HD-Vinyls 24/96 (RCA) Giacomo Puccini – Turandot (Nilsson, Björling, Tebaldi, Leinsdorf)

front-small-boxset Many thanks to our friend Bob for this gem
Even though I prefer Sutherland over Nilsson in the role of Turandot, this is the BENCHMARK. Even though Pavarotti & Caballé with Sutherland, Fernandi & Schwarzkopf with Callas and Corelli & Scotto with Nilsson on the other album are excellent, Björling & Tebaldi are the pick of the litter! The role of Calàf as sung by Björling, is one of the most beautifully sung portrayals in recorded music (subjective, personal opinion). Tebaldi’s pianissimi are absolutely ethereal, easily rivaling Caballé and surpassing Scotto. For early “Living Stereo”, the sound is surprisingly spacious and clean. This I believe was Björling’s last complete opera recording; the Verdi Requiem closely following.

# Composer: Giacomo Puccini
# Performer: Birgit Nilsson, Jussi Björling, Renata Tebaldi
# Orchestra: Rome Opera House Orchestra
# Conductor: Erich Leinsdorf
# Vinyl (1960)
# Number of Discs: 3
# Format: Flac
# Label: RCA
# DR-Analysis: DR: 13
# Size: 2.4 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory


This recording deserves all of the praise other reviewers give it. All of the singers are in top form, and the orchestral sound is consistently brilliant. And no one does a better job with the opera’s climaxes than Erich Leinsdorf. The finales of all three acts are thrilling and beautifully developed, and the scene leading up to Liu’s suicide is heartbreaking. At the moment of Liu’s death, the Chorus’ words “Il nome!” are shouted twice then thrillingly sung in unison at top volume. What a brilliant touch, and what a hair-raising moment! The music of Liu’s funeral cortege is deeply moving, with Giorgio Tozzi’s beautiful baritone intoning Timur’s farewell. The listener does not have to know Italian or be following with a libretto to know what Tozzi is saying.

Over and above the many beauties of this recording is the fact that, to my knowledge, it is the only uncut “Turandot” available. No other recording or performing edition of the opera I know includes, for example, the wonderful musical snippets inexplicably cut from the Trio of the Masks at the opening of Act II; Leinsdorf cuts nothing. If you’ve never heard Ping, Pang, and Pong sing their Prayer to the Tiger (“Oh grand marshal of the skies / make the night we long for so / much come, the night of surrender”), a gem lasting perhaps a minute but musically and dramatically unforgettable, you need to buy this recording. As jazz/opera critic Spike Hughes noted many years ago, it is a shame that “Turandot,” which Puccini did not live to finish, is never performed with all of the music Puccini actually did live to write for it. After hearing Leinsdorf’s reading of the score, you will understand and appreciate the “complete” “Turandot” in ways unavailable to today’s opera goers.

Analyzed folder: /96k Puccini – Turandot – Nilsson, Bjoerling
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR13        -0.96 dB     -19.30 dB     sideA.aif
DR14        -1.46 dB     -21.71 dB     sideB.aif
DR14        -0.84 dB     -21.68 dB     sideC.aif
DR12        -0.82 dB     -18.87 dB     sideD.aif
DR13        -1.17 dB     -20.22 dB     sideE.aif
DR13        -0.80 dB     -18.70 dB     sideF.aif
Number of files:    6
Official DR value:    DR13


Ripping Info


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.
I tend more and more, in the last time, to de-click with an automatic setting between 0.7 and 1.2 so you can say, my rips are like half rough rips.

  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Very light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • 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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PW: LaWally

8 thoughts on “HD-Vinyls 24/96 (RCA) Giacomo Puccini – Turandot (Nilsson, Björling, Tebaldi, Leinsdorf)

  1. Thanks Bob and Rach! Couldn’t agree more – Bjorling is sublime. When my son was quite small he listened to Jussi in Manon Lescaut every day.

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