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

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Christian Zwarg’s Truesound Transfers . . .

Yves St Laurent presents

Paray’s SAMSON ET DALILA with

Madeira, da Costa & Ludgin;

BOULEZ #IX, plus transfers of 78s by

BUSONI, FRIEDHEIM & LA FORGE . . .

and our 50% SALE Continues


COLLECTOR ALERT ! ! !


Be watching for the announcement of Norbeck, Peters & Ford’s forthcoming Annual 78rpm Auction, due to appear next week! This one features 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.


  • MELANIE KURT: Herber Abschied (Silcher); Arias & Duets (w.Matzenauer, Metzger, Urlus, Jörn, Kraus, Feinhals, Knüpfer & Schorr) from Le Prophète, Aïda, Ballo, Cavalleria, Faust, Mignon, Fidelio, Tannhäuser, Der Fliegende Höllander, Tristan, Parsifal, Die Walküre, Siegfried & Götterdämmerung. (Germany) 2-Truesound Transfers 4005, recorded 1910-22, Berlin & New York. Transfers by Christian Zwarg. (V2504)

    “Opera lore has Metropolitan impresario Giulio Gatti-Casazza enjoying himself at one of Johanna Gadski’s lavish dinner parties when another guest asked what he planned to do, now that Olive Fremstad was not to be re-engaged for the upcoming season. Apparently in a rare, festive mood, Gatti dumped the salt onto the table and traced in it the letters K-U-R-T. He was referring to Melanie Kurt, a dramatic soprano who had initially ‘caught his ear’ in Europe in 1912. Born in Vienna, Kurt had begun her musical career as a concert pianist. She then studied voice with Lilli and Marie Lehmann in Berlin. Kurt made her operatic début as a youthful Elisabeth in TANNHÄUSER at Lübeck in 1902, and was subsequently engaged at Brunswick (1905-08) and Berlin (1908-12).

    By the time Kurt made her Met début (as Isolde on 1 February, 1915), the ‘Great War’ was well under way in Europe, so her New York career was predestined to be a short one. But despite this, and the fact that she was expected to fill Fremstad’s formidable shoes, Melanie Kurt received much critical acclaim during her three Met seasons. She was very well received as Brünnhilde, Kundry, Leonore in FIDELIO, Pamina, Sieglinde, Santuzza, Amelia in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, Iphigénie in IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE and other roles.

    After the United States joined the European conflict in 1917, Kurt’s American career came to an abrupt end. When the war ended she returned to Europe and resumed her career but, in 1938 once more on the run from a war, she returned to New York and taught there till her death.

    Melanie Kurt was fortunate in that hers was one of the rare dramatic sopranos who were treated fairly well by the pre-microphone recording processes. We are fortunate that her repertoire is well represented in both the Wagnerian and Italian wings. Also of significance is the fact that a number of Kurt’s records are duets with the splendid heldentenors Jacques Urlus and Karl Jörn; in these we are treated to excerpts ranging from such diverse works as DIE WALKÜRE to CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA. Melanie Kurt’s records, for the most part, were made when she was about 30, so we are also treated to the great Wagnerian, captured for the ages, in her relative youth. Something immediately noticeable after even a quick sampling of Kurt’s recordings is that they rarely sound like mere studio ‘run-throughs’. This rare, remarkable quality in her singing is especially appreciable in an extended scene between her Brünnhilde and Urlus’ Siegmund, recorded on two sides in 1910. Here, if the listener closes his or her eyes and uses a little imagination, it is almost possible to transcend the decades, and feel for a few brief moments that he or she is in a great house of the distant past, listening to a live performance. The interpretations of both artists are just that vivid and sincere.

    Melanie Kurt manages to impress in a wide variety of music. Amelia’s arias from Verdi’s UN BALLO IN MASCHERA are delivered with her usual sense of drama and lovely legato. She swells to the higher reaches of the music with no difficulty. Also from her Verdi repertoire, Kurt’s Aïda in confrontation with Ottilie Metzger’s Amneris is a classic interpretation.”


  • - Andrea Shum-Binder, subito-cantabile




  • 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)

    “Jean Madeira established for herself a singular identity among singers of the deepest, darkest rôles for female voice. Tall and strikingly attractive, she possessed both the physical and vocal allure for Carmen and created a riveting portrait of Klytemnestra, both addled and imperious. The later rôle, perhaps the one with which she was most closely identified, was captured on disc in both studio (with Böhm) and on-stage at Salzburg (with Mitropoulos). Her RHEINGOLD Erda in Solti's RING was likewise striking, voiced with steady, earth-deep tones, a sound once likened to ‘gleaming anthracite’."

    Olga Samaroff urged the young woman in 1946 to concentrate on becoming a professional singer. In 1948, she made her début at the Metropolitan Opera as the First Norn in a performance of DIE GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, beginning her steady progress through such rôles as Amneris, Azucena, Ulrica, Orfeo, and Dalila. In 1954, she began a series of European appearances taking her to Covent Garden, Stockholm, Munich, and Salzburg.

