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This week we are delighted to be offering:ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. NBC S.O.: Il Signor Bruschino – Overture (Rossini), Les francs-juges - Overture; Romeo et Juliette - Love Scene; Queen Mab Scherzo; Le Damnation de Faust - Rakoczy March (all Berlioz); Symphony #3 in a (Mendelssohn), Complete Concert of 5 April, 1941, Studio 8H, New York, w.broadcast commentary by Gene Hamilton; w.Vina Bovy, Kerstin Thorborg, Jan Peerce, Ezio Pinza & Schola Cantorum: Choral Symphony #9 in D (Beethoven), Live Performance, 6 Feb., 1938, Carnegie Hall, w.broadcast commentary by Gene Hamilton & Milton Cross. (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1079. Restoration by Richard Caniell. Includes 34pp Booklet w.notes by Robert Matthew-Walker & Richard Caniell. (C1556)
“Despite the similarities between the various Toscanini Beethoven Ninth performances, none is a carbon copy of the other, each with individual touches and strengths. The February 6, 1938 Ninth is played with an arresting combination of stunning intensity and tonal beauty. And the finale includes what is probably the finest quartet of vocal soloists to be found among the Toscanini performances preserved on recordings. Olin Downes, music critic for THE NEW YORK TIMES deemed it ‘the most dramatic performance of the Ninth Symphony it has ever been this writer’s privilege to hear’. It is a rendition that certainly merits a place in any representative collection of Toscanini’s recorded legacy, and should be of interest to all who love this unique masterpiece. Comparing the new mastering of this performance with a very fine 2004 Music & Arts issue reveals a warmer and more natural acoustic in the Immortal Performances release, better conveying the sense of the expanse of Carnegie Hall, but without any corresponding loss of clarity or definition.
The booklet contains the Olin Downes NEW YORK TIMES review of the Beethoven Ninth performance, an essay by Robert Matthew-Walker on the featured works and Toscanini’s interpretations, Richard Caniell’s Recording Notes, and description of Toscanini’s contentious relationship with Charles O’Connell, RCA Victor’s head of recordings….This is a most welcome set that will be self-recommending to fans of Toscanini, and well worth exploring by all who love this repertoire.
Some of the performances from the April 5, 1941 NBC Symphony Orchestra program have been previously released as individual items. The Immortal Performances release is, however, the first time the concert has been presented in its entirety. It’s fascinating to listen to how Toscanini manipulates the NBC SO’s tonal quality to showcase the different sound worlds of Rossini, Mendelssohn, and Berlioz. The concert, in very good broadcast sound for the period, opens with Rossini’s Overture to the opera IL SIGNOR BRUSCHINO, light as a feather, immaculately played, and brimming with a subtle and delightful flexibility of tempo, too often overlooked in assessing Toscanini’s art. The April 5, 1941 Mendelssohn Third Symphony is the only performance of the work by Toscanini that is preserved on disc, and it is a very special one indeed. Toscanini takes a strikingly broad approach to the first movement’s introduction that nonetheless generates a breathtaking intensity and forward drive, before resolving to the ensuing principal quick-tempo section. Here, Toscanini’s fleet tempos, superb execution by the NBC SO, and (once again) brilliant application of rubato, make the opening movement the arresting dramatic experience it should be. The second-movement scherzo, once again taken at an impressive clip, ideally balances the quicksilver and more robust rustic elements. The third-movement Adagio glows with a rapt lyricism, but never loses its sense of pulse and momentum. The finale opens with a violent, razor-sharp fortissimo chord. From there, Toscanini and the Orchestra generate breathtaking momentum, culminating in a blazing account of the closing bars. This is among the most compelling accounts of the Mendelssohn Third I have ever experienced….For want of a better term, the new Immortal Performances set offers a more ‘musical’ document of this sterling interpretation.
The April 5, 1941 concert concludes with four excerpts by one of Toscanini’s favorites, French composer Hector Berlioz. The Overture to the early, unfinished opera LES FRANCS-JUGES is beautifully and enthusiastically dispatched (like the Mendelssohn, this is the only recording of Toscanini performing the work). Two ravishing excerpts from the dramatic symphony ROMEO ET JULIETTE may well be the highlight of this unforgettable concert. The ‘Love Scene’ is performed with aching tenderness, and a lyricism that flows unabated from start to finish. The occasional appearance of delicate string portamentos is an added delight. Over the years, Toscanini poured his heart and soul into surmounting the fiendish challenges posed by the ‘Queen Mab’ Scherzo. It is music that demands almost superhuman precision of execution, all the while conveying an otherworldly delicacy. Here, Toscanini and the NBC SO deliver a sterling rendition. The softer passages of the two ROMEO ET JULIETTE excerpts contain the most noticeable surface noise, but not enough to detract from the magic of these renditions. The program concludes with a propulsive, hair-raising performance of the ‘Rakoczy March’ from THE DAMNATION OF FAUST.”
- Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, Sept. /Oct., 2017PAUL PARAY Cond. Detroit S.O.: La procession nocturne (Rabaud); Snegourotchka - Several sections (Rimsky-Korsakov); w.ZINO FRANCESCATTI: Symphonie espagnole (Lalo). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-489, Live Performance, 29 Feb., 1968. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1559)
“Zino Francescatti (1902-91) 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 trained by his father, a concertmaster in Marseilles, and performed in the Straram Orchestra of Paris before coming late to a career as a soloist and chamber musician. 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., 2012
"Paray established a solid reputation as a French conductor, heading orchestras in Lamoureux, Monte Carlo and Paris. American guest stints led to his appointment as permanent conductor of the recently reorganized DSO. Their very first records prove that he quickly forged the ensemble into a truly great orchestra and transformed its sound into a replica of those he had known in France.
