Decca 480 0150

Dedicated fans of the great dramatic tenor will have to get this latest 3 CD compilation from the decca archives in spite of the fact that most of the material on the three cd’s is also available on decca’s Orginals Masters box (see profiles). They will certainly buy the low-priced edition if only because of the marvellous photographs in the 71 pp booklet and the two previously unpublished rarities. These are Pollione’s act one scena and the duet between him and Adalgisa. Totalling more than 18 minutes of music from the aborted Norma decca wanted to record in the summer of  1958 under Gavazzeni and with a splendid Giulietta Simionato as Adalgisa. Yet no explanation at all in the booklet  why  this production was aborted. Fans and non-fans would like to know though. Moreover this would also have been a perfect opportunity to publish Del Monaco’s other unpublished recordings (film songs, Werther aria, patriotic songs…) in that sense the box is a missed chance.
Yet the budget -though luxurious- edition will be welcomed by those who didn’t buy the original masters series or fans of both the tenor and Mme Simionato longing for completeness.
Those who want to get the box can buy it by going to the Del Monaco site in the ‘links’ section.

Rudi van den Bulck, Operanostalgia