Ferruccio Tagliavini sings songs

Double CD Flashback BMG Ricordi 82876582032

At the beginning of the sixties RCA Italiana recorded the tenor in 3 LP’s of Italian and Neapolitan popular songs. Two of the three rare recitals are now re-issued. First question: why not all 3 as they would easily have fit on 2 CD’s (the CD’s in this 2 CD-album under review both last only 38 minutes). And is it really too much to ask to put a date of recording and maybe a few words on the singer in the sleeve notes. Even in a budget issue like this one this should be possible. The tenor is in good voice throughout  though he has a tendency to force his slender voice to make a bigger sound. The problem however is that he is up to stiff competition; in the first place his younger self. Songs like Voglio vivere cosi and Tu non mi lascerai he recorded in the fourties and the honeyed sound and pure velvet of the voice of those days have not completely disappeared but the difference is marked. He has a tendency to sing everything straight so that the different moods of the songs are not very well sketched. He doesn’t show the wicked joy Gigli brought to La Spagnola and he cannot compete with Corelli’s richness in Core’ngrato or Del Monaco’s ardour in Dicitencello vuie. Even La Girometta and Rondine al nido sound somewhat tame compared to Pavarotti’s classic performances. So, all in all we still hear a good Italian tenor voice though not one that makes one sit still and take notice.

Jan Neckers, Operanostalgia