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ARTHUR GRUMIAUX, w. Gika Zdravkovitch Cond. NDR S.O.:: Tzigane (Ravel); Violin Concerto #3 in G, K.216; w. Eugen Jochum Cond. Bavarian Radio S.O.: Violin Concerto #4 in D, K.418; w.Maria Bergmann (Pf.): Violin Sonata #24 in F, K.376 (all Mozart). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-588, Live Performances, 1959-75. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0713)
ENTFUHRUNG (Simoneau & Alarie)
from Yves St Laurent . . .
then GRUMIAUX, plus
EMIL GILELS, Vol. II &
MADERNA, Vol. XXIII . . .
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"Of the Franco-Belgian school, Artur Grumiaux is considered to have been one of the few truly great violin virtuosi of the twentieth century. In his relatively short life his achievements were superb. He brought to performances guaranteed technical command, faithfulness to the composer's intent, and sensitivity toward the intricate delineations of musical structure. His fame was built upon extraordinary violin concerto performances and chamber-music appearances with his own Grumiaux Trio.
He trained on violin and piano with the Fernand Quintet at the Charleroi Conservatory, where he took first prize at the age of 11. The following year he advanced his studies by working with Alfred Dubois at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, and also worked on counterpoint and fugue with Jean Absil. He received his first few major awards prior to reaching the age of 20; he took the Henri Vieuxtemps and François Prume prizes in 1939, and received the Prix de Virtuosi from the Belgian government in 1940. During this time he also studied composition privately in Paris with the famous Romanian violinist Georges Enescu, Menuhin's teacher. His débuts were made in Belgium with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra playing the Mendelssohn Concerto, and in Britain with the BBC Symphonic Orchestra in 1945. Due to the German invasion of his homeland, there existed a short time gap between these two important events. During that time he played privately with several small ensembles, while refraining from public performance of any kind. Regardless of this slight delay in the initiation of his international career, once started, it quickly developed. Following his British début, he advanced into Belgium academia when he was appointed professor of violin at the Royal Conservatory, where he had once studied. There, he emphasized the importance of phrasing, the quality of sound, and the high technical standards of artistry.
One of his greatest joys in life was his partnership with the pianist Clara Haskil. On occasion, the two would switch instruments for a different perspective and relationship. Grumiaux was left with a professional and personal absence when she died from a fall at a train station, en route to a concert with him. In addition to his solo work, he has recorded Mozart quintets with the Grumiaux Ensemble, and various selections with the Grumiaux Trio, comprised of the Hungarian husband-wife duo Georges Janzer (violin) and Eva Czako (cello). His successful performance career led up to royal recognition in 1973 when he was knighted baron by King Baudouin for his services to music, thus sharing the title with Paganini. Despite a struggle with diabetes, he continued a rigorous schedule of recording and concert performances, primarily in Western Europe, until a sudden stroke in Brussels took his life in 1986. At the age of 65, Grumiaux left behind the memory of his elegant and solid musicianship."
- Meredith Gailey, allmusic.comEMIL GILELS, w.Serge Baudo Cond. Saarbrucken Radio S.O.: Piano Concerto #27 in B-flat, K.595 (Mozart), Live Performance, 27 April, 1984; EMIL GILELS, w.Amadeus Quartet & Rainer Zepperitz (Double Bass): 'Trout' Quintet in A (Schubert), Live Performance, 2 Sept., 1975, Helsinki. [For anyone who has ever contemplated absolute serenity in a heavenly space, these performances are the answer. The absolute silence in the Mozart Saarbrucken audience offers palpable evidence! This 'Desert Island' CD is not to be missed!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-564. (P1270)
“Emil Gilels, one of the world's great pianists and, in 1955, the first Soviet musician to perform in the United States since Sergei Prokofiev in 1921, was a stocky man with a shock of sandy hair and short, stubby fingers, uncharacteristic for a pianist. But his greatness was widely recognized. Howard Taubman of THE NEW YORK TIMES proclaimed him a ‘great pianist’; on the occasion of his New York debut at Carnegie Hall on Oct. 4, 1955. After his first New York recital a week later, Harold C. Schonberg invoked the phrase ‘little giant’, the term the critic W. J. Henderson had used for the pianist and composer Eugen d'Albert at the turn of the century.
Mr. Gilels continued to receive such encomiums throughout his career, both in the Soviet Union, where he had taught at the Moscow Conversatory since 1938, and in the West. Altogether, he made 14 American tours, the last in 1983. On the occasion of his last New York recital, on April 16, 1983, Donal Henahan wrote in The Times of his ‘formidable, high-finish technique and beautiful control of nuance’.
Mr. Gilels led the procession of Soviet artists of his generation to the West; others who emerged shortly after his debut were David Oistrakh, the violinist; Sviatoslav Richter, the pianist, and Mstislav Rostropovich, the cellist. Mr. Rostropovich later became an outspoken dissident, but the others remained honored Russian citizens. Together, this group suggested that the traditions of Romantic music-making had not died out in the relatively isolated Russian musical world. ‘The precepts of Leopold Auer still prevailed in violin pedagogy, and the pianists stemmed straight from Anton Rubinstein and the Leschetizky school’, Mr. Schonberg wrote in 1979, on the occasion of one of Mr. Gilels's periodic returns to the American concert scene.
But especially in his later years, Mr. Gilels was a more Classically inclined pianist than, say, Mr. Richter. In 1970 he even offered an all-Mozart recital at Philharmonic (now Avery Fisher) Hall, which Allen Hughes of THE TIMES called ‘superbly wrought’.
Basically, however, Mr. Gilels was a big, rich-toned pianist who could ride triumphantly over an orchestra in the mainstream Romantic piano concertos - those of Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms and Tchaikovsky, all of which he recorded. He wasn't always note-perfect, but he commanded his repertory with an elan that made such flaws seem insignificant. And unlike some powerhouse virtuosos, he had a poetic gift that enlivened slow movements.”
- John Rockwell, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 16 Oct., 1985BRUNO MADERNA Cond. RAI S.O., Roma: Le Carnaval d'Aix; w.Massimo Bogiankino: Fantasie for Piano & Orchestra (both Milhaud), Live Performance, 23 Dec., 1960; Prelude for mixed chorus & orchestra (Schonberg), Live Performance, 19 April, 1962. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-478. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1558)
"Of Romanian descent on the paternal side, descending on mother's side from the family of Gabriele D'Annunzio, Massimo Bogiankino studied piano with Alfredo Casella and Alfred Cortot, graduating from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Music. He began his career as a concert performer and as a composer, but later preferred teaching. He taught piano at the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh in the 1950s and 1951, before returning to Italy first at the Pesaro Conservatory and then in Rome where he directed the Roman Philharmonic Academy between 1960 and 1963.
He taught music history between 1967 and 1994 at the University of Perugia, where he later became director of the Institute of History of Medieval and Modern Art. In 1963 he was appointed artistic director of the Opera of Rome, then moved to direct the Teatro Comunale di Firenze. In 1968 he directed the Festival dei due Mondi di Spoleto and was later invited by the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, to take on the role of general director of the Theatre National de l'Opera de Paris between 1983 and 1985.
He returned to direct the Teatro Comunale di Firenze between 1990 and 1994. In 1994 he was invited to direct the Roman Philharmonic Academy, a position he held until 1997."
“Bruno Maderna, like his close friend and fellow avant garde composer Pierre Boulez, had in recent years become a conductor of international reputation. Since his debut here in 1970 conducting Mercadante's opera II GIURAMENTO at the Juilliard School, Mr. Maderna had led the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony and the Detroit Symphony. In Europe he had conducted widely, including the London Symphony, the B.B.C. Symphony and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. For the last two years of his life he was music director of the Italian Radio in Milan.
Mr. Maderna did not put great stock in his, or anyone's, success on the podium. ‘The era of the star conductor is finished’, he told a NEW YORK TIMES interviewer in 1972. In place of that phenomenon we must have, he contended, composer-conductors who could guide the musical life of their communities. His ideal in this respect was Mr. Boulez, the New York Philharmonic's music director.