Paray brought to all his work the highest achievement in any art, whether acting, painting or music – from careful preparation, constant revision and grueling work emerges something natural, accessible and inviting. And through this process, Paray created and preserved an island of his native land in a most unlikely place, as distant geographically and culturally as could be. His DSO records prove his undeniable success.”
- Peter Gutmann, classicalnotesERICH LEINSDORF Cond. Boston Symphony Orch.: Orpheus - Symphonic Poem (Liszt); Hary Janos – Suite (Kodaly), Live Performance, 7 April, 1963; w.RUDOLF SERKIN: Piano Concerto #19 in F, K.549 (Mozart), Live Performance, 18 Feb., 1964. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-457, both Symphony Hall, Boston. [Beautifully displaying the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic. The exquisite performance of the Mozart Concerto alone is worth the price of the entire concert!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1557)
"Rudolf Serkin joined the international elite while still a teen-ager and by incessant, tireless practice held ranking for more than half a century as an artist of the highest type. He was an eminent 20th-century representative of a Viennese tradition that mingled the classical and romantic styles of pianism….Mr. Serkin first played in the United States in 1933, with Busch at a Coolidge Festival concert in the Library of Congress in Washington. He did not perform here again until his formal debut in New York on 20 Feb., 1936, when he appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic under Toscanini. His recital debut came on 11 Jan., 1937, at Carnegie Hall. The next year Mr. Serkin and Busch performed the complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas at Town Hall. In 1939, Mr. Serkin joined the piano faculty of the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where he taught for 36 years. From 1968 to 1975, he was director of the institute….A longtime colleague, after giving the phenomenon some thought, remarked: 'It's impossible to talk about anybody's being saintly in this age, but Serkin is'."
- Donal Henahan, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 10 May, 1991BRUNO MADERNA Cond. RTF S.O.: Symphonies of Wind Instruments (Stravinsky); BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Enesmble du Domaine Musical: Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op.10; BRUNO MADERNA Cond. RAI S.O., Torino: Variations for Orchestra, Op.30 (both Webern); BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Sudfunk-Sinfonieorch.: Turandot – suite (Busoni); BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Saarlarlandischer Rundfunk S.O., w. CHRISTIANE EDINGER: Violin Concerto, Op.36 (Schonberg). [Another brilliant and fascinating Maderna issue from Yves St Laurent; the Schonberg Violin Concerto is irresistible!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-476, Live Performances, 1963-71. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1551)
“While she has often been associated with the standards of the violin repertory, particularly those from the German School, Christiane Edinger has played a variety of works throughout her career, including concertos by Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens, Elgar, Prokofiev, Bartok, and Khachaturian, as well as several by contemporary composers like Penderecki, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Boris Blacher, Howard Blake, and Cristobal Halffter, who wrote two concertos specifically for her. Though she has lacked the superstar status of modern string players like Anne-Sophie Mutter, Edinger was and still is recognized as one of the finest German violinists of her generation. She has performed with the leading orchestras in Europe and the Americas and has collaborated with such conductors as Herbert von Karajan, Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Christoph Eschenbach, and many others. She has also regularly performed chamber music, notably in her ensemble, the Edinger Quartet. Her recordings are still widely available on a range of labels, including ASV, Arte Nova, Audite, Naxos, Orfeo, and others.
Christiane Edinger was born in Potsdam, Germany, on March 20, 1945. Her father was the virtuoso pianist Gerhard Puchelt. Edinger began studying the violin at five and her advanced studies were at the Berlin Hochschule fur Musik and Juilliard School of Music. Her list of teachers is impressive: Vittorio Brero (Berlin), Nathan Milstein (Switzerland), and Joseph Fuchs (Juilliard). At 19 Edinger appeared at the Berlin Festival playing works by Boris Blacher, risky repertoire at the time. Her performances were so impressive, though, that she was immediately invited to appear with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom she played the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. Edinger was soon an imposing presence on the international scene, regularly performing at the major concert venues across the globe. She has appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic more than a dozen times, in concerto repertory by Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Blacher, Zimmermann, and many others. From the 1990s Edinger began making more frequent chamber music appearances. The Edinger Quartet has garnered much critical acclaim, notably from recordings on the Audite label of music by Eduard Franck. Edinger plays a 1623 Amati.”
- Robert Cummings, allmusic.com
. . . REPEATED FROM THE RECENT PAST . . .
