Beniamino Gigli - Tenor Legend (7 CD box set, FLAC)
Beniamino Gigli – Tenor Legend (7 CD box set, FLAC)

Audio CD
Number of Discs: 7 CD box set
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue)
Label: EMI Classics
Size: 1.58 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 01
Gaetano Donizetti
01. Spirto gentil (La favorita, Act IV)

Arrigo Boito
02. Dai campi, dai prati (Mefistofele, Act I)

Pietro Mascagni
03. Apri la tua finestra (Iris, Act I)
04. Suzel, buon dì (L’amico Fritz, Act II)

Umberto Giordano
05. Amor ti vieta (Fedora, Act II)

Amilcare Ponchielli
06. Cielo e mar (La Gioconda, Act II)

Giocomo Meyerbeer
07. Mi batte il cor…O paradiso (L’africaine, Act IV)

Friedrich von Flotow
08. M’apparì, tutt’amor (Ach, so fromm) (Martha, Act III)

Amilcare Ponchielli
09. Enzo Grimaldo, Principe di Santafior! (La Gioconda, Act I)

Giuseppe Verdi
10. Solenne in quest’ora (La forza del destino, Act III)
11. Bella figlia dell’amore (Rigoletto, Act III)

Gaetano Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor
12. Chi mi frena in tal momento (Act II)

13. Tombe degl’avi miei…Fra poco a me ricovero (Act III)
14. Oh, meschina!…Giusto cielo, rispondete…Tu che a Dio spiagasti l’ali (Act III)

Ambroise Thomas
15. Ah! non credevi tu (Elle ne croyait pas) (Mignon, Act III)

Gioachino Rossini
16. Cujus animam (Stabat Mater)

Charles Gounod
17. Qual turbamento…Salve dimora (Quel trouble…Salut! demeure, Faust, Act III)

Georges Bizet
18. Il fior che avevi a me (La fleur que tu m’avais jetée, Carmen, Act II)

CD 02
Georges Bizet
01. Mi par d’udir ancora (Je crois entendre encore, Les Pêcheurs de perles, Act I)

Jules Massenet
02. O dolce incanto…Chiudo gli occhi (Instant charmant…En ferment les yeux, Manon, Act II)

Giacomo Puccini
03. Che gelida manina (La Bohème, Act I)

George Frideric Handel
04. Frondi tenere…Ombra mai fu (Serse, Act I)

Gaetano Donizetti
05. Una furtiva lagrima (L’elisir d’amore, Act II)

Giuseppe Verdi
06. La donna è mobile (Rigoletto, Act III)
07. Se quel guerrier io fossi…Celeste Aida (Aida, Act I)

Ruggero Leoncavallo
08. Ah! Columbina (Pagliacci, Act II)

Pietro Mascagni – Cavalleria rusticana
09. Tu qui, Santuzza?

10. Mamma, quel vino è generoso

Ruggero Leoncavallo – Pagliacci
Act I
11. Un grande spettacolo…Un tal gioco (Canio/Coro Tonio/Beppe/Nedda)
12. Recitar!…Vesti la giubba (Canio)
Act II
13. Corragio! Un uomo era con te (Canio/Nedda/Tonio)
14. No, Pagliaccio non son (Canio/Coro/Silvio/Nedda)
15. Suvvia, così terrible (Nedda/Canio/Beppe/Tonio/Silvio/Coro)

Giacomo Puccini – La Bohème
Act I
16. O soave fanciulla (Rodolfo/Marcello/Mimì)
Act III
77. Marcello. Finalmente (Rodolfo/Marcello/Mimì)
18. Mimì è una civetta (Rodolfo/Marcello)
19. Mimì è tanto malata! (Rodolfo/Marcello/Mimì)
20. Addio…Donde lieta uscì (Mimì/Rodolfo)
21. Dunque è proprio finita (Rodolfo/MimìMarcello/Musetta)

CD 03
Giacomo Puccini – Tosca
Act I
01. Recondita armonia (Cavaradossi/Sagristano)
Act III
02. E lucevan le stelle (Cavaradossi)
03. O dolci mani (Cavaradossi/Tosca)

Also available:  The RCA Rubinstein Collection vol.01-82 (94 CD, FLAC)

Madama Butterfly
Act I
04. Dovunqu al mondo (Pinkerton/Sharpless/Goro)
05. Quale smania vi prende … Amore e grillo (Pinkerton/Sharpless/Goro/Coro
06. Bimba dagli occhi (Pinkerton/Butterfly)

Pietro Mascagni – Cavalleria rusticana
07. O Lola, ch’hai di latte (Turiddu)
08. Intanto amici, qua…Viva il vino spumeggiante (Turiddu/Lola/Coro)

