V0352. NICOLAI FIGNER, MEDEA MEI-FIGNER & RENÉE RADNA FIGNER: Songs & Duets by Cui, Wrangel, Tosti, Denza, Rotoli, Billi, Respighi, Rubinstein, Balabanov, Tschaikowski, Davidov, J. B. Faure, Verderevsky, Schumann, etc.; Arias & Duets from Pique Dame, Oprichnik, Dubrovsky, La Boheme, Pagliacci, Tosca, Mefistofele, Roméo, Werther, Carmen, Fra Diavolo, Otello, Les Huguenots, etc. (England) 2-Symposium 1255/56, recorded 1902-29. - 760411255023
"The thing that distinguished Figner right from the beginning was his presentation of recitative, something that was uncommon in Italian opera of that period. There was not a single word that didn’t have the maximum bearing on the musical line and not a single note that was not linked with the word. Figner was convinced that a well sung recitative prepared the ground for the following monologue, aria or verses, even ensemble….The second characteristic of Figner’s singing was his accurate gauging of light and shade, of the difference a rich sound on a note and a covered tone, the effect of vivid contrasts. As though anticipating the genius of Chaliapin in his economical use of tonal quality, Figner knew how to captivate an audience by means of the delight in a word uttered as though for the first time."
- Sergei Levik, THE LEVIK MEMOIRS, p.168