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John Steane
Gramophone, November 2002

"Major contributors to the long-enduring success of the set are the conductor Olivero de Fabritiis and producer Fred Gaisberg, whose name goes regrettably without a mention. The playing of the Rome orchestra and the clarity of orchestral detail are features which come to notice immediately and, in this transfer, more than ever before. The 'Scarpia' chords of the opening bite mercilessly and Ward Marston in this Naxos issue catches the snarl of the trombones still more vividly than did his predecessor, the late Keith Hardwick, some years ago on EMI.

With flawlessly clear tone and firm production, Ninon Vallin is a very French Floria, less of a prima donna than Caniglia, more a woman of charm, vulnerability and generous impulse."

Robert Levine, April 2002

"This is an old-fashioned, flesh-and-blood, no-subtleties, stand-and-deliver Tosca, with singers steeped in the verismo tradition and a conductor who likes the "shabby little shocker" elements of the score and is unashamed of its melodrama. As Cavaradossi, Beniamino Gigli is in his glory here... Maria Caniglia, recorded here before her voice fell into tatters, is a lusty, gimme-what-I-want Tosca, offering excitement, big chest tones, and big top notes. Armando Borgioli is in a different class as Scarpia: his voice is not burly, but he convinces nonetheless with his attention to detail even if he does not impress like his co-stars. The sound is better in this transfer than it's ever been... The 1931 sound is not very good, but as far as I know this is the only place you'll find this set and it's worth hearing. A worthwhile release."

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