GIANNA PEDERZINI: Songs, Arias & Duet (with Renato Zanelli) by Ala, Alfano, Billi, Bizet, Canaro, Cannio, Cardillo, Chopin/Marbot, Cilea, de Curtis, de Falla, Errico, Giordano, Granados, Lama, Mari, Mascagni, Mozart, Pieraccini, Rossini, Sadero, Schultze, Tagliaferri, Thomas, Tosti, Verdi, A. Williams, plus Brahms & Strauss (the latter two in German). (Canada) 2-St. Laurent Studio 78-522, recorded 1928-46. [Not to be missed is the elegant two-volume Pederzini biography in Italian by Maurizio Tiberi, B1861] (V2540)
“This spectacularly successful set, available from Norbeck, Peters & Ford (www.norpete.com
), may serve to introduce all but the most fanatical collectors to a great Italian mezzo-soprano. Gianna Pederzini (1900-1988) had a very successful career for almost four decades, starting in the early 1920s. She chose to focus her life in her native Italy and thus did not gain an international reputation equal to other singers of her caliber. I reviewed a Preiser LP recital in FANFARE 4:1
, commenting that while the voice itself is not remarkable, what makes Pederzini stand out is the ‘sheer grandness of her singing’. Then, in FANFARE 8:2
, Anthony D. Coggi was equally positive about her in reviewing a Timaclub LP.
This two-disc collection assembled by Yves St. Laurent (no, not the same person as the designer) is superb. The transfers are clean, pitched properly, and give focus and presence to the voice; the selections span from 1928 to 1946. The range of repertoire in which Pederzini was comfortable is extraordinary. Whether singing Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, the verismo composers or Neapolitan songs, she sounds completely at home. Pederzini was known as an intelligent musician, and she sang in many contemporary works during her career. She treats all of the fluff included here with elegance and respect, uplifting and enhancing even the slightest musical material. One example is ‘Ninna Nanna in Grigioverde’, also known as ‘Canzone di Guerra’ composed by Giovanni Militello for the 1941 film L’ANGELO DEL CREPUSCOLO
. This song was used by the Mussolini government as a patriotic statement (it was sung in the film by Gigli) and incorporates phrases from ‘Taps’. Somehow, Pederzini (who was the mistress of a major Fascist official) makes real music of this.
Most of all, this is singing with a presence, with a face that comes alive in your mind as you listen. Pederzini studied for five years with the great tenor Fernando de Lucia. Lanfranco Rasponi’s invaluable THE LAST PRIMA DONNAS
], a collection of interviews with important historic opera singers, devotes a chapter to Pederzini, and she says of her studies with de Lucia, ‘He taught me not only what singing was all about, but impeccable diction, which he claimed - and how right he was! - made the difference between a singer and an artist’. The crispness of her diction, in whatever language, is a model. You could take dictation from it. In addition, Pederzini has clearly thought about the meaning of the words and the dynamic shading appropriate for each number.
She can sing with melting tenderness (‘Ninna nanna istriana’ by Geni Sadero), touching sadness (Ralph Marbot’s setting of Chopin’s ‘Tristezza’), and exuberant joy (the Rossini numbers). Her dynamic control and imagination are splendid, as in the gorgeous held final note of ‘Catari’ (which you might better know as ‘Core ‘ngrato’). One particularly lovely song, given a beautiful and urgent treatment, is ‘Crepusculo triste’ by Umberto Giordano. Giordano wrote it in 1904 specifically for the gramophone (intended for mezzo-soprano Nini Frascani), and Pederzini recorded it twice, in 1928 and 1940. Giordano must have been thrilled; he thought so much of her that he offered to transpose the title role of FEDORA
This set contains a good chunk of her Carmen, a role for which she was famous because of her singing, acting, and seductive good looks. The various Don Josés included Gigli, Lauri-Volpi, Merli, Masini, and Vinay, all the way to Corelli! The recording of the final scene here, with Renato Zanelli, is hair-raisingly exciting. Pederzini’s coloratura in Rossini may not be quite as free as Supervia’s or Horne’s, but it is more than adequate to the task, and she brings her own strong persona to Isabella’s two arias from L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI
In fact it is this strong persona that is the most distinguishing characteristic of Pederzini’s art. Allied to it musically is how well she has thought out details of phrasing, articulation, inflection, and shading, and yet what comes across sounds as if it is being created on the spot. There is not one track on the two discs that does not evidence a strong personality, a highly developed musical intelligence, and a sense of passion for the act of singing.
The operatic numbers are all accompanied by orchestra, the songs by piano. All of the accompaniments are at least adequate, and many are more than that. As is usual with St. Laurent Studio, there are no program notes or texts. However, the painstaking care with which the transfers have been done is reward enough for lovers of great singing.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE(GIANNA PEDERZINI) Maurizio Tiberi. Gianna Pederzini - Biography. Roma, 2-TIMA Club, 2016. 439pp. in Two Volumes; Index; Exhaustive Chronology, 1923-72; Discography, 1928-49; Repertoire; copious Photos, many never before in print; Illustrated with concert & opera program reproductions, newspaper articles & reviews, plus delightful caricatures. (Italian Text) (Pictorial thick paper covers) (B1861)
“[Pederzini’s] tone production, enunciation and acting skills were in perfect balance for many years and were enhanced by a vivid imaginative identification with each of the seventy characters that she performed, ranging chronologically from Mozart to Poulenc….[She employed] a fascinating grasp of character highlighted by an exceptionally expressive enunciation unmatched by any Italian mezzo in recent decades….the female equivalent of Tito Schipa….[this pair of books presents] a detailed chronology and discography (which includes live recordings) in volume two, [plus] numerous and often rare illustrations….Fernando de Lucia immediately recognized her talent and provided her with a technique with which she could fully exploit the potential of a voice that was less naturally endowed in volume and rich overtones than those of her contemporaries Ebe Stignani and Bruna Castagna….The books contain indices of names for both the career chronology and main text and is every bit as recommendable as Tiberi’s earlier volumes on Giovanni Martinelli [B0120
] and Giacomo Lauri-Volpi [B0743
- Stephen Hastings, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2017LENER QUARTET: Quartet in a, Op.51, #2, recorded 11 Aug., 1931; Quartet in B-flat, Op.67, recorded 4 March, 1929 (both Brahms). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-634. Remarkably quiet transfers from superb Royal Blue Columbia Shellac 78s by Yves St Laurent. This is the first in that which will be a monumental series of Lener Quartet CDs produced by Yves St Laurent! (S0710)
“The best thing about this release is that on the disc it says: ‘Lener Quartet, Vol. 1’. That means more is coming, for which all lovers of chamber music should be grateful. The Lener String Quartet was founded in 1918 by Hungarian violinist Jeno Lener, and the original four members (Lener plus Josef Smilovitz, Sandor Roth, and Imre Hartmann) remained together until 1942, when apparently a conflict erupted because Lener wanted extensive rehearsal before performances of their scheduled Beethoven cycle in Mexico City. The other members objected that after decades of playing those quartets, extensive rehearsal was not needed. For almost a quarter-century before the breakup, the Leners rivalled the Budapest Quartet in international fame. To them fell the honor of making the first complete recorded cycle of the complete Beethoven quartets. Unlike today’s world, when such a project would be done quickly, this enterprise spanned from 1926 to 1938.