    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. In 1968, she took part in the premiere of Dallapiccola's ULISSE IN BERLIN, creating the rôle of Circe. She retired in 1971, shortly before her death in 1972.”


    - Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com




    “Without question, da Costa’s is a major voice with briliant top notes, deserving to be much better-known to today’s music lovers. His electrifying high D in Bellini's I PURITANI ‘Credensi misera’ is outstanding. Da Costa was an heroic tenor with amazing breath control, capable of singing a great variety of favorite opera arias, interpreting each one with authority and taste. There are today three or four tenors with high quality voices, but most likely none of them could match Albert da Costa for his great versatility and to be able to sing them consistently on such a high artistic level. The arias from Meyerbeer's operas and Halévy’s LA JUIVE, as well as the Wagnerian arias, displaying his potential to be a great performer in all these operas, had da Costa lived longer. The rest of his repertory is very well-known and sung very beautifully.”


    - Peter Dietrich


    “Chester Ludgin, a baritone who sang more than 30 roles for the New York City Opera, including leading roles in its world premieres of THE CRUCIBLE by Robert Ward and THE GOOD SOLDIER SCHWEIK by Robert Kurka, made his City Opera début in 1957 as Dr. Falke in Johann Strauss II's DIE FLEDERMAUS. In that performance and for many decades afterward, Mr. Ludgin was praised for his dramatic stage presence as well as his singing. Reviewing his performance in Janacek's MAKROPOULOS AFFAIR in 1970, Harold C. Schonberg, the senior music critic of THE NEW YORK TIMES, cited his ‘characterization with every detail thought through, a characterization of chilling reality’. After a 1960 performance as Sharpless in Puccini's MADAMA BUTTERFLY, another critic noted that ‘his noble, rich voice was a pleasure to hear, as always’.

    Mr. Ludgin sang many leading baritone roles, but was particularly accomplished in American repertory, including THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE, THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER and SUSANNAH. In addition to his many premieres with City Opera, he created the role of Sam for the Houston Grand Opera's 1983 world premiere of A QUIET PLACE, by Leonard Bernstein. He sang often at the San Francisco Opera and other companies in North America.”


  • - Jeremy Eichleraug, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 17 March,, 2003




  • FERRUCCIO BUSONI (Busoni’s complete recorded discography), ARTHUR FRIEDHEIM, FRANK LA FORGE: Legendary 78rpm Recordings. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-424, recorded 1911-22. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1253)

    “Ferruccio Busoni developed a virtuoso keyboard technique that is in itself the stuff of legend. From an early age, Busoni pursued a serious interest in the music of J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Liszt. Although Busoni's reputation as a piano virtuoso of the first rank was established in Europe by the end of the 1880s, he first made his mark as an editor of Bach's keyboard music. While today these editions are regarded as among the most intrusive and heavily marked Bach scores ever made, Busoni's marginal remarks about Bach's thought processes and the analytic value of these comments influenced Bach scholars and composers for generations.

    As a piano teacher, Busoni started an international school of super-virtuosos. Claudio Arrau and Egon Petri are good examples of what Busoni wrought in terms of pianists. As to Busoni's own playing, there are some phonograph records of him made in 1922 and an enormous number of piano rolls. The records only hint at what his playing might've sounded like, but some of the better rolls offer a more generous sample of his artistry at the keyboard.”


    - Uncle Dave Lewis, allmusic.com


    “By the age of six, Arthur Friedheim was being taught piano by Carl Siecke, a pupil of Anton Rubinstein, whilst his début at the age of nine was with a piano concerto by John Field. At fourteen he continued lessons in composition and harmony with Siecke but began taking tuition in piano from Anton Rubinstein. Four years later, in August 1878, Friedheim arrived in Weimar to study with Franz Liszt, becoming not only a pupil of the great master but also his close friend and secretary. After Liszt’s death Friedheim lived in Leipzig from where he toured Europe (including Finland) and Russia promoting Liszt’s compositions, also occasionally appearing as a conductor. His first tour of England was in 1889, where he was appointed professor at the Royal Manchester College of Music, a post he held until 1904.

    Friedheim’s New York début was in 1891 with Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto, and during the first season at the newly opened Carnegie Hall in April 1891 he gave three recitals within a week. Friedheim toured both Europe and America before settling in New York around 1915; upon the death of Mahler in 1911 he was offered the post of conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, but refused it. He gave a few large recitals in Toronto in 1923 and in New York in 1924 and 1925.

    Friedheim recorded for Columbia in New York between 1911 and 1913 when he was in his early fifties….”


    - Jonathan Summers, Naxos' A–Z of Pianists


    “Frank La Forge toured Europe, Russia, and the United States as an accompanist to Marcella Sembrich. He taught a number of important American singers, including Marian Anderson, Lawrence Tibbett, Marie Powers, Emma Otero and Richard Crooks and served as accompanist for many vocal stars and instrumentalists of the day including Johanna Gadski, Ernestine Schumann-Heink and Margaret Matzenauer. These are unusual examples of his solo performances.”


