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Enrico Caruso “Tu Non Mi Vuoi Più Bene” (Pini-Corsi) Pathe 1903 Anglo Italian Commerce, tenor speaks

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Enrico Caruso sings “Tu Non Mi Vuoi Più Bene” on Cylindres Pathé 84003, recorded in 1903 for the Anglo Italian Commerce Company, Milan, in Italy.

This was issued in Caruso's time in a few formats: 14-inch etched Pathe disc format and in cylinder format. Also, by arrangement between companies, the tenor's recordings made for this Anglo Italian Commerce Company were issued on blue label Zonophone discs.

All such Caruso discs and cylinders from this early era are rare (due to limited distribution) and highly prized by collectors.

Caruso himself makes the opening announcement here and on the blue Zonophones. The pianist's identity is unknown.

The song is by Antonio Pini-Corsi, who lived from 1858 (or 1859) to April 21, 1918. He was better known as an operatic bass-baritone than a songwriter.

Pini-Corsi sang in many operatic premieres, creating such roles on stage as Ford in Giuseppe Verdi's Falstaff and Schaunard in Giacomo Puccini's La Bohème.

Caruso made this for the Anglo-Italian Commerce Company in Milan. It was then issued by Pathé Frerés on cylinder and disc. To play the disc, the needle is placed near the disc's center, and the needle or arm of the phonograph travels to the outside rim as the record plays--not how we normally play discs.

Caruso had already made recordings in 1902 for the Gramophone and Typewriter Company (early EMI).

On April 11, 1902, Caruso was paid by the Gramophone & Typewriter Company’s Fred Gaisberg to sing ten numbers into a recording horn in a Milan hotel room. The fee was 100 pounds sterling. The tenor sang to piano accompaniment. Gaisberg (either Fred or his brother Will) wrote “Carusso” on early wax blanks.

As time passed, people looked back and viewed this session as giving birth to a new era.

Before 1902, opera recordings aroused little enthusiasm since voices on discs and cylinders were distant, often drowned out by surface noise. Early opera recordings gave little satisfaction.

Caruso helped make the gramophone respected because his voice was superb but also recorded well. Before 1902, celebrities hesitated making records since the final product was crude. Some celebrities did make recordings in 1902 (they include Plançon, Van Rooy, Calvé, Scotti, Bispham, and Renaud)--partly to earn large fees for little work, partly to satisfy curiosity about how they sound. But Caruso’s success inspired many others.

With the first Caruso discs available in the summer of 1902, the gramophone was clearly more than a toy--that is one way to view Caruso’s contribution to the infant industry. Lovers of great singing realized that recording devices could capture and preserve great singing. Caruso’s voice on his early discs came across clearly enough to be satisfying, Caruso’s interpretations compelling.

Caruso had other Milan sessions. The next one (again for the Gramophone & Typewriter Company) was on November 30, 1902, with some titles recorded a day or two later (in December 1902).

I once assumed that Will Gaisberg (Fred’s brother--Fred himself was touring, making records in exotic locations) produced all the Milan recordings of the November-December sessions, but I read that B.G. Royal recorded four of the recordings, and these have "-R" embossed next to the matrix numbers, indicating that Royal was the producer.

On April 19,1903, Caruso made seven recordings in Milan for the Anglo-Italian Commerce Company. As I wrote earlier, these were released as Pathe discs, Pathe cylinders, and Zonophone discs.

In late October 1903, three more titles were recorded in Milan. There were issued by Pathe on both cylinder and disc--and on Zonophone discs.

Next, Caruso cut two titles for the Gramophone & Typewriter Company--the last Milan session.

Thereafter Caruso recorded only for the Victor Talking Machine Company.

Caruso’s records helped make him a star in opera houses, and Caruso’s success in opera houses helped record sales. Victor Talking Machine Company discs brought wealth and fame to the artist, and Caruso’s name brought prestige to the Victor Talking Machine Company.

On September 16, 1920, the ailing tenor visited a recording studio for the last time (at Trinity Church at Camden, New Jersey).

At the Brooklyn Academy of Music on December 11, 1920, the tenor suffered a throat hemorrhage. The curtain did not come up after Act I on that sad day, but Caruso did not retire. He would give three more Met performances under great strain and discomfort.

In 1921 he was diagnosed with purulent pleurisy and empyema.

Enrico Caruso “Tu Non Mi Vuoi Più Bene” (Pini-Corsi) Pathe 1903 Anglo Italian Commerce, tenor speaks

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