The Lener discography is extensive. They recorded, in addition to the Beethoven cycle, the three Brahms quartets (as well as the quintets with piano and clarinet), the Debussy and Ravel quartets, and works by Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Schumann, and Dvorak. In 1929 the Columbia Gramophone Company presented them with a golden record, honoring the sale of the millionth Lener recording! Ravel heard them and liked their playing so much that he personally coached the Leners in his quartet and urged them to play an all-Ravel program.
There is undoubtedly something quite old-fashioned about the way the Leners play, with a varied but heavy use of vibrato, considerable portamento (sliding from one note to another), a strong use of rubato, and extremes of dynamic shading. Some modern listeners will object that the playing is too free, but to others it will be the kind of deeply-felt, highly personal music-making that has sadly disappeared, for the most part, from our concert stages. As you might guess, I fall into the latter category.
The present recordings of the Brahms Quartets Nos. 2 and 3 were made in 1929 (Op. 67) and 1931 (Op. 51/2), so the group had already been together for more than a decade. By this time they were masters at matching sounds and colors. Daniel Barenboim once said that an ideal orchestra must play as if with one pair of lungs and one heart. This is precisely the impression one gets from the Leners here. The blending of sonority in the two slow movements is miraculous. The way that they feed each other phrases is a perfect example of musical give-and-take. If you try to listen analytically, you will realize that an incredible amount of thought and experience must have gone into the level of musical communication going on throughout these pieces. However, it is nearly impossible to listen analytically because of the captivating ebb and flow of the performances.
To me, this is quartet playing of almost indescribable beauty. That St. Laurent Studio is making at least a part of the Lener Quartet’s discography available to a wider public is cause for rejoicing. The transfers are very good, with whatever surface noise on the originals reduced or eliminated while retaining the full range of color produced by the group. There are no notes, just track listings and documentation of original recording information. The disc is available at Norbeck, Peters & Ford (norpete.com
). It is an early candidate for my FANFARE
- Henry Fogel, FANFAREDAVID OISTRAKH, w. Mravinsky Cond. Leningrad Phil.: Violin Concerto #1 in a (Shostakovitch), Live Performance, 29 Oct., 1955 (Played by the dedicatee & creator; World Premiere); w. Franz Andre Cond. Belgian Radio & TV Phil.: Concert Suite in g, Op.28 (Taneyev), Live Performance, 1950. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-509. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0711)
“As many know, Shostakovich wrote two violin concerti. But his work list suggests two separate versions of the First, the Op.77 and the Op.99. The Violin Concerto #1 was originally completed in 1948, but withheld for seven years by the composer, owing to the oppressive climate for artists in the Soviet Union at the time. Any new work might have drawn the wrath of Stalin and his cronies in the arts. Shostakovich returned to the score in 1955 and then assigned the higher opus number to it. Actually, the only documented change he made came not as a result of second thoughts, but as a matter of consideration for the soloist. During rehearsals in 1955, the virtuoso violinist David Oistrakh requested of Shostakovich that the opening statement of the fourth movement's main theme be given to the orchestra, so that the soloist could take a rest following the long cadenza which leads right into the finale, and Shostakovich agreed to make the change.”
