My friends, stop looking for Boito’s gem…This is the best MEPHISTO on earth, not because of Tebaldi/Del Monaco/Decca…but because of the magnificent bass Cesare Siepi.
Reposted, now with FF links
# Composer: Arrigo Boito
# Performer: Cesare Siepi, Renata Tebaldi, Mario Del Monaco
# Orchestra: Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome
# Conductor: Tullio Serafin
# Vinyls (1958)
# Number of Discs: 3
# Format: Flac
# Label: Decca
# DR-Analysis: DR 13
# ASIN CD: B00000421J
# Size: 2.51 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory
Although there has not been many recordings of this opera, the first complete recording from Decca is still the best. Tullio Serafin with the Saint Cecilia Academy Orchestra & Chorus and Tebaldi, del Monaco, and Siepi bring the correct weight and sentiment to this great opera based on Goethe’s Faust.
Siepi is a demi-god, or should I say “devil”? As for Tebaldi, del Monacao and every other glorious voice, all sublime. The music, passion, intensity of this well-recorded version is so elevating, that finding fault with Boito’s libretto seems facile and unnecessary.
As far as I’m concerned, Boito deserves far more attention for his capacity as composer: if people read amymore, they’d know that the story of Faust has influenced scores of poets, musicians, philosphers, etc. and is archetypal, even more today.
I have never seen this opera performed, but simply hearing it makes me wonder why it’s not really considered an opera of the first rank. It’s quite a dramatic story but the music never stoops to melodrama, it’s quite compelling and the high points convey a real sense of terror – positively spine tingling. It is certainly of my favorite opera recordings. Perhaps I like it so much because it’s not been overly popular and played over and over. But still. Del Monaco and Siepi are both magnificent in the male leads.
The other amazing thing is that this recording was made in 1958. It is stereo. The sound quality is absolutely stunning, period.
I have heard other recordings but this one has yet to be surpassed, fifty years on and counting. The recording wizards at Decca certainly knew what they were doing, which isn’t surprising considering that company’s groundbreaking work on Solti’s recordings of the Ring cycle of the same period. Highly recommended.
Analyzed folder: /Volumes/HDMUSIC/ Work on HiResMusic/96kBoi_Mef_TeMDM/96k Boito – Mefistofele – Tebaldi – Del Monaco
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR13 -0.77 dB -19.35 dB Side1.wav
DR13 -1.84 dB -20.52 dB Side2.wav
DR13 -0.08 dB -18.05 dB Side3.wav
DR12 -0.03 dB -17.66 dB Side4.wav
DR13 -0.15 dB -19.82 dB Side5.wav
DR12 -0.05 dB -18.00 dB Side6.wav
Number of files: 6
Official DR value: DR13
- RCM: Okki Nokki
- TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
- System: Special Edition Denon DL 103
- Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box II
- Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Light de-Clicking with ClickRepair, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising
If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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