OP3198. IL BACIO (Zandonai), Broadcast Performance, 3 March, 1954, w.Molinari-Pradelli Cond. RAI Ensemble, Milano; Rosetta Noli, Lina Pagliughi, Angelo Lo Forese, Walter Artioli, etc. (France) Malibran AMR 124. [AMR titles are issued without rear tray-cards] Final Copy!
“It was Riccardo Zandonai's bad luck to have been a successor in an age that preferred revolutionaries. The publisher of his operas, Ricordi, proudly announced him as Puccini's heir, and so perhaps he was. In a long life that ended in 1949, Zandonai took Puccini-esque declamatory style and prettied it up considerably, but never discarded its character. The least ‘offensive’ parts of 20th-century music were incorporated into his operas - Strauss' orchestration, for example, and Debussy's whole-tone language. A more striking departure from Puccini's inspired directness was the use of orchestra that in Zandonai's operas competed strongly with the stage for dramatic importance.”
- Bernard Holland, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 15 May, 1988
"A tenor who is molto forte is Angelo Lo Forese who, when I last checked, was still performing at the age of 91. Here he is from a long-ago recording with a convincing throb in his voice that might seem corny now but was plausible a couple of generations ago. This is what cultists look for when they try to hear what Toscanini might have heard.
Lo Forese was born in Milan in 1920. He began his studies in 1938 and stopped in 1941 when he fled Italy for Switzerland during World War II. He returned to Italy after the war and made his début, as a baritone, in PAGLIACCI as Silvio. He continued his studies, including lessons with tenor Aureliano Pertile who became a star at La Scala in 1916 and at the Met in 1921. Lo Forese’s tenor début was in the demanding role of Manrico, IL TROVATORE. It is music he still sings today. His rendition of ‘Di quella pira’ at the age of 90 is forceful, with impressive high notes and more fidelity to the score...."
- Fred Plotkin, WQXR, 17 Oct., 2012
“A member of the coloratura sorority that enjoyed ascendancy before the emergence of Maria Callas, Lina Pagliughi represented the best of that breed. Declared ‘my successor’ by Luisa Tetrazzini, Pagliughi possessed a clear, beautifully formed instrument that was flexible in passagework and flowing in legato. Unlike the slenderized edition of Callas, however, she was a woman of enormous girth and continued to gain weight during the course of her career. Thus, while vocal display was present in abundance, dramatic verisimilitude was not. On recording, however, Pagliughi's art can be enjoyed without the distraction of physical appearance. Born to Italian immigrant parents in New York, Pagliughi moved to San Francisco before her second birthday. There, she began making public appearances at age seven. Luisa Tetrazzini sought to adopt her, but her parents declined the offer. When Pagliughi moved to Italy at age 15 to study with Manlio Bavagnoli, however, the legendary singer oversaw her training and became close to the young student. Having already graduated from a San Francisco conservatory before her move to Italy, Pagliughi was well prepared musically and could concentrate on vocal polish and learning repertory. For her 1927 début at Milan's Teatro Nazionale, Pagliughi presented herself as Gilda, a rôle with which she would be closely identified thereafter (and which she recorded twice). After an experiment with the rôle of Mimi, Pagliughi vowed to concentrate on the coloratura repertory, even though her voice was substantial enough for lyric rôles. Thus, she kept her instrument supple and trim for the duration of her career, even with having included Violetta among her rôles, a part that grows progressively heavier with each passing act. Pagliughi's equable personality no doubt also contributed to her longevity. A good colleague, one to whom jealousy was an alien emotion, she admired fellow artists of quality and saw in them no threat to her own reputation. In addition to appearances at Italy's major houses, Pagliughi sang at London's Covent Garden in 1938 (her Gilda was regarded as having been beautifully sung) and performed with success at Brazil's São Paulo Municipal Theatre and in Buenos Aires, where she undertook her first Rosina and her first Violetta. Following her formal retirement in 1957, the soprano became a respected teacher.”
- Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com