Saturday, January 5, 2013

Great Singer of the Week: Gianni Raimondi

Fresh from a Christmas vacation to rival all others, your faithful reporter has returned to bring you more recordings of mid-20th century singers we shouldn't forget. You might soon see posts about some of the loot bestowed upon me by loved ones, but that has not yet been determined.

Today I come to write about Italian tenor Gianni Raimondi, whose name, in the worthy opinions of many, belongs beside Björling and Carreras when talking of great tenors of the 60s and 70s. He left behind far too few recordings, considering the level of his career. His La Scala debut was the famed Visconti production of La Traviata opposite Callas. In 1963 he was Rodolfo opposite Mirella Freni in Zeffirelli's legendary Vienna production of La Bohème, with Herbert von Karajan conducting. His roles in the early 60s included very high roles like Arnoldo in Guillaume Tell and Arturo in I Puritani, but by the mid 60s and in the 70s he was singing larger roles like Cavaradossi and Pollione.

Here is a compilation, created by YouTube's dear Coloraturaran, of great Raimondi moments, mostly televised on RAI:

Most other clips are audio only, alas.  Here is Raimondi singing "A te, o cara" from I Puritani. To Leyla Gencer! (Cond. Argeo Quadri, Buenos Aires, 1961)

A decade later, Raimondi here sings "Oh Inferno! Amelia qui!" from Un Ballo in Maschera. (Cond. Claudio Abbado, La Scala Milan, 1972)

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