Jussi Bjorling, opera, memories


After hearing Jussi Björling on 78- rpm and microgroove discs during my early years, I longed to hear him in person. The only opportunity came on April 2, 1959, in a recital at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that blessed my twentytwo- year-old ears and psyche. From the tenth row it was obvious that his voice soared through the entire auditorium with ease. Its brilliance was immediately captivating, the inimitable shimmer sustained from softest pianissimo to trumpeted fortissimo. It surpassed, of course, his excellently recorded RCA Victor “New Orthophonic” self.

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