The Recorded Legacy of Enrico Caruso and its Influence on the Italian Vocal Style

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This dissertation presents evidence for the influence which tenor Enrico Caruso had on the Italian Vocal Tradition. This impact was clearly boosted by the revolution realized in the fledgling recording industry, and the recordable disc. In the years of 1902-1920 gramophones became commonplace, and collecting recordings became an interest for many. This new technology required specialized skills, and was especially suited to certain qualities of voice. Caruso enjoyed immense success in this medium, in recording over 250 records. Italian vocal style at the turn of the century was changing, and Caruso employed a new "modern" style in his singing. His ... continued below

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Garst, John Dee May 2016.

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  • Garst, John Dee

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This dissertation presents evidence for the influence which tenor Enrico Caruso had on the Italian Vocal Tradition. This impact was clearly boosted by the revolution realized in the fledgling recording industry, and the recordable disc. In the years of 1902-1920 gramophones became commonplace, and collecting recordings became an interest for many. This new technology required specialized skills, and was especially suited to certain qualities of voice. Caruso enjoyed immense success in this medium, in recording over 250 records.
Italian vocal style at the turn of the century was changing, and Caruso employed a new "modern" style in his singing. His interpretive decisions, vocal method, and repertoire which he championed had an impact on the vocal tradition of future generations. Comparison of his recordings with tenors Fernando de Lucia, Giuseppe Anselmi, and Alessandro Bonci shows a marked contrast in styles of "the old school" and Caruso's "more straightforward" approach. A collection of historical documents for those who succeeded him include many biographies, reviews, and quotes to demonstrate the extent of his influence. Recordings also show a movement toward "the Caruso Sound." Jussi Bjoerling, Franco Corelli, Richard Tucker, Mario Lanza, and Luciano Pavarotti were all influenced by the great Caruso. Almost 100 years have passed since he sang his last performance. He continues to inspire singers to this day, through his recordings and legacy passed on by many generations. He is the ideal, the measuring stick for all tenors to follow, and continues even to today.

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  • May 2016

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  • June 28, 2016, 4:28 p.m.

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  • July 25, 2016, 1:20 p.m.

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Garst, John Dee. The Recorded Legacy of Enrico Caruso and its Influence on the Italian Vocal Style, dissertation, May 2016; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc849763/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .