- - - - - - - - A Met Opera Double Bill - - - - - - - -
OP3169. IL TABARRO, Live Performance, 5 Jan., 1946, w.Busch Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Licia Albanese, Lawrence Tibbett, Frederick Jagel, Margaret Harshaw, Virgilio Lazzari, Thomas Hayward, Alessio de Paolis, etc.;
DON PASQUALE, Live Performance, 5 Jan., 1946 (replete with Milton Cross’ commentaries) w.Sodero Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Bidú Sayão, Salvatore Baccaloni, Nino Martini, John Brownlee & Alessio de Paolis; DON PASQUALE - Excerpts (in German) w.Steiner Cond. Berlin Reichsrundfunk Orch.; Erna Berger & Karl Schmitt-Walter; DON PASQUALE - Excerpts w. Schipa, dal Monte, Fregosi & Azzolini. (Canada) 3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1057, w.52pp Elaborate Booklet, w.Notes by Henry Fogel & Richard Caniell; Transfers by Richard Caniell. DON PASQUALE commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Fritz Busch. - 019962434839
"During her long Met career (1940-1966) Licia Albanese was particularly identified with the music of Puccini, and there are recorded examples of her in many Puccini roles, either studio or live recordings. There is, however, a single performance of her Giorgetta in IL TABARRO preserved, and it is this one. How fortunate we are to have it, particularly paired with Lawrence Tibbett’s Michele. The fervor and the innate feel for the Puccini idiom that both artists convey in their scenes together is not duplicated in any other performance of which I am aware.
This [DON PASQUALE] is a treasurable opportunity to experience a Donizetti opera conducted by the great Fritz Busch, and from the opening of the Overture we understand that this will be a unique experience. The degree of attention to dynamic shading and to orchestral balance and texture is remarkable, and Richard Caniell has made special efforts in his restoration to preserve that dynamic shading and the performance’s dynamic range. There is spring in the rhythms, there is flexibility in the shaping of melodic lines, a sparkle in the string playing, an effective and intelligent application of rubato, and an attention to phrasing that we almost never hear in this music."
- Henry Fogel, Program Notes
“[Albanese’s] voice soars – the thrust of her top voice, its freedom and complete security, are thrilling….she sounds the sensual lyricism of the duet with the expertise of a Puccini veteran….[Sayao] is mistress of [her] role from first to last, and Busch’s tempi offer innumerable opportunities for characterful nuance….Busch spins the most beguiling of melodic lines in the orchestra as the stage particpants chatter away. He seems intent in weaving a more continuous web of sonority than one would have imagined possible.”
- Paul Jackson, SATURDAY AFTERNOONS AT THE OLD MET, pp.378 & 380
“Albanese sounded the greater depths of the scenes...without resort to the slightest exaggeration or mere theatricalism to make her points. She sounded the note of tragedy and made it the more poignant by the light and the shade of her dramatic interpretation. There was real simplicity and contagious emotion in it and everything was so thoughtfully proportioned that climaxes never had to be forced. . . . She quickly won the audience’s approval by the freshness of feeling, the interest of detail in her performance and the pervading eloquence of her song. “
- Olin Downes, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 1941
"...Sayao provides vocalism of real distinction, vocalism of perfect poise and point in the most intricate roulades, of bewitching grace in cantilena, always in the service of character. She is mistress of the role from first to last, and Busch's tempi offer her innumerable of real distinction, vocalism of perfect poise and point in the most intricate roulades, of bewitching grace in cantilena, always in the service of character. She is mistress of the role from first to last, and Busch's tempi offer her innumerable opportunities for characterful nuance."
- Paul Jackson, SATURDAY AFTERNOONS AT THE OLD MET, p.378