V0354. TITO SCHIPA: The Early Years, The Complete Gramophone and Pathé Recordings, 1913-21, incl. Songs by Caccini, Franck, Bizet, Barthélemy, Schipa, Tate, Cottrau & Tosti; Arias & Duets (w.Baldassare-Tedeschi & Garelli) from Barbiere, La Sonnambula, Don Pasquale, La Gioconda, Lucia, Tosca, La Boheme, Zazà, L'Arlesiana, La Traviata, Manon, Faust, Rigoletto, Cavalleria, Pagliacci, Falstaff, Guyana, Emigrantes, La Bruja & Corte del Amor; Cuando te aai la faace; Bella ragazza delle trecce bionde (both traditional & Unpublished, 1921). 2-Marston 52008. Transfers by Ward Marston. [original release (not a CDR re-release) this two-disc set with English-language booklet has a new jewel case, booklet and cover art in excellent condition; discs are mint.] Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 638335200828
"Ward Marston has extracted an astonishing amount of good, clear sound from these ancient discs.…Of special interest are two songs recorded by Pathé in New York in 1921, but never published….A group of men…join Schipa around the recording horn, conversing vigorously in colloquial Italian and Luccese dialect, and when Schipa starts to sing, they join in the choruses in ad lib harmony. They are fascinating records, and I wish Marston had told us why they were never published and how he got hold of them.”
- Desmond Arthur, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, July/Aug., 1998
“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