Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cesare Siepi: Romanze Italiane

Cesare Siepi: February 10, 1923 - July 5, 2010

Here's a record that I have treasured for years, sung by Cesare Siepi, one of my very favorite singers, who died a few days ago at the age of 87. There's a lot of opera and recital by this artist available on CD, but I do not think this boxed, single LP has been digitally re-issued. If you love this sort of sentimental bel canto -- and I do! -- no one sings it better.

I have many of Siepi's well known, classic opera recordings of the 50s, and a terrific live recording (on LP and CD) of his Mephistopheles in Gounod's Faust with Jussi Bjoerling, Robert Merrill, and Elisabeth Soderstrom as Marguerite. There's the record of Cole Porter songs and many recital discs. Still, this offering is a beautiful example of his art and his voice, and it is, besides, a personal favorite.

A great basso, with a warm, dark tone that could nonetheless glitter in the upper registers, and which was remarkably focused throughout the range. Magnificent! No bass moves me as much.

The record was oddly recorded; you can hear the mike being adjusted near the beginning of one or two songs, and the sound is slightly muddy. I decided against re-equalizing, fearing it would cause more problems than it would solve; if I discover otherwise later, I'll re-up the post.


  1. Larry, You know that I, too, have owned and cherished this Cetra recording for many years, though I have not been able to listen to it for the five years since my move to Rouyn-Noranda (from Montréal).

    It might be good to clarify that this "boxed LP" is only a single disc ("boxed single LP") within the container; some readers may assume that this Cetra item is a set of LPs, not reading your description carefully enough. At least, that's how I remember it, as a single LP in a box, but I have not been able to access my copy since my move five years ago.

    Pax, Jerry Parker

  2. Lawrence, this is to thank you for your great blog - not only this wonderful record by the unforgetable Siepi, but all of it. That great Maureen Forrester! I love the sound of vinyls too, and grew up among 78's and 33's my good father treasured. Many of them are lost to me now, and how I would love to hear them again. I hesitate to ask you now, but maybe later I'll ask for some old favourites you maybe have. Thanks again.

  3. villonx: Thank you for your kind words. If you have a request, I will happily look to see if I have it and can do something with it.

  4. Thank you very much!