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Historical Reissue Classical CDs, LPs, 78s,
Related Books & Ephemera
Since 1972

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Remembering

ZINKA MILANOV's birthday,

17 May,

we offer another of her final Met performances . . .

Operatic Music Box Treasures from

The Musical Wonder House of Wiscasset, Maine . . .

and our 50% SALE Continues

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As we remember ZINKA MILANOV's birthday, 17 May, we now offer the new Yves St Laurent first-time issue of Milanov’s final performance of Amelia Grimaldi in SIMON BOCCANEGRA. The final two seasons at the old Metropolitan Opera House witnessed a number of farewell performances – Callas in TOSCA, Steber in LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST, Albanese in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, and Milanov in OTELLO, ANDREA CHÉNIER and SIMON BOCCANEGRA. Having already released her final OTELLO, we now have the SIMON BOCCANEGRA . . . and we look forward to her final ANDREA CHÉNIER due for release in a few months!



  • SIMON BOCCANEGRA, Live Performance, 9 April, 1965, w.Cleva Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Cornell MacNeil, Zinka Milanov, Giorgio Tozzi, Barry Morell, William Walker, Norman Scott, etc. (Canada) 2-Yves St Laurent T-442. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. [This unique recording of Milanov's final Amelia Grimaldi was made from a most advantageous in-house location in somewhat distant, but in very clear sound with no surrounding audience noise.] (OP3204)

    “A pure baritone with power from low to high notes, Cornell MacNeil was considered the equal of Leonard Warren and Robert Merrill, the other stellar American Verdi baritones during the second half of the 20th century. From 1959 to 1987, he sang 26 roles in more than 600 appearances at the Metropolitan Opera alone. But he reached his peak in his Verdi performances. ‘The larger and more complex the part, the better he was’, James Levine, the Met’s longtime conductor, said of Mr. MacNeil’s Verdi roles in a 2007 interview with Opera News. ‘Boccanegra, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Nabucco, Falstaff, Iago — a lot of these parts could be said to be the most challenging and varied….He sang lots of Amonasros and Scarpias marvelously well, but those more complex ones were where he was at his best’.

    In 1959 Mr. MacNeil made his début at La Scala in Milan as Carlo in Verdi’s ERNANI. ‘His rich, flexible baritone soared and swelled with enormous power’, Time magazine wrote. He impressed La Scala’s manager, Antonio Ghiringhelli, enough that he offered him a contract. But Mr. MacNeil signed instead with the Met after making his début there on 21 March, 1959 — barely two weeks after his La Scala début — as the lead in Verdi’s RIGOLETTO. He would go on to sing that role at the Met more than 100 times.

    Mr. MacNeil scored numerous successes in other roles as well. Commenting on his first Met appearance as Renato in Verdi’s UN BALLO IN MASCHERA on 7 March, 1962, Alan Rich wrote in The Times, ‘This superb American baritone may very possibly have had his finest hour’. He sang Scarpia more than 90 times at the Metropolitan following his début in the role on 2 Nov., 1959. His final performance at the Met was in that role, on 5 Dec., 1987. He retired from the opera a year later after medical tests showed he had a possible blockage of the carotid artery.”


    - Jonathan Kandell, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 17 July, 2011


    “Milanov came like a bolt out of heaven - the voice and the young woman, both so vibrant and exciting. We knew something great had come into [the Met’s] Italian wing. What was not obvious at the beginning was that she would have such a staying power, for she gave so much in her singing.…I was present years later on her great anniversaries and she sang at mine [the fiftieth anniversary of [my] Met début, 1963]. She was incomparable. She was like a vocal sorceress singing the OTELLO arias that night. Such a roar went up from the public, I can never forget it.”


  • - Giovanni Martinelli




  • OTELLO, Live Performance, 15 April, 1965, w.Schippers Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Dimiter Uzunov, Zinka Milanov, Cornell MacNeil, Joann Grillo, etc. (Canada) 2-HTM 65-001. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. [Do not confuse with an earlier aborted 'pirate' performance, portions of which are available online, this recording of Milanov's final Desdemona was made from a most advantageous in-house location in somewhat distant, but in very clear sound with no surrounding audience noise. Worthy of note is that Milanov never did a broadcast performance of Desdemona.] (OP3151)

    “It was obvious that Miss Milanov had given much thought to preparing the role, though of course, she had previously sung it elsewhere. In expressive potential, Desdemona's music, with its bewilderment at Otello's persecution and distress at his accusations, is excellently suited to Miss Milanov's voice, and one wonders why she has not sung the part here before. The fourth act of OTELLO, including the ‘Salce’and the ‘Ave Maria’, needs especially the kind of silken soft tones of which the soprano is mistress, and for which she is justly famous in the top register. Throughout the opera, she sang ‘sotte voce’ with the utmost beauty. Even during the high portions where climatic impact is required, Mme. Milanov was also at her best, singing for the most part with ease and with an effulgent quality. In fact this is the most consistently impressive singing and interpretation of a part I remember from Mme. Milanov in some time, even more so than her Leonora in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO."


    - Harriett Johnson, NEW YORK POST, 18 March, 1958


    “The season's first performance of Verdi's OTELLO at the Metropolitan Opera took place Saturday night, with Dimiter Uzunov in the title role. While he doesn't project the frenzied, cumulative madness which the American tenor, James McCracken, gives the part, he is immensely impressive on his own and, altogether, came out first of the major participants. His excellent voice was freely resonant, he was handsome and convincingly swarthy, and as the acts progressed, developed a frightening mood of tension as he became increasingly brainwashed by Iago. His final death scene was superb. This was an actor's, not a singer's achievement, high praise for a tenor.”


  • - Harriet Johnson, THE NEW YORK POST, 8 Nov., 1964




  • ANDREA CHÉNIER, Live Performance, 2 March, 1963 (replete with Milton Cross’ closing commentary, stating that this broadcast is dedicated to Mme Milanov on the occasion of her 25th Anniversary with the Met), w.Cleva Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Richard Tucker, Zinka Milanov, Anselmo Colzani, Mignon Dunn, Lili Chookasian, Norman Scott, etc. (Canada) 2-Yves St Laurent T-434. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. [This broadcast performance is Milanov's final Met Opera Broadcast, dedicated to her in honor of her 25th Anniversary with the Met.] (OP3205)

    “[In 1963] CHÉNIER was still very much in Milanov’s current repertory. Perhaps there was balm for the soul in her gaining that opera for her final broadcast on 2 March, 1963. The faithful [Milton] Cross…expresses ‘special pleasure’ in dedicating the CHÉNIER broadcast as an anniversary offering to Milanov, ‘this great artist and beloved friend.’ Though not planned as a tribute, the performance as a whole is worthy of the soprano….Even when the gloss if off the fabric of her tone, it retains a measure of succulence quite individual and reassuring….Now, when the opulence is diminished but the style remains majestic, the phrasing can sometimes seem a bit ostentatious, since its grand expanse is not filled to the fullest with comparably sumptuous tone….Everything about her performance on this afternoon reveals the diligence of the dedicated artist. We, who are in her debt, can applaud not only her success on this afternoon, but join Cross at her final bow in saluting her forty-seven [Met] broadcasts….”


  • - Paul Jackson, SIGN-OFF FOR THER OLD MET, pp.492-494




  • GRAND FORMAT MUSICAL BOXES play Operatic Overtures & Grand Arias. incl. Rossini, Bellini, Auber, Hérold, Gounod, Balfe, von Flotow, Meyerbeer, Verdi, Mozart & von Weber. [Positively enchanting! This long out-of-print CD is now available in a limited number of sealed copies which have just been discovered from the now defunct Musical Wonder House of Wiscasset, Maine. On the internet the very occasional copy of this rarity is offered for c.$300!] Privately produced by The Musical Wonder House of Wiscasset, Maine. Sealed. (W0047)

    "GRAND FORMAT MUSICAL BOXES plays Opera Overtures and Grand Arias. This was the first Musical Wonder House recording in 1985 to feature the fine Swiss Grand Format Musical Boxes. These exquisite boxes feature large diameter cylinders with stunningly complicated arrangements. The delicacy and sophistication of these boxes presents a formidable challenge to capturing their true sound on tape. The recording was begun in late 1985, after several of the pieces had received the attention of Michel Everett, the talented restorer who joined the Museum staff in 1982. This is the only recording ever produced anywhere to feature solely the ‘Swiss Grand Format Musical Boxes’. If you love Overtures and Grand Arias from the pens of Rossini, Verdi, von Flotow, Meyerbeer, Auber and von Weber, you will be overwhelmed by the beauty of the sound of these marvelous mechanical masterpieces. This will undoubtedly become one of your most treasured recordings and you will thrill to the unique and impressive sounds whenever you listen!"


    - The Musical Wonder House of Wiscasset, Maine


    “The Musical Wonder House, a museum of automated mechanical musical instruments, featured a vast collection of music boxes and was more than a museum. It was a business that restored, bought, and sold antique music boxes, player pianos, and talking machines. The gift shop offered recordings of several of the melodies played on the tour [the above included].”


    - Ellen Albanese, BOSTON GLOBE, 24 Oct., 2004


    “The Musical Wonder House was, at one time, a gem of Wiscasset. Opened by Danilo Konvalinka, Lois Ernst Konvalinka, and Douglas Henderson in 1963, the business achieved international acclaim for its collection of antique music boxes and instruments that filled the 32 room mansion on High Street, Wiscasset. After the death of Danilo Konvalinka in 2014, the collection was sold off and the house was abandoned.”


  • - The Lincoln County News, 30 Nov., 2014




    . . . REPEATED FROM THE RECENT PAST . . .




  • LAKMÉ (in Russian), recorded 1937, w. Orlov Cond. All-Union Radio Ensemble; Nadezhda Kazantseva, Sergei Lemeshev, Alexei Korolev, Anna Malyuta, etc. [Aside from Lemeshev's enchanting performance, Kazantseva's beautiful singing offers a remarkably accurate 'Bell Song'!] (Russia) 2-Aquarius AQVR 401. (OP3209)

    “Nadezhda Kazantseva made her début at age 17 and was engaged by the Bolshoi Opera in 1932. She became an instant success in lyric and coloratura soprano rôles, such as Lakmé, Gilda & Violetta. She was named a People’s Artist of the USSR in 1950.”


    - VRCS Program Notes, 1992 LP issue


    “In 1931, Lemeshev became a leading tenor of the Bolshoi, where he sang for the next 34 years, winning great acclaim. His audience grew, along with his fame, and he soon gained a veritable army of fans, called ‘lemeshevists’. His vocal and artistic qualities, evident to every listener, are beauty of timbre, musicality, effortlessness of vocal production, expressiveness, and very clear diction - qualities perhaps most commonly found in bel canto singers. An interesting comment on Lemeshev’s singing was made by the Bolshoi tenor Anatoly Orfenov: ‘He developed a mixed voice of incomparable beauty, which made it possible for him to take the highest notes with such beautiful richness that even specialists could not explain how it was done technically….His high C’s … sounded virile and full…His manner of lowering his larynx a bit on high notes allowed him to perform the parts which we ordinary lyric tenors did not sing’.”


  • - Natalie, "younglemeshevist"




  • CARMEN (in Russian), recorded 1937, w. Melik-Pashaev Cond. Bolshoi Opera Ensemble; Vera Davydova, Nikandr Khanaev, Natalia Shpiller, Vladimir Politkovsky, etc. (Russia) 2-Aquarius AQVR 267. (OP3207)

    “Clearly a CARMEN sung in Russian would not be anyone’s first choice. The fact that in Russian, it is sufficient to make it of interest only to specialist collectors others interested in the history of operatic performance style. But for those people, this is an important addition to a collection. Although short on French elegance, there is some beautiful and vivid singing and exquisite conducting to be heard here.

    Vera Davydova (1906-1993) was in her prime in 1937. She had a rich, darkly colored mezzo-soprano and was a leading singer at the Bolshoi, with a repertoire encompassing Amneris, Marfa in KHOVANSHCHINA, and similar standard fare for the Bolshoi at that time. Her Carmen is not exactly flirtations or coquettish, but it is convincingly feminine and sensual. Moreover, the role is sung with a voice that is evenly produced from top to bottom and that is comfortable at all dynamics. There are certainly Carmens on disc with more imagination and a wider range of vocal colors, but there are not many more richly vocalized, and it is instructive to hear how the role was performed by a Soviet-era singer. Today we are used to Russians singing in all the major international houses, but in the 1930s they rarely traveled.

    Nikandr Khanaev, a voice new to me, is a wonderful José. Born in 1890, he was about a decade older than his more lyric Bolshoi competitors Kozlovsky and Lemeshev, and he focused more on the heavier repertoire. Otello, Sadko, and Ghermann (in Tchaikovsky’s PIQUE DAME) were specialties, along with Don José. The voice has plenty of heft and weight, but Khanaev is also able to sing softly and with a lovely sense of line. His José is a forceful personality, very powerful at the end of the second act and convincingly unhinged in the dramatic final scene.