- Robert Cummings, allmusic.comSAMSON ET DALILA, Live Performance, 13 Dec., 1941, w.Pelletier, Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; René Maison, Risë Stevens, Leonard Warren, Nicola Moscona, Norman Cordon & Emery Darcy, replete with Milton Cross' commentaries; SAMSON ET DALILA, Act II, scene 3 (complete); Act III, Mill Scene. Piero Coppola, Cond. Marie Duchêne & César Vezzani – recorded 1931. (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1084, accompanied by Elaborate 24pp. Booklet with photos & notes by Henry Fogel, London Green & Richard Caniell. Transfers by Richard Caniell. (OP3230)
“A new release on the Immortal Performances is billed as a ‘World Premiere’ issue of a December 13, 1941 Metropolitan Opera broadcast of SAMSON ET DALILA. According to producer Richard Caniell, NBC’s transcription of the broadcast has long been assumed lost or destroyed. However, Wilfrid Pelletier, the conductor of the broadcast, often arranged for private transcriptions of his performances. I assume it is the Pelletier transcription that serves as the source for the new Immortal Performances issue. We are indeed fortunate that Pelletier had the foresight to preserve this SAMSON broadcast, for it documents an outstanding performance by a first-rate cast. The Belgian tenor René Maison sang at the Met from 1936 to 1943, specializing for the most part in German and French repertoire. Maison, a singer with a commanding stage presence, heroic voice, and idiomatic grasp of the French language and repertoire, was well equipped to undertake the role of Samson, the tragic Biblical hero….Maison is in fine voice throughout the broadcast….Rise Stevens had a long and illustrious career at the Met (1938–1961)….Stevens is in her youthful vocal prime. The timbre is most definitely that of a mezzo, and there is more than sufficient power when required. But Stevens’ voice brims with freshness and life, and the various registers are seamlessly blended. Stevens’ alluring vocal quality, at the service of her marvelously inflected and paced depiction of Dalila’s malevolent seduction of Samson, creates a totally convincing character. No suspension of disbelief required here! Like Rise Stevens, the great American baritone Leonard Warren made his Met debut in 1938. In the 1941 broadcast, Warren is in sterling voice, and sails with ease through the role of the High Priest. Warren’s glorious vocalism brings thrills enough, but he also throws himself into the role, relishing the Priest’s evil, vengeful, and decadent side. Norman Cordon and Nicola Moscona sing beautifully in the smaller roles of Abimélech, Satrap of Gaza, and the Old Hebrew. The French-Canadian conductor Wilfrid Pelletier, long a mainstay at the Met in French repertoire, is superb throughout. Pelletier revels in the colors of Saint-Saëns’ eclectic and atmospheric score. He also manages, without ever rushing, to create and maintain an unwavering forward momentum. Pelletier’s sculpting of the act II scene for Dalila and Samson is particularly masterful, as he unerringly builds the tension of the impending storm - both the meteorological one, and that enveloping the two lovers. Pelletier, the soloists, and the Met Chorus and Orchestra have a grand time in the delightfully overblown concluding Temple Scene, eliciting ecstatic cheers from the audience. The recorded sound is typical of broadcasts of the period, which is to say not the equal of contemporary studio recordings, but far more than adequate to enjoy the proceedings. In short, this 1941 Met SAMSON ET DALILA is in many ways a gem, and well worth hearing….the set demands a most enthusiastic recommendation.”
- Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, Sept./Oct., 2017CHARLES MUNCH Cond. Boston S.O., w.ELEANOR STEBER, MARTIAL SINGHER, JOHN MCCOLLUM & DAVID LAURENT: LA DAMNATION DE FAUST (Berlioz). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-458, Live Performance, 14 Aug., 1960, Tanglewood Music Festival. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1535)
PELLEAS ET MELISANDE, Live Performance, 16 Oct., 2003, w.Bernard Haitink Cond. Boston Symphony Orch.; Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Simon Keenlyside, Gerald Finley, Nathalie Stutzmann, John Tomlinson, etc. (Canada) 3-St Laurent Studio YSL T-521, brilliantly recorded in Symphony Hall. [This luminous live performance beautifully displays the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic.] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (OP3228)
DIMITRI MITROPOULOS Cond. Boston Symphony Orch.: Zauberflote – Overture (Mozart); Variations on 'I wonder as I wander' (Krenek); Symphony #2 in B-flat (Schubert). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-480, Live Performance, 23, Dec., 1944, Symphony Hall, Boston. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1549)
ISTVAN KERTESZ Cond. Cleveland Orch., w.Birgit Finnila & Simone Mangelsdorff: 'Resurrection' Symphony #2 in c (Mahler). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-451, Live Performance, 31 Oct., 1968 (both Severance Hall). Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1537)
LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. NYPO: 'Scottish' Symphony #3 in a (Mendelssohn), Live Performance, 26 Oct., 1947, Carnegie Hall; LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. Philadelphia Orch.: Prelude in E-flat; Magnificat in E-flat – Excerpts (both Bach), Live Performance, 9 Nov., 1967. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-574. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1552)
“Leopold Stokowski, possibly the best known symphonic conductor of all time, who came to fame as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, had a career that spanned more than 70 years and, it has been estimated more than 7,000, concerts. If Leopold Stokowski qualified as one of the marvels of 20th century musicmaking, and no one knowing the sum of his accomplishments could doubt that he did, he was also one of the more perplexing and least explicable symphonic conductors of his time….for three decades, from about 1915 to 1945, he was the epitome of conducting achievement and glamour, a man whose every move fed the publicity mill upon which he seemed to depend for essential nourishment. In 1916, Stokowski put both himself and the Philadelphia Orchestra indelibly on the musical map with the American premiere of Mahler's Symphony #8, in which a chorus of 950 members and an orchestra of 110 were used. In his heyday with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Stokowski demanded and was paid a very large salary and was openly criticized for being so money-minded. Some 40 years later, however, he was serving as music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra for nothing. He had founded the orchestra when he was 80 and had paid for its first season of six concerts out of his own pocket….In his later years, Stokowski was sensitive about his age, and the intensity of his feeling suggested that something more than vanity was involved. In addition to devoting the major portion of his work to young players, he wanted young audiences and actively sought social contact with young people.
