- From Lindsay Perigo -
- Jeff Rense's latest 3-CD release is a
triumph of love and perseverance. In modern parlance, it is "mind-blowing"
to contemplate the time and money that he must have poured into restoring
these gems to the best sound possible. He and his technician(s) at Oregon
Sound Recording deserve a medal, the highest praise and the widest possible
- Exquisitely packaged, with heart-tugging
photographs and exhaustive liner-notes by the redoubtable Derek Mannering
and Jeff himself, these CDs present the incomparable Mario at his budding,
occasionally faltering but always captivating and often dazzling (CD1),
and, at least for the most part, at his blooming best (CDs 2 and 3).
- Standouts - well, where to start?! The
very first track, "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" serves startling
notice of the high quality thrills in store. There's something irresistible
about "Ah, Moon of My Delight," for all Mario's fluffed notes
... and never more so than here. The Hollywood Bowl material is rapturous,
the Toronto "Lamento" a revelation (undoubtedly Gigli-influenced)
that demonstrates something really fascinating for singing students: the
pesky problem Mario was still having at that point with his upper "passaggio,"
the transition from his middle to upper registers around F-sharp and G
(I'd bet my life that he altered the lyrics deliberately in the first stanza
so that he could sing "me" and not "vo" on the F-sharp
- much easier! Hear the problem he has earlier with "l'oblio TROvar"
and you'll see what I mean).
- I don't know whether I was just in a
frisky mood, but "Marcheta" on CD2, tingling to spine and ear,
simply blew me away. And it's great to have, finally, on CD such pearls
as "A Vucchella," "La Spagnola," "A Kiss"
and "Make Believe."
- It is to be hoped that youngsters will
hear these performances and realise they are newly privy to, arguably,
the greatest vocal talent they will ever hear. Thanks to Mr. Rense's revitalisations,
we Lanza veterans can also hear him as though for the first time. My own
reaction, sitting back with booklets and Chianti can best be captured in
one of the song titles: "My Heart Stood Still."
- Tony Partington -
- Hey Folks! I am looking forward to checking
out this new football playing tenor. I think all would agree that singing
is rather "athletic." On another note though, I would like to
comment briefly on the 3 new CDs from Jeff. First, BRAVO Jeff!!! I ordered
all 3 and was thrilled with each one. The concert and radio CD is perhaps
my favorite because it contains rareties and the sund quality is FANTASTIC!.
I say this based upon the fact that I have the CD "Great Moments In
Music." I'm sure many of you folks have this CD too and while I enjoy
it greatly, the sound quality and edits on that CD are, to my mind, somewhat
inferior. Jeff's CD, which contains some of the same takes, is by far superior
- both in audiophonic quality and editing. It will be interesting to see
if Jeff utilizes the TOSCA and OTELLO excerpts from the "Great Moments
In Music" broadcasts for his all opera CD (hopefully soon to come
out!). The other 2 CDs are wonderful as well and I cherish the selections
presented which are new to CD. I also so not mind at all having both editions
of "I'll See You In My Dreams." They compliment one another perfectly
and it's interesting to compare the remasterings on each. Anyway, to sum
it up, again I say BRAVO Jeff! Thank you for this labor of love. It is
evident in every track. Ciao!
- John van Buyten (Belgium) -
- Just received today the 3 new cds, just
fantastic. So thank you for this wounderfullwork.
- Doug -
- Since so many have expressed much pleasure
with the new set of CD's from Jeff Rense, I decided to order them....and
jaded old musician that I am....I did not expect anything out of the ordinary.
I was wrong. The clarity and presence on these discs is amazing. Absolutly
remarkable. It sounds as if the recordings had been made last year instead
of more than half a century ago. Congratulations and 'mille grazie' to
Jeff for a job well done. If you don't have these CD's stop what you're
doing right now and and order them!
- Rudy Steuns -
- I received the CDs last week. They are
wonderful! After listening many times I am convinced the quality is the
best I have ever heard! I have only one question: Can Mario's voice be
as good as I'm hearing? I can think of no other singer who comes close
to it! The beauty of the voice is incredible. Thank you so much for what
you are doing for Mario and for us all! I don't want to be ungrateful but...
do you think there will be more new releases in the near future? I can
hardly wait to have more of Mario's songs in the same quality! Sincerely, Rudy
- From Mavis Ashman (UK) -
- I received your 3 CD's today (super fast
delivery) and have just finished listening to them. WOW - Superb job -
I'm amazed at the quality of the sound. Thank you so much.
