Super-High-End HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Decca) Giacomo Puccini – Tosca (Tebaldi/Del Monaco)

I thought, it’s time to revisit this jewel with the new rig, ripping it in 192/24, as gift for under your Xmas-tree
The best TOSCA ever – perfect in every way: performance, dramatic act, sound !

# Composer: Giacomo Puccini
# Performer: Renata Tebaldi, Mario Del Monaco, George London
# Orchestra: of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome
# Conductor: Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
# Vinyl (1960)
# Number of Discs: 2
# Format: Flac
# Label: Decca
# DR-Analysis: DR 14
# Size:  4.35 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory

Pay attention:
the track B7-C1 Act 2 – ‘Ov’e’ Angelotti’ – ‘Mario, tu qui’ was, however, “forgotten” by me to be loaded – please DL the track (separate file) and include it to your folder.

There certainly exist more popular recordings with great singers but to me the Toscas there are compromises when compared to Tebaldi. Still, Price and Milanov are great, but for me Tosca means Tebaldi. Any true opera fan should own her Tosca. She is best in live recordings, but this studio is a gem too!

And Mario Del Monaco shows, once again, why he’s considered by most of operatic fans the greatest tenor ever.

Is there a version of this dramatic score out there sung by a more sumptuous trio of stars? And even the Sacristan here is sung by Fernando Corena, a rich voiced bass in his own right. Tebaldi has the right mixture of flame and beauty to bring this role alive for me. Her voice sizzles with emotion, whether it’s love for Mario Cavaradossi, jealousy for Atavanti, or hatred for Scarpia. This is a role meant for grand effects. Think about it! Tosca causes the deaths of all the main characters, plus Angelotti! Angelotti dies first, after she betrays his location. Then, she kills Scarpia directly, stabbing him to death. I admit he deserves it, but still! Then Mario dies, also a victim of her treacherous jealousy. `Tosca buon falco!’ says Scarpia at the start of Act 2. Tosca is the falcon that hunts down his prey. She does his work for him. Then she kills herself when she’s caught by Scarpia’s officers. And this all in one day! I do have sympathy for her plight, which makes me able to understand her up to a point. What counts here is how much Mario loves her. Their music together sizzles with passion and love. What Tebaldi and Del Monaco do in the Act 1 love duet is worth the price of the entire set.

Mario del Monaco’s only vocal rival in Tosca, that I can think of, is Franco Corelli. (We are talking about size, passion, and richness of voice here. Di Stefano and Bjorling are two of my favorite Cavaradossi’s, but both of them together wouldn’t be a patch on del Monaco’s giant instrument. Lyrically, they are superior.) The role abounds with many grand emotional opportunities, and you’d better believe del Monaco takes full advantage of them. His shout of hatred for Scarpia, when talking with Angelotti, makes me fear for Scarpia’s life, villain though
he is. Del Monaco sings with vocal variety here, getting into the role of Mario Cavaradossi like a great matador, putting on his suit of lights. This is a masterful interpretation, brimming with humanity and passion.

And speaking of passion… and INHUMANITY- there is Vitellio Scarpia, here brought to frightening life by George London, in his pantherish prime. All the suave elegance is here, as well as the oily hypocrisy, and the sheer, brutal dominating power of a man who holds an entire city in an iron grip. This is not a Scarpia where you wonder WHY Rome feared him. Listen to the times when Scarpia loses his temper- this happens many times(Scarpia is not a patient man!)- and KNOW why. George London not only was loud- of all the complete recorded Scarpias, I think Cesare Bardelli is the only serious rival- his brutality is sharply conveyed, straight into the listener’s soul. In those moments, London’s voice is the thunderous crack of a bullwhip. And yet… there is the unctuous concern for Tosca, when he fans the flames of her jealousy. (Forgive the pun! I could not help myself!) To my ears, these people, Angelotti and the Sacristan included- are not playing their parts- they ARE these characters.

As for the conducting, the orchestra, and the choral work-for me, Molinari-Pradelli does a masterful job. I cannot understand why this version is not rated higher by many more opera fans. This performance sizzles. As I said, EVERYONE here seems to be into their characters.

The sound is lush; rich and powerful, but crystal clear. As is usual, Decca’s technicians did themselves proud. If you love Maria Callas’ masterful Tosca, especially in the legendary De Sabata recording, with the great Tito Gobbi and Giuseppi di Stefano, then this recording is also well worth the money and the time. Extremely well worth it!