    Natalia Shpiller sings a particularly beautiful Micaela, with a real glow in the tone and a touching demeanor. She is delicate without being simpering, a hard line to walk in this role. Vladimir Politkovsky’s Escamillo is also strongly sung, with the vocal resources to adequately cover both ends of the role’s taxing range.

    More than the individual performances, however, it is the overall sense of ensemble and theatrical credibility here that rewards the listener who can listen past the language barrier. Some of the credit for this goes to very strong casting in all the smaller roles but even more to the conducting of Alexander Melik-Pashaev. His work is well known to collectors, and he delivers a performance well balanced between lyricism and drama. The pacing is natural, and one feels that the entire cast is interacting with one another rather than singing to the microphone. This is particularly true in the second act exchanges between Don José and Carmen, as well as in their intense final duet.

    The recorded sound in the present transfer is surprisingly full, lacking the harshness that we sometimes associate with Soviet-era recordings. The accompanying booklet in Russian and English has a bit of history about the recording and brief bios of each singer.”


  • - Henry Fogel, FANFARE




  • MARIA JERITZA: O mer, ouvre-toi, Linceul du monde (Delibes); Träume (Wagner); Arias from Thaïs, Jeanne d'Arc, Le Cid, Hérodiade, Fedora, La Gioconda, Cavalleria, Tosca, Der Freischütz, Lohengrin, Tristan, Das Helmchen am Herd (Goldmark), Die Tote Stadt (Korngold), Der Fliegende Holländer & Die Walküre. (France) Malibran AMR 133. (V2518)

    "Maria Jeritza, enjoyed adulation from every quarter. Olin Downes of THE NEW YORK TIMES called her first Metropolitan Opera Tosca in 1921 a ‘sweeping triumph’. It was, he said, ‘gloriously sung, distinguished and original’, blessed with ‘physical beauty of the highest type’. Marcel Prawy, the historian of the Vienna Opera, was more succinct. He simply called Miss Jeritza ‘the prima donna of the century’. Critics were hardly alone in their admiration.

    Her fans, in Vienna and New York, were as tenacious as they were loyal. Giulio Gatti-Casazza, director of the Metropolitan Opera from 1908 to 1935, said her ovation after ‘Vissi d'arte’ was the greatest he had ever heard. And when she returned to the scenes of her former triumphs in the early 1950s, applause stopped the shows for minutes on end.”


  • - John Rockwell, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 11 July, 1982




  • ETTORE BASTIANINI, w.Mitropoulos, Previtali, Gavazzeni, Giulini, Tieri & Schüchter Cond.: Arias from Don Carlos, Otello, Ernani, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Ballo, Tosca, Barbiere, La Gioconda & Andrea Chénier. (France) Malibran AMR 132. (V2517)

    “While Ettore Bastianini's career was quite short, it was also distinguished. He was regarded as having one of the finest Verdi and verismo voices of his day, though his vocal gifts were not always matched by an equal musicianship.

    In the Fall of 1954, Bastianini joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera where he sang regularly through May 1957. His rôles at the Met during this time included Amonasro, Carlo Gérard, Count di Luna, Enrico, Germont, Marcello in LA BOHÈME, Rodrigo in Don Carlo, and the title rôle in RIGOLETTO. He later returned to the Met in the Spring of 1960 to portray several rôles including Don Carlo in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO. He returned to the Met again in January 1965 where he spent most of that year singing in several of his prior rôles with the company, as well as performing Scarpia in TOSCA. His 87th and final performance at the Met was as Rodrigo on 11 December, 1965. It was also coincidentally the last performance of his career.”


  • - Anne Feeney, allmusic.com




  • THE COACHMEN AT THE RELAY STATION (Fomin), a Singspiel, recorded 1952, w. Abdulov Cond. Radio Data Folk Ensemble; Trofim Antonenko, Anatoly Orfenov, Vladimir Zahkarov, Anna Matyushina, etc.; ANATOLY ORFENOV & TROFOM ANTONENKO: Russian Folk Songs - recorded 1938-56. (Russia) Aquarius AQVR 402. (OP3208)

    “Yevstigney Ipat'yevich Fomin began learning the harpsichord in 1776 with Matteo Bumi. From 1777 he studied theory and composition with Hermann Raupach, and from 1779 with Blasius Sartori. In 1782 he went to Bologna to study with Padre Martini and Stanislao Mattei; three years later he was accepted into the Accademia Filarmonica. Returning to St. Petersburg in 1785, he taught at the theatrical school and composed operas. From 1797 he was répétiteur for the imperial theater under Paul I. He composed about 30 operas including YAMSHCHIKI NA PODSTAVE [THE COACHMEN AT THE RELAY STATION] (1787) [in reality,a Singspiel]; VECHERINKI [SOIRÉES] (1788); ORFEY I EVRIDIKA (1792), AMERIKANTSY [THE AMERICANS] (a comic opera) (1800), and ZOLOTOYE YABLOKO [THE GOLDEN APPLE] (performed after the composer’s death in 1803). The most successful for decades was his opera-melodrama ORFEY I EVRIDIKA to a text by Yakov Knyazhnin. It was re-staged in Soviet times in 1947 in Moscow, and in 1953 and in 1961 in Leningrad.”


  • - Ned Ludd




  • VITALY KILCHEVSKY: Songs by Cui, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tschaikowsky, Glazunov, Varlamov, Dargomyzksky & Ippolitov-Ivanov; Arias from Demon, May Night, Eugen Onégin & Dobryna Nikitich; w. Elizaveta Shumskaya: Duets from Faust & Iolanta; w. Andrei Ivanov: Duets by Ippolitov-Ivanov & Gretchaninov. (Russia) Aquarius AQVR 399, recorded 1947-53. (V2515)

    “According to Ivan Petrov’s memoirs, Kilchevsky was an artistic singer, possessed of a lyric tenor voice which was particularly strong in the upper register. His recorded heritage is also represented by operatic arias, duets, songs and romances, as well as recordings of recitals - V2515, V2307, V2203.”


  • - Z. D. Akron




  • FERNANDO de LUCIA: The Unknown Fernando de Lucia - Rarely heard Phonotype Recordings. (England) 2-The Record Collector TRC 44, recorded 1917-21. The Elaborate Booklet offers full discographical information & extensive biographical notes by Michael Henstock. Transfers by Norman White. (V2510)

    “If the art of singing, and the history of that art, is of importance to you, this set is essential. It is superbly produced, with scholarly notes and excellent transfers. Careful attention has been paid to pitching, always an issue with De Lucia, and the notes explain and document what is known about this subject. After a complete hearing, in a single session for both discs, I kept going back for more. This is one of the most important vocal releases of the year, and frankly even the past two or three years. You will hear singing of rare distinction and individuality, singing that you will never be able to just keep in the background. Here is surely a candidate for my year-end ‘Want List’.”


  • - Henry Fogel, FANFARE




  • ADOLF WALLNÖFER: Songs by Rubinstein, Schumann, Mendelssohn & Wallnöfer; Arias from Le Prophète, Pagliacci, Meistersinger, Lohengrin & Siegfried - recorded 1905-33; Adolf Mennerich Cond. Lorenz Fehenberger & Anneliese Schosshauer in Wallnöfer compositions; 1944 Interview with Wallnöfer; HERMANN WINKELMANN: Liebesglück (Sucher); Arias from Le Prophète, Il Trovatore, Dalibor, Die Meistersinger, Lohengrin & Tannhäuser - recorded 1900-06. (Germany) 2-Truesound Transfers 4004. Transfers by Christian Zwarg. (V2511)

    “Hermann Winkelmann made his début in 1875 as Manrico and went to Hamburg three years later. He created Parsifal at Bayreuth on 26 July 1882 and joined the Vienna Hofoper the following year. There he sang the local premières of DALIBOR, OTELLO, and TRISTAN UND ISOLDE and remained at the house singing all the Wagner rôles until May 1906. During the Mahler era, he sang 440 performances of 22 roles, the most frequent being Tannhäuser, which he sang 77 times.”


    - Christopher Norton-Welsh, Program notes to Marston’s MAHLER’S DECADE IN VIENNA


    “Influenced by his acquaintance with Mathilde Marchesi, Franz Wallnöfer studied singing with Hans Rokitansky. He developed into a Wagner specialist, and from 1880 onwards he was also a singer in the opera group of the so-called ‘Wandering Wagner Theater’ under the direction of Angelo Neumann. With this traveling Wagner ensemble, he performed in the next few years at 135 RING performances and over 50 other Wagner concerts in several European cities, also at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. His repertoire included the roles of Tristan, Siegfried and Tannhäuser.”


