26 June 2013

Jussi Bjorling

I've mentioned the Swedish tenor Jussi Bjorling (1911-1960) before as one of the all-time great singers. Apparently he wasn't the greatest of actors, but no-one cared when they heard him sing. Sadly, he suffered from the ill effects of alcoholism and he died at an early age of heart disease.
The soprano Victoria de los Angeles told her biographer "In despite of technical developments, none of the Jussi Bj√∂rling recordings give you the true sound of his voice. It was a far, far more beautiful voice than you can hear on the recordings he left". 
Unfortunately we only have the recordings to listen to. This is one of my favourite, the duet "Au Fond du Temple Saint" from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers, act 1, sung by Robert Merrill and Jussi Bjorling.

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