Mr. Maderna, who was born in Venice, made his New York City Opera debut [in 1972] conducting a new production of DON GIOVANNI.”
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, 14 Nov., 1973
DIE ENTFUHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL (in French) - Excerpts, recorded 1967, w.Otto-Werner Mueller Cond. Radio-Canada Ensemble; Leopold Simoneau, Pierrette Alarie, Joseph Rouleau, Jean Coutu, Louise Lebrun & Jean-Louis Pellerin; LEOPOLD SIMONEAU, w.Jean-Marie Beaudet Cond. CBC S.O.: Per Pieta, non ricercate (Mozart, K.420) [without any reservation, a contender for Simoneau's most glorious solo recording - a 'desert island' rendition!]; Arias from Don Giovanni & La Clemenza di Tito; LEOPOLD SIMONEAU & PIERRETTE ALARIE: Duets from Cosi Fan Tutte & Entfuhrung. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-530. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (OP3234)
"Leopold Simoneau was the epitome of the French tenor, meaning that he had a light voice, beautiful diction and a mastery of musical nuance….By the time he made his Met debut as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI, in 1963, Mr Simoneau was acknowledged as one of the world’s leading performers of the role….After initial voice studies in Quebec City, he moved to Montreal…where he met Ms Alarie….they were married in 1946…."
- Anne Midgette, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 29 Aug., 2006
“Mrs. Alarie-Simoneau also sang with the New York Philharmonic, the Paris Opéra-Comique and the Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence and Glyndebourne Festivals. Her roles over the years included Rosina in Rossini’s BARBER OF SEVILLE and the title roles in Delibes’ LAKME, and LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR.
Pierrette Marguerite Alarie was born in Montréal on 9 Nov., 1921. Her father, Sylva, was a choirmaster; her mother, Amanda, a singer and actress. Pierrette began acting on local stages as a child and as a teenager sang popular songs on Canadian radio. She later studied at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia with the distinguished soprano Elisabeth Schumann. After retiring from the opera and concert stages, Mrs. Alarie-Simoneau worked as an opera director and teacher. In 1982 she and her husband Leopold Simoneau founded Canada Opera Piccola, a training company in Victoria.”
- Margalit Fox, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 19 July, 2011
. . . REPEATED FROM THE RECENT PAST . . .DIE FLEDERMAUS (in English), Live Performance, 23 Jan., 1954 , w. Kozma Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Eleanor Steber, Charles Kullman, Patrice Munsel, Thomas Hayward, Jarmila Novotna, John Brownlee, Paul Franke, Clifford Harvuot, Suzanne Ames & Jack Mann. (Canada) 2-Yves St Laurent T-647. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (OP3233)
“The opera became hilarious! Everybody on stage and off got into the spirit of the thing as it got funnier and funnier. Everyone (including me) was wondering what I was going to do next….That was pure Eleanor Steber! That was the most fun I ever had at the Met. It was really something!”
- Eleanor Steber, ELEANOR STEBER – AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, p.169MARK REIZEN, w.Abram Makarov (Pf.): Songs by Schubert, Schumann, Mussorgsky, Glinka, Tschaikowsky & Kabalevsky; Gomes' SALVATOR ROSA - 'E il foglio io segnero' and an inimitable 'La Calunnia' from IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA; w.Leonid Adamov (Cello): Doubt (Glinka) - Live Recital, 15 March, 1958, Moscow; w.Janos Ferencsik Cond. Hungarian State Opera Ensemble, w.Endre Rosler & Oszkar Kalman: BORIS GODUNOV - Finale - Live Performance, 7 March, 1954. (Russia) Aquarius AQVR 408. [This new jewel from Aquarius is not to be missed - a phenomenal Live Recital by the beloved and magnificent Reizen, in the presence of a rapturous Moscow audience, captured in glorious sound!] (V2541)
“If you want a shock (a pleasant one), go to YouTube and search ‘Mark Reizen 90’. You will find yourself watching Reizen singing Prince Gremin’s aria from Tchaikovsky’s EUGENE ONEGIN
, in a gala performance that was given in honor of the great bass’s 90th birthday. That is not a typo. Everyone I have watched this video with has sat in complete amazement at the evenness of vocal production, the power of the singing, and Reizen’s ability to convey the sense of satisfaction that Gremin feels with his marriage to Tatiana. Does it sound like a singer in his prime? No. It sounds like a singer beginning to approach the end of a major career, perhaps a singer in his sixties. But ninety? During the aria, the camera shows the other members of the cast looking on in adoring admiration and awe.
