The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:23 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 360
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Wolfe wrote:
Yes, that is a nice, clean example. I don't own any myself.

Ward Marston notes that the recording machine wasn't functioning correctly for all the Caruso Zonophone sides. Apparently the pitch needs to be brought down gradually as the records play. Of course, it seems that's a not so uncommon problem with those old weight driven lathes.


Thanks and yes I'm very fortunate to have a clean unworn pressing. I've attached another photo so you can get a better idea of how clean it really is.

The gradual change in pitch on the original pressing isn't noticeable at first but a good ear can hear a slight difference when starting the record from the very beginning and then placing the needle near the end. The fact that Ward was able to correct this anomaly when transferring the Zonofono group is one of the many reasons I treasure the Naxos Caruso edition. They are the only transfers I listen to outside of my original pressings.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:25 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 360
Location: British Columbia, Canada
melvind wrote:
I love the zonophono Caruso disc! I am a bit envious...


Awww Dan-- that wasn't my intention when I posted it :)


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:33 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 360
Location: British Columbia, Canada
melvind wrote:
Happy Birthday Enrico! I just listened to one of his recordings but then I do that on many days. The best tenor of the 20th century!


Dan, is that one of the original bronzes sculpted by Caruso himself?
It's a beauty!


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:35 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 360
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Viva-voce wrote:
melvind wrote:
Happy Birthday Enrico! I just listened to one of his recordings but then I do that on many days. The best tenor of the 20th century!


Dan, is that one of the original bronzes sculpted by Caruso himself?
It's a beauty!


And if it is an original, then I'm getting a bit envious--so we're even hahaha :)


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:09 am 
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Victor III
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music is time travel and strings moments in time together like nothing else I know -- Kathleen Lane
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:23 am
Posts: 801
Location: North Oregon Coast
Yes, it is original! I lucked into it a few years ago.
-- Dan

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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:44 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 360
Location: British Columbia, Canada
That's awesome, Dan! What a great find. Yeah, I lucked into the Zonophone record just a few years ago as well. Not sure if such luck would happen again, but hey--ya never know :)


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:20 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 710
Location: Italy
gramophone-georg wrote:
melvind wrote:
Happy Birthday Enrico! I just listened to one of his recordings but then I do that on many days. The best tenor of the 20th century!


Probably of the 21st too. ;)


Can you gentleman please expand why you consider him still so much unsurpassed? Which were his qualities, never to be reached again by others? I think this would be a good way to celebrate the man and his birthday, wouldn't it?

Personally, although I like to listen to him and I purchase basically every record that I come across, and I acknowledge him having changed forever male operatic singing technique, I am also aware that his voice had limits, and that not all of his surviving takes were good or remarkable. Historical merits aside, which will be forever his, and although it's difficult or perhaps even nonsense to compare voices so distant over time, I seem to prefer to him tenors like Giuseppe Di Stefano, Luciano Pavarotti or Juan Diego Flòrez, all of whom had/have a movingly elegant voice and could/can reach very high pitches with an ease of emission that Enrico Caruso didn't have.

I would really like to read your educated comments about this, as I foresee that they will improve my knowledge and appreciation of Enrico Caruso.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:49 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 360
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Marco Gilardetti wrote:
gramophone-georg wrote:
melvind wrote:
Happy Birthday Enrico! I just listened to one of his recordings but then I do that on many days. The best tenor of the 20th century!


Probably of the 21st too. ;)


Can you gentleman please expand why you consider him still so much unsurpassed? Which were his qualities, never to be reached again by others? I think this would be a good way to celebrate the man and his birthday, wouldn't it?

Personally, although I like to listen to him and I purchase basically every record that I come across, and I acknowledge him having changed forever male operatic singing technique, I am also aware that his voice had limits, and that not all of his surviving takes were good or remarkable. Historical merits aside, which will be forever his, and although it's difficult or perhaps even nonsense to compare voices so distant over time, I seem to prefer to him tenors like Giuseppe Di Stefano, Luciano Pavarotti or Juan Diego Flòrez, all of whom had/have a movingly elegant voice and could/can reach very high pitches with an ease of emission that Enrico Caruso didn't have.

I would really like to read your educated comments about this, as I foresee that they will improve my knowledge and appreciation of Enrico Caruso.


Hi Marco,
When I first heard recordings of Caruso I was 13 years old. I was so impressed with what I heard and it affected me in a way which I was not able to describe. Around that time I also heard records of other singers of the era, and aside from Caruso, it was the sound of the voices of Galli-Curci, Ponselle, and Ruffo that also left such a strong impression on me. Maybe it was just the quality of tone that impressed me, and also their delivery and personality that I picked up on as well. And the individual and distinctive sound of their voices, so easily identifiable as to be recognized immediately after first hearing. From singers such as those I learned to appreciate many many more from that era (such as Plancon, de Lucia, and Battistini) as I listened more and grew older, and ended up learning to sing myself. I don't really have a favorite singer in any one voice type or era-- but there are certain voices I tend to return to again and again, whether from the so-called golden age or in more modern times. They continue to give a special kind of pleasure and satisfaction, and I find that with Caruso perhaps more than many others--I think it's a combination of several factors: beauty of tone, ease of execution, a sense of repose, an ability to sing lyrically or dramatically, and from the heart. A combination of sweetness and power. There are several recordings he made which for me are definitive, and at the other end of the spectrum, several I could do without. I find that to be true of most singers I enjoy. I accept their strengths and weaknesses and enjoy their artistry and style. Each one was unique. But with Caruso, there was so much that was captured of his voice by the acoustic process to demonstrate that he was unique. And the importance of his recordings (not all of them of course) even today cannot be discounted.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:59 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 360
Location: British Columbia, Canada
There's a lot more I could write about this and in greater detail, given enough time and space, and my energy level at the moment. But I've tried to convey some of what I was trying to say on this subject, without rambling on too long. But I hope it is helpful in addressing your request :)

Steven


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:37 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
Posts: 1830
Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
Viva-voce wrote:
There's a lot more I could write about this and in greater detail, given enough time and space, and my energy level at the moment. But I've tried to convey some of what I was trying to say on this subject, without rambling on too long. But I hope it is helpful in addressing your request :)

Steven


I'll add to that.

Without Caruso, I don't think that either the Victor Talking Machine Co. OR any of the opera stars you mentioned would have come into such international prominence. Here we are 145 years after his birth and he is still resonating through the ages being discovered by new generations.

Caruso's records have real presence... pretty much unique to an acoustical era vocal star. I can't think of another tenor that quite gives the power plus the feeling of a Caruso.

I think Mario Lanza tried and came close... but they were from two different eras... when Caruso came up, sure, you could get celebrity status as an opera star, but first and foremost was always the trade of singing, which was unceasing work. When Lanza came in, instead of being a serious opera tenor he opted to go total celebrity... not that Lanza didn't work at it, too, but a lot of what he sang is trite by today's standards, and while both died too soon Caruso's death was unfortunate where Lanza's was self inflicted... he lacked the discipline to take care of himself. Then too, Lanza had a powerful voice but we never heard him through the medium of 1900s recording technology. Would he have stacked up?

I've enjoyed many other tenors besides Caruso, but it's him they are always chasing.

Plus... Caruso was pretty much the original rock star. :)


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