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This Week:COSI FAN TUTTE, Live Performance, 27 Jan., 1956, Piccolo Scala, w.Guido Cantelli, Cond.Piccolo Scala Ensemble; Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Nan Merriman, Graziella Sciutti, Luigi Alva, Rolando Panerai & Franco Calabrese. (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1083, accompanied by Elaborate Booklet with photos & notes by Henry Fogel, B. H. Haggin & Richard Caniell. Transfers by Richard Caniell. (OP3225)
“This January 27, 1956 performance of COSI FAN TUTTE was broadcast from the stage of the Piccolo Scala Theater in Milan. The Piccolo Scala COSI is the only recorded document of the Guido Cantelli leading a complete operatic performance. By the time Cantelli led this COSI, performed in celebration of Mozart’s 200th birthday, the young Italian conductor had firmly established himself as one of the finest and most dynamic young artists of his generation. But on November 24, 1956, Cantelli died in a plane crash shortly after taking off from Paris’ Orly Airport. Cantelli (like Mozart at the time of his untimely death) was only 36 years old. Because Arturo Toscanini greatly admired and identified with Cantelli’s conducting, and did much to champion the young man’s career, these two great artists are often compared to each other. Suffice it to say that Guido Cantelli was a brilliant talent, a conductor with extraordinary and patrician musical sensibilities, coupled with the necessary technique and fierce will to achieve his desired results. [This] 1956 COSÌ has also previously been issued on several labels devoted to in-performance recordings.
Collectors have long prized the Cantelli Piccolo Scala COSI FAN TUTTE for the extraordinary quality of the performance, if not its recorded sound. Cantelli was a fiercely demanding perfectionist, and the quality of execution in this live performance is breathtaking. But despite the obvious amount of rehearsal invested, the performance always has a genuine feeling of spontaneity, as if the artists were discovering the miracles of Mozart’s creation for the very first time. In that sense, the Cantelli COSI reminds me of the best work of Carlos Kleiber, notably the latter’s performances of LA BOHEME and DER ROSENKAVALIER. As my colleague Henry Fogel notes in his superb liner notes for the Immortal Performances issue under review, COSI FAN TUTTE is an ensemble opera par excellence. And on this occasion, Cantelli had at his disposal six world-class singers, all in prime vocal form, and totally sympathetic to their Maestro’s approach. And that approach was to perform Mozart’s score with absolute respect for the beauty and subtlety of the music, all the while capturing both the comedy and pathos of the story, without ever lapsing into caricature or slapstick. All of the singers also well understand the importance of crystal-clear diction, not only to advance the story, but also to launch and maintain the vocal line. The contributions of the singers are by themselves more than sufficient to recommend this set, but there is also the ravishing, detailed playing Cantelli elicits from the Piccolo Scala Orchestra. Indeed, conductor, singers, and orchestra emerge as a unified voice, complementing each other, and thereby giving Mozart’s score its full due (there are some cuts, typical of performances of the time). This is truly a magical performance from start to finish, and one of the finest accounts of COSI FAN TUTTE I’ve ever heard. If only the quality of the sonics approached the performance! But alas, the radio broadcast is marred by a cramped, colorless acoustic. And as if matters weren’t bad enough, a furnace used to warm the theater during the January performance creates an omnipresent hum. I’ve heard three prior releases of this broadcast….[This] new Immortal Performances release represents by far the best sonic restoration I’ve heard of the Cantelli COSI. Producer Richard Caniell has managed through painstaking work to remove the continuous hum caused by the [Piccolo Scala] furnace, without resorting to noticeable filtering. There is more tape surface noise in this version than the others I’ve heard. But the welcome tradeoff is the best representation by far of the orchestra’s contribution to this performance. And, given the magic conjured by Cantelli and the Piccolo Scala Orchestra, that is a necessary component for a full appreciation of this important document. The singers, too, emerge with greater definition and tonal beauty. In addition to Henry Fogel’s essay on Mozart’s Opera and this performance, the booklet includes a plot synopsis, singer bios, a brief history of Piccolo Scala, Richard Caniell’s Recording Notes, B. H. Haggin’s memorial appreciation of Cantelli, a further essay on the conductor by Caniell, and performance and artist photos. The recorded sound on the Immortal Performances release still does not approach the quality of studio recordings of the era. But at long last, the totality of the unique and transcendent achievement by Cantelli, his superb team of vocal soloists, and the Piccolo Scala forces may be savored in its entirety, with no need to rely upon one’s imagination. Recommended, with gratitude to Richard Caniell and Immortal Performances.”
- Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, Sept./Oct., 2017BRUNO MADERNA Cond. BBC S.O., London: Symphony #9 in D (Mahler). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-474, Live Performance, 1971. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1547)
“As well as Maderna's own music, there are a handful of recordings you need to hear. There's a white-hot Mahler 9th with the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1971 [above] - one of the most incandescent interpretations I've ever heard….”
- Tom Service, THE GUARDIAN, 13 Nov., 2013MAUREEN FORRESTER & RICHARD LEWIS, w.Szell Cond. Cleveland Orch.: Das Lied von der Erde (Mahler). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-498, Live Performance, 21 April, 1067, Severance Hall. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (V2538)
“Maureen Forrester, the Canadian contralto was revered for her opulent voice and musical elegance and especially acclaimed for her performances of Mahler; she sang the broader mezzo-soprano repertory, rightly considered herself a contralto, the lowest and rarest female voice. In her prime she was a classic contralto with a plummy, deep-set sound. Yet she had a full-bodied upper voice and could sing passagework in Handel arias with agility. She sang Mahler and German lieder with impeccable diction.
