B1937. (DE LUCA) WILLIAM SHAMAN. Giuseppe de Luca - A Discography. England, Symposium Records, 1991. 130pp. Indices. (softbound) Long out-of-print, Final Copy!
“Only a couple of the great singers who recorded at the beginning of the 20th century have books dedicated around their recordings. Not surprisingly Caruso enjoys such a tribute, and Caruso's contemporary, the great baritone from Rome, Giuseppe de Luca, is another. The creator of such famous roles as Sharpless and Gianni Schicchi, de Luca was a mainstay at the Metropolitan for four decades. Lord Harewood, a pillar of British musical life and the opera in particular for half a century and fan of the singer wrote a nice foreword. In it he describes de Luca's singing, ‘possessor of an assured musicality, the bel canto line never seems to falter, the diction is always clear and clean, and just as the baritone voice is the most natural among male voices, so is de Luca's the most natural among Italian baritones - no fuss, no vainglory, a constant lesson in how it should be done. Here is no phenomenon distinguished by being able to produce a sound no one could rival, rather effects are achieved without undue force, nothing is done against nature, everything has its own natural grace’. Like praise can be found in John Steane's chapter on de Luca in SINGERS OF THE CENTURY, ‘The voice was beautiful in timbre; the phrases were beautiful in their evenness; the words and feelings were beautiful in that they became part of the music’.
William Shaman's book is a model of how such a book should be out together. After Lord Harewood's foreword, the book opens with a six page introduction about the De Luca's career; this is followed by a fifty page discography that includes not only the commercial records, but also motion picture appearances, off the air transcriptions, and live concert recordings; twenty pages of extensive notes on the recordings; forty pages of appendixes; a selective bibliography; and indexes. It is a model of its kind and has proven to be a wonderful source for many years.
De Luca made a great number of records, more than 350, of which 309 were commercial studio recordings - of these 156 were released. The recordings can be divided into three groups, G&T's he made starting in 1902 at the beginning of his career; Fonotopias all made in a single month, January 1907; and Victors, which started in 1916 and make up by a large margin the majority of de Luca's recordings. There were some other recordings, but these represent the heart of his discography.”
- Z. D. Akron