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New Additions


£9.95 ($19.00)

Every year we issue a CD retrospective of the singers who were the subjects of articles in the previous volume. In this way our readers can hear these singers at their best in rare, beautiful and often previously unavailable material. Many of the items are being issued on CD for the first time and several are receiving their first-ever reissue.

Click for more information…

If there was ever a reason why each collector should be willing to listen beyond the grandi nomi it would be some of the superb performances on the AFRS transcriptions. Otherwise they would miss the phenomenal singing of the hardly-known Francine Falkon in ‘O prêtres de Baal’. The voice and technique overcome the demands of this challenging aria with ease. Yet, to the best of our knowledge, she never recorded commercially. Nor would they have been introduced to the granite-like bass of Norman Scott, whose oleaginous ‘La calunnia’ is among the best of versions and capped with a thundering top G. He would surely have become better known, had he not died tragically young. Outstanding, too, is the wonderful, introspective version of ‘Pari siamo’ by Clifford Harvuot, with its myriad colours, inflections and exemplary line. If the style of Thomas Hayward is a little forthright in his ‘A te, o cara’, there is no denying a fine tenor voice with an easy top C sharp which would have been an asset to any company.

We were pleased to present a biography and discography of the very fine contralto Margarete Arndt-Ober in Volume 62, no 3 for she is a patrician artist who is desperately underrated by collectors. Many of her records are very fine and show a sumptuous contralto voice of great range. Among the best is the duet from Boris with Althouse, where her ravishing tone is especially well caught. This proved a difficult recording to master as it is heavily recorded and the final notes have a tendency to blast, despite the mint copy used.

Sara Scuderi was among the last of a line of great verismo sopranos. Her short discography is to be cherished as her records show a very beautiful voice allied to a passionate delivery of text. ‘In quelle trine’ is especially fine for its ardour, the voice throbbing with emotion while still maintaining a smooth legato. She deserves greater appreciation.

The records of Avelina Carrera are hardly ever encountered. Her reputation is preserved by a short discography which contains many unpublished recordings. She shares much in common with Scuderi, both in repertoire and voice. Her discs reveal a lovely sound, the voice used with great intelligence.

It is a privilege to present an example of the opulent contralto voice of Tilly Koenen, an artist completely forgotten today. At a time when contraltos recorded least well of all voices it is still evident that here is a sound of great purity and beautiful tonal quality.

The records of Petar Raichev are highly sought after by admirers of fine tenor voices. The sweetness of its timbre and his fine technique are beguiling, especially in the two arias from Barbiere, which owe much to the influence of his teacher De Lucia. Yet he can summon sufficient metal to cope with the spinto demands of ‘Ah! Non mi ridestar’ when required. It is amusing how, at times, he sounds remarkably like his contemporary Joseph Schmidt. Less to be admired is the garbled enunciation of Italian in some of his recordings, despite his important Italian career.

It was difficult not to fall under the temptation to fill this CD totally with the recordings of the delightful Leïla Ben Sedira. Her records reveal a voice of ravishing beauty with a personality that just leaps from the groove. Here are three of her best. They show both her skill in coloratura and her endearing charm. In a simple song such as ‘Roses de Picardie’ her lovely sound is quite bewitching.

Alfred Orda possessed one of the most beautiful baritone voices of all time, with a colour that was unique. He recorded very little and Richard Copeman’s article in Volume 62, no 2 shows that the artist himself did not help his career by being difficult and demanding. This record was a recent discovery on the strange Musette label: the matrix number is missing and the date of recording is unknown. The recording is poor, but every one of Orda’s few discs is to be cherished. This lovely Chopin song was likely to be a staple of his repertoire and shows well the sheer beauty of the voice.

‘Magisterial’ seems an appropriate epithet to describe the voice of Helen Traubel. That quality is aptly demonstrated in these three unpublished Columbias. ‘Die Trommel gerühret’, sung in English as ‘The drums are loudly beating’, shows the sheer ring of the sound, contrasting with ‘Wiegenliedchen’, which is sung in a lower register of contralto-like intensity. Then, to end the CD, her ‘Cäcilie’ illustrates the authority and grandeur of the sound that thrilled Met audiences for nearly two decades. While mastering the three discs the reason for their non-publication became clear: there is an almost imperceptible distortion in the recording. Despite their technical shortcomings it is good that they can be heard at last, because the singing is superb.

TRC26 Volume 52 Singers

Leïla Ben Sedira 'Les Roses de Picarde'

Click to play a sample


£9.95 ($19.00)

Every year we issue a CD retrospective of the singers who were the subjects of articles in the previous volume. In this way our readers can hear these singers at their best in rare, beautiful and often previously unavailable material. We believe TRC 43 (Volume 58 singers) to be one of our most ambitious issues to date. Not only are many of the items being issued on CD for the first time but several are receiving their first-ever reissue.