Ms. Forrester was little known in the United States when she made her New York recital debut at Town Hall in November 1956 with the pianist John Newmark, who became her longtime accompanist. She won rave reviews. ‘Miss Forrester has a superb voice of generous compass and volume’, Edward Downes wrote in THE NEW YORK TIMES. ‘Its color ranges from a darkly resonant chest register to a brilliantly focused top with a middle register that she makes velvet soft or reedy according to her expressive intent’. At the time, the conductor Bruno Walter, who had been a close associate of Mahler’s, was looking for a contralto to sing in a performance and a recording of Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony with the New York Philharmonic. He invited Ms. Forrester, then 27, to sing for him, and hired her. The recording is now considered a classic. Ms. Forrester went on to record Mahler’s DAS LIED VON DER ERDE with Walter and soon became an acknowledged exponent of Mahler. She was best known for her recital work and performances with orchestras, and appeared with many leading conductors, including Eugene Ormandy, Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein.”
- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 17 June, 2010
“Richard Lewis, a tenor who excelled in Handel and who also sang in the first performances of several contemporary operas, [was] one of the first English singers to achieve world fame in concert and opera, [and] made his debuts at both Glyndebourne and Covent Garden in 1947, appearing regularly with both companies until 1979. His debut role at Glyndebourne was the Male Chorus in Britten's RAPE OF LUCRETIA. His other roles there included Tom Rakewell in the first English staging of Stravinsky's RAKE'S PROGRESS, but he was also highly regarded for his performances in works by Monteverdi, Gluck, Mozart and Strauss.
At Covent Garden, his portrayals included Hoffmann, Tamino and Don Jose, but he was particularly prized as a performer of 20th-century music. In 1954, he created the role of Troilus in William Walton's TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, the role in which he made his American debut in 1955 at the San Francisco Opera. Mr. Lewis's other premieres included central roles in Sir Michael Tippett's MIDSUMMER MARRIAGE (1955) and KING PRIAM (1962), both at Covent Garden, where he also sang Aron in the first British performance of Schoenberg's MOSES UND ARON in 1965. He was the tenor soloist in the first performance of Stravinsky's CANTICUM, at the Venice International Festival of Contemporary Music in 1956, and he sang Captain Vere in the American premiere of Britten's BILLY BUDD with the American Opera Society at Carnegie Hall in 1966.
Besides contemporary and standard repertory opera, Mr. Lewis appeared frequently in the United States as a soloist in concert works and oratorios, and he was considered to be particularly expert in Baroque music. He was a member of the New York-based Bach Aria Group in the 1960s. In the Baroque repertory, Handel was his specialty, and his recordings of Handel arias were widely admired. Mr. Lewis' last performance was a concert of Handel arias at the Kennedy Center in 1981.”
- Allan Kozinn, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 14 Nov., 1990DIMITRI MITROPOULOSCond. Boston Symphony Orch.: Zauberflote - Overture (Mozart); Variations on 'I wonder as I wander' (Krenek); Symphony #2 in B-flat (Schubert). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-480, Live Performance, 23 Dec,., 1944, Symphony Hall, Boston. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1549)
"I realized that there was actually a lot of thought insight in what [Krenek] had written....In those days, we called it very modern music, it was 'far out', and people used to tell me they couldn't understand this music; well, I couldn't understand it, actually [when we played it in Minneapolis, 11 Dec., 1942], but when I heard it on that broadcast from Boston [above], I honestly did like it....I could see there were things in there [Variations on 'I wonder as I wander'], that notes were popping out from different parts of the orchestra that I hadn't known existed."
- Rhadames Angelucci, Richard O. Boyer's Profile 'Maestro on a Mountaintop', THE NEW YORKER, 15 April, 1950
"[Mitropoulos]...This wonderful, saintly man had such tremendous energy and fire. He used to ask us for a huge dynamic range, and you can hear that so especially effectively in the performances of Mahler we gave with him. But then he was passionate about everything he conducted, and that included the newest and toughest music, which he tackled with the greatest enthusiasm.”
- Stanley Drucker, CLASSICAL RECORDINGS QUARTERLY, Winter, 2010 . . . REPEATED FROM THE RECENT PAST . . .
, recorded 18 July, 1966, w.Rossi Cond. RAI Ensemble, Torino; Tito Gobbi, Ilva Ligabue, Walter Alberti, Giovanna Fioroni, Lidia Marimpietri, Agostino Lazzari, etc.; FORZA – Excerpts, 7 Dec., 1965, w.Gavazzeni Cond. La Scala Ensemble; Ilva Ligabue, Carlo Bergonzi & Nicolai Ghiaurov. (Slovenia) 2-Myto 061.323 (spine mislabeled 062.323). Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copies! [This is a real 'sleeper' - the best and most idiomatically conducted FALSTAFF you're ever likely to hear! Gobbi is inimitable! If one loves FALSTAFF, no serious collection should be without this fabulous performance!] (OP1138)
“Mario Rossi was an Italian conductor, noted for his solid and meticulous readings of a repertory ranging from Italian classics to Russian moderns such as Prokoffiev, to the German operatic classicist Christoph Willibald Gluck. He studied composition in Rome with Respighi and conducting with Giacomo Setaccioli, graduating in 1925, and soon after graduation he took up the post of assistant conductor to Bernardino Molinari. Appointed resident conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence (1937–46), he made his début on the podium there in 1937 with Mascagni's IRIS. The following year he led the premiere of Gian Francesco Malipiero's opera ANTONIO E CLEOPATRA.
He conducted in all the major opera houses of Italy. As well as establishing himself in the standard Italian repertory, he took part in many revivals of ancient works such as Galuppi's IL FILOSOFO DI CAMPAGNA, Monteverdi's IL RITORNO D'ULISSE IN PATRIA, and Piccinni's LA BUONA FIGLIUOLA.
