Cavalleria Rusticana What a bargain! A bit of the opening music is missing, but the rest is superb. The only drawback is, that it's continuous, with no separate tracks, but this is also an advantage. With other recordings, there is always a break in continuity when it goes from one track to the next, and this is one opera where continuity is so important. I love it, and would recommend it highly to any "verismo" opera lover. Tebaldi's sobs are heartbreaking.
I recently found my relatively old CD of Cavalleria which had been mislaid for a good few years. The clicks and "jumps" between tracks, more noticeable on some than on others, were something I put down to a damaged CD. Having ordered this set as a replacement, I was hoping to hear the opera as it was intended to be. That was a forlorn hope - the same clicks and "jumps" were present on this set.
It was only then that I did what I should have done in the first place and looked online to see whether anyone else had experienced similar problems. They had. Anyone wanting more info on this should use their search engine to get the details. My assumption is that the original recording was made as one long reel (or whatever sound engineers do) and then cut, clumsily, into tracks before someone made the monumental error of ditching the original reel. I can't think why else the faults would never have been put right.
All in all, this is not a recording I'd recommend anyone to buy unless there is some special reason why they want something that, for me, was well and truly blighted.
This is a cheapo one-track transcript froma 50s LP, and has little to commend it. Tebaldi as Santuzza is dull, sobbing or no sobbing, and I don't greatly care for her voice. I do care for Bjorling's, but feel that he is miscast as Turiddu - his elegant singing doesn't suggest the cad that di Stefano does. Rina Corsi (who?) plays the small part of Lola OK, but Bastianini (as Alfio) isn't mentioned on the cover or elsewhere. He's a fine singer, at his best in the live Ballo in Maschera with Callas, dependable but dull here.
The sound is OK, not as good as some 50s recordings, but what really puts this issue out of court is a bass hum, from the end of the prelude until after the Intermezzo, i.e. more than half of the opera. Yuk!