  • - Wikipedia




  • PIERRE BOULEZ Cond. Cleveland S.O.: DAPHNIS ET CHLOÉ (Ravel); w. Margaret Hauptmann, Grace Reginald, Richard Miller & Roger Havranek: Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn), Live Performance, 2 April, 1970, Severence Hall; Water Music - Suite #1 (Handel), Live Performance, 24 Nov., 1967, Severence Hall. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-398. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1495)

    “Indeed, Boulez is the most acclaimed and influential ‘serious’ composer of our time, venturing way beyond exploring extensions of conventional tonality into serial, aleatory and electronic idioms. While his Berlioz, Mahler and Bruckner often seem cold and calculated (presumably out of a fellow-composer's extreme respect for the sufficiency of the scores), his Debussy and Ravel run the full gamut of emotion, with extreme tempos both urgent and patient. More than any other distinctive feature, Boulez brings out the full splendor of Ravel's variegated orchestration, with constant focus on the ever-shifting and evolving instrumental textures, while maintaining a clear, ‘modern’ sound - analytical without being clinical.”


  • - Peter Gutmann






    . . . REPEATED FROM THE RECENT PAST . . .





  • LOTTE LEHMANN: The Complete Acoustic Recordings, 1914-26; plus selected Opera & Lieder, 1927-32. Invaluable notes by Michael Aspinall & Personal reminiscences by André Tubeuf. 4-Marston 54006. (V2503)

    "Lotte Lehmann enjoyed a forty-year career spanning 1910 to 1950 on stage in opera and on the concert platform. Remembered now primarily for her portrayals of Wagner and Strauss roles and as a consummate interpreter of German lieder, her early recordings, not widely known, give us a broader picture of this great artist. It will, perhaps, not come as a surprise to hear Lehmann in her now familiar roles: Sieglinde, Elsa, Eva, and the Marschallin. What really makes these records outstanding is the ease and beauty of Lehmann's vocal production, and the opportunity of hearing her in repertoire not associated with her. We are treated to a generous sprinkling of Mozart, including three duets with baritone Heinrich Schlusnus, as well as arias by Weber, Lortzing, and Nicolai. Although she sings in German, you can hear French opera arias from LA JUIVE, FAUST, MIGNON, CARMEN, LES CONTES D’ HOFFMANN and MANON. From Italian opera, we hear the Willow Song from OTELLO and Puccini arias from MANON LESCAUT, LA BOHÈME, TOSCA, BUTTERFLY, and two rare recordings from SUOR ANGELICA. Other highlights include Lehmann's recording of Tatyana's Letter Scene from EUGEN ONÉGIN, an aria from d'Albert's DIE TOTEN AUGEN, and the exquisite aria and duet from Korngold's DIE TOTE STADT with tenor Richard Tauber. These are among the greatest treasures of the acoustic recording era. The booklet contains a biographical essay by Dr. Daniel Jacobson, Professor of Music at Western Michigan University, an essay on the recordings by Michael Aspinall, and a personal reminiscence by André Tubeuf, who has also provided numerous rare and lovely photos from Lehmann’s early career prior to her emergence onto the international operatic scene. Since there is some extra space at the end of the fourth CD, we are offering a selection of operatic and lieder recordings from her electric Odeon discography, 1927-1932."


  • - Ward Marston




  • PIERRE BOULEZ Cond. Cleveland S.O., w. Tatiana Troyanos & Zoltán Kelemen: BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE (Bartók), Live Performance, 16 March, 1972, Severence Hall. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-385. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1493)

    “Bartók first wrote BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE in 1911, but reworked it over several years until it reached its final form in 1917. While as a whole the opera is recognizably in the dominant late-romantic style of the turn of the century (very much influenced by his older contemporary Richard Strauss), each door Judith opens unlocks a new musical landscape, from the harsh dissonances and menacing flurries of strings and xylophone depicting Bluebeard’s torture chamber behind the first door, to the immense and climactic chords for the full orchestra depicting the endless expanse of his domain behind the fifth door. [Yves St Laurent presents] an archival recording of a concert production conducted by Pierre Boulez with Tatiana Troyanos as Judith and Zoltán Kelemen as luebeard].”


    – Alex Lawler, THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA


    “Boulez brings out so comprehensively the individuality and variety of the orchestral depictions of what lies concealed behind each door: blood, tears, weaponry, jewels and landscapes are so vividly glowingly and often hauntingly portrayed in sound. The climactic Fifth Door is simply thrilling, accompanied by Troyanos' sustained top C. Her voice is ideal in that she combines a slight tremulousness, suggestive of both fear and sensuality, with a vibrant, burnished warmth of tone that makes Judith a living, breathing woman of immense will and passion. Boulez's somewhat slower speeds create a hypnotic, mesmerizing atmosphere.”


  • - Ralph Moore, 7 May, 2016




  • LA DANSEUSE DE TANAGRA, Broadcast Performance, 1956, w. Cloëz Cond. Berthe Monmart, Nadine Sautereau, Solange Michel, Robert Massard, Jean Mollien, Michel Hamel & Lucien Lovano; LES HIRONDELLES - Excerpts, Broadcast Performance, 4 Nov., 1963, w.Jean Doussard Cond. Huguette Boulangeot, Claude Bergeret, Lucien Huberty, Aimé Doniat, Joseph Peyron & René Lenoty (both Henri Hirchmann); MARYSE BEAUJON, w.Bigot Cond.: La Danseuse de Tanagra - Je dansais, oui, jadis; Oui, près de toi - recorded 1930. (France) 2-Malibran 799. (OP3199)

    “A popular writer and journalist, Champsaur was the inventor of the character of Lulu, who would be later taken up by Wedekind and Alban Berg. After HÉRODIADE, Massenet had composed several operas situated in classical antiquity….Hirchmann followed the long lasting fashion for antique eroticism. The [above] plot inspired in Hirchmann the sensuous, colorful kind of music one could expect from a good disciple of Massenet.”


  • – Christophe Ghristi




  • PARISINA (Donizetti), w. Bruno Bartoletti Cond. Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Ensemble; Mariella Devia, Giorgio Zancanaro, Dalmacio Gonzales, Dimitri Kavrakos, Tiziana Tramonti, etc. (Italy) 2-Bongiovanni 2569/70, Live Performance, 20 May, 1990, Teatro della Pergola, Firenze, accompanied by elaborate 64pp Libretto-Brochure. (OP3200)

    “Nowadays, it must be said that it's difficult to hear a rare opera like this performed by a cast of such high quality. This recording, coming from the archives of Maggio Musical Fiorentino, boasts a singing company of a rare artistic level. Mariella Devia, who sings the title role, is one of the best loved ‘bel canto queens’ much appreciated both from critics and public in all the bel canto roles she has sung in her long career. The extremely difficult role of Ugo, which puts together the grace and the elegance of the light genre with the qualities of the dramatic operas, was sung in this performance by Catalan tenor Dalmacio Gonzales, who reaches easily the top of the stave. Giorgio Zancanaro is stylistically at ease in the role of Azzo, which marks the birth of the modern baritone from the very beginning of the opera, requiring the most powerful sound obtainable from such a voice, here is put to the test in the most difficult tessitura.”


  • - Ned Ludd




  • GUILLAUME TELL - Excerpts, w. Tony Poncet, Jean Borthayre & Irène Jaumillot. (France) Malibran AMR 125. (OP3201)

    “Vezzani clearly had the better and more pure style and Luccioni the more sensuous sound and more metal, but it was Poncet (The Last of the French ‘fort ténors’) who kept those Meyerbeer operas in the repertoire at a time when so called serious critics and managers thought them old trash. Lucky for us in the eighties some singers realized what a gap of operatic history was disappearing (and what possibilities for success) and though not common, a lot of revivals have proven these operas to be a treasure trove. But none of the tenors after Poncet (surely not in France) were able to step into his vocal shoes as most of them were spintos at their best. Tony Poncet was indeed the last ‘fort-ténor’.”


  • - Jan Neckers




  • SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY Cond. Boston S.O.: Symphony in d (Franck), Live Performance, 16 Feb., 1946. Hunter College, New York; w.Georges Mager (Trumpet) & Louis Speyer (English Horn): Quiet City (Copland), Live Performance, 10 March, 1945, Symphony Hall, Boston. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-410. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1492)

    QUIET CITY…recorded in March 1945…receives a finely paced and atmospheric reading, lucid and expressive, graced by a rich string wash of sound, its fervent lyricism revealing the Russian conductor’s strong identification with the music. Louis Speyer is the named cor anglais player, and he is both more secure and more technically adroit on this occasion than trumpeter Georges Mager, whose fluty vibrato and bugle-like tone are certainly characterful, if not wholly persuasive.”


  • - Jonathan Woolf




  • MAX LICHTEGG: A Voice for Generations, incl.Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Mahler, Schoeck, von Puttlingen, Niedermeyer, ben Haim, Ettinger, Moniuszko, Tschaikowsky, Verdi, and many more., etc. (E.U.) 4-Andromeda 9127, incl.44pp. Booklet. (V2496)

    ”The fact that the name Max Lichtegg is today mainly known only to record collectors has nothing at all to do with the artistic importance of this singer. Lichtegg belongs to the large number of artists who enjoyed enormous recognition and success during WW II and into the 50s and 60s; this was due to their stage presence, recordings, radio broadcasts and television appearances. In his prime, Max Lichtegg was without doubt the most popular tenor in Switzerland.

    After concerts in the USA and stage appearances in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Max Lichtegg returned in 1948 to Switzerland. In spite of very tempting offers from the Vienna State Opera he remained, for family reasons, faithful to the opera house in Zürich. He made guest appearances in Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Bilbao, Lucerne, Geneva, Monte Carlo, Strasbourg, Schwetzingen and many other cities. Until 1971 he also could frequently be heard as a guest star at the Opera in Zürich. The Art Song was of the greatest importance for Max Lichtegg who was one of the earliest tenors to champion the songs by Britten or von Einem.

