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Charles Rousselière

It iPaolo Silveris a pleasure to present a major new article and discography of Paolo Silveri (1913-2001) for the June 2108 issue of The Record Collector. Many readers will remember him from his post-war seasons at Covent Garden, as part of the company, and from numerous appearances at the Metropolitan Opera in the early 50s. Yet, his was a far more extensive career, one which took him to many of the important opera houses throughout Europe and South America.

Silveri began as a bass and soon undertook baritone parts, excelling in the roles of Verdi but he was also a protagonist of the music of Giordano and Mascagni. A frequent broadcaster for RAI, he also demonstrated his willingness to undertake more modern works, such as La Cantata dei partori by Renato Parodi and Il Volto della Vergine by Ezio Camussi.

The biography has been written by that fine researcher Robert Bunyard. Robert portrays a patrician artist and a willing and attentive colleague who always sought the best for himself and others. He also describes Silveri's dubious reincarnation as a tenor, with a disastrous appearance as Otello in Dublin.

Silveri's commercial discography is not large by some standards, but it is augmented by an extensive non-commercial discography of great diversity. It has been compiled by David Mason. The article benefits further from an assessment of the man's voice and records by Alan Bilgora. Alan contends that Silveri's discs do not capture a special quality that was evident in the theatre. Because the baritone's records sold very well he is somewhat taken for granted by collectors. He is well overdue for a reassessment and we hope that this new article will go a long way towards that aim.

Our second article is devoted to that fine American baritone Clarence Whitehill (1871-1932). Like Silveri, he is also somewhat taken for granted yet his career was remarkable. He appeared for twenty consecutive seasons at the Met from 1914-1932. He was also a stalwart at Covent Garden, appearing in the first Ring in English staged there. At the Met he was absolutely central, appearing mainly in Wagnerian roles, but also in several Met premières such as The Taming of the Shrew (Goetz) and Saint Elisabeth (Liszt). His non-Wagnerian repertoire included Méphistophélès, Athanael and Golaud. His was also the honour to sing in The Pipe of Desire by Frank Converse, the first American opera and first opera in English at the Met.Clarence Whitehill

The biography has been written by Mel Siegel, author of noteworthy biographies of Traubel and Galliano Masini. The discography has been compiled by our editor, Larry Lustig. Perhaps it points to the baritone's neglect among collectors, as he was asked to record many uninteresting songs, but his core discography of Wagnerian arias is well worth seeking out.

We are proud to present another article by the celebrated American author and conductor Will Crutchfield: "Aramburo or....". This describes what is very much a work in progress, for Will is currently involved in using spectroscopic analysis of singers' vibratos from early recordings. This article describes his work thus far, applying this tool to a possible identification of the tenor named as Antonio Aramburo by Ed Smith on an LP many years ago. The article is a fascinating one, with photographs of the original unpublished G&T from which Smith dubbed the LP, and an analysis of the voice compared with one of the tenor's authenticated 1901 cylinders.

With our regular record and book reviews, this issue is a very full and fascinating one indeed.

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