- Edited by author 08-30-2007 01:39
- Jeff's new cds arrived today & I
have spent my day off today with Mario at full volume (whether the neighbours
like it or not!) First of all I have to say it was such a surprise to hear
a stereo mix of the Student Prince Serenade, Jeff, could you please post
a few words about this!? Did you have access to the original 3 track masters?
I loved the mix & without having gone back to the Rhino cd yet I think
this is the best I have heard the Serenade. I was very impressed with the
sound of the Hollywood Bowl Thine Alone, I heard things in it I hadn't
heard before, I have to say though that everytime I hear this I wish I
could give Miklos Rozsa a poke, he is competing with Mario & Kathryn
rather that accompaying them, anyhoo! I was impressed with the remastering.
Your remastering of Non ti scordar di me is very good, I'm glad the mandolins
sound a bit more subtle than I have heard before, they can give me a headache.
Ah! Moon of my delight is just sublime, best I have heard it. Overall I
loved evrything you did BUT, with all due respect, why so many duplications!?
Don't get me wrong I am grateful for all you do but it just doesn't make
sense when you think of the performances that have been left out. I will
never understand the fascination with the Coke Surriento for starters...
I look forward to your Operatic Lanza cd, you might keep us informed of
your choices & thoughts on that project, we will be buying it after
all, please avoid the dodgy Coke Arias, Cielo e mar aside, of course!
I was marvelling, as I do everytime I listen to Mario, at just how Beautiful
& expressive his voice is! For example, on a corny old number like
Marcheta he just sells it completely & unreservedly, I have always
loved this recording. Oh! I would have loved a remastered Agnus dei! I
must sound very ungrateful and hard to please...
- Paul Velda -
- Have just read Vince's excellent post
on Jeff's new CD's, which I heartily concur with. I too hope with all my
heart that Jeff is considering an operatic CD, but I don't want to sound
ungrateful for the treasures he has given us. Like Vince, I too heard things
I had not heard before especially in the "Chenier", infact all
the HB items I found colossal, really superb, and "Ah moon of my delight"
filled me up, I almost had to brush away a tear, its that good! I have
hardly stopped playing this CD!
- Michele (Australia) -
- Dear Jeff, This is my first message on
Mario's site. Have just reveived my 2 CDs and have spent the afternoon
listening to them both. How can I say what I feel about them. I turned
65 in March of this year and have been a total fan of Mario since I was
9 yrs. old. My parents took me to see 'The Great Caruso' one night. The
Manager of the theatre made a speech prior to the showing of 'Caruso' to
make sure people did not make any noise or talk while the film was on.
It might sound crazy but it was all I could do to stop crying while listening
to these wonderful CDs. I just wish he had lived longer than he did, as
I omagine everyone does. I have sung professionally with the Australian
Opera, inspired of course by Mario. I had been with the opera company
for 2 years and went for a holiday to Hawaii and met the man whom I would
marry 9 months later. Des also thinks Mario is fabulous. My favourite
tracks are the Vesti la Guibba and Drigo's Serenade. The Vesti from Pagliacci
is fabulous. I thought his Vesti in For The First Time was the best, but
this one is the best I've heard. Please, I've seen mention of on Opera
CD. Please, please, do it if you can, there are still opera selections
from Caruso which have never seen the light of a CD or record. Thank you
Jeff, once again.
- Theresa -
- Jeff - I've just listened to your "Make
Believe" CD. Once again, I have nothing but praise for you. The sound
is superb, clear as crystal. Mario was in the room singing to me alone.