From 1946 till 1969 he served as chief conductor of the orchestra of the RAI in Turin. He elevated this group to an international level, making guest appearances in Brussels (1950), Vienna, (1951), and Salzburg (1952). Amongst his best performances on record were IL MATRIMONIO SEGRETO, IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, DON PASQUALE, UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, OTELLO and FALSTAFF.
His recordings of Gluck's PARIDE ED ELENA (1968) and of Prokoffiev's ALEXANDER NEVSKY (1954) display Rossi as an unquestionably great conductor whose styles in a 1770 German masterpiece as well as in a 20th-Century Russian masterpiece are remarkable for avoiding any distinctively ‘Italianate’ or otherwise inauthentic stylistic tendencies. In other words, the range of Rossi's musical sympathies was extraordinary. He was certainly one of the least-known of the great orchestral conductors of the 20th Century, one of the very few conductors who sounded authentically Gluckian when performing Gluck, just as much as he sounded authentically Verdian when performing Verdi. Achieving excellence across such a disparate repertory is rare even for great conductors, most of whom are stylistically authentic only in the music of a few periods, or a few nationalities (usually their own). For sheer universality, Rossi had few if any equals.”
- Zillah D. AkronPAUL PARAY
Cond. Detroit S.O.: Escales (Ibert); w.HENRYK SZERYNG: Violin Concerto in E (Bach); Violin Concerto #2 in e (Mendelssohn). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-462, Live Performance, 1 March, 1962. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1545)
“Henryk Szeryng, one of the more elegant representatives of a now fading school of Romantic violin playing, was known for the purity of his playing - exact intonation, well-organized phrasing and a broad, sweet, vibrato-filled tone that nevertheless did not sound oppressive. In the Romantic tradition, Mr. Szeryng applied his long, lyrical style to Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi as well as to Brahms and Tchaikovsky. The various schools of interpretation, in other words, were filtered through the single 19th-century Central European tradition that was his heritage. Among his teachers were Carl Flesch in Berlin and Jacques Thibaud and Nadia Boulanger in Paris.
Mr. Szeryng began his concert career in 1933 and spent World War II as liaison officer to the exiled Polish Premier. His musical life continued its close contact with politics and diplomacy when the Mexican Government invited him in 1943 to teach at the National University in Mexico City. He became a Mexican citizen and later traveled on a diplomatic passport as the country's Culture and Good Will Ambassador. After 10 relatively quiet years of teaching and occasional concerts, Mr. Szeryng met Arthur Rubinstein after a recital in Mexico City. With the help of his fellow pianist and Polish compatriot, Mr. Szerying developed an international career that was still flourishing at his death. While retaining his home and teaching responsibilities in Mexico City, he also kept apartments in Paris and Monte Carlo.
Mr. Szeryng also became a busy recording artist, with a discography of about 250 works. Mr. Szeryng's tastes ran to the standard literature. He was especially fond of Paganini, yet 20th-century composers like Carlos Chavez, Benjamin Lees and Michael Ponce wrote music for him. Mr. Szeryng also liked to play music by the contemporary Polish composer Karol Szymanowski. He exercised his diplomatic responsibilities in part by championing the music of Mexican composers, and he expressed his belief in the humanistic powers of music as an adviser to Unesco. He was also said to donate large portions of his income to charities. From Mr. Szeryng's collection of violins, 12 have been given away since 1975 - one a Stradivarius presented to the city of Jerusalem, another a gift to the young violinist Shlomo Mintz. Mr. Szeryng retained for himself the 1743 Guarnerius named ‘Le Duc’."
- Bernard Holland, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 4 March, 1988ARTUR RODZINSKI Cond. NYPO: La Sultane (Couperin-Milhaud); Symphony in C (Bizet); w. ROBERT CASADESUS: Piano Concerto #4 in c (Saint-Saens); [all preceded by Francis Scott Keyes' 'The Star Spangled Banner', as was the custom during the War Years]. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-575, Live Performance, 29 Oct., 1944, Carnegie Hall. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1546)
“Robert Casadesus was the quintessential French musician, a passionate perfectionist who carried the Gallic virtues of precision, clarity, and elegance into the mid-twentieth century as an embodiment of the living spirit of classicism - precision animated by passion, clarity attained through sensuous scintillance, and elegance as the expression of the most lucidly aware animation. Born in Paris to a distinguished family of musicians - his father and three uncles enjoyed careers as performers and composers - Robert took first prize for piano at the Paris Conservatoire at age 14. Studies with Louis Diémer - early enthusiast of the French clavicenistes, premiere soloist and dedicatée of Franck's ‘Variations symphoniques for piano and orchestra’ - graced Casadesus with the mantle of the inheritor. In 1921 he married fellow Diémer pupil Gabrielle (Gaby) L'Hôte. The following year he earned Ravel's friendship with his performance of ‘Gaspard de la nuit’, which led to European tours with the composer and legendary soprano Madeleine Grey. ‘You are a composer’, Ravel wrote, ‘because you have the courage to play 'Gibet' as I imagined it, that is, as a slow piece...And virtuoso pianists do not want to play it like that. They double the tempo and make it much faster. That is why I think you are a composer’. Indeed, Casadesus' catalogue eventually embraced some 68 works, including seven symphonies, concerti for two and three pianos and orchestra, 27 chamber works, and 20 works for piano. It is music for connoisseurs, music of formal concision not devoid of passionate expression, but highly wrought, suggestive, and understated in, typically, lyrically attenuated slow movements, tender and strange, and conclusions of fastidious tumult. It is the antithesis of Mahler's confessional expansiveness, while Stravinsky's neo-Classical manner seems gimmicky and carnivalesque by comparison. Casadesus was a distinguished teacher, beginning his career as Professor of Piano at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau in 1921, and replacing Isidor Philipp as its head in 1935. But it is primarily as a touring pianist and recording artist that Casadesus is remembered, appearing throughout Europe and the United States over 2,000 times in a career spanning half a century, often in duo-piano recitals with his wife. His authoritative, exhilarating recordings of the Mozart piano concerti with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, the Beethoven violin sonatas and the Franck Sonata with Zino Francescatti, Franck's ‘Variations symphoniques’ and d'Indy's ‘Symphonie cévenole’ (Symphonie sur un chant montagnard français) with Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the piano works of Ravel - to name but the most prominent - are among the very greatest.”
- Adrian Corleonis, allmusic.com
CHARLES MUNCH Cond. Boston S.O., w.ELEANOR STEBER, MARTIAL SINGHER, JOHN MCCOLLUM & DAVID LAURENT: LA DAMNATION DE FAUST (Berlioz). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-458, , Live Performance, 14 Aug., 1960, Tanglewood Music Festival. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1535)
PELLEAS ET MELISANDE, Live Performance, 16 Oct., 2003, w.Bernard Haitink Cond. Boston Symphony Orch.; Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Simon Keenlyside, Gerald Finley, Nathalie Stutzmann, John Tomlinson, etc. (Canada) 3-St Laurent Studio YSL T-521, brilliantly recorded in Symphony Hall. [This luminous live performance beautifully displays the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic.] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. [After last week’s overwhelming demand, this is back in stock!] (OP3228)
"With the exquisite mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson singing MELISANDE, and the renowned Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink at the podium, this Debussy opera brought out the best in the Boston Symphony's [performance under Bernard Haitink]. While Mr. Haitink drew radiant Impressionistic colorings from the orchestra, steeped by long tradition in the refined French sound, he also plumbed the score for its weighty, Wagnerian resonances. The performance had an eerily calm tension, a quality essential to this story of buried yearnings and guarded secrets in a vaguely medieval setting, with a libretto adapted from the play by the Belgian symbolist author Maurice Maeterlinck.
The wistful beauty and wondrous nuances of Ms. Hunt Lieberson's singing were ideal for the mysterious Melisande, whom the widower prince, Golaud, discovers lost in the forest outside his castle, weeping, fearful and utterly evasive. What she is running from we never learn. Taking refuge in the older Golaud's love, she joylessly marries him, only to find her emotional barricade threatened by Golaud's handsome young half-brother, Pelleas. Every phrase Melisande sings must shimmer with ambiguity, and Ms. Hunt Lieberson hauntingly conveyed this quality. When she forlornly told the suspicious Golaud that she thought that the sullen Pelleas did not like her, you understood the uneasy truth lurking beneath her self-deception.
The role of Pelleas falls awkwardly on the divide between the tenor and baritone ranges. This performance offered the appealing British baritone Simon Keenlyside as Pelleas, and in certain high-lying passages his voice seemed hard-pressed. But his warm and plaintive sound affectingly suited the role. In the scene in which Pelleas smothers his face in Melisande's long tresses, which she lets fall from the window of her tower bedroom, Mr. Keenlyside's quivering intensity, Ms. Hunt Lieberson's veiled longing and the suppressed stirrings of the orchestra under Mr. Haitink made this music seem more dangerous than ever.
Though the baritone Gerald Finley's voice was rather light for the brooding Golaud, he compensated with dark and volatile singing. The bass John Tomlinson brought earthy, Wagnerian power to his portrayal of the aging king, Arkel. Also fine were the dusky-toned contralto Nathalie Stutzmann as Genevieve, the mother of Pelleas and Golaud; the sweet-voiced boy soprano James Danner as Yniold, Golaud's timorous son by his first wife; and the bass-baritone Alfred Walker in two minor roles."
- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 22 Oct., 2003ISTVAN KERTESZ Cond. Cleveland Orch., w.Birgit Finnila & Simone Mangelsdorff: 'Resurrection' Symphony #2 in c (Mahler). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-451, Live Performance, 31 Oct., 1968 (both Severance Hall). Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1537)
“To my knowledge this is the first Mahler symphony conducted by the great Hungarian Istvan Kertesz to appear on disc. Kertesz who died while swimming off the coast of Israel in 1973 at the age of 43, had already developed into one of the most admired conductors of his generation. The Cleveland Orchestra had a strong relationship with him; the musicians even petitioned the board to engage Kertesz to replace George Szell after Szell died. (I base this on personal reports that the attempt was made but did not succeed.) I can report from first-hand experience, having managed the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, that the musicians who knew Kertesz from his time as principal conductor at Ravinia adored him.
This live Mahler Second from 1968 is an extremely interesting and somewhat unusual performance. Despite tempos that are generally on the quick side, never does the music sound rushed. I have 45 recordings of this symphony in my collection (sadly, I do know what that says about my addictive personality), only five of which are shorter than Kertesz’s timing of 78:12. (The timing in the headnote adds 10 seconds of ovation at the end). The norm would appear to be around 84-86 minutes. This is definitely not a performance that emphasizes the angst in Mahler’s music in the manner of Bernstein, nor does it have the gravitas of a Klemperer (whose recorded performances range from 73:30 to 79:20!). Kertesz emphasizes the lyrical elements of the music, reminding us that songs were at the core of Mahler’s writing. Kertesz trades ferocity for warmth, providing supple phrasing and the kind of flexibility that keeps the performance alive, never becoming stiff or too driven. The Cleveland Orchestra plays gorgeously for him, displaying a warmth of string sound that is not what they are normally known for.
