Tamagno Historic Masters set 12"

Picture of Historic Masters Tamagno Set 12
Historic Masters, after the issue of the outstanding Patti set, has just published another extraordinary set, maybe the most important set since its beginning. All the Tamagno masters have survived and this set contains all the 12" records pressed on seven double sided vinyl records as follows:

10-W2-FT Otello: Esultate (published as G & T issue no. 052101)
11-W2-FT Otello: Esultate (unpublished)

12-W2-FT Otello: Ora e per sempre addio (published as G & T issue no 052102)
13-R-FT Otello: Ora e per sempre addio (unpublished)

14-R-FT Otello: Niun mi tema (unpublished except as HM 36)
15-R-FT Otello: Niun mi tema (unpublished)

16-W2-FT Andrea Chénier: Un dì all'azzurro spazio (unpublished)
17-R-FT Guglielmo Tell: O muto asil (published as G & T issue no 052103)

18-R-FT Il Re di Lahore: O casto fior (Promesse de mon avenir)
19-W2-FT Private Otello: Sì, pel ciel marmoreo giuro

20-R-FT Private Messalina: Dei del patria suol
21-R-FT Private A Santa Maria di Oropa (Mapelli)

269i Otello: Niun mi tema (published as G&T issue no. 052068)
270i Andrea Chénier: Un dì all'azzurro spazio

Picture of Tamagno Si pel ciel Label

As we can see, there is an extraordinary discovery: the Otello duet sung by Tamagno and an unknown baritone who also sings O casto fior. In the past, Cotogni was assumed to be the singer of the O casto fior. It has been demonstrated that it was not possible as Tamagno and Cotogni barely met. Now it looks like it is Tamagno brother Giovanni, who was a baritone and had a short career. There is an accompanying booklet by Michael Aspinall that describes the voice of the unknown baritone as old (this is what got people assuming it was Cotogni). However, Giovanni Tamagno was in his forties and I always felt that the voice was not old at all. This sentiment is supported in the brochure by Stephen Clarke (chairman of Historic Masters) who describes the voice as rusty and dry. I suggest using the ears instead of speculating on the probability of Cotogni visiting Tamagno at home or not. For me, comparing with Cotogni's one definitive recording from 1908, there's still no doubt that it is Cotogni who sings O casto fior, and so it must also be Cotogni who joins Tamagno in Sì, pel ciel.
The booklet by Michael Aspinall discusses the career of Tamagno, Tamagno the man, Tamagno's voice, and Tamagno's records; another outstanding piece of work. On vinyl, the sound of those records is incredibly vivid. One can hope that Historic Masters can publish the 10" records, including another one by the unknown baritone. I hope this set will be sold out quickly as it is an historical event. The set also includes a pouch containing all the labels, a neat idea, and a list of the recommended speeds for the different matrices. Speed varies between 72 and 79, the majority being between 76 and 79.

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