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Since 1972

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Caniell's Immortal Performances presents

FRAUENLIEBE UND LEBEN . . .

Yves St Laurent offers

OISTRAKH, Vol. III,

SIMONEAU's L'Enfance du Christ,

MALKO, Vol. XVI, and

ARIADNE moves to Carnegie Hall . . .

MORE THAN 1700 TITLES

on our 50% SALE

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This week's offerings include:

  • FRAUENLIEBE UND LEBEN (Schumann), 8 individual performances by Lotte Lehmann and Ria Ginster (sung in German); Germaine Martinelli and Ninon Vallin (sung in French); Elisabeth Schumann, Elisabeth Hongen and Sena Jurinac (sung in German); Zara Dolukhanova (sung in Russian). (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1062. Recorded 1930-53. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Elaborate 32pp. booklet features essays by Henry Fogel & Richard Caniell. (V2536)

    "There is a sore temptation for me simply to stop at this point and say that if you love the art of Lieder, you simply must buy this set and hear the magnificent artistry of this octet of vocal 'greats'. That temptation is further pressed by a counsel of despair: FANFARE colleague Henry Fogel has contributed an essay of interpretive commentary to the booklet, written with such keen appreciation, penetrating insight, and wealth of illustrative detail as to leave me nothing [more] to say. There is a strong itch simply to copy his notes verbatim and abridge them for this review. But that wouldn't be cricket, so I will say a little something of my own and beg the indulgence of my readers.

    Choosing a favorite version from this embarrassment of vocal riches risks being a churlish exercise; but if forced to do so, I would unhesitatingly plump for the opening account with Lotte Lehmann (1888-1976). Hers is a magisterial reading of the widowed subject of the poems looking back over her life, rendered with sovereign majesty over her art and unmatched degrees of subtle shading and inflection of the texts. Although she was one week shy of 58 when she gave this recital, her voice is in pristine condition, and the excellence of this rendition is heightened by the sensitivity of her longtime accompanist, Paul Ulanowsky. Richard Caniell has rightly chosen to employ only minimal filtering of somewhat noisy acetates (though these are no worse than many 78-rpm discs from the same period) in order not to impair Lehman's tonal coloration. Despite being a live performance, no audience noise is perceptible; applause is not included. The sound is vastly superior to that on an Eklipse release from 1995.

    Ria Ginster (1898-1985) is undoubtedly best remembered today for her participation during the 1930s in the Hugo Wolf Society's Lieder recording project through HMV. Hers is a light, almost transparent voice (she wisely avoided the opera stage), decidedly youthful in tone. She accordingly and sensibly takes an interpretive approach from exactly the opposite end of the spectrum as Lehmann, beginning with the first stirrings of love in a young woman's breast and moving forward in time from there through courtship, proposal, engagement, wedding, pregnancy, new motherhood, and bereavement. From the sudden shift in tone color for the closing song, one imagines that this woman was widowed very early on, perhaps even before reaching age 30.

    Germaine Martinelli (1887-1964) was another singer who concentrated primarily on song repertoire rather than opera. Her voice has the very bright timbre, with just a soupçon of acidity, so typical of the pre-World War II French school of singing. She provides the fastest traversal of the cycle, and indeed impetuosity is the interpretive keynote of her approach; she seems almost giddy with excitement throughout, and in her final song one senses that the reality of her husband's death has not yet fully sunk in. Jean Doyen is a particularly elegant accompanist.

    By contrast, Ninon Vallin (1886-1961) made her career primarily in opera and operetta, winning discographic immortality for her participation in the immortal 1931 recording of Massenet's WERTHER as Charlotte opposite Georges Thill. Hers is a medium-weight voice, with more body and less brilliance than Martinelli's, and her 'take' on the cycle is one of classical poise that emphasizes impeccable vocal execution over overt emotionalism.... Like Martinelli, she sings in French rather than German.

    Elisabeth Schumann (1888-1952) was both Lehmann's exact contemporary and her lifelong friend, with the two of them being particularly renowned for their joint appearances in DER ROSENKAVALIER as the Marschallin and Sophie, respectively. As that division of labors indicates, Schumann's was indeed the more lyrical and less dramatic instrument. Caught here at age 61, her voice by then had lost a good deal of its youthful sheen; there is a hardness of tone at the top, and a lack of change in coloration. Nevertheless, the listener is amply rewarded with her legendary ability (again like Lehmann) to inflect the text and mine every ounce of meaning from each word without falling prey to preciousness. And, of course, in Gerald Moore she has the king of piano accompanists.