You might get the impression from what I have written that the performance is too light, or lacks the intensity that Mahler requires, but that is not the case. Because of the way Kertesz gets the musicians to dig in (and remember, 1968 was still fairly early in the Mahler boom, so this was not music in the musicians’ fingers), along with his careful judging of tempo and dynamic relationships, this performance be called lightweight. In some ways it reminds me of Kubelik’s Mahler. There is an urgency to the playing, a palpable sense of excitement, of being present at an event (as early Mahler performances were considered), that keeps the momentum going without letup. Kertesz also has a very strong sense of architecture, of where the music is going, and he avoids giving too much too soon. As a result, the apocalyptic climax of the finale is overwhelming.
Swedish contralto Birgit Finnila sings ‘Urlicht’ beautifully, and German soprano Simone Mangelsdorff floats ethereally in the finale, though occasionally starting under pitch and sliding up. Still, she sounds lovely, and I wondered why I was not familiar with her name, before learning that Mangelsdorff died in 1973 at the age of 42. There is a very strong sense of concentration in the choral singing, too.
The result is a performance that combines beauty and drama in a blend that is ultimately quite powerful. The St. Laurent Studio sound is a very accurate representation of the fine Cleveland Orchestra FM-stereo broadcasts at that time. As usual from this label, there are no notes accompanying the disc, just basic track and performance information. Those of us who have admired Kertesz’s Brahms, Dvorak, and Bartok recordings now have something new to rejoice in.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFARENICANOR ZABALETA: Solo Harp Recital, incl. C.P.E. Bach, J.S.Bach, Mateo Albeniz, Isaac Albeniz, Krumpholtz, Hindemith, Halffter & Granados, Live Performance, 21 Oct., 1970, Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-449. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0707)
“Nicanor Zabaleta resolves the enigmas of the harp as few others do, which may explain why almost half a houseful of listeners fought their way through Thursday's snowstorm to hear the 80-year old Spaniard play at Alice Tully Hall. The harp's rainbow of overtones both expands and limits it as a solo instrument, creating great washes of resonance that color the music but at the same time cloud its melodic progress. Mr. Zabaleta's most impressive feats were in the four movements of a Bach suite (taken from the violin Partita in E) where the echoes were deftly subdued and Bach's contrapuntal networks emerged with great clarity.”
- Bernard Holland, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 25 Jan., 1987DAVID OISTRAKH, w. Claudio Abbado Cond. Vienna S.O.: Violin Concerto in D (Brahms), Live Performance, 11 June, 1972, Musikverein; w. Laszlo Somogyi Cond. Hungarian Radio S.O..: Violin Concerto #2 in e (Mendelssohn), Live Performance, 19 Feb., 1949. [An outstanding, powerful performance of the Brahms Concerto, one of the most beautiful you'll ever hear; the Mendelssohn Concerto, while also beautiful, is in somewhat inferior 1949 Hungarian b'cast sound.] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-508. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0709)
ERNEST ANSERMET Cond. Boston S.O.: Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune (Debussy); Pictures at an Exhibition (Mussorgsky), Live Performance, 1 Dec., 1961, Symphony Hall, Boston - [magnificently displaying the brilliance of the Symphony Hall acoustic!]; ERNEST ANSERMET Cond. NHK Phil.: La Mer (Debussy), Live Performance, 21 May, 1964, Tokyo. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-487. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-483. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1542)
LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. NYPO: Concerto Grosso for three trombones, tuba & orchestra (Dubensky); 'The Clock' Symphony #101 in D (Haydn); w.PIERRE FOURNIER: Cello Concerto in a (Schumann). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-573, Live Performances, 3 Nov., 1949, Carnegie Hall. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1543)
LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. RAI Orch., Torino: Latin-American Symphonette (Morton Gould), Italian Premiere, 6 May, 1955; LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. Hollywood Bowl S.O., w.James Abato: Saxophone Concerto (Paul Creston), West Coast Premiere, 26 Aug., 1955, with broadcast commentary; LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. New York City Symphony Orch., w.Tommy Dorsey: Trombone Concerto (Nathaniel Shilkret), World Premiere, 15 Feb., 1945, New York City Center - Young Peoples' Concert, featuring Stokowski's delightful spoken introduction of Tommy Dorsey (then twice chiding the vociferous teen-age crowd - 'You must be quiet, or the concert ends NOW - you must be quiet!'), plus broadcast commentary. (England) Guild 2424. Very long unavailable, we're pleased to be able to offer once again! (C1418)
ERICH LEINSDORF Cond. Boston Symphony Orch.: Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme - Orchestral Suite (Strauss); Le Coq d'Or - Suite (Rimsky-Korsakov). [Beautifully displaying the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic.] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-454, Live Performances, 12 Jan., 1964, Symphony Hall, Boston. [A real jewel from YSL featuring Leinsdorf's irrepressible Strauss rendition! Both Strauss and Rimsky-Korsakov here present Leinsdorf at his best.] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1541)
BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Süddeutsche Rundfunks S.O.: Magnificat Quarti Toni (Desprez-Maderna); Variations on ‘Vom Himmel Hoch’ (Bach-Stravinsky); In ecclesiis (Gabrielli-Maderna); w.Hedy Graf, Hildegard Laurich, Adalbert Kraus & Michael Schopper: Magnificat in D (Bach). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-472, Live Performance, 28 Oct., 1971. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1544)
PIERRETTE ALARIE, w.John Newmark (Pf.): Songs by Haydn, Papineau-Couture & Strauss - Live Performance, 1967, Montreal; PIERRETTE ALARIE, w.Pierre Jamet Quintet: Psyche (de Falla), recorded 1956, Paris; PIERRETTE ALARIE, w.Andre Jouve Cond.: Arias from Nozze, Entfuhrung, Zauberflote, Il Re Pastore & Popoli di Tessaglia! - Io non chiedo, eterni Dei (all Mozart), recorded 1955, Paris. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 33-514, from Private Collection of Denis Alarie. [Another jewel of a recital, the aria from Popoli di Tessaglia must be heard to be believed - it is truly phenomenal and seldom sung for obvious reasons!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (V2537)
