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ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. NBC S.O. & Westminster Chorale: TE DEUM; w.Zinka Milanov, Bruna Castagna, Jussi Björling & Nicola Moscona: MANZONI REQUIEM (both Verdi). (Canada) 2–Immortal Performances 1073, Live Performance, 23 Nov., 1940, Carnegie Hall, with commentary by Gene Hamilton; Toscanini Memorial Tributes and Reminiscences, incl. Announcer Ben Grauer reading RCA’s David Sarnoff’s reflections on Toscanini’s death; Soprano Lotte Lehmann recalling her collaborations with Toscanini; Recollections by Toscanini photographer Robert Hupka; 'The Impact of Toscanini', a 1963 WQXR program with Martin Bookspan, and music critic and NBC Music Executive Samuel Chotzinoff. Transfers by Richard Caniell. (C1463)
Toscanini - Milanov 1940 Carnegie Hall
VERDI REQUIEM . . .
and several more
celebrated performances of the
VERDI REQUIEM . . .
and our 50% SALE Continues
“This famous performance of Verdi’s great ‘Manzoni’ Requiem, often reviewed in these pages, along with others of the conductor’s performances, is offered here in a remastering which, I feel confident in saying, surpasses any other I have heard, and is unlikely to be surpassed or even equaled any time soon. In preparation of this review…I also investigated the responses and wisdom of several of the numerous FANFARE commentators regarding earlier issues of this performance, and also other Toscanini REQUIEMS, which we are fortunate to have available to us. Indeed, the present issue actually brings a closing of the circle of releases on the part of restorer Richard Caniell: Immortal Performances has previously issued the 4 March, 1938 NBC Symphony broadcast of the REQUIEM and TE DEUM, and also the somewhat more famous BBC performance of 27 May, 1938 which at least one of our former writers has enshrined in the Hall of Fame and is a personal favorite of mine. We can now add this 1940 performance to those.
My first hearing of this new mastering was little short of hair-raising….this Immortal Performances release, part of a major devoir to the conductor on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his birth, quite supersedes [all previous issues].
In what way is this superior, may you ask? To my ear, clarity, honesty of timbre, and sheer sonic impact. While Milanov and Björling sound like themselves in the various issues I have heard, Castagna and Moscona are vocally reborn in the new release. The Westminster Choir also can be heard more clearly and in better balance with the orchestra. The aural image of the chorus particularly affects the TE DEUM, which on these discs properly opens the program (as it did in Carnegie Hall).
To my taste, this is THE great Toscanini performance of the TE DEUM….the sonic resuscitation here is arresting, and we can hear the conductor at the height of his powers, balancing tension and repose in this lovely piece.
As ever with Immortal Performances, the text and graphics accompanying the discs are of top quality - attractive in layout and informative in content. Further, the performance of the REQUIEM is followed by various spoken offerings, including a fascinating discussion with audiologist and amateur photographer Robert Hupka who, as an NBC employee in the 1940s, had the opportunity to take many candid photographs of Toscanini in action. Here, however, he discusses sonics.
These are the finest remasterings I have heard of two works comprising one of the 20th century’s most notable concert performances - a great conductor, orchestra, chorus, and soloists operating at or near their very peak, in music which this conductor was born to conduct and these soloists born to sing.”
- James Forrest, FANFARE, Nov./Dec., 2016
“For many…a 23 November, 1940 Carnegie Hall broadcast with the Westminster Choir and NBC Symphony Orchestra is a far more compelling document of Toscanini’s way with one of Verdi’s towering masterpieces. The most noticeable differences are the 1940 performance’s far more expansive tempos. But there is also a remarkable flexibility of phrasing that gives the music an extraordinary vibrancy, beauty, and dramatic momentum. The all-star vocal quartet (Zinka Milanov, Bruna Castagna, Jussi Björling, Nicola Moscona) rises to the occasion.
In my [earlier] review I suggested that, perhaps, the 1938 BBC performance, with even broader tempos and greater application of rubato than the 1940 counterpart is, in its own way, more impressive. Further, the Immortal Performances remastering of the 1938 REQUIEM represents a considerable sonic improvement over the previous, and highly admirable, 2004 release on the Testament label (SBT2 1362). But when comparing the 1938 and 1940 performances, we are talking about gradations of rarefied greatness, both in terms of Toscanini’s interpretation and the musicians’ realization of it. I believe that both the 1938 and 1940 concerts are essential listening, and deserve to be heard in the best sound possible. In the case of the 1938 BBC broadcast, the Immortal Performances release is the one to own.