    The set ends with Beethoven’s ‘Der Kuss’ taken from Lichtegg’s final public appearance at age 78 in August 1988. Time has dealt kindly with Lichtegg's voice though towards the end of his career the rock-like steadiness lost something of its quality but there was never a wobble and he was still able to thrill Zürich audiences as the late live recordings clearly show.

    Included in the 44pp. booklet are numerous photos, a detailed survey of his opera, operetta and concert repertoire and a complete discography.”


  • - Rudi van den Bulck, OPERANOSTALGIA, November, 2016


  • ANITA CERQUETTI, w.Gavazzeni Cond.: Arias from Norma, Agnese di Hohenstaufen, Aïda, I Vespri Siciliani, Nabucco, Ernani, Forza, La Gioconda & Tosca – recorded 1957; w.Gui Cond.: Oberon – Ozean, du Ungeheuer! (in Italian) - Broadcast Performance, 18 Jan., 1956; w.Rossi Cond.: I Vespri Siciliani – Arrigo, ah parli a un core – Broadcast Performance, 16 Nov., 1955; Guglielmo Tell – Selva opaca – Broadcast Performance, 5 Sept., 1956; Arias from La Wally & Andrea Chénier – Broadcast Performance, 26 Jan., 1956 (all w.RAI Orch.). (France) Malibran AMR 121. (V2501)

    “The brevity of Italian soprano Anita Cerquetti’s career was a great loss for the world of opera. But what she accomplished in those few years (September 1951 — October 1960, retiring at barely age 30) is amazing. The mystery of her early retirement remains a mystery. Hers was a voice of dramatic intensity, fiery temperament, plenty of volume, seemingly inexhaustible vocal reserves, and a flexibility that let her excel in bel canto roles and made her an ideal Verdian soprano. In performance, Cerquetti never stinted, giving it her all. Very soon she was deemed the new Callas and ‘inherited’ rôles that Callas had abandoned. Only three commercial recordings of Cerquetti were published in her brief career, all of them by Decca, all in 1957: a complete LA GIOCONDA, a recital of arias, and excerpts from NORMA (to have been a complete recording with Mario Del Monaco). That recital disc is heard here, along with a duet (with Giulietta Simionato) and an aria (‘Suicidio!’) from the GIOCONDA. In addition the disc contains five extracts from performances broadcast by RAI: ‘Bolero’ (VESPRI SICILIANI), ‘Mare, Superbo Mare’ (OBERON), ‘Ebben, ne Andro Lontano’ (LA WALLY), ‘La Mamma Morta’ (ANDREA CHÉNIER), and ‘Selva Opaca’ (WILLIAM TELL). The eight arias from the recital disc cover her repertory: Aïda, Norma, Abigaille, Tosca (which she never sang on stage), Elvira (ERNANI), Leonora (FORZA), Elena (VESPRI), and AGNESE DI HOHENSTAUFEN. It’s all here: the intensity, the excitement, the drama, and, alas, the sometimes hard, harsh edge in the top voice. But that is a small price to pay for great singing.”


  • - Charles H. Parsons, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, July/Aug., 2012


  • ERICH LEINSDORF Cond. Boston Symphony Orch.: 'Vetrate di Chiesa' (Respighi); Romeo and Juliet – Excerpts (Prokofiev); w.GINA BACHAUER: Piano Concerto #2 in c (Rachmaninoff); w.BEVERLY SILLS: DAPHNE - Final Scene (Strauss). [A most rewarding program comprising two different BSO concerts, in the magnificence of the glorious Symphony Hall acoustic!] (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-412, Live Performances, 1964 & 1967, Symphony Hall, Boston. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1491)

  • BENNO RABINOF, w.Alfred Wallenstein & Robert Stanley Cond.: Paganini, Lotto, Sarasate, Rimsky-Korsakov, Saint-Saëns, Wieniawski, Tschaikowsky, Rachmaninoff, Novácek, Achron & Bruch. (Canada) 2-Yves St Laurent YSL 78-411, Live Performances, 1943-44 [all from Rabinof's private acetates, not duplicated by the old out-of-print Pearl issue]. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0704)

    “In his playing, Benno Rabinof represented the continuation in America of Auer’s most brilliant pupils from Russia, perhaps more so than any of the numerous other hopefuls who flocked to the Auer banner after his American arrival. Auer conducted the 19-year old Rabinof’s 1927 Carnegie Hall début in the Tschaikowsky and Elgar Concerti….like so many others in the Heifetz shadow, Rabinof was unable to generate a top-level career despite encouraging reviews. In the early 1940s he played a 28-week cycle of nationwide radio broadcasts [above] with Alfred Wallenstein conducting. I recall being thoroughly impressed….he understood and employed the expressive devices in position changes of both Heifetz and Kreisler with good taste. Technically, he could handle any genre of music in the staple repertoire with ease. In the hierarchy of ear-titillating vioinists, Rabinof ranks among the elite. It was essentially instinctual, spontaneous, visceral playing.”


