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Artists Of The Century - Jussi Bjorling, The Ultimate Collection
Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni
Artists Of The Century - Jussi Bjorling, The Ultimate Collection
Genres: Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #2

Surely Björling was one of the greatest tenors of his or any other time, not only for the clarion ring, the purity, and the melting lyricism of his voice, but for his effortless lightness, impeccable intonation, endless br...  more »

     
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Surely Björling was one of the greatest tenors of his or any other time, not only for the clarion ring, the purity, and the melting lyricism of his voice, but for his effortless lightness, impeccable intonation, endless breath control, and natural phrasing and line, enhanced by old-fashioned but wonderfully expressive scoops and slides. On this generous two-disc set, he is heard in a huge selection of arias and some duets with distinguished colleagues; most of them were recorded separately, and a few are excerpted from complete opera recordings--unfortunately not very skillfully, stopping abruptly in mid-phrase if not mid-note. No matter; the miraculous thing is that Björling, whether singing an entire role or a single aria, can instantly create a character and bring him to vibrant life. He sings everything in the original keys--his high B-flats, B's, and C's are thrilling--and almost everything in the original language, including a few songs by Schubert, Strauss, and Grieg. Recorded live in recital, they are delightful--only one is too operatic. Among his partners, soprano Zinka Milanov and baritone Robert Merrill stand out. This recording presents an incomparable artist at his incomparable best. --Edith Eisler

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CD Reviews

Bjorling was one of the century's greatest voices
pm444 | Okemos, MI USA | 09/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This collection from BMG offers over 2 and a half hours from his recordings of the 1950s. The sound of the CD transfers is outstanding. In addition to the usual solo arias, there are duets with Robert Merrill, Licia Albanese, and Zinka Milanov. Bjorling's voice was one of a kind, almost patrician in tone, but never cold or lacking in expression. This set is indispensable, as well as a great value. My only complaint is the packaging: the cover photo is very dated and would lead one to think the recordings were from the 40s, and the notes are skimpy, with BMG's usual footnotes to give information about the various tracks. But these are minor when compared to the hours of beautiful singing you get when you buy this set."
The Incomparable Jussi Bjorling
J. Olsen | Everett, WA United States | 09/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have and always will be grateful for the unmatched voice of the great tenor Jussi Bjorling. However, what astounds me in this recording is not only the performance of Bjorling as well as other stellar artists, but the quality of the recording itself.I am of the age to well remember "High Fidelity," but never imagined how well it was developed in the 50's until I heard this recording. Thanks to recording techniques at that time, one is now treated to the true quality of the artist's voice.Jussi Bjorling, in my humble opinion, surpasses Caruso as well as Pavorotti in purity, delivery, artistry and strength. It has been a long time since I have heard a worthy recording of this great tenor. Having heard this recording I feel as though I am, once again, a youth exposed for the first time to the beauty of such a powerfully magnificent and vibrant voice.I shall treasure my copy of "Artists of the Century - Jussi Bjorling - The Ultimate Collection" for years to come and be most grateful every time I hear it that finally I have a worthy recording of this great tenor. There is but one word for me when the name Jussi Bjorling is mentioned and that word is incomparable"
My Favorite Tenor
VPerry_co_dutchess | 10/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Here's a true story: 40 years ago a man's driving his car,; "The Pearl Fisher" duet comes on the radio; the man pulls over and is brought to tears. 30 years later the same thing happens to that man's son - by the same song, same singer.Jussi Bjorling (and Robert Merrill) sing in this first duet about putting aside their contest over a woman to remain friends. I know of no other two men singing that can create more sublime music than this. Also transcendent is the third song ("Io l'ho perduta" from Don Carlo). I don't have translated lyrics but when they get to "liberta" - that leaves me in a puddle.I recommend this two CD set over Bmg/Rca Victor - #7799 which is only a single CD package ....I don't care what you normal musical preference is for; if you are unaffected by Jussi Bjorling, sell your ears to someone who'll use them"