The Immortal Performances release also includes additional features not found on the M&A issues. While the M&A releases have one track each for the ‘Dies irae’, ‘Offertorio’, and ‘Libera me’ sections of the REQUIEM, Immortal Performances assigns a track to each sub-section (especially appreciated when attempting to play and replay Jussi Björling’s glorious ‘Ingemisco’!). Portions of announcer Gene Hamilton’s broadcast commentary precede and follow both the TE DEUM and REQUIEM. As an appendix, the second disc also includes numerous spoken tributes: A eulogy by music critic Howard Taubman; Announcer Ben Grauer reads RCA’s David Sarnoff’s reflections on Toscanini’s death; Soprano Lotte Lehmann recalls her collaborations with Toscanini; Recollections by Toscanini photographer Robert Hupka; ‘The Impact of Toscanini’, a 1963 WQXR program with Martin Bookspan, and music critic and NBC Music Executive Samuel Chotzinoff.
My favorite among these is Lehmann’s tribute, overflowing with the German soprano’s characteristic warmth, humanity, and humility. Also included are essays by Robert Matthew-Walker, Richard Caniell and Olin Downes, as well as artist bios, and a brief appreciation of Toscanini by Lawrence Gilman….if you are acquiring this legendary concert for the first time, the new Immortal Performances release is a strong first choice. I am delighted to have the Immortal Performances set, and will use it as my reference for this overwhelming performance.”
- Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, Nov./Dec., 2016
"...the performance's salient virtues [include] Jussi Björling's full yet conversational, effortless 'Ingemisco' (superior to his singing 20 years later in Fritz Reiner's commercial recording) [and] Zinka Milanov proclaim[ing] the opening of the 'Libera me' recitative-like phrases with such presence and authority….No Verdi lover or Toscanini buff should go through life without hearing this very special REQUIEM.”
- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.comARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. NBC S.O. & New York Schola Cantorum, w.Zinka Milanov, Bruna Castagna, Charles Kullman & Nicola Moscona: MANZONI REQUIEM (Verdi), Live Performance, 4 March, 1938; Toscanini Cond. NBC S.O. & Westminster Choir; w.Vivian della Chiesa, Jan Peerce & Nicola Moscona: All-Verdi Concert, Live Performance, 31 Jan., 1943. (Canada) 2–Immortal Performances 1009. Transfers by Richard Caniell. (C0961)
“The 1938 REQUIEM is Toscanini’s first NBC performance of the work, recorded under notoriously problematic conditions, via telephone lines from Carnegie Hall to NBC’s studios. Previous releases have been fatally plagued by phone-line interference, ruinously high noise levels, and chronic pitch instability. Richard Caniell’s new restoration uses a far superior source from the collection of Richard Gardner, Toscanini’s favorite recording engineer from his RCA days….[This] 1938 performance has a special keenness, edge, and freshness that set it apart from the sometimes slightly more polished later NBC versions of 1940, 1948, and 1951…. On a general level, the interpretation as a whole has all the features familiar from Toscanini’s other versions….As for the solo quartet, Milanov’s performance is the freshest-voiced of her three versions with Toscanini in 1938 (NBC and BBC) and 1940 (NBC), in suppleness, concentration of line, and dramatic responsiveness….Her dynamic control is breathtaking. Castagna sings with superb technical command…and concentrated richness of tone in her low register. The two women make a veritable dream team, the way they ‘sing off’ one another in their duets (‘Recordare’; ‘Agnus Dei’). The men are hardly less impressive. This is Kullman’s only preserved performance of the work with Toscanini, and it is a memorable one, of great technical accuracy, refinement, and a gorgeous lyricism. Moscona, who replaced Pinza at short notice, is clean and incisive….The chorus members respond to Toscanini as if their lives depended on it….
The all-Verdi concert from 1943 is much more than a mere bonus offering; indeed, I’d be tempted to use this concert to persuade any doubters of Toscanini’s status as the greatest conductor of Verdi in recorded history….this seems to be the first release of the complete concert, and in superbly smooth, realistic sound….These are truly the stuff of legends. The solo trio (I LOMBARDI) combines high technical discipline with thrilling dramatic abandon; the chorus (NABUCCO) is extraordinarily responsive to Toscanini’s minutely nuanced yet powerfully sweeping shaping of the melodic line. The sense of occasion is palpable, with the audience spontaneously erupting at the conclusion of the HYMN OF THE NATIONS (complete with appended ‘Star-Spangled Banner’). Simply unforgettable, and it will now be a tall order indeed for any usurper to dislodge this from my next ‘Want’ List.”
