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JE CROIS ENTENDRE ENCORE
from Bizet's Les Pecheurs de Perles



"Je crois entendre encore" is one of the most beautifully seductive arias in all of French opera.  It exists commonly in an Italian version (Mi par d´udire ancora).  How could it not?  So many of the most magnificent voices of the last century performed and recorded in that tongue to equally beautiful effect.  Some believe that it is even more beautiful in Italian.  I will lend my support to that view by beginning with recordings by Ferruccio Tagliavini and Giuseppe di Stefano which are not only incredibly lovely, but wonderful examples of singers who understands that Bizet gave his song words for a very good reason.  The diction, especially di Stefano's, is amazingly pure and recordings such as these should be assigned study by all voice teachers.

I chose to begin this journey to the enchanted land that is this aria, "Je crois entendre encore", with the great Italian tenors because the subsequent contrasting effect of the French singers really is quite stunning.  The classic French style is wonderfully represented by Alain Vanzo.  It is a less emotional style, allowing the music a purity of essence.  I find it fascinating that the aria works so well in both languages.

You will even hear a recording sung in Russian and one in German, not as satisfying linguistically, but the singing is beautiful.

"Je crois entendre encore" is sung here by many of the greats.  The above comments are appropriate to a number of others, but I will let you hear for yourselves why I have begun the Indulge Me page with this aria. 

I urge you to pay close attention to the interpretive differences from one generation to the next over the five generations represented here, as well as those due to the differen linguistic operatic traditions.  I think you will find them even more revealing that what we have seen in the the interpretation of piano music over the same period of time.

Included are recordings by Caruso singing "Je crois entendre encore" in Italian and the original French.  His French diction is not so good, and these are ancient recordings, but one does get a sense of the voice of the man whose name was synonymous with opera for a hundred years.

Let me draw to your attention a gorgeous voice, that of the American tenor, Lawrence Brownlee.  It is a name with which you might not be familiar and might pass over in the face of so many choices.

And if you are curious, the performance of Je crois entendre encore that brings me closest to tears is the one by Rolando Villazon, whose Rodolfo also touches my heart.



FERRUCCIO TAGLIAVINI (1913-1995)
Italian tenor

recorded in 1948




GIUSEPPE di STEFANO (1921-2008)
Italian tenor

recorded in 1945 with Henri Ottone, piano




GIUSEPPE GODONO(1876-1963)
Italian tenor




ARISTODEMO GIORGINI (1879 - 1935)
Italian tenot

recorded in 1911




BENIAMINO GIGLI (1890-1957)
Italian tenor


recorded in 1925



recorded in 1928




DINO BORGIOLI (1891-1960)
Italian tenor

recorded in 1921




GIACOMO LAURI-VOLPI (1892-1979)
Italian tenor

recorded in 1920




ROBERTO D'ALESSIO (1893-1975)
Italian tenor

recorded c1927




GIOVANNI MANURITA (1895-1984)
Italian tenor

recorded in 1926




COSTA MILONA or KOSTAS MYLONAS (1897-1949)
Greek tenor




GIUSEPPE LUGO (1899-1980)
Italian tenor

recorded in 1932




RENZO CASELLATO
20th century Italian tenor




FRANCO BONISOLLI (1938-2003)
Italian tenor

recorded in 1983




JOHN McCORMACK (1884-1945)
Irish tenor




ALAIN VANZO (1928-2002)
French tenor




ROBERTO ALAGNA (b 1963)
French tenor




ROLANDO VILLAZON (b 1972)
Mexican-French tenor




Léopold SIMONEAU (1916-2006)
French-Canadian tenor




JUAN DIEGO FLOREZ (b 1973)
Peruvian tenor

recorded in 2013




JAVIER CAMARENA
contemporary Mexican tenor

Zurich Opera production recorded in 2010




JUSSI BJÖRLING (1911-1960)
Swedish tenor

recorded in 1945




NICOLAI GEDDA (b 1925)
Swedish tenor

recorded in 1960




ULRIC BJORKLUND (b 1970)
Sswedish tenor




FLORENCIO CONSTANTINO (1869-1919)
Spanish tenor

recorded in 1910




MIGUEL FLETA (1897-1938)
Spanish-Arragonese tenor




ALFREDO KRAUS (1927-1999)
Spanish tenor

recorded in 1975




PLACIDO DOMINGO (b 1941)
Spanish tenor


The young Domingo



and the Domingo we all know and love




TOMÁS ALCAIDE (1901-1967)
Portuguese tenor




RICHARD CROOKS (1900-1972)
American tenor

recorded in 1938




RICHARD TUCKER (1913-1975)
American tenor

recorded in 1947




LAWRENCE BROWNLEE (b 1972)
American tenor




MICHAEL SPYRES
Contemporary American tenor




LIONELLO CECIL (1893-1957)
Australian tenor

recorded in 1930




RUDOLF SCHOCK (1915-1986)
German tenor

recorded in 1963 with Horst Stein conducting the Bavarian Radio Orchestra




LEONID SOBINOV (1872-1934)
Russian tenor

recorded in 1911




DMITRI SMIRNOV (1882-1944)
Russian tenor

recorded in 1911




ENRICO CARUSO (1873-1921)
Italian tenor


recorded in 1904 and 1916










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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