The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes
Verdi: LA TRAVIATA: Ah fors'è lui excerpt: "A quell' amor, quell' amor ch'è palpito"... "delizia al cor"
Marcella Sembrich (?)
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--Luigi Mancinelli (?)
February 27, 1903 (?)
The identification of performers and date is based on the assumption that this cylinder is the one inventoried as No. 26 by Glackens and Bishop: "Sembrich-Traviata-Ah fors (Feb 27 1903)" and described in their commentary as "Pretty clear except for low notes, worth saving." Heat damage has rendered most of the cylinder unplayable; the recoverable forty-five seconds represent the end of the aria, no longer "pretty clear," alas. The recording evidently begins at the turn to the major in Violetta's aria; the first really discernible phrase is "dell' universo, dell' universo intero," at the beginning of which the singer deploys a simpler ornament than is heard in Sembrich's three recordings of the piece. Note that the speed does not match the "Sempre libera" cylinder of the same date (Side 5/Band 4)--nor that of the Melba excerpt on Side 5/Band 3, the only Traviata during the Mapleson years not sung by Sembrich.
quell'amor ch'è palpito
dell' universo intero,
misterioso, misterioso, altero,
croce, croce e delizia,
croce e delizia, delizia al cor.
To that love,
that love which is the heartbeat
of the universe,
of the whole universe,
mysterious and proud,
a burden, a burden and a delight,
a burden and a delight, a delight to the heart.