Il Grande Inquisitor
The big comparison
The counterpoint to this site's untiring tenor explorations: our double bass page. A great
duet of two basses in as many versions as possible. It's always the singer of Filippo first, the singer of the Inquisitore
second. Here we go:
- Theo Adam & Gerhard Frei (in German, second half only)
- Raphael Arië & Mark Elyn (in French)
- Boris Christoff & Glynne Howell
- Boris Christoff & Manfred Schenk
- Xavier Depraz & Jacques Mars (in French)
- Ezio Flagello & Ramón Vinay
- Nicolae Florei & Valentin Loghin, with Vasile Moldoveanu
Who'd have thought that two largely unknown Romanians would outdo all those
Ghiaurovs and Christoffs and Rossi-Lemenis?
- Gottlob Frick & Kurt Böhme (in German)
- Ferruccio Furlanetto & Louis Lebherz
- Nikolai Ghiaurov & Gheorghe Crăsnaru
- Nikolai Ghiaurov & Giovanni Foiani
- Nikolai Ghiaurov & Nicola Ghiuselev
At age 36 and 30, respectively.
- Nikolai Ghiaurov & Pavel Manolov (in Bulgarian, as far as Manolov is concerned)
- Nikolai Ghiaurov & Ruggero Raimondi
- Nikolai Ghiaurov & Luigi Roni
- Georg Hann & Walter Großmann (in German)
- Craig Hart & Jerome Hines
Jerome Hines in his last appearance. He is 80 years old and needs a cane to walk. Craig Hart is one of his students and
- Jerome Hines & Hans Hotter
- Jerome Hines & Nicola Moscona
- Jerome Hines & William Wildermann
- Aleksandr Kipnis & Alfred Jerger (in German)
This is particularly interesting since the most famous couple in this duet was Kipnis and Ludwig Hofmann, who used to alternate
in both roles at the Berlin Staatsoper. Both combinations seem to have been great, the one with Kipnis as Filippo and Hofmann
as the Inquisitor obviously the greater of the two.
Evidently, Hofmann's rendition of neither role has been captured by
any recording; but by Kipnis, we have at least this fragmentary version where he is Filippo (combined from two actual Vienna
Staatsoper performances of December 1936 and January 1937, respectively). Jerger is clearly no Hofmann, but not bad as a substitute either.
The fame of those legendary Berlin performances holds true, Kipnis is certainly the best Filippo I've ever heard in this
Very unfortunately, the end of the duet wasn't obviously recorded in either of the two performances and is thus missing.
- Jacques Mars & Marc Vento (in French)
- Arnold van Mill & Rolf Kühne (in German)
- James Morris with himself
- Alois Pernerstorfer & Alexander Welitsch (in German)
Vienna Volksoper 1944
- Dimiter Petkov & Giovanni Foiani
- Ivan Petrov & Valerij Jaroslavtsev, with Nikolaj Zakharov (in Russian)
- Paul Plishka & Gabor Andrasy (in French)
- Paul Plishka & Jerome Hines
- Nicola Rossi-Lemeni & Romeo Morisani
- Nicola Rossi-Lemeni & Giulio Neri, with Manfredi Ponz de Leon
- Nicola Rossi-Lemeni & Antonio Zerbini
- Matti Salminen & Paata Burchuladze
Unfortunately, the sound is noisy due to a flawed microphone.
- Pierre Savignol & Randolph Symonette (in French)
- Cesare Siepi & Jerome Hines
- Cesare Siepi & Giulio Neri
- Cesare Siepi & Tancredi Pasero
- Thomas Silverbörg (end only)
- Harald Stamm & William Dooley, with explanation by conductor Gerd Albrecht (partly in German)
William Dooley and Harald Stamm
- Martti Talvela & Harald Stamm
- Richard Van Allan & John Tranter (in English)
- Ivo Vinco & Giovanni Foiani
- Frangiskos Voutsinos & Jacques Mars
- Tadeusz Wierzbicki & Christian Portanier (in Dutch)
- Alfredo Zanazzo & Victor von Halem
Victor von Halem
I wish to thank Claude Ribou for the Mars/Vento, Petkov/Foiani, Savignol/Symonette and Voutsinos/Mars recordings.
I wish to thank Joseph Shore for the Hart/Hines recording.
I wish to thank Tom Silverbörg for his own as well as the Ghiaurov/Ghiuselev recording.
I wish to thank Helmut Krautschneider for the Salminen/Burchuladze recording.
I wish to thank Daniele Godor for the Talvela/Stamm recording.