The Very Best of Jussi Björling

The Very Best of Jussi Björling

by Jussi BjörlingJussi Björling

CD

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Overview

Jussi Björling was one of the finest tenors of the twentieth century. He was not always 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.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/22/2003
Label: Warner Classics
UPC: 0724357590020
catalogNumber: 75900
Rank: 126709

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Rigoletto, opera: Act 1. Questa o quella

    1. Act 1. Questa o quella  (02:11)
  2. Rigoletto, opera: Act 3. La donna è mobile

    1. Act 3. La donna è mobile  (02:11)
  3. Il Trovatore, opera: Act 3. Ah sì, ben mio

    1. Act 3. Ah sì, ben mio  (03:17)
  4. Il Trovatore, opera: Act 3. Di quella pira

    1. Act 3. Di quella pira  (01:39)
  5. Un ballo in maschera, opera: Act 1. Di' tu se fedele

    1. Act 1. Di' tu se fedele  (03:17)
  6. Aida, opera: Act 1. Se quel guerrier io fossi!...Celeste Aida

    1. Act 1. Se quel guerrier io fossi!...Celeste Aida  (04:24)
  7. Requiem Mass, for soloists, chorus & orchestra (Manzoni Requiem): Ingemisco

    1. Ingemisco  (04:06)
  8. Stabat mater for 2 sopranos, tenor, bass, chorus & orchestra: Cujus animam

    1. Cujus animam  (04:12)
  9. L'elisir d'amore, opera: Act 3. Una furtiva lagrima

    1. Act 3. Una furtiva lagrima  (04:09)
  10. La Gioconda, opera in 4 acts: Act 2. Cielo e mar

    1. Act 2. Cielo e mar  (04:15)
  11. Andrea Chénier, opera: Act 4. Come un bel di di maggio

    1. Act 4. Come un bel di di maggio  (03:15)
  12. Fedora, opera: Act 2. Amor ti vieta

    1. Act 2. Amor ti vieta  (02:06)
  13. L'Arlesiana, opera: Act 2. È la solita storia

    1. Act 2. È la solita storia  (04:01)
  14. Manon Lescaut, opera: Act 1. Donna non vidi mai

    1. Act 1. Donna non vidi mai  (02:24)
  15. La bohème, opera: Act 1. Che gelida manina

    1. Act 1. Che gelida manina  (05:10)
  16. La bohème, opera: Act 4. In un coupé?...O Mimì, tu più non torni

    1. Act 4. In un coupé?...O Mimì, tu più non torni  (04:28)
  17. Tosca, opera: Act 1. Recondita armonia

    1. Act 1. Recondita armonia  (02:50)
  18. Tosca, opera: Act 3. E lucevan le stelle

    1. Act 3. E lucevan le stelle  (03:08)
  19. Turandot, opera: Act 3. Nessun dorma

    1. Act 3. Nessun dorma  (03:26)
  20. Cavalleria rusticana, opera (melodramma) in 1 act: Mamma! quel vino è generoso

    1. Mamma! quel vino è generoso  (03:50)
  21. Pagliacci, opera: Act 1. Recitar!...Vesti la giubba

    1. Act 1. Recitar!...Vesti la giubba  (03:57)
  22. Pagliacci, opera: Act 2. No, Pagliaccio non son

    1. Act 2. No, Pagliaccio non son  (05:53)

Disc 2

  1. L' Africaine, grand opera in 5 acts: Act 4. Mi batte il cor...O paradiso

    1. Act 4. Mi batte il cor...O paradiso  (03:19)
  2. Faust, opera: Act 3. Salut! demeure chaste et pure

    1. Act 3. Salut! demeure chaste et pure  (04:44)
  3. Roméo et Juliette, opera: Act 1. Ange adorable

    1. Act 1. Ange adorable  (04:25)
  4. Roméo et Juliette, opera: Act 2. Ah! lève-toi, soleil

    1. Act 2. Ah! lève-toi, soleil  (03:28)
  5. Manon, comic opera in 5 acts: Act 2. Instant charmant...En ferment les yeux

    1. Act 2. Instant charmant...En ferment les yeux  (03:50)
  6. Manon, comic opera in 5 acts: Act 3. Je suis seul!...Ah, fuyez, douce image

    1. Act 3. Je suis seul!...Ah, fuyez, douce image  (04:40)
  7. Carmen, opéra-comique in 4 acts: Act 2. La fleur que tu m'avais jetée

    1. Act 2. La fleur que tu m'avais jetée  (04:00)
  8. Les Pêcheurs de perles, opera in 3 acts: Act 1. Je crois entendre encore

    1. Act 1. Je crois entendre encore  (03:37)
  9. Adelaide, song for voice & piano, Op. 46  (06:50)
  10. Morgen ("Und morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 27/4 (TrV 170/4)  (03:22)
  11. Cäcilie ("Wenn du es wüsstest"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 27/2 (TrV 170/2)  (01:58)
  12. In the silence of the secret night, song for voice & piano, Op. 4/3  (02:58)
  13. Lilacs, song for voice & piano, Op. 21/5  (02:13)
  14. Ideale for voice & piano (or orchestra)  (03:23)
  15. O sole mio, for voice & piano (or orchestra)  (03:15)
  16. Mattinata, song for voice & piano (or orchestra)  (02:17)
  17. Parce que (Because), for voice & piano (or orchestra)  (02:07)
  18. The Vagabond King, operetta: Only a Rose

    1. Only a Rose  (02:52)
  19. For You Alone for voice & piano (or orchestra)  (02:03)
  20. La belle Hélène, operetta in 3 acts: Act 1. Uti en skog på berget Ida (Au mont Ida troi

    1. Act 1. Uti en skog på berget Ida (Au mont Ida trois déesses)  (03:27)
  21. Der Bettelstudent, operetta: Act 3. Nu är jag pank och fågelfri (Ich hab' kein

    1. Act 3. Nu är jag pank och fågelfri (Ich hab' kein Geld)  (01:46)
  22. Cantique de Noel for voice & orchestra, "O Holy Night"  (05:04)

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