The Very Best of Jussi Björling

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Allen Schrott
Jussi Björling was one of the finest tenors of the twentieth century. He was not the most consistent artist, but his galvanizing voice is still among the most remarkable on record 40 years after his death. Those wanting an introduction to Björling's singing, or fans wanting a good collection, should be very happy with EMI's The Very Best of Jussi Björling. Not every performance is a hit, but many of them do represent the best he had to offer, and in every case, the unique beauty of his voice is on full display. Most of the recordings are from the 1930s and 1940s, and some of them sound their age, but the sound quality is mostly excellent. Björling sang Italian opera ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Allen Schrott
Jussi Björling was one of the finest tenors of the twentieth century. He was not the most consistent artist, but his galvanizing voice is still among the most remarkable on record 40 years after his death. Those wanting an introduction to Björling's singing, or fans wanting a good collection, should be very happy with EMI's The Very Best of Jussi Björling. Not every performance is a hit, but many of them do represent the best he had to offer, and in every case, the unique beauty of his voice is on full display. Most of the recordings are from the 1930s and 1940s, and some of them sound their age, but the sound quality is mostly excellent. Björling sang Italian opera better than anyone in his day, tackling the challenges of Verdi and the verismo composers as if the style and language were native to him. Furthermore, unlike most Italianate tenors of that or any time, he sang equally convincingly in French, German, his native Swedish, and even English the least successful. Hearing him traverse those different languages and styles on this album sheds light on his special vocal qualities: he combined the purity and lyricism that suited him for Massenet's "En fermant les yeux" "Manon" and even intimate songs like Strauss' "Morgen," with the raw power and dramatic qualities that allowed for "Di quella pira" from Verdi's "Il Trovatore" and Leoncavallo's "Vesti la giubba." His soft singing was as exciting as his full-on trumpeting. Tracks of special interest include Beethoven's song "Adelaide" which, though stylistically old-fashioned, showcases his musical sensitivity and ability to scale his voice to the task at hand, and Donizetti's "Una furtive lagrima" L'elisir d'amore, which shows the extent to which he could beat the Italians at their own game.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/22/2003
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • UPC: 724357590020
  • Catalog Number: 75900
  • Sales rank: 166,011

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Rigoletto, opera: Act 1. Questa o quella - Giuseppe Verdi & Jussi Björling (2:11)
  2. 2 Rigoletto, opera: Act 3. La donna è mobile - Giuseppe Verdi & Jussi Björling (2:11)
  3. 3 Il Trovatore, opera: Act 3. Ah sì, ben mio - Giuseppe Verdi & Jussi Björling (3:17)
  4. 4 Il Trovatore, opera: Act 3. Di quella pira - Giuseppe Verdi & Jussi Björling (1:39)
  5. 5 Un ballo in maschera, opera: Act 1. Di' tu se fedele - Giuseppe Verdi & Jussi Björling (3:17)
  6. 6 Aida, opera: Act 1. Se quel guerrier io fossi!...Celeste Aida - Giuseppe Verdi & Jussi Björling (4:24)
  7. 7 Requiem Mass, for soloists, chorus & orchestra (Manzoni Requiem): Ingemisco - Giuseppe Verdi & Jussi Björling (4:06)
  8. 8 Stabat mater for 2 sopranos, tenor, bass, chorus & orchestra: Cujus animam - Gioachino Rossini & Jussi Björling (4:12)
  9. 9 L'elisir d'amore, opera: Act 3. Una furtiva lagrima - Gaetano Donizetti & Jussi Björling (4:09)
  10. 10 La Gioconda, opera in 4 acts: Act 2. Cielo e mar - Amilcare Ponchielli & Jussi Björling (4:15)
