Top Chenier by top Gigli
Gustavo Demarco | Buenos Aires | 07/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording adds merits to the outstanding Arkadia's 'The 78s' collection (see my comments on Molajoli's Rigoletto in the same series). Here we have the famous Beniamino Gigli in what may be considered his best contribution on record. His Andrea Chenier is so perfect that it is difficult to find a serious match in the wole history of recorded opera in the same role. The aria 'Un di all'azzurro spazio...' is simply unique. His partner is Maria Caniglia. She was also an appreciated soprano of the 40s and 50s, and she often sang together with Gigli. Although she was not always a delicate singer, this recording is also probably her best production on records. Her Maddalena deserves the best concepts, and the famous aria 'La mamma morta...' is simply a piece of antology. Gino Bechi is excellent as Gerard, and the role of La Contessa is sung by a very young Giulietta Simionato. Two minor roles are sung by 'future' La Scala stars: Italo Tajo and Giuseppe Taddei. Oliverio de Fabrittis efficiently conducts the La Scala orchestra in what may be considered a reference version that definitely placed this opera among the top titles. Although the it was recorded in 1941, the quality of sound is very good. This version is a must for Gigli fans, and for opera lovers in general."