- Boyd Pomeroy, FANFARE, July/Aug., 2011
“Although, as with any Toscanini performance, the listener’s appreciation will naturally be centered upon that of the conductor, we cannot end one’s observations without a consideration of his soloists. In particular, Zinka Milanov, the great Yugoslav soprano, one of the most supreme Verdi artists of her time, is here heard at her very best, indeed, for many connoisseurs her assumption of this demanding part is superior to those surviving recordings of her 1938 (BBC) and 1940 (NBC). In many respects, Milanov’s singing here is a revelation – her broad-flowing cantilena is heard at its finest, at the same time as the compelling timbre of her dramatic yet supremely agile technique is immaculately styled. Such a grand style of singing is surely entirely authentic when confronted by such vocal writing as Verdi’s. As for Charles Kullman, he possesses a genuine ringing tenor voice almost of equal distinction….The existence of these particular lacquers…was evidently not known to Harvey Sachs or Mortimer Frank, both renowned authors of books about Toscanini….Although this NBC broadcast was not heard…in the US, it was transmitted by shortwave to Europe. What was broadcast overseas from NBC was simultaneously recorded [by RCA]…using landlines from Carnegie Hall....In addition, the complete 1943 all-Verdi broadcast is included as a bonus, including a truly electrifying performance of the 'Hymn of the Nations', the first in America, performed previous to the OWI film (which has been previously issued). This 1943 performance has many special things in it, including very good sound.”
- Robert Matthew-Walker, Program Notes
“I suspected Toscanini would carry this [operatic] tradition to new heights, but was astonished at the relatively quiet and restrained reading, one that suppresses all the operatic mannerisms and noisy intrusions, and ends up about the finest performance of the work I’ve ever heard….The sound has been greatly improved and lovingly restored by Richard Caniel who is to be congratulated for accomplishing what initially appeared to be an essentially impossible task.”
- John P. McKelvey, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, May / June, 2011ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. BBC S.O., w.Zinka Milanov, Kerstin Thorborg, Helge Roswaenge & Nicola Moscona: MANZONI REQUIEM (Verdi); ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. BBC S.O.: Symphony #4 in B-flat (Beethoven). (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1058, Live Performance, 27 May, 1938, Queens’ Hall, London, featuring BBC broadcast commentary and ovations, best sound over all previous editions. Extensive notes. Transfers by Richard Caniell. (C1433)
“The Immortal Performances restoration of the 1938 Verdi Requiem BBC S.O. is startlingly better than Testament and shows what has been greatly missing until now - its fine presence and frequency range.”
- Christopher Dyment, author of TOSCANINI IN BRITAIN
"Recently, Mr. Caniell’s attention returned to this BBC 1938 Verdi Requiem broadcast previously released in a good transfer by Testament, though our sound engineer had different ideas of how it should sound. Testament’s exceedingly wide distribution cancelled his intent to work on, and release, the BBC until now, 10 years later. During these intervening years of enlarged experience with restoration techniques, Mr. Caniell re-affirmed that while the Testament edition was good, its sound was compressed in a way that could be made far better.
Mr. Caniell’s transfer is taken from the tapes given to him by Richard Gardner, Toscanini’s sound editor. Mr. Caniell writes in his Recording Notes: 'What you have in your hands is the result of my endeavor to open up the tonal spectrum, reduce the thick bottom end, and enliven the performance by restoring lost overtones. In addition, I endeavored to further restore the dynamics between piano and forte, recreating, so far as possible, the heaven-storming crescendi that the Old Man achieved with the BBC forces.”
- Program NotesERICH LEINSDORF Cond. Boston S.O., w.Lili Chookasian (C): Gürre-Lieder – Song of the Wood-Dove (Schönberg); w.Lili Chookasian (C) & George London(B): The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi (Menotti); w.Birgit Nilsson, Lili Chookasian, Carlo Bergonzi & Ezio Flagello: Manzoni Requiem (Verdi). 2-RCA Living Stereo 63747, recorded 1964-65, Symphony Hall, Boston. Very Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! (C0021)
“This reissue attracted ‘Living Stereo’ buffs, but otherwise RCA has never shown much confidence in Leinsdorf's Verdi REQUIEM from Boston in the Sixties. His rather wooden conducting, which sets a tempo and keeps to it like a metronome, was actually on purpose: it fit Leinsdorf's theory of ‘objective’ conducting. Erich Leinsdorf's interpretations of Verdi are among the best of any conductor. This recording took place during his tenure with the Boston Symphony. He was a very strict conductor who got all there was to get out his performers. This recording is no exception to that. The orchestra is outstanding. Listen to the accents in the’ Dies Irae’ movement at the beginning from the chorus and the orchestra. I have never heard them done that way. I love that approach. The two key ingredients in this piece to make it work are fire and sensitivity. By that I mean that the beginning has to have the ultimate beauty to respect Verdi's tribute to Rossini. Also that 'Dies Irae' has to have a great fire to it. Leinsdorf does both of those things the best.
Bergonzi is a standout in the ‘Ingemisco’, which he performs with security and style. Carlo Bergonzi's singing is a free voice lesson. ‘Ingemisco’ is one of his best pieces of singing because of the nuances and the technique. Young singers can learn a lot from this. The bass Ezio Flagello and the two women, one of them being Nilsson, do a fine job as well. Nilsson is not really cut out for Verdi, but she still does a good job here. Strangely, the Gramophone reviewer thought that the big drawback was Birgit Nilsson and her out-of-tune singing. She is otherwise gleaming and powerful here. Though known to go sharp in her high register at the Met when her role was most taxing, I don't quite get the complaint on this recording. But no one should expect Nilsson to sound like a Verdi soprano; she tries to soften the steel in her voice and is generally successful. Lili Chookasian and Ezio Flagello are both a bit thick-voiced and dull, but certainly quite good singers.