Click for more information…

When one listens to Alessandro Granda, one cannot help coming to the conclusion that, surely, this was one of the great voices of the 20th century. The sound is powerful, ringing and with a splendid top. Yet, he has been almost completely forgotten, even among collectors. Let us hope that these four examples will help redress that balance. Listen to how easily he rides the high tessitura of the two difficult arias from Iris!

The voice of Max Dawison is a real discovery. His rare records show a sound that is ringing, unforced and handsome in tone. Gifted with a fine top, Dawison exploits an opportunity to interpolate an unwritten top G in the aria and cabaletta from Lucrezia Borgia, which is unfortunately squeezed on to one side of an Odeon disc but is still a fine example of his art.

The verismo soprano, a species once relatively common, is now, regrettably, extinct. Francisca Solari was typical of the type: a superb, spinto soprano with a flickering vibrato and easy high notes, entirely at home in the music of Giordano and Mascagni. Her discography is a tragedy as she was recorded only in excerpts from Parisina and Isabeau despite her large repertoire of roles. Until now her fine Isabeau recordings appear to have escaped the attentions of reissuers.

Examples of the recordings of Jeanne Marié de l’Isle should be in every record collection. The voice is a ravishingly beautiful mezzo, yet, although she was of the first importance, she is unknown to many collectors. With a few exceptions, her records are very hard to find and, when they do turn up, are inevitably worn, indicating that they were much enjoyed by previous generations.

Nobody would describe the voice of Frederick Ranalow as a great one but his records make enjoyable listening. His success in musical comedy and operetta is obvious from these examples: a real personality leaps from the grooves. These two songs show him at his best, with every word enunciated with perfect clarity.

We have great pleasure in bringing you the first-ever reissue of the unpublished disc made for the Gramophone Company of Hariclea Darclée. Thanks to the generosity of René Seghers, the author of the forthcoming book on the soprano, we present one of the songs from this disc (the second will have to wait for the publication of the book!). Though it is an intriguingly short 40 seconds in length, and of trifling music, we hear an obviously attractive soprano voice of a lovely colour.

Why has Louise Homer been so neglected among the collecting community? Here is an artist of the first importance, who enjoyed a long career singing with all the greats of her time. Her recording of the Le Prophète aria shows her at her best: the voice is huge, yet of great agility and with an easy, effulgent top. The best of her records are well worth seeking out.

I had never considered Jeanette MacDonald as a serious opera singer until John Banks’s interesting article appeared in Vol. 61, no. 4. Here are two of John’s choices to represent the soprano. In the lovely Louise aria the tonal quality is attractive and well-controlled. The mawkish, over-orchestrated recording of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ will bring a smile to some listeners but there is no doubt about the sincerity of the singing, which is crowned at the end with an easy top C.

Charles Friant was a mastersinger. With a voice of relatively slender resources he could create magic with whatever he sang, combining a superb technique, a mastery of light and shade, of legato and a consummate use of rubato. The tone is always of the most beautiful colour and his records are models of an outstanding singer at work. All of these four selections show complementing examples of his art but I believe that the Prince Igor is the finest of all: one of the greatest of tenor recordings. Nearly so is the very rare May Night (Le Nuit de Mai) but it is afflicted by a very rushed tempo in an attempt to cram the aria on to one side of a 12-in. disc. If only the recording could have occupied both sides Friant would surely have been able to cast his magic yet again. He is an artist whose recorded output should be cherished.

TRC26 Volume 52 Singers

Alessandro Granda Iris
'Or dammi il tuo braccio'

Click to play a sample


£22.95 ($30.00; €27.00)

This is one of our most important issues yet. It is a compilation of the rarest Phonotypes of the unique De Lucia. Most have never been reproduced on LP or CD before and this is their first ever issue.

Click for more information…

The set has been produced in collaboration with the De Lucia expert Dr. Michael Henstock. We have laid to rest, once-and-for-all, the vexed question of the speeds of these Phonotypes, establishing the perception of the voice by beginning the opera CD with the rare 12-in. (30 cm.) ‘Giunto sul passo’ from Mefistofele, acknowledged, incontestably, as having been recorded at score pitch (in A flat at 69 rpm). Most of the issues are of the greatest rarity.

CD 1: Opera

La Gioconda: Cielo e mar; Manon: En fermant les yeux

Adriana Lecouvreur: No, più nobile; Cavalleria Rusticana: Siciliana

Faust: Il se fait tard …. Éternelle w. De Angelis

Lohengrin: Nun sei bedankt; Das süsse Lied verhallt (w. De Angelis); Atmest du nicht; In fernem Land; Mein lieber Schwan; Kommt er dann heim

La Sonnambula: Perdona Prendi, l’anel … Sposi or siamo w. Perugino

La Bohème: Sono andati? … Tornò al nido w. De Angelis

Mefistofele: Giunto sul passo estremo (10-in. (30 cm.)) version

Fedora: Vedi, io piango Ma chi Addio! a domani w. De Angelis

Tosca: O dolci mani … Trionfal di nuova speme w. De Angelis

Carmen: La fleur que tu m’avais jetée

CD 2: Song

Sérénade (Italian version) (Gounod); Tristezza (Tosti); Torna (Denza)

