Jussi Bjorling, The Immortal Jussi Bjorling: Music Of Verdi, Ponchielli, Puccini, Meyerbeer, Bizet, Massenet, Gounod, Leoncavallo, Giordano And Mascagni

Justin Davidson

By Justin Davidson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Jussi Björling died in his prime in 1960 and there hasn't been a tenor to match his pure vocal sumptuousness since, with the possible exception of Luciano Pavarotti. Just listen to "Mamma, quel vino è generoso," from Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana," one of the blowziest, most maudlin adieux in the operatic repertory. Björling's voice surfs atop the cresting orchestra, and he creates an instant addiction: How can you want to do anything but just sit there and breathe it in?