PUCCINI La Bohème / Highlights 4786406
There was no finer interpreter of Donizetti's, Verdi's and Puccini's tenor roles throughout his long career than Carlo Bergonzi . . . His singing of all three composers' music evinced an innate sense of how to mould an immaculate line projected on a long breath, an exemplary clarity of diction, and an authoritative use of the particular style called for in interpreting a role. Over and over again, you could hear, and can still hear on his many recordings, how to shape a phrase and to do so with a voice of intrinsic beauty, flawlessly produced, so no effort seemed involved. He eschewed vocal histrionics, and ensured that the expression was applied from within the aria or ensemble. Far from being a macho tenor, he was the aristocrat of the breed and as such universally admired . . .
. . . [these are] fine highlights from Decca's excellent 1959 set, strongly cast, richly recorded and warmly conducted by Serafin.