Se (Denza); Bambola infranta (Tate); Mandulinata (De Curtis); ’O Munasterio (Costa); Segreto (Tosti); ’O marenariello (Gambardella); Voce ’e notte (De Curtis)

Fenesta che lucive (Cottrau); ’O sole mio (Di Capua); Napulitanata (Cottrau);

Oilì, oilà (Costa); Lu cardillo (Labriola) Nuttata napulitana (Valente);

Perchè mi baci (Tagliaferri) ’Ncoppa a ll’onne (Fassone); Mariannì (De Meglio); Quanno canta Pusilleco (Tagliaferri); Sta luna ’o vvo’ (Valente); O mare canta (Lama); Se (Denza); Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod)


Price for the 2-CD set: £22.95 ($30; €27) plus £2.00 postage (UK); £4.50 (€6) (Europe); £5.00 ($6.5o) (US and rest of world).

“This is one of the most important vocal releases of the year, and frankly even the past two or three years. You will hear singing of rare distinction and individuality, singing that you will never be able to just keep in the background. Here is surely a candidate for my year-end ‘Want List’.”

Henry Fogel, Fanfare

TRC26 Volume 52 Singers

Click to play a sample


£9.95 ($19.00)

Every year we issue a CD retrospective of the singers who were the subjects of articles in the previous volume. In this way our readers can hear these singers at their best in rare, beautiful and often previously unavailable material. We believe TRC 43 (Volume 58 singers) to be one of our most ambitious issues to date. Not only are many of the items being issued on CD for the first time but several are receiving their first-ever reissue.

Click for more information…

What treasures lie in the records of Eidé Norena. These have hardly ever been reissued. We begin with her exquisite 'Nymphes et Sylvains', familiar from Melba's recording. Here are encapsulated all of Norena's virtues: pin-point accuracy, perfect tuning and great skill in coloratura, all wedded to a very beautiful voice. The 1911 Les Huguenots aria, one of the very rare Norwegian 78s, shows the unfinished singer, before her studies with von zur Mühlen in London.

The records of Mihály Szekely are little known in the West, even though he enjoyed a very long career in Budapest, Europe and at the Met. His Entführung recordings are among his best, showing a massive voice and his renowned organ-stop lower register. Yet, he could soften the voice to a cooing mezza voce in 'Heidenroslein': a lovely example of his skill in lieder.

Johannes Sembach is neglected by collectors, possibly because his most easily encountered records are his dimly-recorded Columbias of 1916/17. Here are two of his earlier Grammophon recordings, showing an attractive, flicker vibrato and a powerful middle register. His singing is full of nuance, showing a great intelligence at work. Few will be prepared for the superb, very rare electric Clangor records, made after more than thirty-years of career. The voice is still in superb condition. His 'Gott! Welch Dunkel hier!' is agonising in its intensity. For me it is one of the great recordings of this aria. Equally magnificent is the duet, with the wonderful Liselotte Ammermann, a superb Leonore and a real find.

Armida Parsi-Pettinella is another neglected artist, yet hers was an important international career. Here is one of the finest performances of 'O mio Fernando' on disc. The voice is impassioned and thrilling in its fearless handling of this difficult aria. I am especially fond of the arioso 'Son la vecchia Madelon', which was her last recording. Here, in this simple melody, she cleverly paints a picture of her despair, having lost her son. She still sounds in fine voice, even though she was beginning to wind down what had been a great career.

The recordings of Bessie Abott are disappointing and have rarely been reissued. Here are two of her best records for you, the listener, to decide for yourself. No mere coloratura she, here is a lyric soprano with a fine technique, but there is a pervading dullness to her singing. There is little sparkle, little verve in the tone and she usually eschews the highest notes. Perhaps she simply felt uncomfortable before the recording horn.

Galliano Masini's records have been reissued complete. Yet, we had to bring you one, as a reminder of this fine artist. His 'Se Franz dicesse il vero' is one of the great records, sung with spine-tingling intensity demonstrating how his was among the finest tenor voices of the 20th century. The way he easily eschews the difficulty of these long lines, many constantly around the passaggio, is quite thrilling.

Eleanora De Cisneros was a patrician singer, of great versatility with a superb technique. She is neglected possibly because, apart from her few, dull-sounding Columbias, most of her recordings were made by the hill-and-dale method. Her versatility is demonstrated by an amazing recording of Brünnhilde's 'Hojotoho! Hojotoho!', sung fearlessly with great fire and intensity.

Nobody would argue that Maurice D'Oisly possessed a great voice, yet he was able to encompass both the lyric and some lirico-spinto roles. He easily encompasses the tessitura of Cavaradossi's first aria, which is deceivingly difficult to sing. For the second, he is joined by his wife, the lovely Rosina Buckman, in a satisfying rendering of the duet.