Robert Jacobson in the Lincoln Center program reported that when Stokowski was asked to name the most memorable events of his career, he responded: ‘There was never anything like that. The love of music is a continuous enjoying of beauty and sound…It has been a continual effort to make music more alive so that it is not a mechanical reproduction of what is on a piece of paper, but a real expression, as it always was with the greatest artists’.
- Allen Hughes, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 14 Sept., 1977BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Bayerischen Rundfunks S.O., Munich: Kammersymphonie #1 in E, Op.9, recorded 2 Dec., 1960; BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Sarrlandischer Rundfunks S.O., Sarrbrucken: Kammersymphonie #2, Op.39, recorded 20 June, 1970; BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Sudfunk S.O., Koln: Variations for Orchestra, Op.31, recorded 8 Oct., 1961 (all Schonberg). [In our opinion this is the most brilliant and fascinating of all the Maderna offerings we have from Yves St Laurent!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-475. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1548)
KURT MASUR Cond. Boston S.O.: Il Giorno Felice – Overture (Cimarosa); Dante Symphony - Inferno; Purgatorio (Liszt); w. JEAN-PIERRE RAMPAL: Flute Concerto #2 in D, K.314 (Mozart). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-513, Live Performance, 23 July, 1982, Tanglewood Music Festival. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1553)
"Kurt Masur, the music director emeritus of the New York Philharmonic, who was credited with transforming the orchestra from a sullen, lackluster ensemble into one of luminous renown, was the Philharmonic’s music director from 1991 to 2002. When he took its helm, the orchestra was roundly considered to be a world-class ensemble in name only, its playing grown slipshod, its players fractious and discontented, its recording contracts unrenewed….After the mud of the Mehta era, the Masur sound was like a mountain stream. The difference was startling….If Mr. Masur was considered autocratic at times, he was not — at least by the standards of his august profession — considered egomaniacal. In interviews over the years, he strove to deflect attention from himself and onto the art form. ‘I don’t want to be called a wonder,’ Mr. Masur told THE TIMES in 1991. ‘The wonder is the music’.”
- Margalit Fox, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 19 Dec., 2015(LOUISE KIRKBY LUNN ) SOFTLY AWAKES MY HEART – celebrating the majestic career of LOUISE KIRKBY LUNN. Michael Letchford, with contributions by David Mason, Tully Potter and Norman White. U.K., Goar Lodge, Privately Printed by the Author, 2017. 208pp. Index; Numerous Photos; Illus., Accompanied by bound-incover CD of recordings by Louise Kirkby Lunn. (Pictorial thick paper covers) Very Limited copies available. (B1865)
“Louise Kirkby Lunn (1872-1930), whose career spanned forty years and which was truly international, encompassing opera, the concert hall and recital….Michael Letchford's previous books on singers of the past have been distinguished by exceptional quality interms of biographical and musical research, printing and presentation and accompanied by a bound-in CD of some of the artist's famous recordings. This latest book is no exception, maintaining the quality for which this author is well-known. The quality and depth of musical understanding of Lunn is well captured on these very old recordings, all being over one hundred years old, and the book is illustrated with some rare photographs and posters, setting a standard which will be difficult to match and impossible to improve upon. This book is most enthusiastically recommended.”
- Robert Matthew-Walker, MUSICAL OPINION QUARTERLY, April-June, 2017(WALTER WIDDOP) Michael Letchford. Walter Widdop – The Great Yorkshire Tenor – A Chronology & Selection of Reviews, 1923-38. U.K., Goar Lodge, Privately Printed by the Author, 2012. 224pp. Short Biography by Val Parker; ‘Life with my Father’ by Veronica Bott; ‘Yorkshire’s Pride – A Great English Tenor - The Recorded Legacy’ by Tully Potter; ‘Arthur Hinchcliffe Remembered’, Widdop’s teacher, by Michael da Costa - Hinchcliffe’ s last pupil; Index; Bibliography; Detailed Chronology, 1916-49; Exhaustive David Mason Discography; Photos; Illus. (Pictorial thick paper covers) Accompanied by bound-incover CD of recordings by Walter Widdop – recorded 1924-30. Transfers by Roger Beardsley. Very few copies available. (B0750)
“For those devotees of ‘recorded vocal art’ and in particular those who are admirers of great tenor voices, at long last a testament to the talent of Walter Widdop has been published….It is an undertaking of considerable effort that should please all those who admired Widdop’s voice, and it brings him to notice of many who might not know his worth, as both a singer and theatrical artist….The book is accompanied by a CD that contains 19 of Widdop’s finest recordings, all of which have been outstandingly well transferred by the late Roger Beardsley. They demonstrate without doubt that Widdop possessed not only a great voice but also a very sound technique and musicianship….A bonus here is his previously unpublished version of ‘Where’er you walk’ from SEMELE, which is accompanied by Percy Kahn at the piano….a master class in the art of singing.”
- Alan Bilgora, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2013CHRISTMAS GAMBOLS - The Musical Tour of Mr Didbin (Charles Didbin), w.Simon Butteriss (Baritone) & Stephen Higgins (Pf.). (England) Retrospect Opera RO 003, recorded 2017, London, [First Recordings], w.36pp booklet, full libretto, and essays by David Chandler, Jeremy Barlow & Simon Butteriss, in gatefold jacket. (OP3231)
“Charles Dibdin Charles is best known for his nautical songs. This is in spite of the fact that he was at sea only for one brief voyage and did not appear to have ‘extended contact with seafaring people’. Dibdin idealized sailors and wrote of them as noble heroes with faithful sweethearts and wives, who often died bravely in the cause of their country. They are sentiments that now seem overly romanticized, but that were extraordinarily popular with the public and the men he wrote about.