    Although Elisabeth Hongen (1906-1997) sang the mezzo-soprano repertory, her voice had the timbre and range to ascend into the soprano repertoire, and her rendition of the cycle here is totally devoid of any trace of heaviness. Like Lehmann and Schumann, she is masterful at shading words for meaning; and she is similar to Lehmann in dramatic weight, overt emotionalism, and vantage point of retrospective reflection from late maturity. Another noteworthy feature here is the accompanist, Ferdinand Leitner, a prominent conductor in post-war Germany who made over 300 recordings.

    Coming to Sena Jurinac (1922-2011), we have not only the youngest singer to undertake this cycle (she was only 32 at the time) but arguably also the one with the most sumptuously beautiful voice. But there is certainly no interpretive immaturity here; Jurinac was already established as a leading singer of Mozart and the lighter roles of Wagner and Richard Strauss, and her renditions are polished....One might characterize her approach as the golden mean in this set, equidistantly poised in all respects from the various opposing polarities represented here by her colleagues. She also enjoys the advantage of by far the best recorded sound in this set.

    The fabled Armenian mezzo Zara Dolukhanova (1918-2007) abandoned the operatic stage at age 26 to focus upon song repertoire. Compared to the other seven versions in this set, she labors under some significant disadvantages: The switch to Russian is initially jarring; and the tinny, tubby recorded sound make listening to the piano (which also sounds as if it were poorly tuned) a sore trial throughout. However, it does not take long to place those factors in the background and focus upon Dolukhanova's inimitable artistry. Here is the ardent, yet never gauche, heart-on-sleeve emotionalism that one always associates with the towering greats of the Russian repertoire (Sergei Lemeshev, Pavel Lisitsian and Mark Reizen immediately spring to mind as male counterparts). Like Hongen, her mezzo voice has an almost soprano-like timbre and top extension; interpretively, she partakes of the youthful excitability of Martinelli, though in the closing song she manages a gorgeous darkening of tone after the manner of Ginster.

    As always, Immortal Performances lavishes Rolls-Royce production values on this set. Richard Caniell has taken his usual immaculate care with the remasterings to obtain the best possible sound. A luxurious 32-page booklet contains complete data for all of the recordings, the aforementioned essay by Fogel, Caniell's own brief recording notes, detailed biographical entries for all eight singers, the complete German texts with an English translation, and numerous archival and artistic photos and drawings....This set is a triumph on every level; highest possible recommendation."


  • - James Altena, FANFARE, March/April, 2017




  • DAVID OISTRAKH, w. Cluytens Cond. RTF Orch.: Violin Concerto in a (Bach), Live Performance, 27 Oct., 1958; w. Giulini Cond. Vienna S.O.: Violin Concerto in D (Beethoven), Live Performance, 26 May, 1974. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-507. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0706)

    "David Oistrakh is considered the premiere violinist of the mid-twentieth century Soviet Union. His recorded legacy includes nearly the entire standard violin repertory up to and including Prokofiev and Bartok. In 1937 the Soviet government sent him to Brussels to compete in the International Ysave Competition, where he took home first prize. With his victory in Brussels, Soviet composers began to take notice of their young compatriot, enabling Oistrakh to work closely with Miaskovsky and Khachaturian on their concerti in 1939 and 1940, respectively. In addition, his close friendship with Shostakovich led the composer to write two concerti for the instrument (the first of which Oistrakh played at his, and its, triumphant American premiere in 1955). During the 1940s Oistrakh's active performing schedule took him across the Soviet Union but his international career had to wait until the 1950s, when the political climate had cooled enough for Soviet artists to be welcomed in the capitals of the West.

    Throughout his career David Oistrakh was known for his honest, warm personality; he developed close friendships with many of the leading musicians of the day. His violin technique was virtually flawless, though he never allowed purely physical matters to dominate his musical performances. He always demanded of himself (and his students) that musical proficiency, intelligence, and emotion be in balance, regardless of the particular style. Oistrakh felt that a violinist's essence was communicated through clever and subtle use of the bow, and not through overly expressive use of vibrato. To this end he developed a remarkably relaxed, flexible right arm technique, capable of producing the most delicate expressive nuances, but equally capable of generating great volume and projection."


  • - Blair Johnston, allmusic.com




  • L'ENFANCE DU CHRIST, w.Scherman Cond. Choral Arts Society & Little Orchestra Society; Leopold Simoneau, Mary Davenport, Martial Singher & Donald Gramm, recorded 1957; GRANDE MESSE DES MORTS - Sanctus, w.Munch Cond. Boston Symphony Orch. & New England Conservatory Chorus, w. Leopold Simoneau, recorded 26 April, 1959, Boston, Symphony Hall (both Berlioz). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL 33-443. (OP3223)

    "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


    "Martial Singher, a French baritone, made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1943. He made his debut at the Paris Opera in 1930 and soon became a principal baritone with the company. After 11 seasons with the Paris Opera Singher enjoyed many guest appearances in Europe and South America. In more than 100 opera roles and in recitals with leading orchestras, he eschewed showmanship and histrionics and stressed smoothness, subtlety and clarity. He was particularly celebrated for the lean, elegant phrasing of his native French repertory.

    Of his Met debut as Dapertutto in LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN, Virgil Thomson in THE NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE reported Mr. Singher 'gave a stage performance of incomparable elegance and did a piece of singing that for perfection of vocal style had not been equaled since Kirsten Flagstad went away'.

    Several weeks later at the Met Singher sang his first Pelleas. Mr. Thomson found him 'the glory of the evening, vocally impeccable and dramatically superb'. Olin Downes of THE NEW YORK TIMES hailed the baritone as 'a fine and experienced artist, an authoritative actor, one firmly grounded in the traditions of his language and stage action and a potent element of the occasion'."


  • - Peter B. Flint, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 12 March, 1990




  • BRUNO MADERNA Cond. RAI S.O., Roma: Valses nobles et sentimentales; BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Suddeutsche Rundfunks S.O.: La Valse (both Ravel); BRUNO MADERNA Cond. BBC S.O., w.ALFRED BRENDEL: Piano Concerto #1 (Bartók); Piano Concerto, Op.42 (Schonberg). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-468, Live Performances, 1960-73. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1531)

    "Alfred Brendel is considered one of the greatest living classical pianists. In 2008, after performing for sixty years, he retired from the concert stage. Brendel is a towering figure....unusually tall for a pianist, with a high brow and a loping stride. His style is donnish--tweed jacket, rumpled trousers, shock of gray hair--but his aura is leonine. He commands the stage even when he is merely standing on it.."


  • - Judith Thurman, THE NEW YORKER, 3 Nov., 2011




    . . . REPEATED FROM THE RECENT PAST . . .




  • ARIADNE AUF NAXOS (in English), Live Performance, 3 Jan., 1958, w.Scherman Cond. American Opera Society Ensemble; Eileen Farrell, Mattiwilda Dobbs, Jon Crain, etc. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-517. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (OP3218)

    "One would normally be reluctant to recommend a recording of ARIADNE AUF NAXOS sung in English, offering only the opera without prologue, and rather routinely conducted at that. However, there are two reasons for any vocal collector to snap this up: Eileen Farrell and Mattiwilda Dobbs, both absolutely brilliant in their respective roles.

    Eileen Farrell's career has always been, to me at least, a puzzle. Without question she possessed one of the most glorious dramatic soprano voices of the 20th century, but she did not have a truly important operatic career. Someone I know once referred to her as the greatest Wagnerian soprano to not actually sing a complete Wagnerian role in a staged performance. Her concert excerpts of Wagner with the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony are thrilling. I was present in the early 1970s in Syracuse when she sang with the Syracuse Symphony performances of 'Ah! Perfido' and Brunnhilde's Immolation that matched some of the most glorious moments of singing I've experienced in more than a half century of listening. What we learn here, having to my mind no other recorded evidence of it, is that she was also a great Straussian.

    Her Ariadne is magnificent. She soars over everything when the music requires it, but she also floats beautiful, soft, generous phrases. The voice shines at all dynamic levels, and in all registers. It is, in fact, one of the most vocally resplendent performances of this role on record, and deserves to be heard even though you might find the English language a bit disconcerting at first. A few minutes into it, you just get lost in the flood of glorious sound and carried along with her intelligence phrasing and the dramatic conviction with which she sang. Farrell had a radiance of tone given to very few sopranos, and it is thrilling to hear in this performance.

    Mattiwilda Dobbs was one generation too early for the kind of career she deserved. She was the first African American to sing at La Scala and at the San Francisco Opera, and the first to receive an actual long-term contract from the Met. Zerbinetta was one of her signature roles, scoring one of her earliest international successes in Glyndebourne with it. What distinguishes her performance here is the combination of beauty of tone, complete ease with the coloratura demands, and an ability through all of that to actually characterize the music. With many singers it comes off as merely a showpiece, but not so here. She takes as much care with the lyrical line and with quality of tone throughout as she does with the fireworks.

    Jon Crain sings the fearsomely difficult role of Bacchus with power and an admirable ring to the sound, but he is somewhat relentless and monochromatic in his approach. Thomas Scherman, whose Little Orchestra Society specialized in rarely performed repertoire (and ARIADNE was that in the 1950s) conducts an adequate performance. One can fine more refinement of light and shade in the work of some of the greater conductors who have left recordings of this opera, certainly, but this is by no means a clumsy or inept reading.

    I wish the St. Laurent Studio were more thorough in its documentation. If you read the sparse written material provided you would think that there are only four singers involved in this performance. Doing some research, one learns that Patricia Connor, Mary Judd, and Madelyn Vose are Naiad, Echo, and Dryad. Russell Oberlin, Loren Driscoll, Robert Goss, and Jan Rubes were, respectively, Brigella, Scaramuccio, Arlecchino, and Truffaldino. All of these secondary roles are very well done. I should also note that there are a few brief drop-outs early in the recording that were on the original source. Finally, St. Laurent Studio identifies the performance as taking place in New York's Town Hall, but the contemporary NEW YORK TIMES review notes that it was moved to Carnegie Hall because of the large audience it drew.

    The English translation by George and Phyllis Mead is both effective and musical, and the singers' diction is clear enough that we get most of the words. The monaural recording is excellent, certainly far better than most in-house recordings. St. Laurent's restoration is superb (this sounds far cleaner and richer than prior versions that have circulated on the opera underground). For both Farrell and Dobbs this is an important and treasurable recording. It presents two of the major singers of the mid-20th century, both of whom were under-recorded, in thrilling performances. It is available at Norbeck, Peters, & Ford (norpete.com)."


    - Henry Fogel, FANFARE


    "Eileen Farrell gave Ariadne memorable grandeur of voice and style, and Mattiwilda Dobbs sang Zerbinetta with accuracy, lightness and grace. The part of Ariadne lies perfectly for Miss Farrell's magnificent voice. She can float long-breathed phrases of matchless quality, and she can vary her tone from fine-hued softness to a sumptuous fullness. She has appeared in concert-form opera a great deal in smaller halls. When she sings in a large hall that can accommodate her voice, she is more impressive than ever. Miss Dobbs has the vocal agility and discipline to manage Zerbinetta's big aria, one of the most taxing in opera. If she is just a shade careful with it, who can blame her? She sang it not merely as a vocal exercise but as a piece with musical meaning....Thomas Scherman and the Little Orchestra Society have moved their opera series from Town Hall to the larger Carnegie Hall, and last night's performance of ARIADNE AUF NAXOS drew an audience big enough to justify the change of venue."


  • - Howard Taubman, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 4 Jan., 1958




  • WILLIAM STEINBERG Cond. Boston Symphony Orchestra, w.Eileen Farrell, James King, Nell Rankin, Robert Hale, etc.: TRISTAN UND ISOLDE - Act II (Wagner). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-544, Live Performance, 21 April, 1972, Symphony Hall, Boston. [This glorious live performance beautifully displays the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic.] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. [Now returned to stock!] (C1522)



  • KLAUS TENNSTEDT Cond. Boston Symphony Orchestra: Symphony #10 in F-sharp - Adagio (Mahler), Live Performance, 15 Aug., 1982, Tanglewood Music Festival; Passacaglia in d, Op.1 (Webern); Symphony #100 in G (Haydn); Symphony #9 in C (Schubert), Live Performance, 8 Jan., 1977, Symphony Hall, Boston. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-542. [The Webern, Haydn & Schubert beautifully display the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic.] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1523)

    "This two-disc set gives us a complete BSO Symphony Hall subscription concert from January 8, 1977 (Webern, Haydn, and Schubert) and a bonus from Tanglewood on August 15, 1982 (Mahler). Tennstedt's balance is most important here in the Adagio from the Mahler Tenth Symphony. Others have found a more forceful agonized outcry in this movement, whether at his ensuing death or other tragedies in his life, culminating in the harmonic crisis at the crux of the movement. Tennstedt seems to feel it more as a bitter-sweet farewell. While the playing of the musicians has deep emotional commitment, it also has about it a warmth and richness of color, and rounded edges where others go for slashing incisiveness. This is very convincing, even moving, in a way that is quite different from many performances of this score.

    The Schubert is in a similar vein. but overall this is such a songful and joyful performance that it sweeps away objections.....I hear a level of orchestral commitment here that goes beyond [Tennstedt's] other recorded readings - but that difference is small. What is offered here, though, is more than a superb Schubert Ninth. It is the experience of a full Tennstedt/BSO concert, along with the Mahler as a bonus. That makes this release (available from Norbeck, Peters & Ford @norpete.com) treasurable."


  • - Henry Fogel, FANFARE




  • KLAUS TENNSTEDT Cond. Boston Symphony Orchestra: Concerto grosso in g (Handel), Live Performance, 5 Nov., 1977, Symphony Hall; Symphony #85 in B-flat (Haydn), Live Performance, 31 July, 1976, Tanglewood Music Festival; Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K.525 (Mozart), Live Performance, 27 Feb., 1979, Symphony Hall, Boston. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-543. [The Handel & Mozart beautifully display the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic.] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1524)



  • ERICH LEINSDORF Cond. Boston Symphony Orch., w.Beverly Sills, Beverly Wolff, Plácido Domingo & Ara Berberian; Rutgers University Choir: 'Schopfungsmesse' Mass in B-flat (Haydn). [Beautifully displaying the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic.] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-453, Live Performances, 23 Feb., 1967, Symphony Hall, Boston. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1526)



  • LIONEL TERTIS (Viola) & GEORGE REEVES (Pf.): Violin Sonata #2 in C (Delius-Tertis); HASSAN - Serenade (Delius); LIONEL TERTIS & HARRIET COHEN (Pf.): Sonata #1 in f, Op.120 (Brahms); LIONEL TERTIS & ALBERT SAMMONS (Vln), w.Harty Cond. London Phil.: Sinfonia concertante in E-flat, K.364 (Mozart). (Canada) Yves St Laurent YSL 78-529, recorded 1929-33. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0705)

    "Tertis made many more 78rpm records than most people realise, and the majority have never been reissued in any form.....'[Tertis] was a man of his time and his taste was that of a late Victorian and Edwardian musician; but if his recordings are heard in the right spirit, they have much to teach us about string-playing, tone-production and sheer musicianship'."


  • - att. Tully Potter, quoted by Rob Cowan, GRAMOPHONE, March, 2006




  • WILLIAM KAPELL - Three First Releases: Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 55, No. 2 (Chopin) (unissued 'test' recording); w.Rodzinski Cond. NYPO: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Rachmaninoff), 28 Oct., 1945, Carnegie Hall; w.Richard Burgin Cond. Boston Symphony Orchestra (21 March, 1953, Symphony Hall) & Ormandy Cond. Philadelphia Orchestra (22 Feb., 1947, Academy of Music): Piano Concerto #3 in C (Prokofiev) (2 performances). (U.K.) JSP Records JSP684. [Now returned to stock!] (P1259)

    "What distinguishes this release, in addition to the genius of Kapell, is its technical quality. The remastering is at the highest level, probably to the credit of both Seth B. Winner and John H. Haley of Harmony Restorations. Of particular significance is the full dynamic range, clearly in part to the credit of the original broadcast engineers. The disc comes with informative notes about Kapell and this repertoire, and also about the technical aspect of the restoration....[a] quite extraordinary document of a uniquely great pianist."


  • - Henry Fogel, FANFARE




  • ALEXIS WEISSENBERG, w.Kondrashin Cond. Philadelphia Orch.: Piano Concerto #3 in d (Rachmaninoff), Live Performance, 16 Jan., 1981; w.Rowicki Cond. Vienna Phil.: Piano Concerto #1 in b-flat (Tschaikowsky), Live Performance, 21 Aug., 1974, Salzburg. [While both performances are glorious, the Rachmaninoff is truly one of 'occasion'. Weissenberg and Kondrashin create dynamic tension, alternating with sensuous repose, poetic and tempestuous. This was clearly a Philadelphia 'event'!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-485. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1261)

    "Alexis Weissenberg, a charismatic Bulgarian-born pianist known for his thundering aggressiveness and rational detachment at the keyboard, and for his unapologetic defense of those traits in interviews, appeared as a soloist with the world's leading orchestras, played recitals on celebrated stages and made many recordings. A naturalized French citizen, he was a Romantic specialist, most closely associated with Schumann, Chopin and perhaps especially Rachmaninoff, whose percussive pyrotechnics suited him.....as reviews over many years made clear, Mr. Weissenberg did sometimes give performances, or make recordings, that were simply, electrically, unequivocally breathtaking."


  • - Margalit Fox, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 9 Jan., 2012




  • SERGEI LEMESHEV: Arias from Barbiere, L'Africaine, Werther, Les Pecheurs de Perles, Fra Diavolo, Mignon, Martha, Rigoletto, Dubrovsky, Snegoroutchka, Raphael, Eugen Onegin, Sadko, May Night, Mermaid, Halka & Ruslan and Ludmila. (France) Malibran AMR 140, recorded 1937-56. (V2535)

    "The Soviet Union had a remarkable crop of tenors during the 1940s, 50s, and into the 60s. Leaving aside artists who operated outside Russia and the Ukraine, and gifted performers such as Yelnikov who usually took secondary roles, there were still the likes of Orfenov, Kromchenko, Khanaev, Jadan, Ognovoi, Makhov, Nelepp, Alexandrovitch, Vinogradov, Ivanovsky, and Maslennikov: each an artist of international quality. Two I haven't mentioned, Kozlovsky and Lemeshev, led them all in popularity and engagements. Both began their careers in the 1920s, and they joined the Bolshoi within six years of one another - Kozlovsky in 1926, Lemeshev in 1931. They quickly became established as favorites right into the 1950s, each with his own wildly devoted female following, referred to respectively as 'kozlovityanki' and 'lemeshistki'."


  • - Barry Brenesal, FANFARE




  • OTELLO, Live Performance, 24 Feb., 1940 (replete with Milton Cross' commentaries), w.Panizza Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Giovanni Martinelli, Elisabeth Rethberg, Lawrence Tibbett, Alessio de Paolis, Nicola Moscona, etc. (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1070, accompanied by Elaborate 26pp. Booklet with photos & notes by Henry Fogel & Richard Caniell. Transfers by Richard Caniell. (OP3222)

    “This is a great OTELLO in fabulous sound. There have been a number of Martinelli Met Otellos, and certainly Henry Fogel in FANFARE 37:4 thought this not the best, preferring a February 1938 account with the same principals. Yet this 1940 OTELLO appears to this commentator to have true power, especially in Immortal Performances' transfer. While Sony, when it issued this performance, used Tibbet's private recording, Immortal Performances has used original transcriptions that needed loving preparation for this public release. It would appear the work has paid off. There is more immediacy to Immortal Performances' transfer of the opening storm; the Sony sounds painfully thin in comparison. The scope of the dynamic range in the Immortal Performances release is also preferable. Put simply, it has more 'life' about it."