Finally, we are proud to bring you the first reissue, anywhere, of the newly-discovered radio transcription of Josef Schmldt's 'Postillonlied'. Readers will recall that this transcription ran out almost immediately after the tenor's top D has been cleverly reconstructed here, using the wonders of modern technology, to produce a complete performance With far more time to spread himself than on his commercial 10-in. (25 cm.) recording of the aria, Schmidt gives us a wonderful rendition of the aria, with superb trills, as written, at the end of each verse. When one thinks of some of the mouth-watering roles he performed on the radio but did not record (see the issue devoted to the tenor in Vol. 45, no. 1), we may dream that similar discoveries are still to be made!

Larry Lustig

TRC26 Volume 52 Singers

Click to play a sample
Eidé Norena
'Rencontre' (Fauré)


£9.95 ($19.00)

We believe that this is one of our most interesting issues to date. Most of the items are being issued on CD for the first time and some are receiving their first-ever issue.

Click for more information…

The three examples of Tano Ferendinos show his sweet tenore di grazia to perfection. The ‘Torna’ is especially significant as he never recorded this song commercially. The two songs are charming and appear to have been omitted from other reissues on CD.

Louis Graveure’s voice is not to everyone’s taste and it is ironic that some of his worst discs seem to be the ones which are found most commonly. Yet at their best Graveure’s records show an interpreter of songs who is a born communicator, whose enunciation of the text is always crystal-clear. The ‘Yeoman’s Wedding Song’ is sung in ringing tones and is as fine an example of virile baritone singing as one could hope to hear. In more intimate music his mastery of mezza voce, rubato and diminuendi is second to none and the personality of the singer is always to the fore. For me, the best of his recordings are well worth seeking out.

No-one would suggest that Olga Haley was of the first rank of contraltos. Yet she is a fine artist who enjoyed great popularity throughout her career. Her records are certainly well worth hearing. Her Vocalions are difficult to reproduce, often suffering from heavy surfaces and backward recording. In the lovely ‘Harvest of sorrow’ her singing is both heartfelt and impassioned. The Dido is a strange arrangement of the music but her legato is a pleasure and the delivery ardent.

Giuseppe Taccani was, without doubt, one of the great lirico-spinto tenors of the 20th century. His discs always demonstrate a youthful and incisive tone and a security of attack that is thrilling, so it is a pity that he made relatively few recordings. The Jana disc is from the first session for the Gramophone Company in 1907 and is accompanied by the composer. The 27-year-old tenor is in fine form, ending the aria on an exciting B flat. The acoustic ‘Di quella pira’ is much harder to find than the electrical version and it has the advantage that the aria is in C (the electric recording is transposed down a semitone).

Emil Pinta’s article about the all-but-forgotten Pilotone label (Vol. 59, no. 2) was a great surprise, particularly as it revealed hitherto unknown recordings of several singers, among them Anne Roselle. The great Hungarian soprano, though nearing the end of her career at the time, is hardly taxed by the relatively trite, though rhythmically infectious, music. However, it is an example which admirers of this fine singer will want to have somewhere in their collection.

We are pleased to bring you three examples of the great Swedish tenor Set Svanholm. The Mendelssohn is from his first recording session and was recorded while he was officially a baritone. ‘Ich grolle nicht’ and the Meistersinger are previously unpublished. The voice in the Lied is still very baritonal but the easy, clarion top ‘A’ in the phrase ‘die dir am Herzen frißt’ (which most baritones eschew) shows the wisdom of his decision to change vocal registers. The Meistersinger is the unpublished take 2.

While researching which of the many Miguel Villabella records to include on this CD, I was surprised at how few of the Pathés had been previously reissued. The answer is probably because, with some exceptions, the recordings are poor, sometimes strident, sometimes distorted and we have worked hard to show them at their best. But they are important because they contain arias and songs that he never otherwise recorded and they show him at his best, such as the charming ‘Assis au pied’, which illustrates his beautiful head voice and the demi-teintes for which he was famous. The two arias from L’Illustre Fregona are creator’s discs and both are very beautifully sung. The music repays repeated listening. Each of the examples here has much to offer and illustrates one of the most interesting ‘French’ tenors of his time.

TRC26 Volume 52 Singers

Click to play a sample
Miguel Villabella excerpt from Le Postillon de Lonjumeau

TRC41 - Fonotipia Tenors, Vol. II

Price £22.95/€30/$39

This is the second volume to the very successful issue of Fonotipia Tenors. As for the previous issue this is also a 2-CD set. Here are even more of the superb tenors who recorded for this preeminent company, which set the standards for technical quality of recording.