Dibdin's songs were said to be worth ten thousand sailors to the cause of England. His songs were popular not only in England, but in Canada and America before and during the American Revolution and during the War of 1812. Though most of his songs are forgotten, songs such as ‘Tom Bowling’ endure.”
- G. H. Davidson, THE SONGS OF CHARLES DIBDIN, How and Parsons: London, 1842 ----------------------------------------- SMARTER THAN ALL THREE OF US ! ! !
We are grateful to so many of our readers who continue to note that our once-regular use of accent marks is becoming rather erratic. Due to the ever-growing popular use of ‘Smart’ Phones, Google automatically and frequently is restricting such marks, as well as that which we consider regular punctuation. In compliance with Google’s restrictive demands, as well as the fact that such complicated listings will require too long a period during which to download, or may not succeed in downloading at all, most of our newer listings are deleting such marks, much to our sense of loss. While our older listings so far retain such marks, we are informed that it won’t be long before they too automatically will be amended. We certainly take pride in our presentation, but are being compelled to adapt to another loss of style in these fast-paced times! We very sincerely appreciate so many of your valued comments and commiseration!!! -----------------------------------------
. . . numerous out-of-print CDs and LPs, [many sealed
copies of numerous out-of-print additions: The Record
Collector, Naxos, VRCS, Issues of Symposium's Harold
Wayne series, Romophone, GOP & many Met Opera
broadcasts & operas from Moscow's Aquarius, plus
Operas by Mercadante, Marais, Coccia, Vivaldi,
Cherubini, Spontini, Ricci, Vaccaj, Fioravanti,
Paisiello, Scarlatti, de Majo, Generali, Cavalli,
Rameau, Lully, Pergolesi, Cimarosa, Anfossi, Pietri,
Musinelli, Rossini, Charpentier, Gluck, Handel,
Vivaldi, Monteverdi, Rossini, Cagnoni, Myslivecek,
Mayr, Hasse, Meyerbeer, Weckerlin, Nicolai,
Marschner, Gurlitt, Schreker, etc.] have been added
throughout our listings, in appropriate categories . . .
out-of-print books [many biographies,
Record Catalogue- Discographies . . .
and more CDs and books are added each week] . . .
Our 50% Discount Sale continues,
now offering more than 1700 titles . . .
- - - - - - - 78rpm collectors, please note auctions from:
Dave Schmutz, www.78classicalgallery.com
- or at: 818-242-6247
------------------ ANNOUNCEMENT -----------------
Norbeck, Peters & Ford's Annual 78rpm Has Now Closed!
This auction featured an entire section of which is dedicated to 7" discs, plus many wonderful instrumental and vocal rarities, many of which we're offering for the first time in our 45 years of operation.
You can still view the online version simply click the link below:Auction #148 Online Catalog
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.
Take a look at our exciting array of Broadway & Off-Broadway Original Cast and London Original Cast LPs, all in superb condition.
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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.
As always, please contact us with any special requests.
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Thank you again for your loyal support, and happy browsing our ever changing website and exciting offerings.
C1556. ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. NBC S.O.: Il Signor Bruschino - Overture (Rossini), Les francs-juges - Overture; Romeo et Juliette - Love Scene; Queen Mab Scherzo; Le Damnation de Faust - Rakoczy March (all Berlioz); Symphony #3 in a (Mendelssohn), Complete Concert of 5 April, 1941, Studio 8H, New York, w.broadcast commentary by Gene Hamilton; w.Vina Bovy, Kerstin Thorborg, Jan Peerce, Ezio Pinza & Schola Cantorum: Choral Symphony #9 in D (Beethoven), Live Performance, 6 Feb., 1938, Carnegie Hall, w.broadcast commentary by Gene Hamilton & Milton Cross. (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1079. Restoration by Richard Caniell. Includes 34pp Booklet w.notes by Robert Matthew-Walker & Richard Caniell. - 019962665615
C1559. PAUL PARAY Cond. Detroit S.O.: La procession nocturne (Rabaud); Snegourotchka - Several sections (Rimsky-Korsakov); w.ZINO FRANCESCATTI: Symphonie espagnole (Lalo). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-489, Live Performance, 29 Feb., 1968. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
C1557. ERICH LEINSDORF Cond. Boston Symphony Orch.: Orpheus - Symphonic Poem (Liszt); Hary Janos - Suite (Kodaly), Live Performance, 7 April, 1963; w.RUDOLF SERKIN: Piano Concerto #19 in F, K.549 (Mozart), Live Performance, 18 Feb., 1964. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-457, both Symphony Hall, Boston. [Beautifully displaying the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic. The exquisite performance of the Mozart Concerto alone is worth the price of the entire concert!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
