LINA PAGLIUGHI, soprano 1907-1980
Discografia completa a 78 giri e registrazione dal vivo 1932-1954
3 CD Edition La Siola d’oro/Papageno


Let me already start with one caveat to this otherwise wonderful Pagliughi edition : it is not complete. 6 wonderful parlophone sides are missing, 5 victor discs and excerpts from ‘Disneyland records’ including her singing of Biancaneve. On the other hand this is a must-have collection of a most wonderful and nowaydays heavily underrated coloratura miracle. The New York born soprano was blessed with purity of tone and a touching timbre and she impresses with her ease in tackling all kinds of ornamentation. Her top register was preserved until the very end as these recordings very well prove. Moreover there was also temperament and passion as her superb recordings of Violetta’s music amply show. Tetrazzini herself declared Pagliughi her successor. Yes, physically she was also on the heavy side but that doesn’t disturb me at all and some may find her ‘fanciuletta’ side -so typical of pre-war coloraturas and Beverly Sills as well- off-putting, I  don’t.
The warmth of the timbre and the technical ease make up for everything. Her Gilda recording of 1927 is simply superb and only Callas and Sutherland are competitors, her Nanetta incarnation for Cetra 28 years later is another tour-de-force. Our collaborator Luciano di Cave (see profiles) wrote her only biography and when he heard her for the first time in 1941 he was impressed by “ the purist of voices; of a timbre so sweet but not colorless; full of energy when it was called for; gifted with a fluidity comparable to water in a clear stream that flows silvery and sparkling; exceptionally gifted in the higher registers where its fullness was always conserved.” The edition includes arias going from Mozart, Rossini, Auber, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Gomes, Giordano, Benedict, Bizet, Thomas etc. to verismo and operetta. Get it while it lasts.
pagliughi-2 Pasero-Pagliughi-Gigli
Rudi van den Bulck