  • - Henry Roth, VIOLIN VIRTUOSOS, p.246




  • K. K. HOFOPER WIEN 1904, featuring 59 Odeon recordings, recorded in September 1904 for the International Talking Machine Co. Most of them available on CD for the time, incl. Wilhelm Hesch, Friedrich Weidemann, Hermine Kittel, Elise Elizza, Betty Schubert, Jenny Pohlner, Leo Slezak & Frantísek Pácal; Oskar Dachs (Pf.) & Marko Radossawljewitsch (Flute). (Germany) 2-Truesound Transfers 4003, recorded 1904, Vienna. Transfers by Christian Zwarg & Carl Max Goldstein. (V2499)

    “...an absolute revelation! Here, the voices come through with tonal sheen, passion and with more personality than any other transfers have been able to bring out. Dynamics and agility are in better relief, as is a sensitivity I had always found lacking. These transfers are absolutely miraculous, and I hope for more Truesound transfers.”


  • - Davyd Booth, GREAT SINGERS REMEMBERED, WHYY – NPR




  • THE 1902 LONDON 'REDS', featuring Pol Plançon, Emma Calvé, Maurice Renaud, Anton van Rooy, David Bispham, Antonio Scotti, Suzanne Adams, Jan Kubelik, etc. (Germany) 2-Truesound Transfers 4002, recorded 1902, London. Transfers by Christian Zwarg. (V2495)



  • MARGARETHE SIEMS: Songs by Alabieff, Eckert, Proch & Johann Strauss; Arias & Duets (w.Arányi, Zador & Förstel) from Guillaume Tell, Les Huguenots, Lakmé, Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Norma, Martha, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Aïda, Lucia, Dinorah, Norma, La Fille du Régiment, Martha, Lakmé, Mignon & Nozze; w.Eva von der Osten & Minnie Nast: Der Rosenkavalier – Excerpts, the latter being CREATOR Recordings. (Germany) 2-Truesound Transfers 4002, recorded 1903-12, Dresden, Berlin & Prague. Transfers by Christian Zwarg. (V2494)

    “Finest of all [in Les Huguenots] perhaps, is Margarethe Siems, the original Marschallin, whose version is easily the most elaborate but who sings with indolent grace and effortless bravura. When this is allied to a meticulous attention to dynamic markings, it has the expansiveness and grandeur of style that this music requires.”


  • - Vivian A. Liff, IL CORRIERE DELLA GRISI, 9 Sept., 2008


  • ZARA DOLUKHANOVA, w.Nina Svetlanova (Pf.): Songs by Glinka, Tschaikowsky, Komitas, Poulenc, etc.; Armenian Songs; Arias from Nozze and Tosca. [A rare recital which features Dolukhanova after her successful transition to Soprano, beautifully recorded from the front row of Philharmonic Hall in remarkably clear sound.] (Canada) Yves St Laurent YSL T-421, Live Performance, Philharmonic Hall, New York, 13 Nov., 1970. (V2497)



  • GEORI BOUÉ, w.Jean Pasquier, Quatuor Pascal, Louis Beydts, Roger Cortet, Albert Wolff & Gustave Cloëz: Songs by Debussy, Chausson, Hahn, Heitz-Boyer, Beydts & Schubert; Arias from Nozze, Mireille, Manon, Faust, Madama Butterfly, La Boheme & Otello; Duets w.ROGER BOURDIN by Terrasse & Hahn. [This glorious release offers Boué's major recordings for French Odéon, as well as the early '50s 'picture disk' rarities from Saturne & Le Lutrin, all meticulously transferred from original 78rpm mint copies. Her inimitable recording of Hahn's 'D'une prison' alone is worth the price of the entire set. One might weep after hearing Boué's demonstration of exquisite French musicality and style, by now an entirely lost art. This recital is a unique treasure!] (Canada) 2-Yves St Laurent YSL 78-422, recorded 1943-53, Odéon, Saturne & Le Lutrin. (V3000)



  • MARIO GILION: Arias from Gli Ugonotti, Guglielmo Tell, Il Profeta, L'Africana, Norma, Il Trovatore, Otello, Don Carlos, Forza, Ballo, Germania, Cavalleria, Jone, Carmen, La Juive, Samson et Dalila, Tannhäuser & Die Walküre. [For the tenor enthusiast who has everything and everyone!] (France) Malibran AMR 119, from Fonotipia disks. (V2500)



  • ANTONIETTA STELLA: Arias from Luisa Miller, Ernani, Il Trovatore & Forza w.Franco Corelli & Mario del Monaco: Duets from Andrea Chénier & Tosca. (France) Malibran AMR 122, Live Performances, Palermo, Firenze, Napoli & Milano, 1955-65. (V2498)



  • LUIS MARIANO (Mariano Eusebio González y García): Songs by Bucino, Luchesi, Bourtayre, Puech, Larue, Contet, Emer, Durand, van Parys, Provost & Freed; La belle de Cadix – Songs (Francis Lopez). [Mariano Eusebio González y García, also known as Luis Mariano, was a popular tenor of Spanish Basque origin who achieved celebrity in 1946 with 'La belle de Cadix', an operetta by Francis Lopez. A charming stylist, indeed!] (France) Malibran CDRG 505, excellent transfers, 1939-45. (V2502)

    “Mariano Eusebio González y García moved from the Basque region to reside on the French side. Later he became Luis Mariano, ‘prince of the operetta’, thanks to his ‘voice of gold, sun and love’ which, together with the romantic ambiguity of his character, made him an idol never forgotten in this country.”