Click for more information…


1. Mefistofele: Giunto sul passo estremo (Boito)
XPh 4968 16 Oct. 13 69167

2. Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Ecco ridente in cielo (Rossini)
XPh 49822 6 Nov. 13 69099

3. Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Se il mio nome (Rossini)
XPh 4984 8 Nov. 13 69100

4. Don Pasquale: Sogno soave e casto (Donizetti)
XPh 4989 11 Nov. 13 69102

5. La Traviata: De’ miei bollenti spiriti (Verdi)
XPh 4965 16 Oct. 13 69168

6. Don Pasquale: Com’ è gentil (Donizetti)
XPh 2321 15 Jan. 07 39966

7. Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai (Puccini)
XPh 2338 17 Jan. 07 39959

8. Rigoletto: Questa o quella (Verdi)
XPh 2290 11 Jan. 07 39958

9. Rigoletto: La donna è mobile (Verdi)
XPh 2291 11 Jan. 07 39957

10. I Puritani: A te, o cara (Bellini)
XPh 3678 26 Nov. 08 92375

11. Lucia di Lammermoor: Tu che a Dio spiegasti l’ali (Donizetti)
XPh 3694 28 Nov. 08 92370

12. Don Pasquale: Cercherò lontana terra (Donizetti)
XPh 3686 27 Nov. 08 92371

13. L’Africaine: Mi batte il cor .... O Paradiso (Meyerbeer)
XPh 3550 21 Oct. 08 92262

14. Mefistofele: Dai campi, dai prati (Boito)
XPh 3559 23 Oct. 08 92261

15. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Nel verno al piè focolar (Wagner)
XPh 3854 23 Apr. 09 92487

16. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Cominciam! Appena il mite april (Wagner)
XPh 3953 19 June 09 69054

17. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Dell’alba tinto (Wagner)
XPh 3855 23 Apr. 09 92488

18. Donna vorrei morire (Franchetti)
XPh 3973 23 June 09 92593

19. Der Freischütz: Lieto il colle....La finestra s’apre (Weber)
XPh 1708/9 15 Mar. 06 39523/4

20. Die Walküre: Siegmund heiss ich (Wagner) (in Italian) w. Giuseppina Baldassare-Tedeschi
XXPh 5299 1 Dec. 22 74230

21. Loreley: Infranto ogni altro vinco (Catalani)
XXPh 5266 8 Dec. 21 74220

22. Loreley: Nel verde maggio (Catalani)
XXPh 5265 5 Dec. 21 74219

23. Andrea Chénier: Un dì all’azzurro spazio (Improvviso)
XXPh 5374 29 Oct. 23 74235

24. Nerone: Queste ad un lido fatal (Boito)
Pho 54462 ? Sep. 24 152594

25. Nerone: Decurione! e invan mi danni w. Ines Lombardi
Pho 54493 ? Sep. 24 152595
No exact recording date is specified in the Fonotipia registers for these last two matrices.

Playing time: 77 mins

TRC26 Volume 52 Singers

Click to play a sample
Vittorio Lois excerpt from Guglielmo Tell


£9.95 ($19.00)

Every year we issue a CD retrospective of the singers who were the subjects of articles in the previous volume. In this way our readers can hear these singers at their best in rare, beautiful and often previously unavailable material. We believe TRC 40 (Volume 58 singers) to be one of our most ambitious issues to date. Not only are many of the items being issued on CD for the first time but several are receiving their first-ever reissue.

Click for more information…

Who among us can resist the glorious voice of Pavel Lisitsian? His baritone was of a gorgeous tonal quality wedded to a perfect technique. It is difficult to believe that his Pagliacci ‘Prologue’ has hardly been reissued so, appropriately, it begins this CD. The live Aleko shows that, at 60, his voice was still in perfect shape. It is an important addition to our collections because Lisitsian never recorded the aria commercially. How marvellous that it has been preserved for our enjoyment! The Demon arias, also hardly ever reissued, are edgy, crude recordings typical of some Russian discs of the period. However, the magnificent singing always wins through.

Torsten Ralf’s acoustic Parlophons are of great rarity. They were intended only for the Swedish market and, even there, have not been reissued. They show a bright, youthful sound, but already with an incisive quality surely indicative of the direction in which his career would progress.

We thought collectors would want to hear Victor Maurel’s very rare take of ‘Era la notte’. This is take 2, whereas most reissues on LP or CD have used take 3. He is in slightly croakier voice here, but the long, dreamy mezza voce of ‘Desdemona soave! Il nostro amor s’asconda’ is sustained even more magically than on the third take. Collectors will compare the two versions for themselves. It was just a pity that there was not enough room on the CD to include both takes side by side.

Sydney Rayner is represented by three of his rare Sonabels. He was never a subtle singer and rarely modulated the voice, but the forthright, rock-solid technique and the sensational top are qualities to admire. The two Tosca arias are very well sung, while ‘Canta pe’ me’ shows him in a more relaxed mood. He brings a touch of real Mediterranean sunshine to this lovely song.

Perceval Allen’s large discography is full of material unworthy of her great talent, so it is a pleasure to bring you these three Elektra recordings, which show her at her best. They are historically important as they were recorded less than three months after the première of the opera in Dresden. They are surely the first recordings of the new work and would hardly have sold in great numbers. Hence, they are of great rarity. They show a real dramatic soprano, with an incisive, brilliant tone and perfect attack. These three of the four excerpts that she recorded from the opera have never been reissued anywhere. What a pity that we simply couldn’t find the fourth!