This fine quality is not always available on CDs, but you can be depended
on to produce the best that I've heard..and I've heard many, many Lanza
CDs. I always enjoy listening to Mario, but your latest labour of love
reaches my heart with greater impact than most. I know nothing of the technology
involved but even to my untrained ear it is very superior to most. Theresa
- Theresa -
- Jeff - I have just played "Live
Concerts and Radio Performances". Absolutely stunning sound!,
What a treat! I'll listen to "Make Believe", next and as soon
as it arrives "I'll See You...", You are doing a fantastic job
of bringing a sparkling new life to Mario's recordings. These are to be
treasured. Thank you so much for devoting so much time and effort in putting
the CDs together. Bravo! Theresa
- Eugene -
- To steal a line from Astaire in Daddy
Long Legs, "time cannot dim nor custom stale.. the infinite charm"
of the Lanza Voice...and no more ardent an advocate of Mario's vocal splendour
has there been than Jeff Rense, whose ML Forum I had the great fortune
to stumble upon in early 1997. It is still kicking where other sites have
fallen away or else been stifled and muzzled. Which speaks volumes for
the determination of the WebHost, Mr. Rense, to keep the ML flag unfurled
and fluttering in the musical breeze. And where on earth can you find a
sound, albeit eccentric, individual who ventures to make a loss, so as
to enable each of Mario's fans to hold a piece of valuable music software
at a fraction of its sunk cost? Relish the clearer and sharper vocal declamations
of Mario Lanza that scale the heights of passionate intensity and plumb
the depths of seductive urgency. These 3 CDs plus his original issue of
the "I'll See You In My Dreams" are now on the top of the heap
of 52 Lanza CDs accumulated over the years of intense appreciation...and
over the 50 years of Lanza bedazzlement.
- Paul Velda -
- The CD of radio and concert performances
arrived today, and I have no words to tell you how much I love it. It
is absolutely superb! I have favourites among some of today's tenors but
no voice has ever moved me like Mario's. This CD is almost like getting
a brand new CD of him. Thank you, Jeff, I am delighted.
- Fred Day -
- Mike M: Yes, Make Believe (on Jeff's
new CD) is the same as on "The Magic Mario" LP, and is the broadcast
take. However, Roses of Picardy is a different take without the high ending.
And You'll Never Walk Alone is also a different take, making a total of
3 different takes all on CD. Drigo's Serenade is the Coke Show version,
slower than the RCA version. Toselli's Serenade is the RCA version, which
was previously only on the 3-CD Readers Digest set but now in much better
sound on Jeff's CD. The Coke Toselli Serenade has yet to be commercially
released. The Coke Show Granada, on Jeff's older CD, has been replaced
by the RCA version on Jeff's new CD. And the Coke Show Because has been
omitted. It is great to finally have La Spagnola & What Is This Thing
Called Love on CD. All 3 of Jeff's new CD's are marvelous!! Best sound
- Brad and Sherry Steiger -
- Sherry and I are listening with tears
streaming down our cheeks. We cannot pay higher compliment than
that. We can issue a guarantee with the new Lanza CDs that you
have produced: If you sit with your loved one and truly listen to the lyrics
and feel the energy of that great cosmically directed voice of Mario Lanza,
you will begin to fall in love all over again. Regardless of how deeply
in love you were before you began to listen to these marvelous songs, you
will grow even more firmly and richly in love and gain a new appreciation
of one another. Truly, the effect is magical...pure enchantment. A marvelous
audio love potion. Satisfaction guaranteed.
- Dan Marine -
- i just recieved a gift from a very dear
long time old friend..jeffs new 3 cds. that generous persons name SHALL
remain unknown..thank you you have all the love my heart can give and hold..from
what jeff describes many of the recordings were almost in ruin..it was
like a war zone and out of rubble a treasure remains...the orchestra announcer
etc etc sound dated but then marios voice appears..absolutely georgeous..the
lanza at 24 had training yes but realy up untill that point was truly self
taught..a diamond that needed polish..the energy overtones etc etc and
the marioisms that muriel calls them is there in aboundance..ah moon of
my delight i doubt any opera singer would attemt that..mario makes a song
out of this with some incredable beatifull mezzo voice singing..then along
came enrico rosati and the mario lanza we now know has fully evolved..he
sings with weede golden days and then does seranade..a glimpse and hint
of what will come 7 short years later which i feel is the greatest singing
ever by anyone in the student prince..then the hollywood bowl after rosati..wow
rosati said he finaly found that rare piece of wood in mario to build his
violin..his strativarius. jeff realy did a great job with nessum dorma
- one of the 3 greatest ever recordings of that aria. the duet from butterfly
i feel is the best ever and most certainly gives an idea of marios opera
performance at new orleans. the first song 'a pretty girl...' brought
tears to my eyes..the voice, beauty, energy, enthusiasm and more overtones
etc, etc demonstrates what will evolve after rosati's vocal teaching .thanks,
jeff, this is the greatest tribute ever to mario..a must...
- Martino -
- Gary, I can't agree with you more.