  • - Wikipedia




  • NICOLAI GEDDA, w.John Wustman (Pf.): Songs by Glinka, Tschaikowsky, Mussorgsky, Peterson-Berger, Sibelius, Alfvén, Grieg & Sjöberg ['Tonerna']. [Gedda's rendition of 'Tonerna' alone is worth the price of the entire recital, ending with a heavenly diminuendo.] (Canada) Yves St Laurent YSL T-435, Live Performance, Philharmonic Hall, New York, 10 April, 1968. (V2514)



  • JUDITH RASKIN, w.George Schick (Pf.): Songs by Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Strauss, Wolf, Berg & Mahler; NOZZE - Deh vieni, non tardar (all encores preceded by Raskin's charming spoken introductions). (Canada) Yves St Laurent YSL T-444, Live Performance, Alice Tully Hall, New York, 19 Dec., 1971. (V2512)



  • LÉOPOLD SIMONEAU, w.Janine Lachance (Pf.): Songs by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Dela & Fauré (the latter's La Bonne Chanson). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 33-441, Live Performances, 1965 & 1967, Montréal, from Private Collection of Denis Alarie. [Another jewel, this time of two recitals, beautifully recorded!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (V2508)



  • ISTVÁN KERTÉSZ Cond. Cleveland Orch.: PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION (Mussorgsky-Ravel), Live Performance, 25 Jan., 1973; RAFAEL KUBELIK Cond. Cleveland Orch.: Symphony #8 in c (Bruckner), [in memory of István Kertész], Live Performance, 19 April, 1973 (both Severance Hall). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-427. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1499)



  • GEORGE SZELL Cond. Cleveland Orch.: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (Debussy), Siegfried Idyll (Wagner), Till Eulenspiegel (Strauss), Live Performance, 26 Sept., 1969, Severance Hall. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-413. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1502)



  • SAMSON ET DALILA (in English), Live Performance, 7 Dec., 1961, w. Paray Cond. Detroit S.O. & Rockham Symphony Choir; Jean Madeira, Albert da Costa & Chester Ludgin. (Canada) 2–St Laurent Studio YSL T-403. [Remarkably 'alive' broadcast sound quality in this concert version]. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (OP3202)



  • CARMEN, Live Performance, 19 Nov., 1959, w. Paray Cond. Detroit S.O. & Rockham Symphony Choir; Jean Madeira, Brian Sullivan, Marjorie Gordon & Donald Gramm. (Canada) 2–St Laurent Studio YSL T-396. [Remarkably 'alive' broadcast sound quality in this concert version]. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (OP3203)

    “The fall of 1955 brought Madeira's début at the Vienna Staatsoper in the rôle of Carmen, a triumph resulting in 45 curtain calls. When she sang Carmen at the Metropolitan in 1956, critic Irving Kolodin, writing in the Saturday Review, described her as ‘an intelligent artist who gives thought to what she undertakes’ and noted her effective use of her striking height. He also praised her portrayal by commenting, ‘Mostly it was done with a suggestion of youthful suppleness not often seen’.

    In addition to her almost 300 Metropolitan performances in some 41 rôles, Madeira continued to appear elsewhere in America and Europe, offering her Carmen at Chicago, where critic Claudia Cassidy praised her as ‘svelte, darkly beautiful, with a mezzo soprano streaked in burnt umber and edged with a threat’, and at Aix-en-Provence. Her authoritative Erda was heard at Munich, London, and Bayreuth.”


  • - Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com








    numerous out-of-print CDs & 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 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 . . .

    more are added each week . . .

    our 50% Discount Sale continues,

    with numerous additions . . .




    ------------------ 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

    To download a copy of Auction #148, simply click the link below:

    Auction #148 Catalog File Download

    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.

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    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.

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    Thank you again for your loyal support, and happy browsing our ever changing website and exciting offerings.