  • - Colin Clarke, FANFARE, March/April, 2017




  • FEDORA, recorded 1931, w.Molajoli Cond. La Scala Ensemble; Gilda dalla Rizza, Antonio Melandri, Luba Mirella, Emilio Ghirardini, etc.; FEDORA – Excerpts: Bellincioni, de Lucia, Caruso, Ruffo, Bassi, de Rosa, Scaramberg, Anselmi, Lenzi, Chamoux, Carelli, Ventura, Bonci, Russ, Garbin, Rimini & Masini; SIBERIA - Excerpts, w.Molajoli Cond. La Scala Ensemble. 2-Malibran 816. [Now returned to stock!] (OP3219)

    "Malibran has re-issued here FEDORA's first recording, made in 1931....Gilda Dalla Rizza was one of the great verismo sopranos in the first half of the 20th century, with a two-decade career at La Scala (1915-1934). Dalla Rizza had a major career in all the important Italian houses, in South America, and other European houses as well. She never appeared in the United States. She specialized in many of the verismo operas that have now all but disappeared from the repertoire (ISABEAU, SIBERIA, L'AMORE DEI TRE RE, ADRIANA LECOUVREUR) as well as in operas that have stayed with us (TOSCA, LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST, LA BOHEME, MADAMA BUTTERFLY, etc.). She was much loved by Puccini, giving the European premieres of SUOR ANGELICA and GIANNI SCHICCHI. Puccini is reputed to have said about her Minnie 'At last I have seen my FANCIULLA'. He wrote LA RONDINE for her, and she did create that role. Dalla Rizza was one of a handful of great singing actresses of the verismo school (Eugenia Burzio, Giannina Russ, Celestina Boninsegna, and Gemma Bellincioni were others) whose success depended not on purely vocal means, but on viscerally expressive singing that might sacrifice vocal beauty for dramatic effect. Magda Olivero was a logical successor, singing in a similar manner. Dalla Rizza would distort tone for emphasis, would effectively hold a moment by stretching a note or a phrase, and would vary the rate and intensity of her vibrato to amplify the emotional content of the music. Her voice as heard here has a lovely glow to it, her top is free and open, and the abandon with which she performs makes clear why she was chosen to make the first recording of FEDORA....if the verismo style is of interest to you (as it is to me), this wonderful recording, made during the composer's lifetime with singers who knew and worked with him, can be heartily recommended. A successful performance of FEDORA depends on singers and a conductor who truly believe in the music, and that is what we have here. The bonus tracks include some great solo recordings and duets from FEDORA, including some by singers who created their roles, and they have been wisely assembled. There are five recordings of 'Amor ti vieta', all of them enjoyable."


  • - Henry Fogel, FANFARE




  • CARLO MARIA GIULINI Cond. Boston Symphony Orchestra: Le Quattro Stagioni (Vivaldi); w.Linda Phillips, Susan Clickner, Dean Wilder & Robert Hale; Tanglewood Festival Chorus: Stabat Mater (Rossini). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-492, Live Performance, 5 April, 1974, Symphony Hall, Boston. [Beautifully displaying the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic.] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1525)



  • ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. NYPO: Variations on a Theme of Haydn; Symphony #1 in c; w.Michel Piastro & Alfred Wallenstein: Double Concerto in a (all Brahms). (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1077, Live Performance, 17 Feb., 1935, plus intermission feature with Lawrence Gilman, the first Toscanini NYPO broadcast. Extensive Notes, photos & biographies. Includes the newly restored 10 April, 1936 Victor recording of Variations on a Theme of Haydn. [This is the long-missing first concert of the 1935 Brahms Cycle previously published by Immortal Performances (IPCD 1025), and is issued in association with the Toscanini Estate.] Restoration by Richard Caniell; an essay by Robert Matthew-Walker. (C1513)



  • OTELLO (in Italian) - Excerpts, undated Live Performance, Napoli, w.Nello Santi Cond. Napoli Ensemble; Guy Chauvet, Jeannette Pilou, Franco Bordoni, etc. [Albeit that two of the superb protagonists are French, this stunning performance is actually sung in Italian. Chauvet is a wonderful Otello, remembered at the Met 1977-81, and Pilou returns us to cherished memories of her Met Opera years, 1967-83.] (France) Malibran AMR 145. (OP3220)



  • LA SEMIRAMIDE IN VILLA (Paisiello), Live Performance, 2014, w.Giovanni di Stefano Cond. Orchestra da camera del Giovanni Paisiello Festival; Carolina Lippo (Madama Tenerina), Irene Molinari (Madama Placida), Fabio Perillo (Garofalo), Pasquale Arcamone (Monsieur Panbianco), etc. (Italy) 2-Bongiovanni GB2486-87, w.Libretto-Brochure. (OP3221)





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


    Numerous out-of-print CDs and LPs, [many sealed

    copies of numerous out-of-print additions: Issues of

    Symposium's Harold Wayne series, Romophone, The

    Record Collector,Naxos, VRCS, 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.

