53,674 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...




selling Internationaly

Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider

Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Recordings of the Month


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE

Enescu Ravel Britten

Debussy Images etc.

53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)



Che fai tù? - Villanelles

Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel

violin concertos - Ibragimova

Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov

The Complete Lotte Schöne




Rolando Panerai - An obituary

The celebrated veteran Italian baritone Rolando Panerai (17 October 1924 – 23 October 2019) has died aged 95 following an international career spanning an astonishing 65 years. Born in Campi Bisenzio, near Florence, he made his stage debut in 1946; when only in his twenties, he made a series of broadcast recordings for RAI to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Verdi’s death and by the early 1950’s was already singing on major stages such as La Scala. His Amonasro in the 1951 RAI Aida under Gui was probably his first commercial recording; he was still making studio recordings fully forty years later, when he sang Falstaff for Colin Davis, and in the year 2000, when he was seventy-five, as Germont he was still the best thing in Mehta’s La traviata, filmed on location in Paris.

His baritone was characterised by a smooth legato and an elegant, instantly recognisable timbre. He sang only in Italian but had 150 roles in his repertoire, including those by Donizetti, Verdi and Puccin. Despite his undoubted dramatic flair, he could occasionally sound too avuncular to portray the Big Bad Boys entirely successfully; however, his special gift for comic timing and inflection in combination with great ease and flexibility also allowed him to excel in Italian buffo and comic Mozartian roles. He even sang Wagner in Italian, as per his Amfortas alongside Callas and Christoff in a 1950 RAI broadcast of Parsifal. He continued singing buffo (bass-)baritone roles like Malatesta, Dulcamara and Gianni Schicchi into his late eighties; indeed, he last sang the latter as recently as 2011 in his own staging in Genoa. In addition to his numerous international stage appearances in venues such as Salzburg – where he was a favourite - and Vienna, he appeared in all the big Italian houses and many European festivals; he also made several films, including the above-mentioned Germont and Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere d Siviglia in its first ever television broadcast in 1954, conducted by Giulini.

Panerai’s baritone was not as dark and sumptuous as that of his contemporary Bastianini, who was born two years earlier but died over half a century before him; he had a leaner, lighter, drier sound with a rather fast vibrato like the voices of Gobbi or Taddei (who died at 94 in 2010) but his technique must have been excellent, given that it permitted him to sing so well for so long. Collectors will know him best from a trio of classic Karajan recordings: as Ford in Falstaff, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Marcello in La bohème - though apparently Panerai himself preferred his performance in the 1965 film he made with Karajan, while others might instead turn to the 1955 Votto studio recording with Callas, where he sounds little different from the Decca recording made eighteen years later. One might reasonably add to the list of his best performance his Enrico in the famous 1955 live recording of Lucia di Lammermoor, also conducted by Karajan and starring Callas, whom he frequently partnered alongside Di Stefano, both on stage and in the studio. In addition, he recorded Ford three times for three different Falstaffs, each time with distinction.

Panerai will be remembered not just for the exceptional longevity of his career but for the sheer, sustained quality and beauty of his singing over that time; he was in many ways the last of the Old School.

Ralph Moore

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger