Title: The Complete RCA Album Collection (14CD)
Year Of Release: 2011
Label: SONY MASTERWORKS
Genre: Classical, Opera & Vocal
Total Time: 14:40:38
Total Size: 3,50 Gb
WebSite: Album Preview
Björling made his professional operatic debut in 1930 as the Lamplighter in Manon Lescaut at Stockholm's Royal Swedish Opera. He made his American concert debut at Carnegie Hall in 1937, and, the following year, made his first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera as Rodolfo in La bohème. Björling went on to become one of the Met's principal singers during the 1940s and 1950s. He sang many major tenor roles in operas of the French and Italian repertoire, including Il trovatore, Rigoletto, Aida, Un ballo in maschera, Pagliacci, Cavalleria rusticana, Faust, Roméo et Juliette, La bohème, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Manon Lescaut and Don Carlo, the opener to Sir Rudolf Bing's era at the Met. Björling's first complete opera set was a 1952 performance of Il trovatore with Zinka Milanov for RCA Victor. In 1953, he recorded the role of Turiddu in a complete version of Cavalleria rusticana opposite Milanov for RCA Victor, also included in this set. Björling sang the part of Mario in the 1957 complete stereo recording of Tosca, recorded by RCA Victor in Rome with Erich Leinsdorf conducting. The tenor was awarded the 1959 Grammy Award for "Best Classical Performance - Vocal" for his Björling in Opera recording (LM-2269), and sang in the recording of Turandot, Grammy Award-winner for "Best Classical Opera Production (1960)." He was ranked as the greatest singer of the century by Classic CD (United Kingdom), "Top Singers of the Century" Critics' Poll (June 1999). Björling was known as the "Swedish Caruso"(LIFE Magazine 1939). Björling has several times been labeled one of the "Three Original Tenors" together with Caruso and Gigli, Caruso's widow calling him the only one worthy of wearing her husband's mantle. On March 15, 1960, Björling suffered a heart attack before a performance of La bohème at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He nevertheless performed that night, and continued to perform until a few weeks before his death of heart-related causes six months later at his summer home on Siarö, Sweden, aged forty-nine.
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