OP0117. DON PASQUALE, recorded 1932, w.Sabajno Cond. La Scala Ensemble; Ernesto Badini, Tito Schipa, Afro Poli, Adelaide Saraceni, etc. (Switzerland) 2-EMI 63241, accompanied by elaborate 75pp Libretto-Brochure. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 077776324128
“Badini débuted in Rossini’s BARBIERE at Pavia, then in 1909 he sang the role of Kyoto in IRIS at the Teatro Regio di Torino directed by Tullio Serafin with Emma Carelli, and in 1913 Ford in FALSTAFF directed by Cleofonte Campanini with Flora Perini at the Teatro Regio di Parma and at La Scala conducted by Arturo Toscanini, with Lucrezia Bori and Antonio Scotti. In 1914 he sang Manfredo in L'AMORE DEI TRE RE at Teatro San Carlo in Naples, then Hermann in LORELEY directed by Rodolfo Ferrari at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. In 1915, again directed by Ferrari, he sang Belcore in L'ELISIR D'AMORE with Alessandro Bonci and Antonio Pini-Corsi. In DON PASQUALE he sang Malatesta in Bologna, the Teatro Costanzi in Rome, the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and Parma. In 1916 he sang Laertes in MIGNON at La Scala directed by Ettore Panizza, with Rosina Storchio. He achieved early success which led him to sing in the most prestigious Italian and European theaters, as well as in South America where he appeared in Chile and at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. In 1920 he sang in GIANNI SCHICCHI directed by Panizza, with Toti Dal Monte, and Sixtus Beckmesser in DIE MEISTERSINGER directed by Serafin, with Maria Zamboni and Francesco Merli. In 1920 he sang Marco in GIANNI SCHICCHI with Gilda Dalla Rizza, Giulio Crimi and Giuseppe de Luca at the Royal Opera House, London. In 1921, directed by Victor de Sabata, he sang GIANNI SCHICCHI with Dalla Rizza, then Papageno in ZAUBERFLÖTE with Graziella Pareto and John McCormack, then Don Bartolo in BARBIERE with Pareto and McCormack in Monte Carlo. He sang Dandini in LA CENERENTOLA with Cesira Ferrari and Conchita Supervia in Bologna, then Ford in FALSTAFF under Toscanini at La Scala.”
“Tito Schipa was an Italian tenor who is considered one of the finest tenori di grazia in operatic history. He was endowed with a natural, sensuous voice which he deployed with great intelligence and taste. Although some contemporary critics considered Schipa's voice to be small in size, restricted in range and slightly husky in timbre, he was still capable of provoking intense public outpourings of support among his legion of fans. These fans were enthralled by Schipa's superior musicianship, as well as by his winning personality and his ability to breathe life into even the most trite song or hackneyed aria.
Like all the most beloved singers, Schipa possesses a unique and immediately recognizable timbre. In 1913, his voice is fresh, warm and bright, and at the age of 25 he has already formed his own style….Where the vocal registers are concerned, Schipa does not seem to have any problems and may have been born with the registers naturally blended….[His] unostentatious way of ‘showing off’ makes Schipa truly a connoisseur’s tenor….”
- Michael Aspinall, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2013
"[Schipa’s] was a beautiful voice – a short voice, not a big top to it or anything, but a lovely timbre. His legato and his attention to words was superb, and I always admired the details, all the little touches that he put into his characters."
- Rosa Ponselle, ROSA PONSELLE, A CENTENARY BIOGRAPHY, pp.274-75
“In 1904 Sabajno was engaged by Fred Gaisberg as The Gramophone Company’s Italian house conductor (an appointment which was in effect the equivalent of the ‘Artists and Repertoire’ manager of later years) with responsibility for all aspects of production, such as the selection of repertoire and the engagement of artists, in addition to actually conducting in the studio: in France the conductor Piero Coppola held a similar position. Sabajno devoted himself to the nascent recording industry and seems subsequently to have conducted little if at all in the concert hall or opera house. He did however compose a little, writing songs especially for the gramophone.
For The Gramophone Company Sabajno conducted numerous complete recordings of operas, starting with Verdi’s ERNANI in 1904 and Leoncavallo’s PAGLIACCI in 1907 (although the latter may in fact have been conducted by its composer) and concluding with Verdi’s OTELLO in 1932. He recorded RIGOLETTO twice, in 1917 and 1927, and also left notable accounts of Donizetti’s DON PASQUALE with Tito Schipa, and of Verdi’s AÏDA with Toscanini’s favourite tenor Aureliano Pertile. He was also credited with conducting the complete recording of IL TROVATORE with Pertile, (although much of this was actually conducted by Gino Nastrucci). In addition to these and many other complete opera recordings Sabajno accompanied the leading singers of the day, such as Beniamino Gigli, in numerous operatic arias, and conducted several short operatic and orchestral works. The latter included several overtures and orchestral excerpts from Wagner’s operas, including the Liebestod from TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, as well as the prelude to Catalani’s opera EDMEA, Chabrier’s ‘España’, Mascagni’s ‘Danza esotica’, the overture to Massenet’s LE ROI DE LAHORE, the Nocturne and Wedding March from Mendelssohn’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, and the overture to Mozart’s DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE.
Evidently not an easy man to get on with, Sabajno had a reputation for a fiery temper; but Gaisberg, who knew him well, described him as ‘…gifted with sharp intelligence, and when one worked with him one understood that every single gesture had a reason’. Certainly several of his recordings, most of which were made with the Orchestra of La Scala, Milan at a time when Toscanini was musical director there, have stood the test of time. Gaisberg considered Sabajno’s account of AÏDA to be the pinnacle of his recording work, and it continues to feature in the catalogue.”
- David Patmore, Naxos' A–Z of Conductors