's tenors are just reaching their peak. But as these selections show, he was a seasoned artist from the time he was 28. No wonder the world fell at his feet. --Ted Libbey

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CD Reviews

Best singer to date; period !
Kersi Von Zerububbel | San Diego, CA USA | 02/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Thank you Nimbus Records for getting this CD out. I have owned this CD since 1998 and have listened to it numerous times. Enrico Caruso is one of my most favorite singers. Truly, after listening to Caruso sing you will agree that his talent was just enormous. In number after number the VOICE will engulf you, and move you to new heights. Listen to track thirteen, "Ah! Fuyez Douce Image". You will not find a better rendition ANYWHERE. If you like classical singing and if you wish to hear a true great ply his art, this CD is for you. Five stars do not do justice."
Timeless beauty
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 11/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When one hears the richness of Caruso's voice, and the depth of the emotion he expresses, it's hard to fathom that some of these recordings date back 100 years. The tracks are in chronological order, from February 1904 to September 1920.
The first three selections from 1904 are exquisite, and have only a solo piano accompaniment. The "Una Furtiva Lagrima" (track # 3) has a grace and luminosity that is breathtaking.
There are many arias that have remarkable aspects to them, like "Magiche note" from Goldmark's "La Regina di Saba", where he does a series of pianissimos, and of course, his most famous role was as Canio, in Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci", and this CD has both "Vesti la giubba" from 1907, and "No ! Pagliacco non son" from 1910. The latter is phenomenal, and has a deep, dark quality, sounding more like a baritone than a tenor.

There are some rarely heard pieces here, like the Goldmark aria, and "Deserto in terra solo" from Donizetti's "Don Sebastiano", and only occasionally heard is the beautiful "Rachel, quand du Seigneur" from Halevy's "La Juive", and no one can equal Caruso's interpretation of it.
What stands out most about his singing aside from the glorious sound is his phrasing, which is dramatic as well as supremely musical...one of the many reasons the name Caruso has become synonymous with "Italian operatic tenor".

The booklet insert has liner notes on Caruso's career, and a brief synopses for each aria.
The sound considering the age is a marvel, re-mastered from 78 RPM recordings, and states "A breakthrough in archive sound reproduction, Nimbus Natural Ambisonic Transfer technology preserves the immediacy and fidelity of the original performance". Thank goodness Caruso's emergence as a singer and the gramophone came into existence at the same time, so that recordings like this can still be heard.
Total playing time is 74'58.
"
A Very Good Place to Start with Caruso's Art
BLee | HK | 04/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The best transfer of Caruso I can lay my hand on so far. There is no surface noise and the beauty of his voice is not at all compromised, it sounds as though it is recorded in the 50s ! Caruso eclipses the great tenors of all other ages with ease. However be reminded that to some audience, his singing is dated at least so in term of taste. Others may wish to add more songs or arias to show the best of his voice etc. The fact is, this CD runs 69.31 minutes which is more than sufficicinet to give the audience a good profile of the greatest voice of the century."