  11. 11 Andrea Chénier, opera: Act 4. Come un bel di di maggio - Umberto Giordano & Jussi Björling (3:15)
  12. 12 Fedora, opera: Act 2. Amor ti vieta - Umberto Giordano & Jussi Björling (2:06)
  13. 13 L'Arlesiana, opera: Act 2. È la solita storia - Francesco Cilèa & Jussi Björling (4:01)
  14. 14 Manon Lescaut, opera: Act 1. Donna non vidi mai - Giacomo Puccini & Jussi Björling (2:24)
  15. 15 La bohème, opera: Act 1. Che gelida manina - Thomas Beecham & Giacomo Puccini (5:10)
  16. 16 La bohème, opera: Act 4. In un coupé?...O Mimì, tu più non torni - Thomas Beecham & Giacomo Puccini (4:28)
  17. 17 Tosca, opera: Act 1. Recondita armonia - Giacomo Puccini & Jussi Björling (2:50)
  18. 18 Tosca, opera: Act 3. E lucevan le stelle - Giacomo Puccini & Jussi Björling (3:08)
  19. 19 Turandot, opera: Act 3. Nessun dorma - Giacomo Puccini & Jussi Björling (3:26)
  20. 20 Cavalleria rusticana, opera (melodramma) in 1 act: Mamma! quel vino è generoso - Pietro Mascagni & Jussi Björling (3:50)
  21. 21 Pagliacci, opera: Act 1. Recitar!...Vesti la giubba - Ruggero Leoncavallo & Jussi Björling (3:57)
  22. 22 Pagliacci, opera: Act 2. No, Pagliaccio non son - Ruggero Leoncavallo & Jussi Björling (5:53)
Disc 2
  1. 1 L' Africaine, grand opera in 5 acts: Act 4. Mi batte il cor...O paradiso - Giacomo Meyerbeer & Jussi Björling (3:19)
  2. 2 Faust, opera: Act 3. Salut! demeure chaste et pure - Charles Gounod & Jussi Björling (4:44)
  3. 3 Roméo et Juliette, opera: Act 1. Ange adorable - Anna-Lisa Björling & Charles Gounod (4:25)
  4. 4 Roméo et Juliette, opera: Act 2. Ah! lève-toi, soleil - Charles Gounod & Jussi Björling (3:28)
  5. 5 Manon, comic opera in 5 acts: Act 2. Instant charmant...En ferment les yeux - Jules Massenet & Jussi Björling (3:50)
  6. 6 Manon, comic opera in 5 acts: Act 3. Je suis seul!...Ah, fuyez, douce image - Jules Massenet & Jussi Björling (4:40)
  7. 7 Carmen, opéra-comique in 4 acts: Act 2. La fleur que tu m'avais jetée - Georges Bizet & Jussi Björling (4:00)
  8. 8 Les Pêcheurs de perles, opera in 3 acts: Act 1. Je crois entendre encore - Georges Bizet & Jussi Björling (3:37)
  9. 9 Adelaide, song for voice & piano, Op. 46 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Jussi Björling (6:50)
  10. 10 Morgen ("Und morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 27/4 (TrV 170/4) - Richard Strauss & Lorenz Hart (3:22)
  11. 11 Cäcilie ("Wenn du es wüsstest"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 27/2 (TrV 170/2) - Richard Strauss & Jussi Björling (1:58)
  12. 12 In the silence of the secret night, song for voice & piano, Op. 4/3 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Harris (2:58)
  13. 13 Lilacs, song for voice & piano, Op. 21/5 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Jussi Björling (2:13)
  14. 14 Ideale for voice & piano (or orchestra) - Paolo Tosti & Jussi Björling (3:23)
  15. 15 O sole mio, for voice & piano (or orchestra) - Eduardo di Capua & Jussi Björling (3:15)
  16. 16 Mattinata, song for voice & piano (or orchestra) - Ruggero Leoncavallo & Ruggero Leoncavallo (2:17)
  17. 17 Parce que (Because), for voice & piano (or orchestra) - Guy d'Hardelot & Jussi Björling (2:07)
  18. 18 The Vagabond King, operetta: Only a Rose - Rudolf Friml & Jussi Björling (2:52)
  19. 19 For You Alone for voice & piano (or orchestra) - Henry Geehl & Jussi Björling (2:03)
  20. 20 La belle Hélène, operetta in 3 acts: Act 1. Uti en skog på berget Ida (Au mont Ida troi - Jacques Offenbach & Jussi Björling (3:27)
  21. 21 Der Bettelstudent, operetta: Act 3. Nu är jag pank och fågelfri (Ich hab' kein - Carl Millöcker & Jussi Björling (1:46)
  22. 22 Cantique de Noel for voice & orchestra, "O Holy Night" - Adolphe Adam & Jussi Björling (5:04)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jussi Björling Primary Artist
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