The tenor who started it all.
John Austin | Kangaroo Ground, Australia | 05/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Fee exorbitant, forbid you to record."This was the reply to a telegram sent by Fred Gaisberg, a young American recording agent, who chanced to be in Italy in 1902 and had heard a young tenor named Enrico Caruso sing, and who cabled for permission to spend an afternoon recording him at the fee Caruso named. Many believe that Gaisberg's disobedience marked the true birth of the whole recording industry. A century later, Caruso's resplendent voice and the complete records he subsequently made can be heard at budget price in a series of Naxos reissues. Volume 3 is a good one to select. The voice is sumptuous - baritonal in timbre but encompassing the high tenor range with apparent ease - and the artistry in, for example, "O paradiso", is exemplary. You will hear two of Caruso's recordings of the "Rigoletto" quartet. You will also hear the only recording he made with Dame Nellie Melba. Although the Australian soprano and the Italian tenor were never personally compatible, their voices blend beautifully, especially at the very end of their "La Boheme" duet.Ward Marston is in charge of these reissues. They are as good as can be expected, considering the age of the originals, and considerably better than most I have heard. He has worked from mint condition original pressings."
Don't have to be an Opera Lover to appreciate this
J. E. Hallander | Little Silver, NJ United States | 09/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If we try to compare someone like Caruso to the greats of today, it cannot be done. There just is no way to extract the full range of tonal quality out of these old recordings. But that withstanding, this does not mean you cannot enjoy some beautiful music. Put the pops out your mind, and just listen to the simple beauty. I cannot listen to these recordings without moisture oozing from my eye sockets. Buy and enjoy!"