Pagliacci 1934 – Gigli
Basiola, Gigli, Nessi, Borghi, Pacetti, Paci; Ghione. Coro ed orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano. Recorded at the Milan Conservatory, July 2 – 5, 1934
Downloadable .M4A or .MP3 files: Total size approx. 130MB.
Downloads are not eligible items in connection with our 6-for-5 offer.
In the 1934 version Gigli darkens his vowels to impart a satin-smooth finish to his tone and to sound like a heavier tenor. Even so his voice at moments is a little light and thin for the role.
Iva Pacetti is an early example of a modern soprano; she too darkens vowels in the manner of, say, Katia Ricciarelli, Mirella Freni in the second half of her career and more or less all women today. (For a discussion of this trend see Butterfly.) But she does know how to valorizzare la parola–to imbue the word with meaning.
Mario Basiola heavily covers his top notes and puts his voice far forward in the mask. His Tonio is more human and sympathetic, less bestial, than Gobbi’s. Basiola too darkens vowels as does Leone Paci, the Silvio.
Combined, Gigli’s, Pacetti’s, Basiola’s and Paci’s darkening is melliflous but a little dull.
One who doesn’t darken is La Scala’s characterful comprimario tenor Giuseppe Nessi. He has a beguiling mezza voce, but his tones often are a little spread.
Parole e musica di Ruggero Leoncavallo
Un contadino….Arnaldo Borghi
Coro ed orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano
Maestro concertatore e direttore d’orchestra Franco Ghione
Recorded at the Milan Conservatory, July 2 – 5, 1934