THE G,RAMOPHONE Incorporating V 0 x, THE R A D I 0 C R I TIC and B R 0 A DCA ST REV lEW
London Office: 10a Soho Square
Gerrard 2136. 2137
COMPTON MACKENZIE and CHRISTOPHER STONE Parmaxto. Rath London
THE competition in which readers voted for their twelve favourite operatic airs, and thus by voting gave as fair an indication as may be obtained of what are the twelve most popular operatic arias, was an outstanding success. No less than 134 arias obtained at least one vote and these were chosen from 63 operas. The first twelve in order of popularity were:
I . La Boheme (Puccini), Che gelida manina (Your tiny hand). 2. Madame Butteifly (Puccini), Un bel dt' vedremo (One fine day). 3. Rigoletto (Verdi), La donna emobile (Woman is fickle) . 4. Pagliacci (Leoncavallo), Vesti la giubba (On with the motley) . 5. Ai"da (Verdi), Celeste Ai"da (Heavenly Aida) . 6. II Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini ), Largo al factotum
(Room for the factotum). 7. Carmen (Bizet), Chanson du Toreador (The Torea
dor's Song). 8. The Meistersingers of Nuremburg (Wagner),
Preislied (Prize Song). 9. Carmen (Bizet), Air de la fleur (Flower Song). 10. Ta'nnhiiuser (Wagner), 0 du mein holder Abendstern
(0 Star of Eve). I I . Samson and Delilah (Saint Saens), Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix (Softly awakes my heart). 12. Rigoletto (Verdi), Caro nome (Dearest name). Che gelitla manina won comfortably by thirteen votes from Un bel tit', but Un bel d,: was only one vote ahead of La donna iJ' mobile. The winner was Mr. G. Tower with the appropriate address of 8 Mavis Road, Bournemouth, whose list had eleven out of the first twelve chosen and whose twelfth choice instead of being Caro nome was Voi che sapete from the Marriage of Figaro, which as we shall see was nineteenth in order of popularity. Listening to Voi che sapete the other day 1 was suddenly struck with its resemblance to Adeste fideies. 1 wonder if any other reader has noticed this .
Two readers succeeded in getting ten out of the twelve chosen tunes. Mr. N. W. Wackrill of 28 Eighth Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg, S.A., and Mr. W. E. Fry of 5 Lyndhurst Gardens, Finchley,
N·3 to both of whom we shall be glad to send a consolation prize of a chosen record. Mr. Wackrill picked Recondita Armonia from Tosca and the Prologue from · Pagiiacci instead of 0 Star of Eve and Caro Nome, and Mr. Fry picked Ombra mai fu and E lucevan ie stelle instead of La donna emobile and Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta VOlX.
No less than eleven competitors managed to get nine right out of the winning list. 1 daresay readers will be interested to hear how some of the other operatic arias fared, and here is a list of the next twenty-four:
13. Pagliacci (Leoncavallo), Prologue. 14. Tosca (Puccini), E lucevan ie stelle (The stars were shining). 15 . La Traviata (Verdi), Ah, fors' e'lui (The one of whom 1 dreamed). 16. Marta (Flotow), M' appari (Like a dream). 17. Faust (Gounod), Saiut, demeure chaste et pure
(All hail, thou dwelling). 18. Carmen (Bizet), Habanera (Love will like a wild birdling fly). 19. Marriage of Figaro (Mozart), Voi che sapete (Tell me, ladies, you who know). 20. Faust (Gounod), Air des bijoux (The Jewel Song). 21. Barbiere di Sivigiia (Rossini), Una voce poco fa
(A little voice 1 head just now). 22. Orfto ed Euridice (Gluck), Che faro senza Euridice
(What can 1 do without Euridice). 23. La Bohime (Puccini), Mi chiamano Mimi (1 am called Mimi ) . 24. Tosca (Puccini), Vissi d' arte, vissi d' amore
(1 lived for music and love). 25. Norma (Bellini), Casta Diva (Queen of Heaven,
while thou art reigning). 26. L'Eiisir d'Amore (Donizetti), Una furtiva iagrima . 27. Tristan and Isolda (Wagner), Liebestod (Isolda's
Death Song). 28. Tosca (Puccini), Recondita armoma (Strange
Harmony). 29. Faust (Gounod), 0 Sainte Medaille (Even bravest heart). 30. Manon (Massenet), Le Rive (The Dream).