The First Texaco Season 1940-41

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Metropolitan Opera
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Metropolitan Opera
PERFORMER: Soloists; Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra/Panizza, Papi, etc
CATALOGUE NO: MET 24 ADD mono

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 Quality control is often variable in the plethora of METROPOLITAN OPERA broadcast recordings from the Thirties and Forties now available. Listeners desiring a reliable introduction to this type of material can be confidently steered towards the Met’s own two-disc sampling of the 16 broadcasts of the 1940-41 season.

A handsomely produced, informative booklet includes performer biographies along with texts and translations, and uses the best available source material. The Met’s regulars during this season included the likes of Albanese, Baccaloni, Björling (sounding uncommonly impassioned with Milanov in Un ballo in maschera), Flagstad, Martinelli, Melchior, Pinza, Tibbett and Warren; learning to recognise and understand their tendencies in live performances grants instructive and often pleasurable perspective on their studio recordings.

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Some less-remembered singers also make good impressions (Bruno Landi in ‘Ecco ridente’, for example).