Umberto Giordano – Andrea Chénier
Act I
09. Un dì all’azzurro spazio (Chénier)
Act III
10. Andrea Chénier! Coraggio!…Si, fui soldato (Dumas/Gérard/Maddalena/Coro/Fouquier-Tinville/Chénier)
Act IV
11. Come un bel dì di maggio (Chénier)
12. Benedico il destino!…Vicino a te (Maddalena/Gérard/Chénier/Schmidt)

Giuseppe Verdi
13. Ingemisco (Messa da Requiem)

Un ballo in maschera
Act I
14. S’avanza in Conte (Oscar/Riccardo)
15. La rivedrà nell’estasi (Riccardo/Oscar/Coro/Samuel/Tom)
16. Di’tu se fedele (Riccardo/Coro)
Act II
17. Teco io sto…Non sai tu (Riccardo/Amelia)
Act III
18. Forse la soglia attinse…Ma se m’è forza perderti (Riccardo)

CD 04
Giuseppe Verdi – Il trovatore
01. Di quella pira (Act III)
02. Se m’ami ancor…Ai nostri monti (Act IV)

03. La vita è inferno…O tu che in seno agli angeli (La forza del destino, Act III)

Umberto Giordano
04. Amor ti vieta (Fedora, Act II)

Giuseppe Pietri
05. Io conosco un giardino (Maristella)

Francesco Cilèa
06. È la solita storia del pastor (L’arlesiana, Act II)

Pietro Mascagni – Isabeau
07. Non colombelle!…Ah! Tu ch’odilo mio grido (Act II)
08. E passerà la viva creatura (Act II)
09. Se Franz dicesse …Ah! ritrovala (Lodoletta, Act III)

Giacomo Puccini – Manon Lescaut
10. Ah! Manon mi tradisce (Act II)

11. Che avvien? Ah! non v’avvicinate…No! Pazzo son (Act III)

Fromental Halévy
12. Rachel, quand du Seigneur (La juive, Act IV)

Edouard Lalo
13. Puisqu’on ne peut fléchir…Vainement, ma bien aimée (Le Roi d’Ys, Act III)

Jules Massenet
14. Io son sol…Ah! dispar, vision (Je suis seul…Ah! fuyez, douce image, Manon, Act III)
15. Ah! non mi ridestar (Pourquoi me réveiller?, Werther, Act III)

Giuseppe Verdi
16. La fatal pietra… O terra addio (Aida, Act IV)

Pietro Mascagni
17. Ed anche Beppe amò…O amore (L’amico Fritz, Act III)

Gaetano Donizetti
18. Quanto è bella (L’elisir d’amore, Act I)

Giacomo Puccini
19. Nessun dorma (Turandot, Act III)

CD 05
Eduardo di Capua
01. ’O sole mio

Ernesto de Curtis
02. Torna à Surriento

Teodoro Cottrau
03. Santa Lucia

Ernesto de Curtis
04. Lucia, Lucì
05. Sto penzanno ’a Maria

Salvatore Cardillo
06. Core ’ngrato

Rodolfo Falvo
07. Dicitencello vuje

E.A. Mario
08. Santa Lucia luntana

Ernesto de Curtis
09. Voce ’e notte!
10. ’A canzone ’e Napule

Enrico Cannio
11. ’O surdato ’nnammurato

Luigi Denza
12. Funiculì, funiculà

Vincenzo Cinque
13. Mattinata veneziana

Alois Melichar
14. Serenata veneziana

Giuseppe Curci
15. Notte à Venezia

Also available:  Handel - The Masterworks (40 CD box set, FLAC)

Cesare Andrea Bixio
16. Solo per te, Lucia

Alois Melichar
17. Anima mia

Giuseppe Becce
18. Tu sei la vita mia

Arturo Buzzi-Peccia
19. Povera Pulcinella

Albano Seismit-Doda
20. Notte lunare

Manlio di Veroli
21. Casarella

Ernesto de Curtis
22. Maria

Cesare Andrea Bixio
23. Mamma

CD 06
Gioachino Rossini
01. La danza

Francesco Paolo Tosti
02. Marechiare
03. La serenata
04. Aprile
05. L’ultima canzone
06. Segreto

Ruggero Leoncavallo
07. Mattinata

Luigi Denza
08. Occhi di fata

Arturo Buzzi-Peccia
09. Lolita

Stefano Donaudy
10. O del mio amato ben

Vincenzo de Crescenzo
11. Triste Maggio

Ernesto de Curtis
12. Addio bel sogno

Vincenzo de Crescenzo
13. Notte d’amore

Pietro Mascagni
14. Stornelli marini

Ernesto de Curtis
15. Soltanto tu, Maria

Vincenzo de Crescenzo
16. Rondine al nido

Ernesto de Curtis
17. Ti voglio tanto bene

Nino Mazziotti
18. Mattinata siciliana

Carlos López Buchardo
19. Canción del carratero

Vincenzo di Chiara
20. La spagnola

Sebastián Yradier
21. La Paloma

Alfonso Gibilaro
22. Carrettieri (Four Sicilian Miniatures)

