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 in Alcoy the same three operas. 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 certainly 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

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:, a now defunct site with excellent stuff
I wish to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the picture.

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