Who likes Giovanni Martinelli?

Discussion of historic singers: Francesco Merli, Giuseppe De Luca, Richard Tauber, Conchita Supervía, etc.

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Jimlejim
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Who likes Giovanni Martinelli?

Postby Jimlejim » 21 Sep 2016, 07:41

I can't stand him. The straight tones are off-putting.. the whole voice sounds like that of a drunken man trying to maintain line. This sounds harsh, but then again, his voice was harsh. I can hear some redeeming qualities in a few recordings, but overall I wonder what people like in him.
Tenor freak. :D

Geoff
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Re: Who likes Giovanni Martinelli?

Postby Geoff » 22 Sep 2016, 21:43

Well Jim, He had a long and distinguished career particularly at NY Met., where he was well liked. He was certainly a true tenor, not some pushed up baritone but by no means perfect. I've always found his unsteady vibrato irritating and his vocal timbre was rather too metallic for my personal liking but one or two of my very knowledgeable friends hold him in high esteem. I believe it was Tom Burke ( a vastly underrated tenor who had his own self-destruct button which he pressed with a vengeance not just once, but twice !) who referred to Martinelli's singing as "like a nanny goat". Perhaps a bit unfair but typical Burke. I have a soft spot for Giovanni, he was far from perfect but there are many records of his which for me are spine tingling. I'll allow him his spot in tenor history.
Regards,
Geoff.

Alvari
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Re: Who likes Giovanni Martinelli?

Postby Alvari » 27 Sep 2016, 09:11

Martinelli certainly is an aquired taste. His tones are mostly straight, and in his later years quite unstable. In his early recordings he sometimes sounds oblivious to the words his singing. He was at his best in the big tragic parts like Alvaro, Canio and Otello. In those roles he could really deliver the tragic grandeur required. His Otello is among my favourites. At the met he inherited Caruso dramatic roles. Apparently his voice was very impressive when heard live; big, bright and penetrating. When Del Monaco debuted, some american critics compared him to Martinelli. I've understood that in his day at the met the audience liked voices with less vibrato, which would also partly explain his success there. American favourites like Caruso, Schipa, McCormack, Gigli and Martinelli had sang with less vibrato than for example De Lucia, Pertile, Lazaro and Fleta. Certinly as a singer Martinelli was a big personality with an easily recognizable voice.

antfreire
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Re: Who likes Giovanni Martinelli?

Postby antfreire » 15 Feb 2017, 17:01

We would remember him as a very good lirico-spinto tenor had not been for the fact that he was forced to acquire the late Caruso repertoire and in a way make the audience remember the Caruso sound which was totally opposite of Martinelli's. His early recordings made before Caruso's death are very good.

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LaGioconda
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Re: Who likes Giovanni Martinelli?

Postby LaGioconda » 25 Feb 2017, 20:41

I do!
Not everything and from the late 1920s on the voice became less flexivle and dried considerably, but his early recordings show a real and true high placed spinto voice. Great legato, great line and not a shouter but a nuanced singer even in the demanding roles. He had verve and guts "singing like a police dog" as Toscanini put it when he heard him around 1916 I think. He has the most admirable way of shaping recitatives, similar to Pertile. Even in his live recordings from the late 1930 and early 1940s after almost 30 years of straining roles he had much to cherish, though he often did sound stiff and sang with a lot of pressure and a lot of "emphase" (what´s the term in english?).
His early Ernani recording, all his Tell recordings, his Radames, Enzo, Manrico must have been quite something in his prime - not to forget his dashing stage appearance.

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Jimlejim
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Re: Who likes Giovanni Martinelli?

Postby Jimlejim » 12 Apr 2017, 19:38

LaGioconda wrote:
25 Feb 2017, 20:41
I do!
Not everything and from the late 1920s on the voice became less flexivle and dried considerably, but his early recordings show a real and true high placed spinto voice. Great legato, great line and not a shouter but a nuanced singer even in the demanding roles. He had verve and guts "singing like a police dog" as Toscanini put it when he heard him around 1916 I think. He has the most admirable way of shaping recitatives, similar to Pertile. Even in his live recordings from the late 1930 and early 1940s after almost 30 years of straining roles he had much to cherish, though he often did sound stiff and sang with a lot of pressure and a lot of "emphase" (what´s the term in english?).
His early Ernani recording, all his Tell recordings, his Radames, Enzo, Manrico must have been quite something in his prime - not to forget his dashing stage appearance.
Name his top 3 aria recordings, please.
Tenor freak. :D

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LaGioconda
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Re: Who likes Giovanni Martinelli?

Postby LaGioconda » 14 May 2017, 10:15






Vlamgat
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Re: Who likes Giovanni Martinelli?

Postby Vlamgat » 30 May 2017, 19:36

I have a little collection... here's a genuine vintage photo from 1933 of Martinelli with Nino Martini (btw, Martini was a quality singer, completely forgotten).

(press on it to enlarge)

Image

Carneal
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Re: Who likes Giovanni Martinelli?

Postby Carneal » 28 Jun 2017, 06:07

I do, I'm learning about him now.

Jim
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Joined: 17 Mar 2016, 13:58

Re: Who likes Giovanni Martinelli?

Postby Jim » 29 Jun 2017, 09:59

Interesting photo Vlamgat. Aside from the handshake there is no contact between them (no eye contact).
Jim


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