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PUCCINI Gianni Schicchi

de los Angeles
del Monte
Rome Opera House Orchestra/Santini


Regis 1318 from HMV mono ALP1726

This historic HMV mono recording from Rome (1958) comes up fresh and vivid in this re-release.

The notes (James Murray, 2009) are fuller than most on the Regis re-issues, and there is a full cast list and track numbers (25). Without libretto to hand I found myself engrossed by the sweep of Santinit's conducting and the characterful assumptions of the parts, all with good diction.

On the internet, you can find an Italian libretto with sufficient commentary in English for easy following at http://opera.stanford.edu/Puccini/GianniSchicchi/libretto.html.

Gramophone's 1959 review is called in aid by Regis; here is most of it:-

Gianni Schicchi on one disc is a most welcome arrival, especially in a good modern recording. This
version is smooth and clear with good perspective (so that one can hear the young lovers going
out through the window) and it has at its centre a witty, subtle and vivid performance by Gobbi.
Some of the other characters by comparison tend to overact, making "funny" noises (much wiser
to leave all that to Puccini who penned the appropriate music). Victoria de los Angeles sounds a
shade mature for little Lauretta but sings very fetchingly - - . Rinuccio is nicely enough
taken by Del Monte, and the Old One, Zita, by the excellent Canali who seems a good character
actress too. It is an opera to see, or at least to follow with the words, but as far as it goes by ear
alone, it goes very nicely here.

A recommendable re-issue produced by Tony Watts.

Peter Grahame Woolf