You will find Menotti's cantata on the Children's Crusade, THE DEATH OF THE BISHOP OF BRINDISI, an exercise in saccharine religiosity or genuinely moving in its simplicity. I fall somewhere in between but was happy to hear it once. For Menotti collectors, this is the only recording available. Lili Chookasian sings powerfully, as she does on the Wood Dove's aria from GÜRRE-LIEDER, effectively conducted by Leinsdorf. George London is great. He is one of the greatest bass-baritones of all time. His diction and sensitivity to the music is very apparent here. “
- W. N. Hayon
. . . repeated from the recent past . . .MARIAN ANDERSON - LET FREEDOM RING ! MARIAN ANDERSON: First Restored Release of the fabled 1939 concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., w. Kosti Vehanen (Pf.): ‘America’; ‘Ave Maria’ (Schubert); Spirituals; LA FAVORITA – ‘O mio Fernando’.
Also a recently discovered live concert by MARIAN ANDERSON at Falkoner Centret, Copenhagen in 1961 is presented, in excellent sound, in its FIRST EVER RELEASE, w. Franz Rupp (Pf.): Songs by Brahms, Schubert, Kilpinen, Palmgren & Sibelius; Spirituals; SAMSON ET DALILA – Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix. Copenhagen, Falkoner Centret, Live Recital, 1961. Includes a richly illustrated 24pp. booklet featuring detailed discussion by noted author Harlow Robinson. Restorations by John H. Haley of Harmony Restorations, LLC. (England) JSP Records JSP 683. (V2481)
The use of Constitution Hall shamefully had been denied to her because she was African-American. As a result, the U.S. Government presented her in this open air concert that was attended by 75,000 people. Her courage made her a shining symbol for the burgeoning Civil Rights movement, but it was her stunning contralto voice and compelling musical artistry that created the palpable excitement of this historic event causing the sensation on that Easter Sunday, 9 April, 1939 heard on this CD.
“This mono recording was made by the [Falconer Centre] management and offers a very credible perspective between the singer and piano. Falconer Centre tapes exist with other artists and are now owned by an American collector, John H. Haley.”
- Nils-Göran Olve, THE RECORD COLLECTOR
, 2016 (with reference to the Copenhagen recital by Jussi Björling, [V2472]
[After the 1939 Lincoln Memorial recital, Anderson spoke] "I am so overwhelmed, I just can't talk. I can't tell you what you have done for me today. I thank you from the bottom of my heart again and again."
- Marian Anderson, MY LORD, WHAT A MORNING, p.192.MARIAN ANDERSON, w. Franz Rupp (Pf.): FRAUENLIEBE UND LEBEN (Schumann), Live Performance, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, 1 Feb., 1957; w.Mitropoulos Cond. Members of NYPO: LAMENTO DI ARIANNA - Lasciatemi morire (Monteverdi); DON CARLOS - O don fatale - Live Performance, Lewisohn Stadium, 24 June, 1952; LE CID - Pleurez, mes yeux - Live Performance, 12 Nov., 1944; HÉRODIADE - Ne me refuse pas - Live Performance, 6 Jan., 1947; LA FAVORITA - O mio Fernando - American Radio Début, 2 Feb., 1936. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-384. (V2482)
“It is difficult now to separate the voice and the woman from the almost marbleized monument that Anderson became long before she died in 1993….America’s traveling good will ambassador, a special United Nations delegate, the subject of numerous television documentaries, and a beloved icon.”
- Peter G. Davis, THE AMERICAN OPERA SINGER, p.340
“... a voice such as one hears once in a hundred years.”
- Arturo Toscanini, Salzburg, 1935
“Each of these disks, from Canadian engineer Yves St Laurent… [feature] St Laurent’s natural transfer – made without filtering, like all his dubbings – it is easy to listen to, despite the surface noise.”
- Tully Potter, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011MARIAN ANDERSON, w.Vehanen & Rupp (Pfs.) & Primrose (Viola): Scarlatti, Purcell, Handel, Schubert, Strauss, Sibelius, Rachmaninoff, Spross, Thomas, Liza Lehmann, etc.; Vier Ernste Gesänge (Brahms), the latter Unpublished. VAI 1168, recorded 1936-52. Transfers by Ward Marston. (V0260)
"The great American contralto scarcely needs an introduction. Her rich, vibrant voice, unique in its colors and timbre, was coupled with excellent musicianship, a seriousness of purpose, and depths of emotional involvement."