Reizen was one of the most important basses produced in Russia in the 20th century. He was born in 1895 and died in 1992, seven years after that 1985 gala. He clearly knew how to preserve his voice, but never did Reizen give the impression of holding back when he sang. If you asked many opera scholars and vocal collectors to name the greatest basses of the century, I suspect that the names of Ezio Pinza, Fyodor Chaliapin, Igor Kipnis, and Mark Reizen would be on more lists than any other. But Reizen is less known by the general public because he mainly sang at a time when Soviet artists didn’t travel.
The story of his move to the Bolshoi has been told in many sources. By the 1920s he was already a leading bass at the Mariinsky Theater in Leningrad and had also toured in Europe. In 1930 the Mariinsky was performing in Moscow, and Stalin attended. Afterwards he asked Reizen why he sang in Leningrad and not Moscow, and Reizen replied that he had a contract and also an apartment there. Stalin indicated that he could do something about both, and the next day a Soviet official picked Reizen up with orders to hunt for an apartment in Moscow! From 1930-1954 he was the leading bass at the Bolshoi, but this was also the height of the era when Russia closed itself off from the rest of the world, and so Europe and America heard very little of Reizen.
One of my favorite vocal critics is Conrad L. Osborne, who wrote in the METROPOLITAN OPERA GUIDE TO RECORDED OPERA
, ‘Reizen is stupendous. His lush, voluminous basso rolls through the music unconstrainedly. It sits easily at the bottom, peals forth brilliant Fs and F-sharps at the top (and one hair-raising high G), and in between displays flowing line and a mezza voce that rivals prime Pinza or Chaliapin. Ruslan's heroic fire and tenderness are there - it’s a complete piece of work’. John Steane, in THE GRAND TRADITION
, writes this about Reizen: ‘The voice was also completely unified, its range well displayed in Khan Kontchak’s solo from PRINCE IGOR
, descending with deep bass relish to the low F, and always easy in production. His was a wholesome art: another singer for students. Also one of the best of our century’.
Reizen was a very different singer from his great predecessor Chaliapin, who had a similar kind of dark, rolling bass, but whose presence also overwhelmed the listener with dramatic intensity, frequently using theatrical touches to emphasize a dramatic point. The style can come off as histrionic, that some found excessive. Don’t take this the wrong way - Chaliapin was a very great and exciting artist. Reizen, however, preferred to use more purely musical means to make his effect. He conveyed power through the sheer size and dark richness of his voice, and he was an extremely effective Boris (as you can hear on the bonus here). But he was equally at home in Schubert Lieder (Chaliapin sang them but not as comfortably). His strengths, in addition to a uniquely rich sound from top to bottom with all registers perfectly blended, included a bel canto-like legato.
Those strength were still intact in 1958, even at the age of 63, and they are consonant with the needs of most of the song repertoire on this new release. Do not assume from what I wrote that Reizen holds back when power is needed; he is capable of letting loose a huge, rich roar of sound when the music and text require it. Reizen can extend a line of soft singing over a long span (as in Schubert’s ‘An die Musik’, (beautifully rendered here). In fact Reizen’s singing of the Schubert and Schumann songs, even though in Russian, demonstrates a very high level of musical cultivation. You are also likely to be surprised by the agility of the voice in the Rossini aria. Reizen sings it with infectious wit. It is also worth noting that in a live concert setting he is a more vivid interpreter than we often experience on his studio recordings. He is clearly having fun interacting with his audience. Mussorgsky’s ‘Song of the Flea’ is a particularly winning performance.
