V1537. GIUSEPPE GIACOMINI: Arias from Norma, Ernani, Il Trovatore, Don Carlos, Aïda, Otello, La Boheme, Tosca, La Fanciulla del West, Andrea Chénier & Turandot. (Italy) Bongiovanni 1211, Live Performances, 1969-96. - 8007068121120
“Giuseppe Giacomini is a brilliant tenor, and to my taste the greatest of all the dramatic tenors. (Let me say only that I do not consider the nonpareil Franco Corelli a dramatic tenor.) The power, the richness, the ring; it's positively thrilling. He sounds almost like Leonard Warren with a tenor range. Absolutely unbelievable, and the style and musicianship are impeccable, as they always are with Giacomini, an intellectual and very well educated musician.
Giuseppe Giacomini is possibly an epicure's taste in the somewhat giddy and show business obsessed world of American opera during the last 30 years. He was not nearly as popular here, sadly, as those tenors who obsessively and instinctively played to the gallery. He was and remains a very strong-minded man; a serious musician with absolutely no time for silliness or show business glitz. He was not a beautiful heart-throb like great Franco Corelli; he was plain: short, half bald, and very near-sighted. He appeared in concert looking exactly like he really does, often right down to the coke-bottle-lens glasses. He was there to sing, not to compete in a glamour contest.
Otello was his signature rôle, along with Andrea Chénier. His career was very largely in Europe, where he was quite popular. He was, for example, a staple at the Vienna Staastsoper, certainly a discriminating house if ever there was one, for fifteen consecutive years. He was enormously popular in Italy, and sang in all the major houses: La Scala, Teatro San Carlo, Teatro Reggio, Opera de Roma, Mantua, Parma, Modena. He sang in major houses outside Italy, not only in Vienna, but in Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon, many others. It was only in America that he did not fare so well, even though he sang at the Met, Chicago Lyric, San Francisco and so on. His kind of voice is much better in the theater than on record, because the high resonances from the fine, thinner edges of the cords have been sacrificed to the thicker vocal folds, resulting in the darker sound that carries well enough in the theater but does not record very well. He has little competition among tenors for intelligence and musicality, except for Plácido Domingo, of course, who is unique and certainly one of the world's great musicians.”
- Edmund St Astell, 23 Aug., 2009