- Charles H. Parsons, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Sept./Oct., 2007ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. NBC S.O.: Symphony #40 in g, K.550 (Mozart); Symphony #1 in c (Brahms); w.Mischa Mischakoff, Edwin Bachmann & Osvaldo Mazzuchi: Concerto in D minor, RV 565 (Vivaldi). (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances 1072, Live Performance, 25 December, 1937, the first Toscanini NBC Symphony Orchestra broadcast. Includes Interviews, broadcast speeches, and rehearsal of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture. Restoration by Richard Caniell. Also a separate 44pp. booklet - Toscanini: A Lifetime of Influences by Caniell. (C1459)
“A new Immortal Performances release, issued as part of their commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Toscanini’s birth, documents that historic concert in its entirety, and provides fascinating supplementary material as well.
The ability to hear Toscanini’s first NBC Symphony Orchestra concert and broadcast, in quite good sound for its source and vintage, makes this set self-recommending to devotees of this conductor. But there is so much more to enjoy. Perhaps first and foremost is the amazing rapport demonstrated between Toscanini and the NBC Symphony on this, their maiden voyage. Toscanini demands much of the musicians on this occasion (as he always did), but they are with him every step of the way, delivering a concert of remarkable precision, musicality, and emotional power.
The broadcast took place in NBC’s Studio 8H, whose dry, clinical acoustics may have pleased Toscanini, but also produced sonically problematic recordings. These challenges were even more pronounced for the 1937 concert, prior to a time when NBC made some acoustic improvements to the theater. But producer Richard Caniell has worked his technical magic, applying a subtle layer of resonance to give the soundstage a warm acoustic, without any loss of detail. Caniell states in his ‘recording notes’ that he has always been troubled by the lack of applause following the performance of the Vivaldi, mandated by RCA to fit the concert into a proscribed time frame. This release affords the listener the option to listen to the concert as originally broadcast, with applause and commentary by announcer Howard Claney following the Vivaldi. The latter version was assembled by Richard Caniell from other portions of the original broadcast.
Additional materials include Samuel Chotzinoff describing his 1937 meeting with Toscanini, NBC Symphony cellist Alan Shulman’s recollections of the Maestro, and David Sarnoff’s address to the concert broadcast audience regarding Toscanini’s return for the 1938-39 season. The jewel of the supplementary material is a 23 November, 1946 rehearsal by Toscanini and the NBC SO of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture. Both the playing and Toscanini’s exhortations are at a fever pitch from start to finish. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard or witnessed a more thrilling rehearsal sequence. The CD booklet includes Caniell’s essay, as well as one by Robert Matthew-Walker. A separate booklet, ‘Toscanini: A Lifetime of Influences’ is Richard Caniell’s extended, heartfelt, and moving tribute to the conductor’s influence on his own musical life, as well as the writer’s tireless efforts to preserve the Maestro’s legacy. This is a magnificent release in every way, and one that quickly joins my 2016 ‘Want List’. Highest recommendation.”
- Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, Nov./Dec., 2016
“What do we hear [in the Vivaldi Concerto]? In remarkably clear sound, a virtuoso orchestra. Technically, the playing is remarkable, the attack and response crisp and clear. The players seem to give Toscanini what he asks of them. It is played with great clarity by the strings and the trio of soloists… we need to remember that in 1937 it was remarkable to find such a work on a symphonic program.
The Mozart, by contrast, is a symphony central to the conductor’s repertory….This concert performance is a terrific reading: superbly played, sensitive. The finale is particularly effective. Caniell’s sonic remastering enables us to [hear] the work’s deep emotions, and enjoy a thrilling interpretation. The announcer comments that Toscanini left the stage actually showing pleasure in the audience response. Well he might have.
As enjoyable as are the Vivaldi and Mozart from the first portion of the concert, the ‘old man’ came out for the Brahms in the mood to produce an inflammatory performance. My introduction to Toscanini as a child was the 1941 studio recording of the Brahms c minor Symphony on 78s. This 1937 performance is unique. It is broader in both the opening movement and the second. But, there is no undue sentimentality in the second movement: Mischakoff’s violin solo is so restrained you would never believe he was of the Auer school (and what a great violinist and concertmaster he was!).
This performance greatly expands our knowledge of Toscanini in this work. In addition to various spoken items, the supplemental material which fills out the second CD gives us a portion of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture in rehearsal. We hear Toscanini at white-hot energy and drive urging his players on in Italian and English, at times with pleasure and at times in frustration. It reminds us of the effort required to achieve the results which concert goers and radio listeners enjoyed.
This Immortal Performances release is indispensable for those with an interest in the conductor and orchestra, and also for those whose musical interests include comparing different performances by great interpreters. As usual with this label, the written material is beautifully presented, informative, and well written, a beautiful addition to that which we hear on the CDs. Those CDs include informative interviews, but, perhaps most unexpectedly, a separate booklet shares Richard Caniell’s own exposure in his extreme youth to Toscanini and those broadcasts from Studio 8H. I found his writing [deeply] moving and commend it to you as an amplification of the interest of these truly historic performances.”
