V0550. RICHARD BONELLI: Opera Arias & Encores, Live Performances, 1935-47; Town Hall Recital, 5 Feb., 1947. Songs by Brahms, Schumann, Wolf, Strauss, Nerini, Duparc, Saint-Saëns, Hahn, Fauré, Horsman, Vaughan Williams, Damrosch, Speaks, Hageman & Alec Templeton (Acc. by the COMPOSER); Arias from Hamlet, Le Roi de Lahore, Hérodiade, Faust, Andrea Chénier, Ballo, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Tannhäuser & Die Tote Stadt. 2-Delos The Stanford Archive Series DE 5502, from Bonelli's collection. Final Copy! - 013491550220
“Delos' Stanford Archive series approaches matters from an American perspective. The project, years in the making, is a brainchild of William R. Moran, a recordings expert in California. Though Delos proclaims grand ambitions, only four titles have been released so far. Yet great care has gone into these two-disk sets. Not only has Mr. Moran filled them with unusual material from the Archive of Recorded Sound at Stanford University, but he has also provided transfers of clarity and dimension. His notes are informed and lucid. And happily, Delos includes complete texts and translations. Presumably, Mr. Moran selected the singers based on personal preference, but who will quibble with choices like the tenor Richard Crooks, the contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink and the baritones Lawrence Tibbett and Richard Bonelli?
Bonelli never achieved Tibbett's sweeping fame, but he commands affection among connoisseurs. On this set (DE 5502), composed entirely of material from Bonelli's private collection, his purring baritone is amply showcased. Especially enlightening is a complete Town Hall recital from 1947 in which Bonelli tackles songs and arias by Handel, Wolf, Duparc, Vaughan Williams and others.
Romophone, Delos and Marston are by no means the only labels linking today's music lovers with the milestone singers of the past. But their fusing of the highest technical standards with superior esthetic judgment distinguishes them from their rivals. Thanks to their efforts, we are reminded again of William Faulkner's remark that the past is not dead; it isn't even past.”
- David Mermelstein, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 19 July, 1998
“Bonelli owns a voice of ravishing, darkly sensuous color, full and even throughout the entire range, with menacing bite at the bottom and absolute freedom at the top….Bonelli never pushes beyond the zones of musical taste…he completely tears off his primo baritone stance and plays the character.”
- Paul Jackson, SATURDAY AFTERNOONS AT THE OLD MET, p.111