JOHN NEWMARK, Vol. IV: Casella & Mendelssohn; w.TORONTO WOODWIND QUINTET: Petite suite maritime - 3 Excerpts (Dela), Suite for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn & Piano (Papineau-Couture) & Quintet in E-flat, K.452 (Mozart). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 33-438, Live Performance, 1967, CBC EXPO. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1265)
AIDA (Act II, Scene 2; Act III; Act IV - Scene 1), Live Performances, 1936, w. Bellezza Cond. Royal Opera House Ensemble; Elisabeth Rethberg, Gertrud Wettergren, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, Ezio Pinza, John Brownlee & Robert Easton; LA FORZA DEL DESTINO & AIDA, Extensive Scenes, 1927-30, from renowned Victor, Vitaphone, NBC, WJR-NYC & Met Opera recordings, w. Rosa Ponselle, Giovanni Martinelli, Ezio Pinza, Giuseppe de Luca, Bruna Castagna, Salvatore Baccaloni, etc. (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1071, accompanied by Elaborate 38pp. Booklet, with photos & notes by Henry Fogel & Richard Caniell. Transfers by Richard Caniell. (OP3227)
“AIDA is represented by two casts. The close of the first CD, chiefly dedicated to FORZA, includes AIDA excerpts with Pinza, Martinelli, and Ponselle. Again, 1920s studio recordings are most prominent. But the excerpts begin with the initial Ramfis-Radamès exchange from a 1937 Met broadcast, followed by Martinelli’s marvelously-sung ‘Celeste Aida’, the latter taken from a 1930 Vitaphone, receiving its first CD release. Ponselle’s magnificent 1926 ‘Ritorna vincitor!’ is well known, as is the 1927 Temple Scene with Pinza and Martinelli. The Heritage Series release includes both 78-rpm sides of the Temple Scene, the first including the contribution of the Priestess, sung by Grace Anthony. It’s the first time I’ve heard that portion of this legendary recording, and it is a most welcome addition. Again, the remasterings are first-rate.
The second CD is devoted to an AIDA cast including soprano Elisabeth Rethberg and tenor Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, along with De Luca and Pinza. Here, in-performance recordings play a far more prominent role. First is a 1937 NBC radio broadcast, in wonderful sound, of Aida’s ‘Ritorna vincitor!’ sung by Rethberg with a remarkable blend of elegance and passion. The Act II Triumphal Scene, performed in its entirety, is from 1936 Covent Garden productions. Baritone John Brownlee is a vibrant and intense Amonasro, and it’s wonderful to hear Rethberg and Lauri-Volpi immerse themselves completely into the music and drama. Lauri-Volpi joins Rethberg for a blazing high C before the scene’s final portion (not part of the tenor’s music in Verdi’s score, but I will hardly complain). Act III (Nile Scene) comprises the following: (1) opening (March 2, 1940 Met broadcast); ‘O patria mia’ (1927 Berlin studio recording); (3) the remainder of the Act (involving Aida, Amonasro, and Radamès) assembled from classic 1929 and 1930 studio recordings. The latter is one of the great versions of this music, with all of the artists at their artistic and vocal peaks. The Act IV confrontation between Amneris (Gertrud Wettergren) and Radamès (Lauri-Volpi) is part of the May 15, 1936 Covent Garden performance. Once again, Lauri-Volpi throws himself into the music and drama with an almost frightening intensity. Lauri-Volpi made many studio recordings in his prime, but in-performance documents from the same period are indeed rare. It’s clear that an audience brought out the best and most intense singing from Lauri-Volpi, and I am most grateful for the opportunity to hear him in that environment….
It’s important, I think, to acknowledge Richard Caniell’s superb achievement in selecting and mastering the various sources to create a listening experience both seamless and highly musical. No doubt the labor and care necessary to achieve this result were painstaking and intense, and therefore all the more deserving of my gratitude. The accompanying booklet includes Henry Fogel’s insightful and affectionate tribute to the artists, the recordings, and their significance in opera’s grand tradition. There are also plot synopses, artist bios, and Richard Caniell’s recording notes. If you don’t already own the studio recordings included on this Heritage Series release, they should be a part of your collection. And even if you already do have them, the wonderful restorations, coupled with the many in-performance treasures, make this Heritage Series LA FORZA / AIDA retrospective a very attractive proposition. I had a marvelous time listening to this set, and will return to it often, with great pleasure. I also very much look forward to future releases in this series.”
- Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, March/April, 2017BABY BUNTING (Nat D. Ayer & Clifford Grey), recorded 1919, w.Jacques Greebe Cond. Shaftsbury Theatre Ensemble; Ronald Squire, William Catlett, Dorothy Brunton, Frank Attree, Daisy Elliston, Joyce Barbour, Davy Burnaby, The Gleesome Singers, etc. (England) Palaeophonics 147, w.Elaborate 'The Play' 20pp. Brochure replete with numerous photos of the Shaftsbury Theatre 1919 production & biographies. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm English Columbia rarities. [‘Modern equipment and an aptitude for perfection have helped Dominic Combe ‘clean up’ old 78 and cylinder records to deliver a sound quality that can be stunning. The booklets are produced with as much care by using original theatre programmes or magazines such as PLAY PICTORIAL and MUSIC FOR ALL so that the listener can get a good idea of how the show looked as well as to see the unique art work used to advertise the show back then. Dominic has issued over fifty of these gems and still has titles either being completed or awaiting to be started on. The label is called PALAEOPHONICS’. - OVERTURES: The Bunnet-Muir Musical Theatre Archive Trust, 10 July, 2017] (PE0285)
PICKWICK (Burnand & Solomon), w. Stephen Higgins Cond. Simon Butteriss, Gaynor Keeble, Toby Stafford & Alessandro MacKinnon; CUPS AND SAUCERS (George Grossmith), w. Stephen Higgins Cond. Simon Butteriss & Gaynor Keeble. (England) Retrospect Opera RO 002, recorded 2016, London, [First Recordings], w.36pp booklet, full libretto, and essays by David Chandler, Kurt Gänzl & Simon Butteriss, in gatefold jacket. (OP3229)
“‘Burnand and Solomon’ doesn’t trip off the tongue quite as mellifluously or as automatically as Gilbert and Sullivan but this disc tells a tale of their collaboration on PICKWICK, a Dramatic Cantata – as was TRIAL BY JURY – that premiered in 1889. Francis Burnand (1836-1917), a habitual employer of the pun, was editor of PUNCH and had collaborated with Sullivan on COX AND BOX and THE CONTRABANDISTA. He had long theatrical experience and doubtless saw working with Solomon as an opportunity to extend the fame he had won as librettist.