- James Forrest, FANFARE, Nov./Dec., 2016LONDON STRING QUARTET, Vol. VIII: Deep River; Home on the Range; Turkey in the Straw; Songs by Stephen Foster, recorded 1945-46; w.GERVASE ELWES (T) & Frederick Kiddle (Pf.): ON WENLOCK EDGE (Vaughan Williams), recorded 1917. [The Quartet's renditions of American Songs and the Stephen Foster program are as delightful as they are unique!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-381. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0698)
“The London String Quartet was one of the most important international groups of its time. Numerous premieres, Beethoven cycles, widespread concertising, and eminent recordings marked out its trajectory. The 'live' Library of Congress recordings demonstrate its most vital, sensitive and convincing musicianship in ways that even its studio discs occasionally fail to show. They provide irrefutable evidence that the quartet was one of the very greatest of its time.
For young ears, the rise of the London String Quartet (with the incomparable James Levey as leader, and the enduring partnership of Thomas Petre, H. Waldo Warner and C. Warwick Evans participating) dimmed the Flonzaley star even as it was waning. A more vibrant enthusiasm, a stronger sense of tonal colours, a refinement that was not raffiné, gave them pre-eminence as long as this personnel endured.”
- Irving Kolodin, THE MUSICAL LIFE, P.63BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Philadelphia Orch., w. VLADIMIR ASHKENAZY (Pf.): Piano Concerto #20 in d, K.466, Live Performance, 1971; BRUNO MADERNA Cond. L’Orchestre Résidence de la Haye, w. WILHELM KEMPFF (Pf.): Piano Concerto #24 in c, K.491, Live Performance, 11 Oct., 1967 (both Mozart). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-375. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1461)
ZINO FRANCESCATTI, w.Robert Casadesus (Pf.): Sonata in g (Debussy); Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Fauré (Ravel); Sonata in A (Franck), all recorded 1946-47; w.Wallenstein Cond. Los Angeles Phil.: Concerto #1 in D -Allegro maestoso - Tempo giusto (Paganini), Live Performance, 27 Jan., 1946. (Canada) Yves St Laurent YSL 78-383. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0697)
“Zino Francescatti was a musician’s musician who won over audiences more by charm than prowess. His unmistakably French manner was out of vogue in an era-dominated by Russian-trained violinists, but so much the better for him. He was not the last French violinist standing, though in the 1950s it could seem that way.
While his repertoire was wide, Francescatti’s recordings naturally emphasized French music, where he figures as a latter-day Jacques Thibaud. He has the same rich, dark tone; but while his phrasing is also very lyrical, it tends to be more tempered and neoclassical. This seems more of a generational difference than anything else.”
- David Radcliffe, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Sept./Oct., 2012ERNST LÉVY: Sonata #32 in c, Op.111, Live Performance, 6 April, 1952, M.I.T.; Sonata #31 in A-flat, Op.110, Live Performance, 16 Jan., 1955, M.I.T. (both Beethoven); Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel (Brahms), Live Performance, 20 Feb., 1955, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA. St Laurent Studio YSL 33-358. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1238)
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVITCH: Preludes, Op.34 - Recorded 1947 & 1950; Preludes & Fugues, Op.87 - Recorded 5 Feb., 1952; w.Dmitri Tsiganov & Sergey Shirinsky: Piano Trio #2 in e, Op.67 - Recorded 1946 (all Played by the COMPOSER). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-372. [A monumental issue in remarkably bright and clear transfers from the original 78s by Yves St Laurent.] (P1239)
ERICH LEINSDORF Cond. Boston Symphony Orch.: 'Eroica' Symphony #3 in E-flat - Marche funèbre (Beethoven); Leinsdorf announces the assassination of President Kennedy; A few words by Henry B. Cabot - BSO President; w.IDIL BIRET (American Début): Piano Concerto #3 in d (Rachmaninoff). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-380, Live Performance, 22 Nov., 1963, Symphony Hall, Boston. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1458)
FLORENCE! FOSTER!! JENKINS!!! , The Life of the World’s Worst Opera Singer. Darryl W. Bullock. New York, The Overlook Press, 2016, 198pp.; Photos; DJ. (B1863)
“Under 200 pages, which is the length of Darryl W. Bullock’s charming FLORENCE! FOSTER!! JENKINS!!!, is just about right for those who want to know more about the world’s worst opera singer but might not want to know absolutely every detail. The story of Florence Foster Jenkins is quite astonishing….and over the years she established a considerable reputation for singing at the soirees of the various clubs and societies she supported, attracting an enthusiastic audience of well-heeled New Yorkers. They loved her. They loved her elaborate, ridiculous costumes; they loved her overdramatic gestures. They presented her with bouquet after bouquet as well as expensive jeweled trinkets to show how much they appreciated her efforts. But she couldn’t sing. She was gloriously, spectacularly, irredeemably out of tune.”
