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Latest Issue

Giulio Crimi

We devote the final issue of 2018 (Vol. 63, no 4) to two artists who had fine careers yet, somehow, tend to be underrated by record collectors. The first is the Italian tenor Giulio Crimi (1885-1939). He is of the first importance as he created a number of significant tenor Giulio Crimiroles, among them Paolo in Francesca da Rimini, Luigi in Il Tabarro and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. His thrilling, spinto tenor enabled him to sing the most taxing, high-lying roles of Mascagni and Giordano as well as those by Verdi and Puccini. His career was truly international, triumphing in the most important opera houses of Europe and the Americas.

His discography is not extensive, just over 50 sides, but contains many of the best-known tenor arias. His discs reveal a tenor of considerable strength, with an incisive, gleaming top and a bright tone that would cut through the biggest orchestra. It is true that his records are not to be found on the most prestigious of labels: he recorded exclusively for Vocalion. One feels that its acoustic seems a little repressive, somehow failing to capture the full impact of a large voice.

The biography is by our editor Larry Lustig. He describes Crimi's triumphant career which, regrettably, was dogged by ill health at a time when he could have been enjoying even greater triumphs. The discography is by Michael Bott (RIP), one of this journal's longest contributors. We hope that this article will send collectors back to their records of this tenor to reassess a fine artist.

Anna Case

For our second article we have pleasure in bringing you a new biography and discography of the fine American soprano Anna Case (1887-1984). Initially, she sang to great acclaim at the Met. but later realised that her true path was the concert platform. The biography has been written by one of this journal's finest and regular contributers, Robert Bunyard. Robert traces her story showing the evolution which took place towards that decision and eventually to her marriage to a very wealthy businessman and subsequent retirement.

Case was one of the most prolific of recorders for Edison. Such was her popularity that the famous inventor took advantage of her clear, bright soprano to run live comparisons for the public to demonstrate that there was little audile difference between his recordings and the singer in person. Case also recorded a number of attractive songs and arias for Columbia and two films for Vitaphone. The complete discography has been compiled by our editor. Her singing on disc is well worth hearing.

With an important article on Mascagni's singers, an entertaining piece on what the most famous singers earned during their tenure at Oscar Hammerstein's opera house compared with their salaries at the Met. and our regular book and record reviews, this is a very full and fascinating issue.

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