V0475. MATTIA BATTISTINI: The Complete Recordings, Vol. I, 1902 - 1911, incl. Songs by Gounod, Denza, Álvarez & Tosti; Arias from Don Giovanni, Maria di Rohan, Don Sebastiano, La Favorita, I Puritani, Zampa, Per la Patria, Barbiere, Marta, Ballo, Ernani, Tosca, Pagliacci, La Damnation de Faust, Hamlet, Werther, Thaïs, Faust, Tannhäuser, Eugen Onégin & Demon. (England) 2-Romophone 82008, incl. 2 Unpublished Versions. Transfers by Ward Marston. Booklet has discographic data, photos, etc. by Michael Scott. Long out-of-print, Final copy! - 754238200823
“Italian music of the 19th century was quintessentially vocal music. Great opera composers such as Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti emphasized purity, nobility, subtlety and the sheer beauty of the human voice. With Verdi, though, a new ideal of ‘verismo’ arose in which drama, emotion and realism supplanted the older style. Although his career came after the turn to verismo, Battistini (1856 - 1928) focused his repertoire on the earlier style and was universally acclaimed by those who had lived through the previous era as one of its greatest exponents. His records, made from 1902 to 1924, are uniformly beautiful and, more important, are the fullest evidence we have of the pre-verismo vocal style of the previous two generations.”
- Peter Guttmann, Classical Notes
"For a baritone of real finesse, immeasurable span of operatic roles and natural musical ability, you must return to the beginning of this century and Mattia Battistini….I can’t wait for the next volume, as Ward Marston’s transfers are up to his usual high standards.”
- Bill Newman, INTERNATIONAL CLASSIC RECORD COLLECTOR, Spring, 1999
"Battistini's recordings are such exemplars of fine singing that it is hard to pick out individual instances of excellence....What is evident from the records is that he was a vocal actor of the highest quality, defining character and situations closely in terms of tonal nuance....Such artistic completeness is rare, affirming Battistini's status as one of those singers whose complex, searching interpretative powers merit the fullest exploration."
- George Hall, INTERNATIONAL CLASSIC RECORD COLLECTOR, Spring, 1998
"They're very collectable, these Romophone complete editions. Up they go on the shelves, and you know that there is another small but quite important area in the history of singing on records properly covered, ready for reference at any time, and reference that will be a pleasure because the standard of transfer is so reliable."
- J. B. Steane, GRAMOPHONE, Feb., 1995