    Simon Boccanegra  (Cleva;  Cornell MacNeil, Zinka Milanov, Giorgio Tozzi, Barry Morell)  (2-Yves St Laurent T-442)
    OP3204. SIMON BOCCANEGRA, Live Performance, 9 April, 1965, w.Cleva Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Cornell MacNeil, Zinka Milanov, Giorgio Tozzi, Barry Morell, William Walker, Norman Scott, etc. (Canada) 2-Yves St Laurent T-442. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. [This unique recording of Milanov's final Amelia Grimaldi was made from a most advantageous in-house location in somewhat distant, but in very clear sound with no surrounding audience noise.]
    $39.95
    Otello   (Schippers;  Dimiter Uzunov, Zinka Milanov, Cornell MacNeil, Joann Grillo)    (2-Yves St Laurent HTM 65-001)
    OP3151. OTELLO, Live Performance, 15 April, 1965, w.Schippers Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Dimiter Uzunov, Zinka Milanov, Cornell MacNeil, Joann Grillo, etc. (Canada) 2-HTM 65-001. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. [Not to be confused with an earlier aborted 'pirate' performance, portions of which are available online, this recording of Milanov's final Desdemona was made from a most advantageous in-house location in somewhat distant, but very clear sound with no surrounding audience noise. Worthy of note is that Milanov never did a broadcast performance of Desdemona.]
    $39.95
    Andrea Chenier  (Cleva;  Richard Tucker, Zinka Milanov, Anselmo Colzani)   (2-Yves St Laurent T-434)
    OP3205. ANDREA CHÉNIER, Live Performance, 2 March, 1963 (replete with Milton Cross’ closing commentary, stating that this broadcast is dedicated to Mme Milanov on the occasion of her 25th Anniversary with the Met), w.Cleva Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Richard Tucker, Zinka Milanov, Anselmo Colzani, Mignon Dunn, Lili Chookasian, Norman Scott, etc. (Canada) 2-Yves St Laurent T-434. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. [This broadcast performance is Milanov's final Met Opera Broadcast, dedicated to her in honor of her 25th Anniversary with the Met.]
    $39.95
    Grand Format Musical Boxes  -  Operatic Overtures & Grand Arias   (Musical Wonder House of Wiscasset, Maine)
    W0047. GRAND FORMAT MUSICAL BOXES play Operatic Overtures & Grand Arias. incl. Rossini, Bellini, Auber, Hérold, Gounod, Balfe, von Flotow, Meyerbeer, Verdi, Mozart & von Weber. [Positively enchanting! This long out-of-print CD is now available in a limited number of sealed copies which have just been discovered from the now defunct Musical Wonder House of Wiscasset, Maine. On the internet the very occasional copy of this rarity is offered for c.$300!] Privately produced by The Musical Wonder House of Wiscasset, Maine. Sealed.
    Regular price: $19.90
    Sale price: $9.95
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    Marian Anderson - Copenhagen & Lincoln Memorial Recitals (JSP 683)

    $19.90Meistersinger  (Toscanini; Noort, Nissen, Alsen, Reining, Thorborg, Wiedemann)  (5-Immortal Performances IPCD 1069)
    Meistersinger (Toscanini; Noort, Nissen, Alsen, Reining, Thorborg, Wiedemann) (5-Immortal Performances IPCD 1069)

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    Jussi Bjorling; Bertil Bokstedt - Copenhagen Recital (JSP 682)

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    Verdi Requiem - Toscanini; Milanov, Roswaenge, Thorborg (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1058)

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    Le Trille un Art Perdu (The Lost Art of the Trill) (Malibran AMR 123)

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    Artur Rodzinski, Vol. XXXVI; Arthur Rubinstein (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-404)

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    The 1902 London 'Reds' (2-Truesound Transfers 4002)

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    The Bing Girls are There (Nat D. Ayer) (Palaeophonics 136)

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    Nineteenth Century Italian Tenors (3-Marston 53018)

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    The Shop Girl (Alfred Lester, Evelyn Laye, Bates) (Palaeophonics 132)

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    Bric-a-Brac (Millar, Jeffries, Gerard, Johnson) (Palaeophonics 123)

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    Ivan Kozlovsky (Aquarius AQVR 395)

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    Marian Anderson; Rupp; Mitropoulos (St Laurent Studio YSL T-384)

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    Andrea Chenier (Cleva; Richard Tucker, Zinka Milanov, Anselmo Colzani) (2-Yves St Laurent T-434)

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    As You Were (Alice Delysia) (Palaeophonics 139)

    $19.90Zara Dolukhanova;  Nina Svetlanova      (Yves St Laurent YSL T-421)
    Zara Dolukhanova; Nina Svetlanova (Yves St Laurent YSL T-421)

    $19.90Karel Ancerl   -   Ma Vlast     (St Laurent Studio YSL T-340)
    Karel Ancerl - Ma Vlast (St Laurent Studio YSL T-340)