Abram Makarov was Reizen’s regular accompanist for over 40 years, and the two are in complete synchronization at all points. The monaural recorded sound is quite good, because it was taken from an official broadcast. Aquarius has been a remarkable source of many important Russian recordings in recent years (the releases are available through Norbeck, Peters & Ford
). The quality of their transfers is excellent. I understand the economic constraints that prevent them from providing texts and translations, although I wish they would do so online, even at a cost to the customer, since most listeners won’t have texts for much of this material. Aquarius has included the voice of the presenter, who announces each item on the program for the both the radio audience and those in the hall. He isn’t tracked separately, so you can’t skip his contribution easily, but I rather enjoyed his presence for adding to the atmosphere of a broadcast event.
Then there is the bonus. Reizen made a classic studio recording of BORIS GODUNOV
in 1948, but hearing him in the finale of the opera (ending with Boris’s death in this version) in a live staged performance from 1954 is especially thrilling. This is an extraordinarily powerful rendering of this music, both dramatically and vocally. The Shuisky is fine, but the Pimen is wobbly and hollow-voiced. Ferencsik conducts with incisiveness and power. The sound, as before, is very good.
It is early in the year, but I would anticipate that this will stand out as one of the most significant vocal releases of 2018. Hearing Mark Reizen is an electrifying and awe-inspiring experience.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFAREJOSEF HOFMANN: Vol. IX, incl. Scarlatti-Tausig, Beethoven (incl. the latter's 'Moonlight' Sonata #14 in c-sharp), Schubert-Tausig, Chopin, Rubinstein, Wagner-Brassin, Mendelssohn & Rachmaninoff; Interviews w. Lutoslawski, Bolet, Gould, Ganz, Menotti, Reisenberg, etc. 2–Marston 52058. Transfers by Ward Marston. (P1268)
“Restoration engineers, especially the caliber of Ward Marston, are far and few between. An ongoing project with Marston Records is the release of any and all of the celebrated pianist, Josef Hofmann's, all-to-brief discography for such a giant in the name of pianists. Finally, after waiting patiently, it has happened….As usual, Marston does an exemplary job with whatever he has to work with. Collectors of great pianists will be very pleased with this final volume honoring Josef Hofmann.”
- Lance G. Hill, THE CLASSICAL MUSIC GUIDE
“In a day when many of the internationally famous keyboard virtuosos paralyzed the public with overwhelmingly sensational derring-do, Hofmann was chaste, controlled and simple, using relatively little pedal, letting his marvelous fingers do the work with clarity and the most pellucid of sounds. It was not that he was incapable of great bursts of sound when they were needed. But he represented aristocracy at all times, a musician blessed with an unerring ear, taste, and the ability to float lines that seemed to spin into infinity. His impact is hard to describe. But to those who heard him, including this writer, the finish and transparency of his playing, and the sheer perfection of his technique, somehow made all other pianists sound thick. From the beginning, he was recognized as one of the greatest pianists in history. He was, of course, a prodigy. What great pianist has not been? But even here the young Hofmann was unique.”
- Harold C. SchonbergROBERT SHAW Cond. Cleveland Orchestra: ‘La Reine’ Symphony #85 in B-flat; Symphony #87 in A (both Haydn); Symphony #3 in D (Schubert). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-456, Live Performances, 1966-69. [This little jewel is among the most delightful and satisfying orchestral concerts offered on this website; the Haydn Symphonies in particular are delicate treasures!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1566)
“When Robert Shaw, the extraordinary choral and orchestral conductor who occupied a central place in American musical life for more than half a century was on the podium, he came across as somebody who had discovered exactly what he was put on the planet to do and was doing exactly that. With a motion of his hand, he could take a chorus of 15 or 500 from the tiniest of whispers to the most jubilant of shouts. His performances were remarkable for their energy, articulation and sheer sonic grandeur.”