Here are four examples of Dino Borgioli which demonstrate what an elegant, musical singer he was. The two acoustic Columbias are among the best versions of these arias. The two acetates show that he was still in fine voice some 30 years into his career and it is remarkable to note how little the voice has changed. The lovely Falconieri song was a favourite recital choice of the tenor and it is beautifully sung. The Matrimonio Segreto is rather backwardly recorded but well worth hearing. He was surely an artist to treasure.

Joseph Jamet, a bass of the first importance, was born in 1832 and is one of the oldest singers to have left his voice to posterity. This extremely rare disc is something of a curiosity, but there is enough tonal quality left for the ear of faith to reconstruct how he might have sounded in his prime.

Few would suggest that Gösta Björling was as gifted as his older brother Jussi. Yet it is an attractive voice, so reminiscent of Jussi’s, which he uses well. Because he was largely content to stay in Sweden he is not as well known as his famous sibling and, hence, fewer collectors know his recordings. They are well worth hearing.

I could not resist ending this CD as it began, with the voice of Pavel Lisitsian. The song is about the well-known story of Don Juan serenading an attractive young woman with the intention of casting his usual amorous spell. With such a voice, few maidens could resist!

TRC26 Volume 52 Singers

Click to play a sample
Pavel Lisitsian except from

TRC39 - Fonotipia Tenors

price £22.95/€30/$39

This is a 2-CD set of some of the superb tenors who recorded for the Fonotipia Company. Most collectors would agree that the company was far ahead of its rivals for the technical quality of its recordings and the range of singers who recorded for them was astonishing. One CD of the set is devoted to tenors who recorded acoustically; the second to those who made electrical recordings. Many of these artists have not previously been reissued on CD.

Click for more information…

CD 1–Acoustics

Bettino Capelli
1. Lohengrin: Di, non incantan (Atmest du nicht) (Wagner)
2. Lohengrin: Prova maggior (Höchstes Vertrau’en) (Wagner)

Edoardo Garbin
3. Germania: Studenti udite (Franchetti)
4. Andrea Chénier: Sì! fui soldato (Giordano)
5. Andrea Chénier: Come un bel dì di maggio (Giordano)
6. Tosca: Recondita armonia (Puccini)

Manfredo Polverosi
7. Carmen: Il fior che avevi (Bizet)
8. Manon: O dolce incanto ... Chiudo gli occhi (Massenet)
9. Rigoletto: Giovanna ho dei rimorsi ...E il sol dell’anima (Verdi) with Maria Perosio
10. Werther: Ah! non mi ridestar (Massenet)

Ermanno Pezzuti
11. Fedora: Amor ti vieta (Giordano)
12. Cavalleria Rusticana: Addio alla madre (Mascagni)

Romano Ciaroff-Ciarini
13. Roméo et Juliette: Amor, amor....Deh, sorgi, o luce in ciel
     (Ah! lève-toi, soleil) (Gounod)
14. Roméo et Juliette: Ah, ben sai (Ah! je te l’ai dit) (Gounod)
15. La Bohème: Che gelida manina (Puccini)

Giorgio Lucà
16. L’Elisir d’Amore: Una furtiva lagrima (Donizetti)
17. Mefistofele: Dai campi, dai prati (Boito)

Piero Schiavazzi
18. Cavalleria Rusticana: O Lola ch’ai di latti la cammisa (Mascagni)
19. Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai (Puccini)
20. Manon Lescaut: Ah! Manon mi tradisce (Puccini)
21. Pagliacci: Recitar!... Vesti la giubba (Leoncavallo)
22. Iris: Apri la tua finestra (Mascagni)

Angelo Angioletti
23. Otello: Sì, pel ciel (Verdi) w. Ferruccio Corradetti

Playing time: 75 minutes

CD 2–Electrics

Egidio Cunego
1. Fedora: Vedi, io piango (Giordano) w. Etty Maroli

Gino Colombo
2. Turandot: Non piangere, Liù (Puccini)
3. Turandot: Nessun dorma (Puccini)
4. Norma: Va, crudele, al Dio spietato (Bellini) w. Lina Lanza
5. Norma: In mia man alfin tu sei (Bellini) w. Vera Amerighi-Rutili

Sante Montelauri
6. Otello: Già nella notte densa (Verdi) w. Anna Marcangeli

Fernando Pini
7. Don Pasquale: Sogno soave e casto (Donizetti) w. Sante Canali
8. Don Pasquale: Tornami a dir (Donizetti) w. Pierina Bruschi

Tino Borelli
9. Manon: Chiudo gli’occhi (Massenet)
10. La Bohème: Che gelida manina (Puccini)
11. Fedora: Amor ti vieta (Giordano)
12. Mefistofele: Giunto sul passo estremo (Boito)
13. I Puritani: A te, o cara (Bellini)
14. Martha: M’appari tutt’amor (Flotow)
15. L’Amico Fritz: O amore, o bella luce (Mascagni)