A1 Act 1 – ‘Ah. Finalmente’ 2:54
A2 Act 1 – ‘E sempre lava’ – ‘Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae’ 2:33
A3 Act 1 – ‘Dammi i colori’ – ‘Recondita armonia’ 4:34
A4 Act 1 – ‘Voi, Cavaradossi’ 1:06
A5 Act 1 – ‘Mario. Mario. Mario.’ – ‘Son qui’ 12:42
A6 Act 1 – ‘E buona la mia Tosca’ – “Siam soli’ 3:44
B1 Act 1 – ‘Il cannon del castello’ – ‘Sommo giubilo, Eccelenza’ 1:39
B2 Act 1 – ‘Un tal baccano in chiesa. Bel rispetto’ 3:54
B3 Act 1 – ‘Or tutto e’ chiaro…’ – ‘Mario. Mario.’ 7:21
B4 Act 1 – ‘Tre sbirri… Una carozza… Presto’ – Te Deum 4:40
B5 Act 2 – ‘Tosca e’ un buon falco’ 3:00
B6 Act 2 – ‘Ha piu’ forte sapore’ 1:24
B6 Act 2 – ‘O galantuomo, come ando’ la caccia’ 3:32
B7-C1 Act 2 – ‘Ov’e’ Angelotti’ – ‘Mario, tu qui’ 4:02
C2 Act 2 – ‘Sciarrone, che dice il cavalier’ 2:49
C3 Act 2 – ‘Orsu’, Tosca, parlate.’ – ‘Mario, consenti ch’io parli’ 3:49
C4 Act 2 – ‘Floria…’ – ‘Amore…’ 1:28
C5 Act 2 – ‘Vittoria. Vittoria.’ 2:39
C6 Act 2 – ‘Quanto… Il prezzo’ 4:58
C7 Act 2 – ‘Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore’ 4:19
C8 Act 2 – ‘Chi e’ la’
C9 Act 2 – ‘Io tenni la promessa…’ – ‘Tosca, finalmente mia’ 6:38
D1 Act 3 – Prelude – ‘Io de’ sospiri’ 6:33
D2 Act 3 – ‘Mario Cavaradossi’ – ‘A voi’ 2:59
D3 Act 3 – ‘E lucevan le stelle’ 3:36
D4 Act 3 – ‘Franchigia a Floria Tosca’ 2:02
D5 Act 3 – ‘O dolci mani … L’ora. Son pronto’ 7:59
D6 Act 3 – ‘Come e’ lunga l’attesa’ 2:28
D7 Act 3 – ‘Presto, su, Mario’ – ‘Oh Scarpia, davanti a Dio’ 1:32


 Analyzed folder: /192k Puccini – Tosca – Tebaldi, Del Monaco
 DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
 DR13        -0.91 dB     -22.22 dB     A1 Act 1 – ‘Ah. Finalmente’.aif
 DR13        -10.14 dB     -29.60 dB     A2 Act 1 – ‘E sempre lava’ – ‘Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae’.aif
 DR14        -6.52 dB     -26.17 dB     A3 Act 1 – ‘Dammi i colori’ – ‘Recondita armonia’.aif
 DR13        -6.70 dB     -25.56 dB     A4 Act 1 – ‘Voi, Cavaradossi’.aif
 DR14        -4.72 dB     -25.30 dB     A5 Act 1 – ‘Mario. Mario. Mario.’ – ‘Son qui’.aif
 DR14        -3.91 dB     -23.98 dB     A6 Act 1 – ‘E buona la mia Tosca’ – “Siam soli’.aif
 DR11        -5.59 dB     -22.66 dB     B1 Act 1 – ‘Il cannon del castello’ – ‘Sommo giubilo, Eccelenza’.aif
 DR15        -3.01 dB     -25.29 dB     B2 Act 1 – ‘Un tal baccano in chiesa. Bel rispetto’.aif
 DR14        -6.47 dB     -26.27 dB     B3 Act 1 – ‘Or tutto e’ chiaro…’ – ‘Mario. Mario.’.aif
 DR13        -0.62 dB     -19.36 dB     B4 Act 1 – ‘Tre sbirri… Una carozza… Presto’ – Te Deum.aif
 DR16        -7.27 dB     -33.10 dB     B5 Act 2 – ‘Tosca e’ un buon falco’.aif
 DR13        -7.56 dB     -25.82 dB     B6 Act 2 – ‘Ha piu’ forte sapore’.aif
 DR15        -9.47 dB     -30.74 dB     B6 Act 2 – ‘O galantuomo, come ando’ la caccia’.aif
 DR14        -5.90 dB     -26.06 dB     B7-C1 Act 2 – ‘Ov’e’ Angelotti’ – ‘Mario, tu qui’.wav
DR13        -4.33 dB     -23.34 dB     C2 Act 2 – ‘Sciarrone, che dice il cavalier’.aif