- Tim Page, THE WASHINGTON POST, 26 Jan., 1999VAN CLIBURN, w.Previn Cond. NYPO: Piano Concerto in a (Grieg), Live Performance, 29 Jan., 1976, Carnegie Hall; w.Martinon Cond. Chicago Orch.: Piano Concerto #1 in d (Brahms), Live Performance, 8 Feb., 1968, Orchestra Hall. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-510. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1269)
EMIL GILELS: Sonata #25 in G, Op.79; Sonata #26 in E-flat, Op.81a; Sonata #27 in e, Op.90 (all Beethoven); Ballades Nos.1 - 4, Op.10 (Brahms); Sonata #3 in a, Op.28 (Prokofiev). [An exceptionally beautiful recital captured in remarkably brilliant sound in a spacious acoustic!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-560, Live Performance, 24 Feb., 1976, Budapest. (P1266)
EMIL GILELS: Four Piano Pieces, Op.32 (Schumann), Live Performance, 18 March, 1984, Yokohama; Études Symphoniques (Schumann); 7 Fantasien (Brahms); Étude #3 in a; Song without Words - Duetto in A-flat (Mendelssohn), Live Performance, 20 March, 1984, Tokyo. [Two glorious Live Recitals from Japan, both recorded in a spacious acoustic - a treasure!] (Russia) Aquarius AQVR 294. (P0485)
CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA (3 performances, 1926-43) , Met Opera Ensemble, La Scala (1930) & Opera Italiana d’Olanda (7 Nov., 1938), w.Molajoli, Mascagni, etc. Cond. Dusolina Giannini, Giannina Arangi-Lombardi, Lina Bruna-Rasa, Beniamino Gigli, Antonio Melandri, Carlo Tagliabue, Gino Lulli, Afro Poli, Claramae Turner, Ida Mannarini, Rina Gallo-Toscani, Anna Kaskas, Maria Castagna, Maria Meloni; DUSOLINA GIANNINI: Cavalleria Rusticana - Voi lo sapete; Forza - Sono giunta!...Madre, pietosa Vergine; Pace, pace mio Dio!; Zueignung (Strauss); Manella mia; Believe me, if all those endearing young charms - from a 1936 Philharmonic Recital (Intermission Feature). (Canada) 3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1082, accompanied by Elaborate 46pp. Booklet with photos & notes by Henry Fogel & Richard Caniell. Transfers by Richard Caniell. (OP3232)
“Gathering together three great assumptions of the role of Santuzza from the 1930s, this set has huge documentary value. Collectors will surely be familiar with Richard Caniell’s previous work on the composer-directed Holland performance (Guild 2241), but even if that were the single CAVALLERIA here, [this] new release would be worth purchase. The sound is clearer, more vivid; and Lina Bruna Rasa was the composer’s favorite Santuzza, to boot. But there are two other reasons to obtain this set: Dusolina Giannini in one of Caniell’s famous composite performances (and with a few bonus tracks with Giannini thrown in for good measure), plus Giannina Arangi-Lombardi in Molajoli’s Columbia set, recorded in 1930. Thus it is that Immortal Performances’s set contains the three major types of reissue it excels at: composite (akin to the “dream casts”), live, and transfer.
The second performance of CAVALLERIA is taken from the Columbia original and was recorded in 1930. Both this and the final offering feature Antonio Melandri as Turiddu….Giannina Arangi-Lombardi made only four complete operatic recordings (this is one; the others are AIDA, GIOCONDA, and Helen of Troy in MEFISTOFELE). She does seem to have the perfect voice for this repertoire. There is a slight, not unpleasant, edge to her voice which adds significantly to its expressivity. Her “Voi lo sapete” is one of the true highlights of this performance, given over a bed of glowing warmth in the strings.
