OP0276. LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, recorded 1941, w.Marinuzzi Cond. E.I.A.R. Ensemble, Torino; Maria Caniglia, Galliano Masini, Carlo Tagliabue, Ebe Stignani, Tancredi Pasero, etc. (Canada) 2-Naxos 8.110206/07. Transfers by Ward Marston. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 636943120620
“Gino Marinuzzi's conducting during the choral and ensemble scenes is one of the recording's strong points. Never wayward or self-referentially extreme, Marinuzzi nonetheless brings both dash and discipline to portions of the score which frequently go for little, thus making evident the ‘Shakespearean’ character of this variegated piece which was so important to the composer.
But this is an opera, not a symphony, and Marinuzzi would never have achieved his goals without the splendidly inventive, yet faithful, interpretations of Meletti, Stignani, and Nessi (surely the least irritating, most charming Trabucco on disc). Since the Inn Scene, so frequently cut altogether, is included here, Stignani in particular is able to display her skills. To the principals. FORZA (pace Rosa Ponselle) is in large part a tenor-baritone score. Here Masini and Tagliabue provide contrast more than complement. The tenor gives what might be termed a visceral interpretation, commanding and often thrilling (especially on high) but also complete with line-bumping sobs in ‘Solenne in quest'ora’ and ‘Invano, Alvaro’. Tagliabue on the other hand, though without the native brilliance of tone and natural vocal intensity of Masini, gives a cultivated and often subtly-phrased account of his role. Those whose standard for the role is Warren or Merrill will find in Tagliabue less to thrill but much to absorb. Tancredi Pasero, with his flicker-vibrato, does complement Meletti in their last act scene together and gives an altogether splendid rendering of the Father Guardian.
For many, Maria Caniglia's will prove the most controversial interpretation of the recording. Serafin once told her, ‘You have a top, but it is not your glory’ He was right. In the theatre the spaces would have lent shading to her upper tones, but the 1941 microphone is monochromatically merciless in exposing the shrillness and unsteadiness that often afflict her. Still, few will dispute the effectiveness of Caniglia's middle register, or her often striking chest tones, or her intense reading of the line and attention to words. Caniglia, according to her means, gives a striking performance of the tragedy-plagued Leonora.
Taken from two sets of the original 78s and restored with the typical loving care of Ward Marston. those familiar with some of the other editions will at once notice differences. Here the pitch has been made correct and consistent. Though the vocal presence of the singers may be less blatant, it benefits (Masini's already bright instrument in particular) from the more mellow reproduction achieved here.
The booklet includes an essay on the opera and the recording, a detailed synopsis cued to the tracks, and an interesting note on the dates and circumstances under which the recording was made.”
- Calvin M. Goodwin, musicweb-international