- Alexander McCall Smith, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 17 Aug., 2016
numerous out-of-print CDs and LPs, [many sealed copies of
numerous out-of-print additions: Issues of Symposium’s
Harold Wayne series, Romophone, The Record Collector,
VRCS, GOP & many Met Opera broadcasts, plus Operas
by Handel, Mercadante, Marais, Cavalli, Rameau, Lully,
Monteverdi, Charpentier, Gluck, Vivaldi, Pergolesi,
Rossini, Meyerbeer, Weckerlin, Nicolai, Schreker,
Marschner & Gurlitt] have been added
throughout our listings,
in appropriate categories . . .
out-of-print books [many biographies,
Record Catalogue-Discographies . . .
more being added each week . . .
our 50% Discount Sale continues,
with numerous additions . . .
--------------------- ANNOUNCEMENT -----------------------
You can view our current Auction #147
online, with revised closing date of Saturday, 21 May!
At a total of 118 pages, this is the largest auction we’ve ever produced, filled with many rarities, plus MINT
copies of ‘Society’ recordings (all pressed from original masters), now at closeout prices.
It will come as no surprise that Norbeck, Peters & Ford have been concentrating our efforts in locating and promoting thousands of historical-interest CDs during the past quarter century, often at the expense of the somewhat rarified collector of the original 78rpm issues. Now, the long wait is over as we have spent much of the past year organizing, researching and listing many 78s in our vast inventory, many of them with appropriate critical and biographical quotes. This auction features a large assortment of instrumental, vocal and historically important records, the vast majority being in truly spectacular condition.
As our little urchin stares into the recording horn, you can now view our current AUCTION
whose revised closing date is Saturday, 21 May!
For the recently-offered Archipel, Myto, Gebhardt, Walhall, Melodiya, Vista Vera & Living Stage titles on sale, simply visit our sale section of our website
). This is the ideal opportunity at bargain prices to fill in gaps in one’s collection.
. . . For the Melodiya, Vista Vera, Archipel, Myto,
Walhall, Gebhardt &
Living Stage titles on sale,
simply visit our sale section of our website . . .
Once again . . .
Welcome to our new bookshop & list of Original Cast LPs, www.norpete.com
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.
Take a look at our exciting array of Broadway & Off-Broadway Original Cast and London Original Cast LPs, all in superb condition.
We continue to offer FREE Shipping on all U.S. orders over $49.00. If you would like to join our emailing list, please sign up at the top right.
We carry splendid CD offerings from Yves St Laurent, VRCS, The Record Collector, Marston, Palaeophonics, Immortal Performances (Canada), Malibran, Aquarius, Truesound Transfers, Walhall, Bongiovanni, Clama and many other labels.
Now that our Auction #145
is completed, the Auction Catalogue remains on our current website. Most of the elusive and rare items of course are gone, but some titles remain available.
As always, please contact us with any special requests.
Please remember that we can take your order over the telephone from 10:00am to 6:00pm (EST), thereby providing you with the most current status of your order. Should you order by email or shopping cart and do not receive a timely acknowledgement of your order, please telephone.
Thank you again for your loyal support, and happy browsing our ever changing website and exciting offerings.
C1463. ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. NBC S.O. & Westminster Chorale: TE DEUM; w.Zinka Milanov, Bruna Castagna, Jussi Björling & Nicola Moscona: MANZONI REQUIEM (both Verdi). (Canada) 2–Immortal Performances 1073, Live Performance, 23 Nov., 1940, Carnegie Hall, with commentary by Gene Hamilton; Toscanini Memorial Tributes and Reminiscences, incl. Announcer Ben Grauer reading RCA’s David Sarnoff’s reflections on Toscanini’s death; Soprano Lotte Lehmann recalling her collaborations with Toscanini; Recollections by Toscanini photographer Robert Hupka; 'The Impact of Toscanini', a 1963 WQXR program with Martin Bookspan, and music critic and NBC Music Executive Samuel Chotzinoff. Transfers by Richard Caniell. - 019962447716
