V0392. FERRUCCIO TAGLIAVINI: Arias & Duets (w.Pia Tassinari) from L’Elisir, Lucia, Don Pasquale, Luisa Miller, La Traviata, Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Manon, Werther, Martha, Tosca, L’Amico Fritz, Andrea Chénier & La Fanciulla del West. (Austria) Preiser 89515, recorded 1942-50. - 717281895156
“One October day whilst at ‘I Pini’ [Rome] I received a telephone call from Florence. It was Mario Labroca who wanted me to hear a young tenor to whom he was thinking of giving a part in ASTUZIE FEMMINILI by Cimarosa in the edition revised by Respighi, which was to be staged at the ‘Teatro alla Pergola’ in May 1939….Naturally I went to Florence; the young singer in question was Ferruccio Tagliavini; he was then still a novice, but I was immediatley spellbound by the beauty of his voice which, without having the same volume, was like Gigli’s in quality, emission and phrasing. ‘He suits me fine’, I said immediately.”
- Elsa Respighi
“Nearly any time opera lovers discuss inherently beautiful voices, Tagliavini's name is sure to come up. His smooth lyric tenor had a luxurious timbre, reminiscent of Tito Schipa's, and was also warm and extremely expressive. In another resemblance to Schipa, he had a particular gift for vocally caressing a phrase without making it sound like a studied effect, and could sing piano and pianissimo without crooning. He excelled in the lighter, lyric repertoire, and for many was the definitive Nemorino, Nadir (LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES), Ernesto (DON PASQUALE), and Fritz (L'AMICO FRITZ) of his generation, or for some, even the century. He and composer Pietro Mascagni became close friends, and Mascagni claimed that Tagliavini was instrumental in making L'AMICO FRITZ a success. During his early years, he focused on this lyric repertoire, but as his career advanced, he added heavier roles, such as Loris Ipanov in Giordano's FEDORA, Riccardo in Verdi's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, and Cavaradossi in Puccini's TOSCA.
His opera début was in Florence as Rodolfo in LA BOHÈME in 1938. After World War II, he gathered a wide following among American GIs still based in Italy. His La Scala début was in 1942, also as Rodolfo, as was his United States début in Chicago in 1946, and his Met début in 1957. In addition to his stage performances and recordings, he also appeared in many popular films, mostly of the light and sentimental type. He retired from the stage in 1965, but gave annual performances at Carnegie Hall through 1981. He was married to soprano Pia Tassinari, whom he met in 1940, (they later divorced), and during their marriage they frequently appeared together, as their repertoire was very often complementary. Their recording of L'AMICO FRITZ, conducted by the composer is a classic.”
- Anne Feeney, allmusic.com