Giuseppe Garutti
16. Loreley: Nel verde maggio (Catalani)

Attilio Barbieri
17. Pagliacci: Recitar......Vesti la giubba (Leoncavallo)
18. Isabeau: Tu ch’odi lo mio grido (Canzone del Folco) (Mascagni)
19. Isabeau: Il sogno e Dio ... L’occhio è cieco (Mascagni)


Playing time: 76 minutes

TRC26 Volume 52 Singers

Click to play a sample
Tino Borelli excerpt from Mefistofele


£9.95 ($19.00)

It is our pleasure to present another compilation of the rare, the unpublished and the beautiful. As always, The Record Collector has avoided duplication with other reissues wherever possible.

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Conrad Thibault possessed, for me, one of the loveliest of baritone voices. It is always used with great sensitivity for both word and music. His singing displays all the graces of bel canto, wedded to a superlative technique. We are delighted to present here his test record for Victor. On the evidence of this gorgeous sound it is hardly surprising that Victor snapped him up quickly.

Maria Galvany’s style of singing probably, to modern ears, belongs to a bygone era. Here we present two titles which find her on her best behaviour. The Fado was written especially for her by the composer and is a most attractive example of her voice.

We have sought out the rarest of Charles Dalmorès’s output. Both of these titles belong to the earlier, and much rarer, Victor session of 1907. The Carmen is a fine recording, in which he sings with great passion, grace and style. One would have thought that the aria would have suited him but I confess that I found ‘Ah! lève-toi, soleil’ rather disappointing. The voice is in fine shape but the approach is muscular rather than romantic.

Edna Thornton is desperately underrated by collectors. If these recordings were in the original languages they would be highly sought-after as examples of great singing. The ‘Brindisi’ can vie with the best of them, with its superb coloratura technique and an excellent trill. In the ‘Ai nostri monti’ she moulds an exemplary legato line and it is also a fine example of the much undervalued tenor Walter Hyde. Thornton sang with all the greats at Covent Garden and her recordings more than repay careful listening.

I had not previously heard any recordings by Anton Moser owing to their great rarity. Hence, it is with great pleasure that we can represent this baritone in both opera and lieder. The voice has an attractive, bright, lyric sound. He deserves to be better known.

Nicola Zerola has been much ignored by collectors and we hope that these examples will redress that. The voice is trumpet-toned, with a superb top, but it is also a very attractive sound in its own right. The Otello aria shows why his interpretation of the role was so highly valued. His recording of ‘Meco all’altar’, with the cabaletta squeezed on to a 12-inch disc, is of great rarity and shows an important voice of great authority. His Aida recording is an object lesson in how to depict a hopeless situation by scaling down a large spinto voice to a caressing mezza voce.

Were it not for broadcasts the voice of the American bass-baritone Julius Huehn would have been lost to us forever. Thanks to this 1940 broadcast we can enjoy this heldenbariton, who sings with great beauty, tenderness and authority.

Finding excellent examples of the lovely voice of Eleanor Jones-Hudson gave us much difficulty. Her records usually turn up in poor condition, indicating the great enjoyment they have given their owners over the years. We feel we have done her justice with these three. Hers is a voice that is perfectly placed, of ethereal beauty and used with a fine technique. Her charm positively leaps from the grooves!

Most of César Vezzani’s recorded output has been reissued on LP or CD but here are three that have not yet been released on Marston’s ‘complete Vezzani’ project. They show the visceral excitement of that voice at its best with its thrilling vibrancy and ringing top. Outstanding among these is his recording of ‘Les millions d’Arlequin’. It was undoubtedly a voice that had to be worked, yet he sings this lovely song with a caressing half-voice throughout. The beautifully placed and held G with which he ends the piece lingers long in the memory after the music has faded.

TRC26 Volume 52 Singers

Click to play a sample
César Vezzani 'Les millions d'Arlequin' (Drigo)



The second 2-CD set in this series consists of examples of some of the fantastic sopranos and mezzos who recorded in Italy between 1938 and 1954. These are their Cetra recordings and many are of great rarity as they were available only in Italy, would have sold in minimal numbers because of the ravages of the war and were soon deleted. Very few of these discs have been transferred to CD.

Many of these artists would have been great singers in any age.

