Francesco Marconi


Picture of Francesco Marconi


Picture of Francesco Marconi

Marconi made his debut as Faust at Alicante on April 22nd, 1878. It was followed by Lucrezia Borgia, and Rigoletto. He went on to sing the same three operas in Alcoy. His repertory included: Faust, Rigoletto, La Gioconda, I puritani, Otello, Mefistofele, and L'africana.

Francesco Marconi sings I puritani: Vieni, vieni fra queste braccia, with Maria Galvany
In RA format

Francesco Marconi sings I mulattieri, with Antonio Cotogni
In RA format
A word about I mulattieri: while Marconi is excellent here, Antonio Cotogni even outdoes him – in my opinion also as far as singing is concerned, but certainly as far as historical importance. This is Cotogni's only published recording. He was 77 when it was made, and sure doesn't sound that old. Cotogni, for the very few who don't know yet, was one of the most important Italian baritones of the 19th century, the second oldest singer on record (born 1831), and definitely the most important and most successful singing teacher ever – among his pupils were, to name but the most famous, Jean de Reszke, Beniamino Gigli, Mario Basiola, Mattia Battistini, Augusto Beuf, Guido Ciccolini, Giuseppe De Luca, Benvenuto Franci, Carmen Melis, Vladimir Kastorsky, Enrico Nani, Ellison Van Hoose, Domenico Viglione-Borghese, Julian Biel, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, Mariano Stabile, Carlo Galeffi and Dinh Gilly. And he was, though not his voice teacher, also of particular importance for Francesco Marconi. Marconi wrote about their first joint performance, in Puritani: "When I came to the first rehearsal, and heard him sing his first line, Or dove fuggo io mai, I was outright shocked by his terrific art and said that I didn't want to go on singing. What an overwhelming artist! The great and impressive melodies that Bellini had created for this divine opera became even greater thanks to Cotogni's incomparable interpretation. And I'm not ashamed of confessing that I've learned Puritani and a considerable part of my other repertory from Toto Cotogni."
Checco Marconi nei Puritani al Teatro Argentina di Roma

Marconi was in complete control of his vocal power during the entire work, especially during the great duo of the last act. Together with Pinkert, a great artist, they generated straight forward and legitimate enthusiasm. Il Messagero, 1896

Starting with Marconi (why not start with him?), all were up to their parts. The great Roman artist was delightful. His voice fascinated. Maybe not even he himself realizes the natural effect that derives from his large phrasing, his colored accents, full of passion and soul. The aria di sortita A te, o cara and the last duo with the soprano Vieni fra queste braccia were sung by Marconi like nobody else can today. The public rewarded his favorite with deafening and thunderous applause. La Tribuna, 1896

Discography
G&T, Milano November 1903
Con366  Rigoletto (Verdi): Questa o quella 					52788
Con367  Mefistofele (Boito): Dai campi, dai prati 				52016
Con368  Nerone (Rubinstein): Stanze 						52017
Con720  Eugen Onegin (Tchaikovsky): Romanza del duello 				052054
Con721  Africaine (Meyerbeer): O paradiso 					052055
Con722  Gioconda (Ponchielli): Cielo e mar 					052056
Con724  Requiem (Verdi): Ingemisco 						052057
Con728  Non guardami così (Paloni) 						052065
Con730  Bella cantiam l'amore (Mascagni) 					052058
 
Gramophone, Milano October 1907
11131b  Nerone (Rubinstein): Invan, invan 					2-52631
11133b  Rigoletto (Verdi): Questa o quella 					2-52632
1414c   Roméo et Juliette (Gounod): Madrigale (w. Mililotti)			054186
1415c   Geisha (Jones): O mia Mimosa (w. Mililotti)				054187
1416c   Martha (Flotow): Duetto della rosa (w. Mililotti) 			054188
1417c   Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti): Di pescatore ignobile 			052200, VB27, Vic 88226, 76004
1418c   Guarany (Gomez): Sento una forza indomita (w. Mililotti) 		054189
1419c   Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti): Madre se ognor lontano (w. Mililotti)	054190
 
Gramophone, Milano May 1908
11170b  Mefistofele (Boito): Dai campi, dai prati 				2-52672
11171b  Ruy Blas (Marchetti): Ed ei non 					2-52662
11178b  In questa sera (Denza) 							2-52673
11180½b I mulattieri (Masini) (w. Cotogni) 					54373
11185b  Favorita (Donizetti): Una vergine 					2-52663
1437c   Africaine (Meyerbeer): O paradiso 					052233
1438c   Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Fra poco a me ricovero		 	052221
1439c   Forza del destino (Verdi): Solenne in quest'ora (w. della Torre) 	054214
1440c   Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Tu che a Dio 				052234
1446c   Puritani (Bellini): Vieni, vieni fra queste braccia (w. Galvany) 	054208, DB481, VB4, Vic 89046
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the recordings, notes and discography. reference: 78opera.com, a now defunct site with excellent stuff
I wish to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the picture.

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