 DR12        -2.51 dB     -19.91 dB     C3 Act 2 – ‘Orsu’, Tosca, parlate.’ – ‘Mario, consenti ch’io parli’.aif
 DR14        -4.41 dB     -25.41 dB     C4 Act 2 – ‘Floria…’ – ‘Amore…’.aif
 DR12        -3.70 dB     -21.43 dB     C5 Act 2 – ‘Vittoria. Vittoria.’.aif
 DR13        -3.59 dB     -22.49 dB     C6 Act 2 – ‘Quanto… Il prezzo’.aif
 DR13        -5.53 dB     -25.18 dB     C7 Act 2 – ‘Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore’.aif
 DR17        -3.43 dB     -27.17 dB     C8 Act 2 – ‘Chi e’ la’.aif
 DR16        -1.07 dB     -24.76 dB     C9 Act 2 – ‘Io tenni la promessa…’ – ‘Tosca, finalmente mia’.aif
 DR17        -8.64 dB     -33.19 dB     D1 Act 3 – Prelude – ‘Io de’ sospiri’.aif
 DR14        -14.93 dB     -35.95 dB     D2 Act 3 – ‘Mario Cavaradossi’ – ‘A voi’.aif
 DR12        -1.99 dB     -24.78 dB     D3 Act 3 – ‘E lucevan le stelle’.aif
 DR11        -2.61 dB     -20.83 dB     D4 Act 3 – ‘Franchigia a Floria Tosca’.aif
 DR15        -3.38 dB     -24.63 dB     D5 Act 3 – ‘O dolci mani … L’ora. Son pronto’.aif
 DR14        -2.02 dB     -23.39 dB     D6 Act 3 – ‘Come e’ lunga l’attesa’.aif
 DR12        -0.68 dB     -17.83 dB     D7 Act 3 – ‘Presto, su, Mario’ – ‘Oh Scarpia, davanti a Dio’.aif
 Number of files:    29
 Official DR value:    DR14


  • Choir, Orchestra – Chorus And Orchestra Of The Academia Di Santa Cecilia Rome*
  • Chorus Master – Bonaventura Somma
  • Composed By – Puccini*
  • Conductor – Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
  • Libretto By – Giuseppe Giacosa, Luigi Illica
  • Performer [A Sacristan] – Fernando Corena
  • Performer [A Shepherd Boy] – Ernesto Palmieri
  • Performer [Baron Scarpia] – George London (2)
  • Performer [Cesare Angelotti] – Silvio Maionica
  • Performer [Floria Tosca] – Renata Tebaldi
  • Performer [Mario Cavaradossi] – Mario Del Monaco
  • Performer [Sciarrone A Gaoler] – Giovanni Morese
  • Performer [Spoletta] – Piero De Palma


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.
My rips are almost rough rips.

  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super 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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I reinvest all donations in maintenance of my rig, for purchasing cleaning solutions and, most important of all, purchasing of new vinyls.
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Thank you very much !

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PW: LaWally


67 thoughts on “Super-High-End HD-Vinyl 24/192 (Decca) Giacomo Puccini – Tosca (Tebaldi/Del Monaco)

  1. I posted this over at HRM but want to repost it here so that Jaume Aragall may get discovered by those here that don´t know him yet.

    Thanks for revisiting this great performance Alf!

    I will revisit your greatest tenors of our time / ever post to add Jaume Aragall (also known as Giacomo Aragall) you have to hear the man sing!! Yes, he´s spanish and you might think I´m slightly biased so I´ll let our mutual friend Luciano talk about him 🙂

    If the Pavmeister says there was Domingo, him and Aragall and that Aragall was probably the best of them…a shame that he´s been battling depression almost all his career and that has affected him, like he said “I´m my own worst enemy” and “the tenor with most balls” because many times he had to perform under medication (people sometimes thought he was drunk and he was abstemious, he didn´t drink a drop of alcohol) and his throat and mouth were very dry because of this.

    Merry christmas Alf and everyone.

    • I know Aragall, my friend…I had some operas many moons ago, then he vanished from my radar and I cannot say why…I have him as quite good in my memory. But I’m afraid, it was in a time when the strong trio P-D-C was in its prime…

    The 1950’s, and 60’s were loaded with vocal talent in every voice, but especially tenors from all over the world — I recall, I think, a Chinese tenor you found a recording and he was unbelievably good with a big voice. Some were more refined than others, some more stentorian than others, some with sweeter tones than others, but all had their following, and on given occasions could thrill the audience. I love them all.

    Thanks for this re-do of Tosca. The richness of three major talents gives this recording its artistic edge.

    I’m on my knees to you for providing so much pleasure in a crackpot world these days!
    Your friend,

  3. Dear Rach,
    You are so right about this recording! It has everything “in spades” and your rip does it full justice. Many, many thanks!!

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