C1551. BRUNO MADERNA Cond. RTF S.O.: Symphonies of Wind Instruments (Stravinsky); BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Enesmble du Domaine Musical: Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op.10; BRUNO MADERNA Cond. RAI S.O., Torino: Variations for Orchestra, Op.30 (both Webern); BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Südfunk-Sinfonieorch.: Turandot - suite (Busoni); BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Saarlärlandischer Rundfunk S.O., w. CHRISTIANE EDINGER: Violin Concerto, Op.36 (Schönberg). [Another brilliant and fascinating Maderna issue from Yves St Laurent; the Schönberg Violin Concerto is irresistible!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-476, Live Performances, 1963-71. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. I (Bruckner 8th - Boston) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-332)
Pelleas et Melisande (Haitink - Boston; Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Keenlyside, Finley) (3-St Laurent Studio YSL T-521)
Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2016 Issue (VRCS-2016)
Ariadne auf Naxos (Scherman; Eileen Farrell, Mattiwilda Dobbs, Jon Crain) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-517)
William Steinberg, Vol. V; Tristan und Isolde (Eileen Farrell, James King, Nell Rankin) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-544)
La Fanciulla del West (Behr; Steber, Corelli / Bardini, Colzani) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-519)
Eleanor Steber (Marcia Sloat) (9780963417404)
Aida / Forza (Bellezza; Rethberg, Ponselle, Martinelli, Pinza, de Luca) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1071)
Arturo Toscanini; Michel Piastro, Alfred Wallenstein (Brahms) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1077)
Le Trille un Art Perdu (The Lost Art of the Trill) (Malibran AMR 123)
Lotte Lehmann: The Complete Acoustic Recordings, 1914-26 (4-Marston 54006)
Arturo Toscanini; Rethberg, Schorr; Horowitz (Brahms) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1068)
The 1902 London 'Reds' (2-Truesound Transfers 4002)
Medea (Gui) / Lucia di Lammermoor (Cleva) - TWO Maria Callas Performances (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1076)
Norma (Panizza; Cigna, Castagna, Martinelli, Pinza, Votipka) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1063)
Erich Leinsdorf, Vol. V; Gina Bachauer; Beverly Sills (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-412)
Margarethe Siems; Aranyi, Forstel, etc. (2-Truesound Transfers 4001)
William Kapell - 3 First Releases; Rodzinski, Richard Burgin, Ormandy (JSP684)
Ivan Kozlovsky - Beethoven, Schubert & Liszt (Aquarius AQVR 395)
Samson et Dalila (Pelletier; Maison, Stevens, Warren, Moscona) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1084)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. II (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-542)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. III (St Laurent Studio YSL T-543)
Otello (1940 Performance) (Panizza; Martinelli, Rethberg, Tibbett) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1070)
Eugen Onegin (Khaikin; Alekseyev, Kozlovsky, Kashevarova, Preobrazhenskaya, Konstantinov) (2-Aquarius AQVR 398)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. IV (Bruckner 7th - Boston) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-570)
Zara Dolukhanova; Nina Svetlanova (St Laurent Studio YSL T-421)
Andrea Chenier (Cleva; Richard Tucker, Zinka Milanov, Anselmo Colzani) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-434)
Charles Munch, Vol. XVII; Damnation de Faust (Steber, Singher, McCollum) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-458)
Marian Anderson - Copenhagen & Lincoln Memorial Recitals (JSP 683)
George Szell, Vol. IV (St Laurent Studio YSL T-405)
William Kapell - Broadcasts, Concert Performances (3-Marston 53021)
Simon Boccanegra (Cleva; Cornell MacNeil, Zinka Milanov, Giorgio Tozzi, Barry Morell) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-442)
The Unknown Fernando De Lucia - Phonotype Recordings, 1917-21 (The Record Collector TRC 44)
Melanie Kurt; Matzenauer, Metzger, Urlus, Jorn, Kraus, Feinhals, Knupfer & Schorr (2-Truesound Transfers 4005)
Adolf Wallnofer & Hermann Winkelmann (2-Truesound Transfers 4004)
Pierre Boulez, Vol. VIII; Bluebeard's Castle, w. Tatiana Troyanos; Zoltan Kelemen (St Laurent Studio YSL T-385)
L'Elisir d'Amore (Weikert; Upshaw, Cole, Taddei) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-516)
Ignacy Jan Paderewski - Complete Victor Recordings (5-APR 7505)
Carmen (Paray; Jean Madeira, Brian Sullivan, Marjorie Gordon & Donald Gramm) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-396)
K.K. Hofoper Wien, 1904 Recordings - Hesch, Weidemann, Kittel, Elizza, Pacal, Slezak, etc. (2-Truesound Transfers 4003)
Jussi Bjorling; Bertil Bokstedt - Copenhagen Recital (JSP 682)
Maria Jeritza (Malibran AMR 133)
Erich Leinsdorf, Vol. VI; Sills, Wolff, Domingo, Berberian) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-453)
La Boheme (Samosud; Kozlovsky, Shumskaya, Burlak, Yakovenko, Korolev) (2-Aquarius AQVR 405)
Sir John Barbirolli - Boston Symphony Orchestra (St Laurent Studio YSL T-415)
Alexis Weissenberg, Vol. V; Kondrashin, Rowicki (St Laurent Studio YSL T-485)
The Boy (William H. Berry, Peter Gawthorne & Nellie Taylor) (Palaeophonics 141)
Judith Raskin, Vol. I, w.George Schick (Pf.) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-444)
George Szell, Vol. III (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-394)
Grand Format Musical Boxes - Operatic Overtures & Grand Arias (Musical Wonder House of Wiscasset, Maine)