The sound of these disks give a new presence to the Lanza voice, the likes
of which I have never heard before. I've listened to Mario for many years
and always felt that he sang to me and to me alone. When I hear these disks
I have no doubt I am right. The way Jeff has remastered many of the selections
is not only a tribute to technology but to his relentless pursuit of excellence
and he should be applauded for that. In fact, I prefer the sound of these
disks to 99% of the vocal disks released in recent years - and by a considerable
margin at that., I downloaded each disk to my PC at once and will now transfer
them to my various portable devices as I intend to take this compilation
wherever my travels take me. My Gracenote service does not have these disks
in their database yet so I have had to rename each selection prior to downloading.
I attempted to issue them a new CD information introduction but it did
not take. Perhaps Jeff can do this with several of the more popular disk
information services., The Lanza trademark of intimacy with songs, like
"My Romance" for example, comes through loud and clear with
each word carefully crafted to convey the sentimentality of the songs.
In the muddy originals of some of these selections this sense of intimacy
by word as well as song is there but not nearly as apparent. Each wonderful
and subtle detail he takes with his voice is heard to its best advantage.
, The Lanza voice in these disks seems not only more intimate but even
more powerful than ever. The ending of O Sole Mio nearly blew me off my
chair! I've never heard it like that before. As was indicated in the cd
notes, it has never been more obvious that the Lanza voice was not just
a great natural instrument - it was a supernatural one. The packaging is
first rate as well with wonderful photo covers and excellent notes and
pictures. For once, I truly enjoyed reading the notes., Once again I want
to congratulate Jeff on another outstanding job. I consider these disks
to be essential for any Lanza fan and lover of great singing.
- Stephen -
- I had a free day today and have listened
to all three new CDs. Jeff's new CDs sound terrific. Buy them. Worth the
wait since Jeff first started teasing us about them! Even the old radio
broadcasts sound improved from what I've heard before. I don't want to
get carried away on just one listen, but these CDs are excellent. These
were certainly worth getting, even with the obvious duplication of numerous
songs I already have. Some of these even sound slightly different ...better?
...fuller?... perhaps...it will take more listening to decide...and I don't
have the master tapes to compare them to as Jeff does. Lanza's speaking
voice sounds a bit deeper and fuller in the couple of song introductions.
Excellent "presence" of his voice on the studio recordings. Extremely
clean pressings. Of course, there are some slight static and pops in some
of the radio show recordings. I haven't purchased the full "Coke Show"
CDs so several of the songs are new to me. The song "Make Believe"
(is it from the Coke Shows?) is gorgeous and just about worth the entire
cost. Gives the great Howard Keel a run for his money. So is the improved
Nessun Dorma from the Hollywood Bowl. The brochures are very nice; the
two new ones are 12 pages each compared to the repeated 36-page one for
I'll See You in My Dreams., The differences between the same tracks from
Jeff's original "I'll See You in My Dreams" and the new release
will require more comparison than the few minutes I've had so far. Is the
new one more liquid? A little more detailed here or there? I think I hear
some differences in the new one's favor, but I don't have a high-end system
and I have old ears. I'm sure Jeff would not have remastered some of these
songs if there weren't considerable improvements. The new pressing seems
essentially perfect; on first listen I noticed zero glitches, whereas
I noted several on the original. The new one has four new songs, but has
apparently dropped one, "Because." At least, I don't see it.
This gives 26 tracks compared to 23 for the original release. The dropping
of Because is not explained, but I don't think there would be enough room
for 27 tracks as the total recorded time is just short of 120 minutes,
which I believe is the maximum that can be recorded on a CD. There is
also an alternative take replacement for one song that Jeff prefers to
his original. The brochure is the same with a two-sided cover leaf added
that has the new picture and explains the differences, except for the
absence of Because. I would definitely pick the new version over the original
but both are excellent., I would be interested in more technical information
on how these selections were remastered. Perhaps if he finds the time,
Jeff could fill in more details then are in the brochures...perhaps an
article on his site? It would also have been nice if the track title information
had been encoded on the CDs in such a manner that the names and details
of the tracks would come up on Windows Media Player as it does for many
CDs. The original "I'll See You in My Dreams" does this, but
not the new version. There must be a database on the Internet where this
information can be cataloged, as many of my CDs that don't have such information
on them manage to retrieve and download such information when I play them
with Windows Media Player and then go online. Then when I play the CD in
the future through my computer the title information for each track comes
up again., Jeff, what's your next CD project? Just kidding. Thank you.
- Edited by author 08-14-2007 04:36 PM