OP2970. FALSTAFF, recorded 1932, w.Molajoli Cond. La Scala Ensemble; Giacomo Rimini, Emilio Ghirardini, Roberto d’Alessio, Salvatore Baccaloni, Giuseppe Nessi, Pia Tassinari, Rita Monticone, Ines Alfani Tellini, Aurora Buades, etc. 2-VAI 1098. Transfers by David Lennick. Final Sealed Copy! - 089948109822
“Made in 1932, this is the first complete commercial recording of FALSTAFF and it includes some of the finest singers then appearing at La Scala. It demands the most meticulous ensemble preparation and under the experienced baton of maestro Molajoli receives a most vivacious and touching performance, notwithstanding the inevitable difficulties encountered in converting a score of such complexity into four-minute sections on 28 sides of 78s.”
GIACOMO RIMINI, born in 1887 in Verona, made his début in 1910. In 1916 he sang in Verdi’s BATTAGLIA DI LEGNANO in Buenos Aires with Rosa Raisa, whom he married in 1920. He also first appeared in Chicago in 1916 and sang there regularly for 21 seasons. In 1926 he took part in the world première of Puccini’s TURANDOT at La Scala, where he also excelled in buffo rôles including Don Pasquale and Gianni Schicchi. After appearing throughout Europe and South America, he retired to found a school of singing with his wife. Rimini died in Chicago in 1952.
PIA TASSINARI was born in Italy in 1903 and, after studying in Bologna and Milan, made her début as Mimì in 1929. Her 24-year career at La Scala began in 1932 and encompassed contemporary operas and rôles including Charlotte (WERTHER) and Margherita (MEFISTOFELE). After the second World War Tassinari sang with her husband Ferruccio Tagliavini in South America and at the Met in 1947. In addition to FALSTAFF, Tassinari recorded L’AMICO FRITZ, WERTHER and, in 1954, UN BALLO IN MASCHERA (singing Ulrica), showing her vocal progression from lyric soprano to mezzo. Tassinari retired in 1962 and died in 1995.
EMILIO GHIRARDINI first sang in Buenos Aires, as Rigoletto, in 1910 and was then seen throughout South America and in Cuba. On moving to Italy he joined the Italian army and from 1919 appeared in many Italian opera houses, first singing in Rome in 1924, as Tebaldo in Zandonai’s GIULIETTA E ROMEO; other rôles there included Ford, Papageno and Belcore. Ghirardini first appeared at La Scala in 1930 and in 1934 was a guest artist at Covent Garden and in Paris. On his retirement he became a singing teacher in Rome and he died in Ferrara in 1965.
AURORA BUADES was born in Valencia in 1897 and died in Florence in 1965. She studied in Milan and made her début in 1918 in Reggio Emilia. She scored a success in Pedrello’s L’UOMO CHE RIDE at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan and appeared in Havana and South America, where she was a frequent guest artist. Buades sang rôles such as Eboli, Laura and Ulrica throughout Italy, in Madrid and Barcelona, and in 1932-3 appeared at La Scala as Amneris, and as Margherita in Mascagni’s GUGLIELMO RATCLIFF. She recorded the rôle of Carmen and made several duets with her husband, the Sicilian ROBERTO D’ALESSIO, who was born in 1893. He first sang in Lugano in 1921 and over the next few years appeared in Palermo, Venice and Buenos Aires, and was chosen by Toscanini to sing the Duke in RIGOLETTO in 1927. Guest appearances included performances in Copenhagen and Turin, where he sang Don Ottavio in a cast including Carlo Galeffi and Eva Turner. His lyric tenor was much in demand as Arturo in I PURITANI, Ernesto in DON PASQUALE, Rodolfo, and Cavaradossi. In 1952 he became a teacher in Florence, where he died in 1975.
LORENZO MOLAJOLI was born, probably in Rome, in 1868. His life is surprisingly little documented, but he studied with De Sanctis and Falchi at the Santa Cecilia music school and in 1891 began a career that led to appearances in South and Central America, South Africa and major Italian opera houses. Between the wars he conducted at La Scala, Milan, where he also worked with Italian Columbia on several complete opera recordings, some being ‘world first’ versions. His performances of LA TRAVIATA, ANDREA CHÉNIER, LA GIOCONDA and IL TROVATORE have been re-issued by Naxos. Molajoli died in Milan in 1939.”
- Paul Campion