PICKWICK was one in a line of Dickens-inspired musical works. It is largely all-sung and has a relatively smaller quotient of spoken dialogue than Burnand’s other operettas. The original orchestral score is lost but a Boosey piano version was published. There were two editions and of these the first edition, faithful to the original production (the second edition was apparently simplified and reordered) has been followed.
The disc is stylishly presented in a gatefold with a most attractive and informative booklet containing full texts. It’s a pleasure to see so barely known a work as PICKWICK promoted with such care and joie de vivre.”
- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWebInternational
----------------------------------------- . . . numerous out-of-print CDs and LPs, [many sealed
copies of numerous out-of-print additions: The Record
Collector, Naxos, VRCS, Issues of Symposium's Harold
Wayne series, Romophone, GOP & many Met Opera
broadcasts & operas from Moscow's Aquarius, plus
Operas by Mercadante, Marais, Coccia, Vivaldi,
Cherubini, Spontini, Ricci, Vaccaj, Fioravanti,
Paisiello, Scarlatti, de Majo, Generali, Cavalli,
Rameau, Lully, Pergolesi, Cimarosa, Anfossi, Pietri,
Musinelli, Rossini, Charpentier, Gluck, Handel,
Vivaldi, Monteverdi, Rossini, Cagnoni, Myslivecek,
Mayr, Hasse, Meyerbeer, Weckerlin, Nicolai,
Marschner, Gurlitt, Schreker, etc.] have been added
throughout our listings, in appropriate categories . . .
out-of-print books [many biographies,
Record Catalogue- Discographies . . .
and more CDs and books are added each week] . . .
---------------------------------------------------SMARTER THAN ALL THREE OF US ! ! !
Thanking so many of our readers who continue to note that our once-regular use of accent marks is becoming rather erratic. Due to the ever-growing popular use of ‘Smart’ Phones, Google automatically and frequently is restricting such marks, as well as that which we consider regular punctuation. In compliance with Google’s restrictive demands, as well as the fact that such complicated listings will require too long a period during which to download, or may not succeed in downloading at all, most of our newer listings are deleting such marks, much to our sense of loss. While our older listings so far retain such marks, we are informed that it won’t be long before they too automatically will be amended. We certainly take pride in our presentation, but are being compelled to adapt to another loss of style in these fast-paced times! We very sincerely appreciate so many of your valued comments and commiseration!!!------------------------------------------------- Our 50% Discount Sale continues,
now offering more than 1700 titles . . .
Please Also Note:
We have recently acquired a splendid selection of Japanese OPUS KURA CD
s, all offered at our regular 50% discount . . . located at the beginning our SALE Section.
- - - - - - - 78rpm collectors, please note auctions from:
Dave Schmutz, www.78classicalgallery.com
- or at: 818-242-6247
------------------ ANNOUNCEMENT -----------------
Norbeck, Peters & Ford's Annual 78rpm Has Now Closed!
This auction featured an entire section of which is dedicated to 7" discs, plus many wonderful instrumental and vocal rarities, many of which we're offering for the first time in our 45 years of operation.
You can still view the online version simply click the link below:Auction #148 Online Catalog
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For the recently-offered Archipel, Myto, Gebhardt, Walhall, Melodiya, Vista Vera & Living Stage titles on sale, simply visit our sale section of our website
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where you will see a vast array of excellent, used out-of-print books. You're sure to find many books of interest which may have long eluded you, so now is your opportunity to fill in missing gaps. Our online bookshop includes composer and performer autobiographies and biographies. Soon we will include musical criticism, theory and history, plus histories of symphony orchestras, opera houses and festivals. In addition, we shall offer quite an array of vocal scores, many of which are most rare and unusual.
