Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
A lesson in enunciating language brilliantly.
John Austin | Kangaroo Ground, Australia | 06/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Amongst the plethora of CDs currently available devoted to the great Italian tenor Tito Schipa (1889-1956), this is one of the outstanding bargains. It offers a 61 minute recital divided into four sections. First comes the "arie antiche" items. Then follow three groups of popular songs dedicated respectively to Naples, Venice, and Lecce, and sung in the dialects of those cities. Schipa himself had a hand in creating or arranging several of the songs. Aficionados of singers of the past will have encountered this singer in numerous anthologies and collections, if not in CD recitals devoted to him. The voice was not particularly beautiful or robust in tone, but it was used with classic delicacy and artistic allure, even in the songs that clearly depict knockabout fun. Unlike many singers of today, moreover, he enunciated language brilliantly. Listen to this CD from the far end of your house or while you are in the shower, and you'll be in no doubt about what vowel or consonant is being sung. The way the "r" is rolled at the beginning of "Le Violette" is an example of this remarkable vocalising. Immensely popular with audiences and admired by colleagues (including Beniamino Gigli), he was apparently a little unscrupulous in his later years. Italian baritone Tito Gobbi recounted that he too admired him immensely but never felt comfortable singing with him, especially in "Il Barbiere di Siviglia". He eventually discovered that Schipa's luggage contained orchestral parts for the opera transposed down a tone. Shipa arranged secretly for the transposed parts to be substituted, resulting in the ageing Schipa coping well with the tenor part but the youthful Gobbi being forced to growl his low notes."