Finally, we have the live composer-conducted account from Holland. The sound seems cleaner than on the Guild issue, and makes for more comfortable listening, so that the gorgeous opening (this is by far the finest of the three Preludes presented here) can really make its mark. Bells, too, are well caught….Melandri offers another superb Serenade, but the star really is the strings of Mascagni’s orchestra (of the “Opera Italiana d’Olanda”). Melandri’s strong voice has a noticeable burnished tone, almost baritonal at times, and he is at full strength (from “Tu qui, Santuzza” onwards); his final contributions in the opera are splendidly powerful dramatically. Joining Melandri is the superb Lina Bruna-Rasa, Mascagni’s own preferred Santuzza, who gives a vocally searing “Vo la sapete” (listen also to the sensitivity of the orchestra at the close of that aria). Afro Poli’s “A voi salute” is simply superb; Maria Meloni gives a fine account of Lola. The Dutch orchestra here really seems to give it all; just try the famous Intermezzo, and the gritty, perfectly unanimous attacks at the outset of climactic phrases. To have these three performances in once place offers a remarkable opportunity to explore this affecting drama in performances that hold huge historical significance.
As usual, documentation is as generous as the timings of these well-filled discs. A fascinating journey into the performance history of a major operatic masterwork.”
- Colin Clarke, FANFARE, Sept. / Oct., 2017SAMSON 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….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….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., 2017GIANNA 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 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….This two-disc collection assembled by Yves St. Laurent…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….One particularly lovely song, given a beautiful and urgent treatment, is ‘Crepusculo triste’ by Umberto Giordano. Giordano wrote it in 1904…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 for her….
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 painstaking care with which the transfers have been done is reward enough for lovers of great singing.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE (GIANNA PEDERZINI) Maurizio Tiberi. 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)
LENER 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)
ISTVAN KERTESZ Cond. Cleveland Orch.: Symphony #6 in D (Dvorak); Divertimento in D, K.136; w.John Mack, Robert Marcellus, Myron Bloom & George Goslee: Sinfonia Concertante for Four Winds in E-flat, K.297b (both Mozart). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-452, Live Performance, 8 Nov., 1969 (both Severance Hall). [The extraordinary performance of the Dvorak alone is worth the price of the entire concert!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1561)
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)
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 2200 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.
S0713. ARTHUR GRUMIAUX, w. Gika Zdravkovitch Cond. NDR S.O.:: Tzigane (Ravel); Violin Concerto #3 in G, K.216; w. Eugen Jochum Cond. Bavarian Radio S.O.: Violin Concerto #4 in D, K.418; w.Maria Bergmann (Pf.): Violin Sonata #24 in F, K.376 (all Mozart). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-588, Live Performances, 1959-75. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
P1270. EMIL GILELS, w.Serge Baudo Cond. Saarbrucken Radio S.O.: Piano Concerto #27 in B-flat, K.595 (Mozart), Live Performance, 27 April, 1984; EMIL GILELS, w.Amadeus Quartet & Rainer Zepperitz (Double Bass): 'Trout' Quintet in A (Schubert), Live Performance, 2 Sept., 1975, Helsinki. [For anyone who has ever contemplated absolute serenity in heavenly space, these performances are the answer. The absolute silence in the Mozart Saarbrucken audience offers palpable evidence! This 'Desert Island' CD is not to be missed!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-564.