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OP3225. COSÌ FAN TUTTE, Live Performance, 27 Jan., 1956, Piccolo Scala, w.Guido Cantelli, Cond.Piccolo Scala Ensemble; Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Nan Merriman, Graziella Sciutti, Luigi Alva, Rolando Panerai & Franco Calabrese. (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1083, accompanied by Elaborate Booklet with photos & notes by Henry Fogel, B. H. Haggin & Richard Caniell. Transfers by Richard Caniell. - 019962528613
V2538. MAUREEN FORRESTER & RICHARD LEWIS, w.Szell Cond. Cleveland Orch.: Das Lied von der Erde (Mahler). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-498, Live Performance, 21 April, 1967, Severance Hall. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
C1549. DIMITRI MITROPOULOS Cond. Boston Symphony Orch.: Zauberflote - Overture (Mozart); Variations on 'I wonder as I wander' (Krenek); Symphony #2 in B-flat (Schubert). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-480, Live Performance, 23 Dec,., 1944, Symphony Hall, Boston. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
OP1138. FALSTAFF, recorded 18 July, 1966, w.Rossi Cond. RAI Ensemble, Torino; Tito Gobbi, Ilva Ligabue, Walter Alberti, Giovanna Fioroni, Lidia Marimpietri, Agostino Lazzari, etc.; FORZA – Excerpts, 7 Dec., 1965, w.Gavazzeni Cond. La Scala Ensemble; Ilva Ligabue, Carlo Bergonzi & Nicolai Ghiaurov. (Slovenia) 2-Myto 061.323 (spine mislabeled 062.323). Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copies! [This is a real 'sleeper' - the best and most idiomatically conducted FALSTAFF you're ever likely to hear! Gobbi is inimitable! If one loves FALSTAFF, no serious collection should be without this fabulous performance!] - 608974503239
Regular price: $29.90
Sale price: $14.95
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. I (Bruckner 8th - Boston) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-332)
Pelleas et Melisande (Haitink - Boston; Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Keenlyside, Finley) (3-St Laurent Studio YSL T-521)
Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2016 Issue (VRCS-2016)
Ariadne auf Naxos (Scherman; Eileen Farrell, Mattiwilda Dobbs, Jon Crain) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-517)
La Fanciulla del West (Behr; Steber, Corelli / Bardini, Colzani) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-519)
William Steinberg, Vol. V; Tristan und Isolde (Eileen Farrell, James King, Nell Rankin) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-544)
Eleanor Steber (Marcia Sloat) (9780963417404)
Arturo Toscanini; Michel Piastro, Alfred Wallenstein (Brahms) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1077)
Aida / Forza (Bellezza; Rethberg, Ponselle, Martinelli, Pinza, de Luca) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1071)
Le Trille un Art Perdu (The Lost Art of the Trill) (Malibran AMR 123)
Lotte Lehmann: The Complete Acoustic Recordings, 1914-26 (4-Marston 54006)
Arturo Toscanini; Rethberg, Schorr; Horowitz (Brahms) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1068)
The 1902 London 'Reds' (2-Truesound Transfers 4002)
Artur Rodzinski, Vol. XXXVI; Arthur Rubinstein (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-404)
Erich Leinsdorf, Vol. V; Gina Bachauer; Beverly Sills (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-412)
Margarethe Siems; Aranyi, Forstel, etc. (2-Truesound Transfers 4001)
William Kapell - 3 First Releases; Rodzinski, Richard Burgin, Ormandy (JSP684)
Ivan Kozlovsky - Beethoven, Schubert & Liszt (Aquarius AQVR 395)
Medea (Gui) / Lucia di Lammermoor (Cleva) - TWO Maria Callas Performances (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1076)
Meistersinger (Toscanini; Noort, Nissen, Alsen, Reining, Thorborg, Wiedemann) (5-Immortal Performances IPCD 1069)
Norma (Panizza; Cigna, Castagna, Martinelli, Pinza, Votipka) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1063)
Marian Anderson - Copenhagen & Lincoln Memorial Recitals (JSP 683)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. III (St Laurent Studio YSL T-543)
Otello (1940 Performance) (Panizza; Martinelli, Rethberg, Tibbett) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1070)
Eugen Onegin (Khaikin; Alekseyev, Kozlovsky, Kashevarova, Preobrazhenskaya, Konstantinov) (2-Aquarius AQVR 398)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. II (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-542)
Zara Dolukhanova; Nina Svetlanova (St Laurent Studio YSL T-421)
Andrea Chenier (Cleva; Richard Tucker, Zinka Milanov, Anselmo Colzani) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-434)
Bric-a-Brac (Millar, Jeffries, Gerard, Johnson) (Palaeophonics 123)
William Kapell - Broadcasts, Concert Performances (3-Marston 53021)
Charles Munch, Vol. XVII; Damnation de Faust (Steber, Singher, McCollum) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-458)
Melanie Kurt; Matzenauer, Metzger, Urlus, Jorn, Kraus, Feinhals, Knupfer & Schorr (2-Truesound Transfers 4005)
Adolf Wallnofer & Hermann Winkelmann (2-Truesound Transfers 4004)
Jussi Bjorling; Bertil Bokstedt - Copenhagen Recital (JSP 682)
George Szell, Vol. IV (St Laurent Studio YSL T-405)
Simon Boccanegra (Cleva; Cornell MacNeil, Zinka Milanov, Giorgio Tozzi, Barry Morell) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-442)
Ignacy Jan Paderewski - Complete Victor Recordings (5-APR 7505)
Carmen (Paray; Jean Madeira, Brian Sullivan, Marjorie Gordon & Donald Gramm) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-396)
K.K. Hofoper Wien, 1904 Recordings - Hesch, Weidemann, Kittel, Elizza, Pacal, Slezak, etc. (2-Truesound Transfers 4003)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. IV (Bruckner 7th - Boston) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-570)
Maria Jeritza (Malibran AMR 133)
Erich Leinsdorf, Vol. VI; Sills, Wolff, Domingo, Berberian) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-453)
Pierre Boulez, Vol. VIII; Bluebeard's Castle, w. Tatiana Troyanos; Zoltan Kelemen (St Laurent Studio YSL T-385)
L'Elisir d'Amore (Weikert; Upshaw, Cole, Taddei) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-516)
Verdi Requiem - Toscanini; Milanov, Bjorling, Castagna, Moscona (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1073)
The Unknown Fernando De Lucia - Phonotype Recordings, 1917-21 (The Record Collector TRC 44)
Alexis Weissenberg, Vol. V; Kondrashin, Rowicki (St Laurent Studio YSL T-485)
The Boy (William H. Berry, Peter Gawthorne & Nellie Taylor) (Palaeophonics 141)
Judith Raskin, Vol. I, w.George Schick (Pf.) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-444)