A Front Row Seat At A
Live Mario Lanza Concert

By Sam Samuelian

Listening to this new release of Mario's Royal Albert Hall concert in London on January 16, 1958 is just like having a front row seat. Exciting is the best word to describe the experience of listening to this new CD. It was recorded on the huge old Tandberg tape recorders of the time and this is a transfer from a British master tape that captures every nuance. Besides hearing the Lanza voice with bright clarity and the rich baritonal quality he had developed by that period in his life, you hear all his asides to Callinicos, his accompanist. You hear him humming before some songs and even hear him making little whimper like sounds at times. All his song introductions are intact and audience reactions are all there (many times they laugh, so Mario must have been entertaining them with his motions).
Earlier releases of this concert required one to use headphones to hear the subtle nuances that are captured here. From Mario's first spoken words ("Is this real?") upon walking out into the huge hall until the encore when he turns his back to sing to people behind him, you will be thoroughly entertained. This program runs a full 65 minutes and is exactly how the audience heard it originally. It is unedited with the exception of the piano solos that Callincos performed that night. The audience excitement grew steadily and at the end they are stamping their feet for Mario.
The program consists of the following numbers:
1-Lamento di Federico
2-Lasciatemi morire
3-Gia il sole dal Gange
4-Pieta, Signore
5-Tell Me, O Blue, Blue Sky
6-Bonjour, ma belle (Mario fluffs one line and Callincos helps him!)
7-The House on the Hill
8-E lucevan le stelle
9-Mamma mia, che vo' sape?
10-A Vuchella
12-Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise
13-I'm Falling In Love with Someone
14-Because You're Mine (thrilling ending!)
15-Seven Hills of Rome
16-La donna e mobile
The CD has black and white photographs front and back. Front cover has Mario standing in front of the Steinway piano with Callinicos. Back cover shows the enormity of the hall and the thousands of people crowded into the venue. The CD itself has a photo of the famous Lanza singing stance with this hands held out. This is the sharpest and clearest recording you will ever hear of the precious few Lanza live performances. Cost is $22.00 shipped to USA and a few dollars more for foreign orders. Write to Sam Samuelian at for more information.



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