C1558. BRUNO MADERNA Cond. RAI S.O., Roma: Le Carnaval d'Aix; w.Massimo Bogiankino: Fantasie for Piano & Orchestra (both Milhaud), Live Performance, 23 Dec., 1960; Prelude for mixed chorus & orchestra (Schonberg), Live Performance, 19 April, 1962. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-478. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
OP3234. DIE ENTFUHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL (in French) - Excerpts, recorded 1967, w.Otto-Werner Mueller Cond. Radio-Canada Ensemble; Leopold Simoneau, Pierrette Alarie, Joseph Rouleau, Jean Coutu, Louise Lebrun & Jean-Louis Pellerin; LEOPOLD SIMONEAU, w.Jean-Marie Beaudet Cond. CBC S.O.: Per Pieta, non ricercate (Mozart, K.420) [without any reservation, a contender for Simoneau's most glorious solo recording - a 'desert island' rendition!]; Arias from Don Giovanni & La Clemenza di Tito; LEOPOLD SIMONEAU & PIERRETTE ALARIE: Duets from Cosi Fan Tutte & Entfuhrung. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-530. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
Pelleas et Melisande (Haitink - Boston; Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Keenlyside, Finley) (3-St Laurent Studio YSL T-521)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. I (Bruckner 8th - Boston) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-332)
Ariadne auf Naxos (Scherman; Eileen Farrell, Mattiwilda Dobbs, Jon Crain) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-517)
La Fanciulla del West (Behr; Steber, Corelli / Bardini, Colzani) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-519)
Aida / Forza (Bellezza; Rethberg, Ponselle, Martinelli, Pinza, de Luca) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1071)
William Steinberg, Vol. V; Tristan und Isolde (Eileen Farrell, James King, Nell Rankin) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-544)
Eleanor Steber (Marcia Sloat) (9780963417404)
Samson et Dalila (Pelletier; Maison, Stevens, Warren, Moscona) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1084)
Lotte Lehmann: The Complete Acoustic Recordings, 1914-26 (4-Marston 54006)
Arturo Toscanini; Rethberg, Schorr; Horowitz (Brahms) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1068)
Arturo Toscanini; Michel Piastro, Alfred Wallenstein (Brahms) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1077)
Medea (Gui) / Lucia di Lammermoor (Cleva) - TWO Maria Callas Performances (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1076)
The 1902 London 'Reds' (2-Truesound Transfers 4002)
William Kapell - 3 First Releases; Rodzinski, Richard Burgin, Ormandy (JSP684)
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)
Arturo Toscanini (Beethoven 9th); Bovy, Thorborg, Peerce, Pinza (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1079)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. II (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-542)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. IV (Bruckner 7th - Boston) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-570)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. III (St Laurent Studio YSL T-543)
Otello (1940 Performance) (Panizza; Martinelli, Rethberg, Tibbett) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1070)
Charles Munch, Vol. XVII; Damnation de Faust (Steber, Singher, McCollum) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-458)
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)
Eugen Onegin (Khaikin; Alekseyev, Kozlovsky, Kashevarova, Preobrazhenskaya, Konstantinov) (2-Aquarius AQVR 398)
George Szell, Vol. IV (St Laurent Studio YSL T-405)
Simon Boccanegra (Cleva; Cornell MacNeil, Zinka Milanov, Giorgio Tozzi, Barry Morell) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-442)
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)
Mark Reizen - Live Recital, 15 March, 1958 (Aquarius AQVR 408)
Erich Leinsdorf, Vol. VI; Sills, Wolff, Domingo, Berberian) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-453)
Pierre Boulez, Vol. VIII; Bluebeard's Castle, w. Tatiana Troyanos; Zoltan Kelemen (St Laurent Studio YSL T-385)
L'Elisir d'Amore (Weikert; Upshaw, Cole, Taddei) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-516)
Ignacy Jan Paderewski - Complete Victor Recordings (5-APR 7505)
Gianna Pederzini; Renato Zanelli (2-St. Laurent Studio 78-522)
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)
Sir John Barbirolli - Boston Symphony Orchestra (St Laurent Studio YSL T-415)
Ivan Kozlovsky - Beethoven, Schubert & Liszt (Aquarius AQVR 395)
Maria Jeritza (Malibran AMR 133)
Cosi Fan Tutte (Cantelli; Schwarzkopf, Merriman, Sciutti, Alva, Panerai) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1083)
La Boheme (Samosud; Kozlovsky, Shumskaya, Burlak, Yakovenko, Korolev) (2-Aquarius AQVR 405)
Alexis Weissenberg, Vol. V; Kondrashin, Rowicki (St Laurent Studio YSL T-485)
The Boy (William H. Berry, Peter Gawthorne & Nellie Taylor) (Palaeophonics 141)
Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2016 Issue (VRCS-2016)
Judith Raskin, Vol. I, w.George Schick (Pf.) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-444)
Nicolai Gedda, Vol. I ; John Wustman (Pf.) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-435)
George Szell, Vol. III (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-394)