The Complete FRANCISCO VINAS
Booklet included 23 pp
Marston Records 53006-2
Let's be straight. Do Marston records still need to be recommended? I guess not, 99% of the material released by this wizard of 78 rpm sound recordings are of great interest, especially if your interest –as in this case- lies in vocal recordings and tenors above all. Even the booklet on its own is worth purchasing for Michael Aspinall's as ever most fascinating liner notes.
68 recordings of opera and zarzuela arias, duets and songs are included in this vocal gold mine dating from his very first session in 1903 to his last ones in 1912.
Ester Mazzoleni called Vinas ‘the greatest Tristan and Lohengrin' imaginable. After all they recorded together and their fascinating Nile duet is part of the set. Yet it would be with Maria Allesandrovich –no small chicken either- with whom he recorded excerpts from Tristan and Tannhauser.
Indeed Wagner recordings make up for a great part of the discography. And what a joy to hear this music sung by the literally silvery-voiced Catalan tenor.
Vinas (also spelled Vignas/1863-1933) was a legendary singer, a pre-verismo tenor in fact and thus without the mannerisms of that singing school. George Bernard Shaw heard him at Covent Garden in the part of Turiddu and judged him completely satisfactory, both as a singer and actor. The recordings show at least that the author was right about Vinas's voice.
His is a healthy strong tenor with a plaintive quality and excellent enunciation and style.
You can't get a better introduction to his art than by this compilation and its liner notes.
Simply a must for lovers of great tenor singing and historical recordings. Thank you Marston records.Rudi van den Bulck, Opera Nostalgia