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CD 1

Renata Scotto
1. La Traviata (Verdi): Addio del passato
Cetra PE 205 Mat. F053 14 Dec. 53

2. I Pescatori di Perle (Bizet): Siccome un dì
Cetra PE 205 Mat. F098 21 June 54

Loretta Di Lelio
3. La Bohème (Puccini): Sì, mi chiamano Mimì
Cetra PE 180 Mat. A 71545 15 Nov. 52

4. La Bohème (Puccini): Donde lieta uscì
Cetra PE 180 Mat. A 71546 15 Nov. 52

Onelia Fineschi
5. Suor Angelica (Puccini): Senza Mamma
Cetra BB 25193 Mat. 2-71076 7 July 47

6. Mefistofele (Boito) L’altra notte in fondo al mare
Cetra BB 25209 (RO3005) Mat. 2-71094 8 July 47

Winifred Cecil
7. La Wally (Catalani): Ebben ne andrò lontana
Cetra CB 20458 Mat. 2-71176 7 Oct. 48

Gabriella Gatti
8. Oberon (Weber): Piangi mio cuor
Cetra BB 25088 (R30017) Mat. 2-70610 9 July 1941

9. Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart): Porgi amor
Cetra BB 25142 Mat. 2-70609 9 July 1941

Maria Luisa Gemelli
10. Otello (Rossini): Canzone del Salice ….. Ave Maria
Cetra PE 195 Mat. F031/2 10 Nov. 53

Elena Nicolai
11. Sansone e Dalila (Saint-Saëns): Amor! i miei sini proteggi
Cetra CB 20512 Mat. 2-71471 6 June 51

12. Don Carlo (Verdi): O don fatale
Cetra CB 20511 Mat. 2-71441 25 Apr. 51

Lina Pagliughi
13. Falstaff (Verdi): Sul fil d’un soffio etesio
Cetra BB 25093 (R30004) Mat. 2-70629 circa 1941

Maria Pedrini
14. Otello (Verdi): Canzone del Salice ….. Ave Maria
Cetra CC 2201 Mat. 2-70362/3 25 Feb. 46

15 Andrea Chénier (Giordano): La mamma morta
Cetra CC 2324 Mat. 2-70395 16 May 40

Ebe Stignani
16. Il Trovatore (Verdi): Stride la vampa
Cetra BB 25082 Mat. 2-70401 21 May 40

CD 2

Nora de Rosa
1. Iris (Mascagni): Un dì, ero piccina
Cetra PE 198 Mat. 051-2 26 Jan. 54

2. La Forza del Destino (Verdi): Pace! Pace mio Dio
Cetra PE 198 Mat. 052 12 Dec. 53

Irene Fratiza Gasperoni
3. La Serva Padrona (Pergolesi): Stizzoso, mio stizzoso
Cetra AT 0325 Mat. 55408 FC 7 May 53

4. Così fan tutte (Mozart): Una donna a quindici anni
Cetra AT 0325 Mat. 55409 FC 7 May 53

Onelia Fineschi
5. La Traviata (Verdi): Addio del passato
Cetra BB 25193 Mat. 2-71065 19 June 47

6. Otello (Verdi): Ave Maria
Cetra BB 25197 Mat. 2-71068 30 June 47

7. Tosca (Puccini): Vissi d’arte
Cetra BB 25197 Mat. 2-71069 BC 30 June 47

Winifred Cecil
8. Die Liebe hat gelogen, D 751 (Schubert)
Cetra TI 7077 Mat. 53797 28 June 49

9. (a) Schneeglöckchen, Op. 79 No. 26 (Schumann)
(b) Er ist’s, Op. 79 No. 23 (Schumann)
Cetra TI 7077 Mat. 53798 28 June 49

Graziella Valle
10. Lodoletta (Mascagni): Flammen, pietà
Cetra TI 7069 Mat. 53540 FC 13 Nov. 48

11. Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea): Poveri fiori
Cetra TI 7065 Mat. 53328 FC 11 Sep. 48

Lina Pagliughi
12. Guglielmo Tell (Rossini): Selva opaca
Cetra BB 25060 Mat. 2-70190 7 Dec. 38
Orch. Sinfonica dell’EIAR, Cond. Ugo Tansini

13. Semiramide (Rossini): Bel raggio lusinghier
Cetra BB 25110 (R30015) Mat. 2-70766 circa 1942

Rosetta Pampanini
14. Manon Lescaut (Giacomo Puccini): Sola, perduta, abandonata
Cetra CC2232 Mat. 2-70465 circa 1940
Orch. Sinfonica dell’EIAR, Cond. Ugo Tansini

15. Lohengrin (Wagner): Sola ne’ miei prim’anni
Cetra BB 25084 Mat. 2-70462 circa 1940

Ebe Stignani
16. La Gioconda (Ponchielli): A te questo rosario
Cetra BB 25055 Mat. 70403 21 May 40

17. Don Carlo (Verdi): O don fatale
Cetra BB 25082 Mat. 2-70400 21 May 40

18. Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni): Voi lo sapete
Cetra BB 25055 Mat. 70402 21 May 40

Pia Tassinari
19. L’Amico Fritz (Mascagni): Son pochi fiori
Cetra BB 25037 Mat. 2-70168 25 Aug. 41

20. L’Amico Fritz (Mascagni): Non mi resta che il pianto
Cetra BB 25037 Mat. 2-70169 25 Aug. 41

TRC26 Volume 52 Singers

Click to play a sample
Graziella Valle excerpt from Adriana Lecouvreur