  • - elpais.com, July 15, 1980






    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 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 are 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.

    Ensemble Elyma  (Gabriel Garrido)     (K617 035)
    V2404. Gabriel Garrido Cond.Ensemble Elyma: Torrejón y Velasco Musique à la Cité des Rois Les Chemins du baroque, Vol. 5. (France) K617 035, recorded 1993. Handsome slipcase Edition w.Brochure. The French label K617 was launched in 1990 and has issued numerous recordings, many of which have received important awards such as Diapason d’Or de l’année, RTL d’Or, ffff Télérama, Fondation Cini à Venise. Its ‘Pathways of the Baroque’ series explores forgotten treasures of the European and Latin American Baroque. Final sealed copy! - 3383510000352
    $29.90
    Ferruccio Busoni, Arthur Friedheim, Frank La Forge      (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-424)
    P1253. FERRUCCIO BUSONI (Busoni’s complete recorded discography), ARTHUR FRIEDHEIM, FRANK La FORGE: Legendary 78rpm Recordings. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-424, recorded 1911-22. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
    $19.90
    Samson et Dalila   (Paray;  Madeira, da Costa, Ludgin)    (2–St Laurent Studio YSL T-403)
    OP3202. 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.
    $29.90
    Pierre Boulez, Vol. IX  -  Daphnis et Chloe (Ravel), Handel & Haydn    (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-398)
    C1495. PIERRE BOULEZ Cond. Cleveland S.O.: DAPHNIS ET CHLOÉ (Ravel); w.Margaret Hauptmann, Grace Reginald, Richard Miller & Roger Havranek: Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn), Live Performance, 2 April, 1970, Severence Hall; Water Music - Suite #1 (Handel), Live Performance, 24 Nov., 1967, Severence Hall. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-398. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
    $29.90
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    Jussi Bjorling; Bertil Bokstedt - Copenhagen Recital (JSP 682)

    $19.90Marian Anderson - Copenhagen & Lincoln Memorial Recitals  (JSP 683)
    Marian Anderson - Copenhagen & Lincoln Memorial Recitals (JSP 683)

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

    $49.90Norma  (Bomynge;  Sutherland, Horne, Alexander, Cross)     (3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1055)
    Norma (Bomynge; Sutherland, Horne, Alexander, Cross) (3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1055)

    $39.90Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2016 Issue              (VRCS-2016)
    Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2016 Issue (VRCS-2016)

    $19.90Verdi Requiem  - Toscanini;  Milanov, Bjorling, Castagna  (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1073)
    Verdi Requiem - Toscanini; Milanov, Bjorling, Castagna (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1073)

    $39.90Verdi Requiem - Toscanini;  Milanov, Roswaenge, Thorborg   (2-Immortal Performances IPCD  1058)
    Verdi Requiem - Toscanini; Milanov, Roswaenge, Thorborg (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1058)

    $39.90Aida   /   Carmen  (Vickers, Zeani, Bumbry, Merrill)    (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1056)
    Aida / Carmen (Vickers, Zeani, Bumbry, Merrill) (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1056)

    $49.90Artur Rodzinski, Vol. XXXVI;  Arthur Rubinstein    (YSL 78-404)
    Artur Rodzinski, Vol. XXXVI; Arthur Rubinstein (YSL 78-404)

    $17.90Claudia Novikova  &  Obukhova  (Eclectra E CCD-2029)
    Claudia Novikova & Obukhova (Eclectra E CCD-2029)

    $19.90Le Trille un Art Perdu   (The Lost Art of the Trill)   (Malibran AMR 123)
    Le Trille un Art Perdu (The Lost Art of the Trill) (Malibran AMR 123)

    $19.90Mignon - TWO Performances  (Tourel, Stevens, Crooks, Tokatyan, Rothier)   (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1061)
    Mignon - TWO Performances (Tourel, Stevens, Crooks, Tokatyan, Rothier) (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1061)

    $49.95Don Giovanni - TWO Performances  (Szell; Pinza, Steber, Sayao, Kullman) (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1059)
    Don Giovanni - TWO Performances (Szell; Pinza, Steber, Sayao, Kullman) (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1059)

    $49.95The Bing Girls are There     (Nat D. Ayer)     (Palaeophonics 136)
    The Bing Girls are There (Nat D. Ayer) (Palaeophonics 136)

    $19.90Lotte Lehmann:  The Complete Acoustic Recordings, 1914-26     (4-Marston 54006)
    Lotte Lehmann: The Complete Acoustic Recordings, 1914-26 (4-Marston 54006)

    $71.90Il Tabarro;    Don Pasquale  (Albanese, Tibbett, Sayao, Martini)  (3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1057)
    Il Tabarro; Don Pasquale (Albanese, Tibbett, Sayao, Martini) (3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1057)

    $49.95Arturo Toscanini;   Rethberg, Schorr; Horowitz       (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1068)
    Arturo Toscanini; Rethberg, Schorr; Horowitz (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1068)