CD 07
Dan Caslar
01. Con la pioggia o con la luna
02. Citta silente

Mino Campanino
03. Luntananza (Ammore luntano)

Cesare Andrea Bixio
04. Senza piu serenate

Vittorio Mascheroni
05. Papaveri e papere

Manlio di Veroli
06. Havaiana

Gigli at Carnegie Hall
Giacomo Meyerbeer
07. Mi batte il cor…O paradiso (L’africaine, Act I)

Giulio Caccini
08. Amarilli, mia bella

Stefano Donaudy
09. O del mio amato ben (O my beloved)

George Frideric Handel
10. Frondi tenere…Ombra mai fu (Serse, Act I)

Jules Massenet
11. Chiudo gli occhi (En ferment les yeux, Manon, Act II)

Richard Wagner
12. Mercé, mercé, cigno gentil (Nun sei bedankt, mein lieber Schwan, Lohengrin, Act III)

Edvard Grieg
13. Un rêve (Ein drom) Op.48 No.6

Frédéric Chopin
14. Reviens mon amour ‘Tristesse’

Jules Massenet
15. Ah! non mi ridestar (Pourquoi me réveiller?, Werther, Act III)

Antônio Carlos Gomes
16. All’istante di qui partir…Quando nascesti tu (Lo schiavo)

Giacomo Puccini
17. E lucevan le stelle (Tosca, Act III)

Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin
18. Bergère légère

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
19. Dalla sua pace (Don Giovanni, Act I)

Giuseppe Curci
20. Notte à Venezia

Vito Carnevali
21. Come, love, with me

Pearl Gildersleeve Curran
22. Life

Vincenzo de Crescenzo
23. Rondine al nido

Ernesto de Curtis
24. Addio, bel sogno

Manlio di Veroli
25. Ritorna amore

Cesare Andrea Bixio
26. Mamma

Eduardo di Capua
27. ’O sole mio

Giacomo Puccini
28. Ch’ella mi creda libero e lontano (La fanciulla del West, Act III)

A fabulous collection

If, like me, you’re an avid Gigli fan but don’t want to go the whole hog of acquiring all of his recordings, then this 7 disc boxed set in the Icon series from EMI Classics is the answer. Every disc is pretty much choc-a-bloc so you get a huge selection of arias, duets and songs from his earliest acoustic recordings to his later electrical ones, including some extended excerpts from his celebrated complete recordings such as Un Ballo in Maschera, Madama Butterfly, Cavelleria Rusticana and Andrea Chenier (the Andrea Chenier excepts are truly thrilling; you may find Toti dal Monti’s once famous “little girl” Butterfly something of an acquired taste.) The final disc contains live recordings of arias and songs from his Carnegie Hall farewell recitals in 1955 (by which time the voice had, not surprisingly, lost some of its earlier splendour) so you get to hear him from ages 28 to 65. Gigli’s voice in its prime was always rather freakish with its ability to transition in effortless fashion from a honeyed mezza voce to the clarion tones and attack almost of a heldentenor (although sensibly he rarely dipped his toes into the German repertoire.) He knew how to ingratiate but also how to sing with passion and absolute conviction. If I listen to Pavarotti for an hour the unvarying golden timbre produces for me a certain ennui which I never experience with Gigli. There are occasional stylistic lapses, the sobs, the snarls, but the voice is so fabulous, the breath control so phenomenal, that you forgive him everything. This set is not expensive for what you get so, unless you’re a Gigli completist, I don’t think you need to spend time looking elsewhere.

Incidentally, I also bought the Jussi Bjorling boxed set in the same series and that’s equally as good.

Recommended

I have many Gigli recordings in my collection dating back to the original 78s through 45s and Lps to a number of CD transfers. Because of this I hesitated to buy this set as it contains very little that I don’t already have in one form or another. Having moved increasingly into the digital realm in recent years I finally decided to take the plunge, although not without some trepidation as my experience of ‘re-mastered classics’ of the age of the earlier material that makes up this set has been largely disappointing. I am delighted to report that my fears were groundless and in my opinion these transfers are of very good quality and well worth every penny. Please understand that they will not sound as though they were recorded yesterday and you certainly will be left with an impression of the limitations of the recording equipment of the time but the voice shines through and surpasses the limitations.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks Whatever! Just read the Bjorling biography again, and they admired Gigli so much.

Leave a Reply