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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:37 pm 
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Victor V
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Someone else in this thread remarked on the 'mythical stage presence' of Caruso and McCormack. To a degree that's true of Caruso, any appearance was bound to generate a buzz, but neither were known to be particularly good actors, McCormack especially. I enjoy some of McCormacks's opera records, he had the voice and technique, if not the 'fervency' when it was called for, but for me he's most successful as a singer of songs. I especially like his later HMV sides, with Edwin Schneider and Gerald Moore on piano. The voice had some ragged edges by then but the interpretive ability is 110 % He's like the Irish Frank Sinatra.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:50 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 222
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Wolfe wrote:
Someone else in this thread remarked on the 'mythical stage presence' of Caruso and McCormack. To a degree that's true of Caruso, any appearance was bound to generate a buzz, but neither were known to be particularly good actors, McCormack especially. I enjoy some of McCormacks's opera records, he had the voice and technique, if not the 'fervency' when it was called for, but for me he's most successful as a singer of songs. I especially like his later HMV sides, with Edwin Schneider and Gerald Moore on piano. The voice had some ragged edges by then but the interpretive ability is 110 % He's like the Irish Frank Sinatra.


Yes that is very true!


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:22 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:24 pm
Posts: 97
Although it may verge upon Alternate History, I've read that Caruso's 1920 recordings show evidence of strain in the upper register, or something akin to that (not audible to my untrained ears). So, let's say that the on-stage injury hadn't occurred in late 1920, how much longer do any of you think that he could have kept going and would there have been a noticeable "decline" to his voice, also assuming he continued his two pack-a-day smoking? Would he have made it to the electrical era, to early 1925?

I also wonder, if he had, what in his repertoire would have been re-made using the new recording system or if, like the other Red Seal artists in March and April of 1925, his initial recordings would have been "new" material. Would it have been Caruso, instead of Gigli, who would record "Come Love to Me" and "Goodbye Marie?"

Perhaps futile speculation, but Caruso as part of the 1920's sounds intriguing, to me, anyway.


Caruso's 1911 recording of Una Furtiva Lagrima was the first acoustic recording that I heard--I was eleven. The transfer made it sound as though it was recorded in 1711, but I'm grateful that my small-town library had the LP in the first place as a starting point for my future transition to acoustical 78's.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:38 pm 
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Victor V
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 2073
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
It was Gigli himself who is reputed to have said "Caruso gave too much", so it would not be surprising if the voice was showing signs of wear after 20 years of unstinting use. To my ears this is evident in "Rachel, quand du Seigneur" from "La Juive" which was recorded in September 1920, but it is nevertheless a magnificent performance.

I like to think that, had he lived, Caruso would have retired whilst still at the top of his profession. He was a wealthy man and had no need to continue. There have been great tenors since his day, but for me there is still no-one to touch him.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:27 pm 
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Victor V
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Posts: 2058
IIRC, Dorothy Caruso recalled attending a Gigli performance with the big E. maybe around 1918, when Gigli's star was beginning to rise. She said that Caruso was a bit concerned about the 'new guy' and the potential competition, but after the performance Caruso dismissed Gigli as being no threat to him. On the recorded evidence, I doubt that Caruso had another decade in him as a tenor. I guess there is the possibility that he could have switched to baritone, which is what he started out as, but probably not. There is a record of him singing the 'Coat Song' from La Boheme, which is an aria for a bass. If Caruso has switched to baritone roles, perhaps he and Gigli could have performed together. :P Maybe cut a complete electrically recorded opera for Victor in 1920 something. That's almost as good as being able to actually hear Caruso and Rosa Ponselle.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy 145th Birthday to Enrico Caruso
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:44 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:23 am
Posts: 2090
Location: NW Indiana B-19;VV-IV; VV-VI;VV-XI;VV-XVI; Edison Home B; Amberola 30; Col. BK; Magnola;
I only wish that Caruso would have lived longer to have recorded electrically. Norman has three of his cylinders available. Caruso was in my opinion the best opera singer in recording history. A Caruso Record on the VV-XVI and a glass of wine and I am good.


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