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    Contes d'Hoffmann (Beecham; Jobin, Singher, Pinza, Djanel, Novotna) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1060)

    $39.95Ignacy Jan Paderewski - Complete Victor Recordings  (5-APR 7505)
    Ignacy Jan Paderewski - Complete Victor Recordings (5-APR 7505)

    $39.90Erich Leinsdorf, Vol. V;  Gina Bachauer;  Beverly Sills      (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-412)
    Erich Leinsdorf, Vol. V; Gina Bachauer; Beverly Sills (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-412)

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    Toscanini; Horowitz (Immortal Performances IPCD 1054)

    $19.90Leopold Stokowski;  Sutherland, Corelli, Starr   (Testament SBT 1513)
    Leopold Stokowski; Sutherland, Corelli, Starr (Testament SBT 1513)

    $19.90William Kapell - Broadcasts, Concert Performances  3-Marston 53021
    William Kapell - Broadcasts, Concert Performances 3-Marston 53021

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    Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2015 Issue (VRCS-2015)

    $19.90Bruno Maderna, Vol. III        (St Laurent Studio YSL T-373)
    Bruno Maderna, Vol. III (St Laurent Studio YSL T-373)

    $17.90George Szell, Vol. IV         (St Laurent Studio YSL T-405)
    George Szell, Vol. IV (St Laurent Studio YSL T-405)

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    Samson et Dalila (Fourestier; Raoul Jobin, Denise Scharley, Rene Bianco, Henri Mrdus, Froumenty) (2-Malibran 789)

    $39.90Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2009 Issue        (2-VRCS 2009)
    Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2009 Issue (2-VRCS 2009)

    $39.90The Unknown Fernando De Lucia  -  Phonotype Recordings, 1917-21      (The Record Collector TRC 44)
    The Unknown Fernando De Lucia - Phonotype Recordings, 1917-21 (The Record Collector TRC 44)

    $39.90K.K. Hofoper Wien, 1904 Recordings - Hesch, Weidemann,  Kittel, Elizza, Pacal, Slezak, etc. (2-Truesound Transfers 4003)
    K.K. Hofoper Wien, 1904 Recordings - Hesch, Weidemann, Kittel, Elizza, Pacal, Slezak, etc. (2-Truesound Transfers 4003)

    $29.90Melanie Kurt;  Matzenauer, Metzger, Urlus, Jorn, Kraus, Feinhals, Knupfer & Schorr    (2-Truesound Transfers 4005)
    Melanie Kurt; Matzenauer, Metzger, Urlus, Jorn, Kraus, Feinhals, Knupfer & Schorr (2-Truesound Transfers 4005)

    $29.90Charles Munch, Vol.XII;  Valletti, Kopleff, Souzay    (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-336)
    Charles Munch, Vol.XII; Valletti, Kopleff, Souzay (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-336)

    $23.90Bruno Maderna, Vol. II;    Boston S .O.       (St Laurent Studio YSL T-360)
    Bruno Maderna, Vol. II; Boston S .O. (St Laurent Studio YSL T-360)

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    Meistersinger (Bohnen, Lotte Lehmann, Oehmann, Bettendorf, List) (2-Gebhardt 0035)

    $8.45The Artistry of Virginia Zeani     (9-Musique Aria 7648401)
    The Artistry of Virginia Zeani (9-Musique Aria 7648401)

    $69.90Der Rosenkavalier  (Bodanzky;  Stevens, Lehmann, List, Schorr)    (3-Immortal Performances IPCD  1023)
    Der Rosenkavalier (Bodanzky; Stevens, Lehmann, List, Schorr) (3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1023)

    $49.95Arturo Toscanini - First NBC Broadcast  (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1072)
    Arturo Toscanini - First NBC Broadcast (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1072)

    $39.90Early 20th Century Singers (Nicholas E. Limansky)  (YBK Publishers)
    Early 20th Century Singers (Nicholas E. Limansky) (YBK Publishers)

    $29.90Samson et Dalila   (Paray;  Jean Madeira, Albert da Costa & Chester Ludgin)    (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-403)
    Samson et Dalila (Paray; Jean Madeira, Albert da Costa & Chester Ludgin) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-403)

    $29.90Carmen  (Paray;  Jean Madeira, Brian Sullivan, Marjorie Gordon  & Donald Gramm)    (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-396)
    Carmen (Paray; Jean Madeira, Brian Sullivan, Marjorie Gordon & Donald Gramm) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-396)

    $29.90