    $39.90Eugen Onegin   (Alekseyev, Kozlovsky, Kashevarova)  (2-AQVR 398)
    Eugen Onegin (Alekseyev, Kozlovsky, Kashevarova) (2-AQVR 398)

    $39.90Margarethe Siems; Aranyi, Forstel, etc. (2-Truesound Transfers 4001)
    Margarethe Siems; Aranyi, Forstel, etc. (2-Truesound Transfers 4001)

    $29.90The 1902 London 'Reds'          (2-Truesound Transfers 4002)
    The 1902 London 'Reds' (2-Truesound Transfers 4002)

    $29.90Hullo America!    (Janis, Chevalier, Lupino)     (Palaeophonics 112)
    Hullo America! (Janis, Chevalier, Lupino) (Palaeophonics 112)

    $19.90The Shop Girl  (Alfred Lester, Evelyn Laye, Bates)   (Palaeophonics 132)
    The Shop Girl (Alfred Lester, Evelyn Laye, Bates) (Palaeophonics 132)

    $19.90Bric-a-Brac    (Millar, Jeffries, Gerard, Johnson)   (Palaeophonics 123)
    Bric-a-Brac (Millar, Jeffries, Gerard, Johnson) (Palaeophonics 123)

    $19.90Marian Anderson;  Rupp;   Mitropoulos    (St Laurent Studio YSL T-384)
    Marian Anderson; Rupp; Mitropoulos (St Laurent Studio YSL T-384)

    $19.90The Artistry of Virginia Zeani     (9-Musique Aria 7648401)
    The Artistry of Virginia Zeani (9-Musique Aria 7648401)

    $69.90Nineteenth Century Italian Tenors        (3-Marston 53018)
    Nineteenth Century Italian Tenors (3-Marston 53018)

    $53.90Contes d'Hoffmann  (Beecham;  Jobin, Singher, Pinza, Djanel, Novotna)    (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1060)
    Contes d'Hoffmann (Beecham; Jobin, Singher, Pinza, Djanel, Novotna) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1060)

    $39.95Irene Jordan, Vol. II;  MEDEAD  (Giannini) -   Paray  (2-YSL T-343)
    Irene Jordan, Vol. II; MEDEAD (Giannini) - Paray (2-YSL T-343)

    $29.90As You Were        (Alice Delysia)           (Palaeophonics 139)
    As You Were (Alice Delysia) (Palaeophonics 139)

    $19.90Ivan Kozlovsky          (Aquarius  AQVR 395)
    Ivan Kozlovsky (Aquarius AQVR 395)

    $19.90Rosenkavalier  (Leinsdorf;  Ludwig, Della Casa, Soderstrom, Czerwenka, Fernandi)  (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1050)
    Rosenkavalier (Leinsdorf; Ludwig, Della Casa, Soderstrom, Czerwenka, Fernandi) (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1050)

    $49.95Ignacy Jan Paderewski - Complete Victor Recordings  (5-APR 7505)
    Ignacy Jan Paderewski - Complete Victor Recordings (5-APR 7505)

    $39.90Toscanini;  Horowitz    (Immortal Performances IPCD 1054)
    Toscanini; Horowitz (Immortal Performances IPCD 1054)

    $19.90Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2015 Issue         (VRCS-2015)
    Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2015 Issue (VRCS-2015)

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

    $19.90Charles Munch, Vol. XI;   Margaret Harshaw    (YSL T-335)
    Charles Munch, Vol. XI; Margaret Harshaw (YSL T-335)

    $17.90Karel Ancerl   -   Ma Vlast     (St Laurent Studio YSL T-340)
    Karel Ancerl - Ma Vlast (St Laurent Studio YSL T-340)

    $17.90William Kapell - Broadcasts, Concert Performances  3-Marston 53021
    William Kapell - Broadcasts, Concert Performances 3-Marston 53021

    $53.90GIGLI         (Leonardo Ciampa)
    GIGLI (Leonardo Ciampa)

    $29.90Erich 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)

    $29.90Leopold Stokowski;  Sutherland, Corelli, Starr   (Testament SBT 1513)
    Leopold Stokowski; Sutherland, Corelli, Starr (Testament SBT 1513)

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

    $17.90Otello   (Uzunov, Milanov, MacNeil;  Schippers)    (2-HTM 65-001)
    Otello (Uzunov, Milanov, MacNeil; Schippers) (2-HTM 65-001)

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    Samson et Dalila (Jobin, Scharley, Bianco) (2-Malibran 789)

    $39.90Germaine Lubin;  Lucienne de Meo;  Gerard Souzay  (2-Marston 52070)
    Germaine Lubin; Lucienne de Meo; Gerard Souzay (2-Marston 52070)

    $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)

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

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

    $17.90Ballo    (Gavazzeni;  Callas, di Stefano, Bastianini, Simionato, Ratti)    (2-Myto 00131)
    Ballo (Gavazzeni; Callas, di Stefano, Bastianini, Simionato, Ratti) (2-Myto 00131)

    $9.95