C0961. ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. NBC S.O. & New York Schola Cantorum, w.Zinka Milanov, Bruna Castagna, Charles Kullman & Nicola Moscona: MANZONI REQUIEM (Verdi), Live Performance, 4 March, 1938; Toscanini Cond. NBC S.O. & Westminster Choir; w.Vivian della Chiesa, Jan Peerce & Nicola Moscona: All-Verdi Concert, Live Performance, 31 Jan., 1943. (Canada) 2–Immortal Performances 1009. Transfers by Richard Caniell. - 625989645624
C1433. ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. BBC S.O., w.Zinka Milanov, Kerstin Thorborg, Helge Roswaenge & Nicola Moscona: MANZONI REQUIEM (Verdi); ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. BBC S.O.: Symphony #4 in B-flat (Beethoven). (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1058, Live Performance, 27 May, 1938, Queens’ Hall, London, featuring BBC broadcast commentary and ovations, best sound over all previous editions. Extensive notes. Transfers by Richard Caniell. - 019962434938
C0021. ERICH LEINSDORF Cond. Boston S.O., w.Lili Chookasian (C): Gürre-Lieder – Song of the Wood-Dove (Schönberg); w.Lili Chookasian (C) & George London (B): The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi (Menotti); w.Birgit Nilsson, Lili Chookasian, Carlo Bergonzi & Ezio Flagello: Manzoni Requiem (Verdi). 2-RCA Living Stereo 63747, recorded 1964-65, Symphony Hall, Boston. Very Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 0090266374724
Klaus Tennstedt (Bruckner 8th) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-332)
Otello (Uzunov, Milanov, MacNeil; Schippers) (2-HTM 65-001)
Norma (Sutherland, Horne, Alexander, Cross) (3-IPCD 1055)
Irene Jordan, Vol. II; MEDEAD (Giannini) - Paray (YSL T-343)
Jussi Bjorling; Bertil Bokstedt - Copenhagen Recital (JSP 682)
The Artistry of Virginia Zeani (9-Musique Aria 7648401)
Tristan (Bodanzky; Melchior, Flagstad, Thorborg, Huehn) (3-IPCD 1040)
Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2015 Issue (VRCS-2015)
Tannhauser (Szell; Traubel, Melchior, Kipnis, Thorborg) (3-IPCD 1053)
Claudia Novikova & Obukhova (Eclectra E CCD-2029)
Mignon - TWO Performances (Tourel, Stevens, Crooks) (4-IPCD 1061)
Don Giovanni - TWO Performances (Szell; Pinza, Steber) (4-IPCD 1059)
Aida / Carmen (Vickers, Zeani, Bumbry, Merrill) (4-IPCD 1056)
Verdi Requiem - Toscanini; Milanov, Roswaenge, Thorborg (IPCD 1058)
Germaine Lubin; Lucienne de Meo; Gerard Souzay (2-Marston 52070)
Offenbach - Hommage Mechanique (Music Box) (Malibran 214)
Il Tabarro; Don Pasquale (Albanese, Sayao) (3-IPCD 1057)
Il Trovatore (Calusio; Bjorling, Greco, Castagna) (2-IPCD 1052)
The Chocolate Soldier (Pringle, Workman) (Palaeophonics 135)
Hullo America! (Janis, Chevalier, Lupino) (Palaeophonics 112)
Marian Anderson - Copenhagen & Lincoln Memorial Recitals (JSP 683)
Going Up (Joseph Coyne, Evelyn Laye) (Palaeophonics 131)
The Bing Girls are There (Nat D. Ayer) (Palaeophonics 136)
Ernani (del Monaco, MacNeil, Cavalli; Santini) (Myto 00337)
Contes d'Hoffmann (Beecham; Jobin, Singher, Pinza) (2-IPCD 1060)
As You Were (Alice Delysia) (Palaeophonics 139)
The Shop Girl (Alfred Lester, Evelyn Laye, Bates) (Palaeophonics 132)
Rita Gorr (Malibran 782)
Leopold Stokowski; Birgit Nilsson, George London (Guild 2410)
Raoul von Koczalski, Vol. II (3-Marston 53016)
Rosenkavalier (Ludwig, Della Casa, Soderstrom) (4-IPCD 1050)
Oberon (Cluytens; Araujo, Angelici, Nore) (3-Malibran 790)
Yes, Uncle! (Henri Leoni, Crawford, Griffin) (Palaeophonics 138)
Conchita Supervia, Vol. V; Maria Barrientos (Marston 51010)
A–Z of Singers (4-Naxos 8.558097/100)
GIGLI (Leonardo Ciampa)
Charles Munch, Vol. VII; Addison, Gramm (2-YSL T-308)
Joseph Fuchs, V; Lillian Fuchs; Bernstein; Perlea (YSL T-331)
Mattia Battistini; Giuseppe Bellantoni (6-Marston 56002)
JENNIE TOUREL; Milanov, Rogatchewsky (3-IPCD 1048)
Paris, le Bon Juge; Temps des Croisades (Duval) (Malibran 783)
Gabrielle Ritter-Ciampi (Malibran 784)
Norman Dello Joio; Leonard Warren; Scherman (YSL T-318)
Charles Munch, Vol. VIII; Rudolf Firkusny (YSL T-312)
Arturo Toscanini, Vol. II (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-324)
Charles Munch, Vol. X; Alexander Borovsky (YSL T-315)
Charles Munch, Vol. XI; Margaret Harshaw (YSL T-335)
Bruno Maderna, Vol. II; Boston S .O. (YSL T-360)
Marian Anderson; Rupp; Mitropoulos (St Laurent Studio YSL T-384)
La Traviata (Lisbon) (Ghione; Callas, Kraus, Sereni) (2-Myto 00147)