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

  • Frauenliebe und Leben  -  8 individual performances   (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1062)
    V2536. FRAUENLIEBE UND LEBEN (Schumann), 8 individual performances by Lotte Lehmann and Ria Ginster (sung in German); Germaine Martinelli and Ninon Vallin (sung in French); Elisabeth Schumann, Elisabeth Hngen and Sena Jurinac (sung in German); Zara Dolukhanova (sung in Russian). (Canada) 2Immortal Performances IPCD 1062. Recorded 1930-53. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Elaborate 32pp. booklet features essays by Henry Fogel & Richard Caniell. - 019962435430
    $39.90
    David Oistrakh, Vol. III;  Giulini;  Cluytens     (St Laurent Studio YSL T-507)
    S0706. DAVID OISTRAKH, w. Cluytens Cond. RTF Orch.: Violin Concerto in a (Bach), Live Performance, 27 Oct., 1958; w. Giulini Cond. Vienna S.O..: Violin Concerto in D (Beethoven), Live Performance, 26 May, 1974. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-507. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
    $19.90
    L'Enfance du Christ  (Scherman;  Simoneau, Davenport, Singher, Gramm)  (2-St Laurent Studio YSL 33-443)
    OP3223. L'ENFANCE DU CHRIST, w.Scherman Cond. Choral Arts Society & Little Orchestra Society; Lopold Simoneau, Mary Davenport, Martial Singher & Donald Gramm, recorded 1957; GRANDE MESSE DES MORTS - Sanctus, w.Mnch Cond. Boston Symphony Orch. & New England Conservatory Chorus, w. Lopold Simoneau, recorded 26 April, 1959, Boston, Symphony Hall (both Berlioz). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL 33-443.
    $39.90
    Bruno Maderna, Vol. XIV;  Alfred Brendel        (St Laurent Studio YSL T-468)
    C1531. BRUNO MADERNA Cond. RAI S.O., Roma: Valses nobles et sentimentales; BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Sddeutsche Rundfunks S.O.: La Valse (both Ravel); BRUNO MADERNA Cond. BBC S.O., w.ALFRED BRENDEL: Piano Concerto #1 (Bartk); Piano Concerto, Op.42 (Schnberg). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-468, Live Performances, 1960-73. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
    $19.90
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    Ariadne auf Naxos  (Scherman;  Eileen Farrell, Mattiwilda Dobbs, Jon Crain)  (St Laurent Studio YSL T-517)
    Ariadne auf Naxos (Scherman; Eileen Farrell, Mattiwilda Dobbs, Jon Crain) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-517)

    $19.90Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. I   (Bruckner 8th -  Boston)    (St Laurent Studio YSL T-332)
    Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. I (Bruckner 8th - Boston) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-332)

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

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

    $49.90Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2016 Issue              (VRCS-2016)
    Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2016 Issue (VRCS-2016)

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

    $39.90Eleanor Steber     (Marcia Sloat)     (9780963417404)
    Eleanor Steber (Marcia Sloat) (9780963417404)

    $4.95La Fanciulla del West  (Behr; Steber, Corelli / Bardini, Colzani)  (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-519)
    La Fanciulla del West (Behr; Steber, Corelli / Bardini, Colzani) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-519)

    $39.95Le 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)

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

    $71.90The 1902 London 'Reds'          (2-Truesound Transfers 4002)
    The 1902 London 'Reds' (2-Truesound Transfers 4002)

    $29.90William Steinberg, Vol. V;   -  Tristan  (Eileen Farrell, James King, Nell Rankin)  (St Laurent Studio YSL T-544)
    William Steinberg, Vol. V; - Tristan (Eileen Farrell, James King, Nell Rankin) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-544)

    $19.90Artur Rodzinski, Vol. XXXVI;  Arthur Rubinstein    (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-404)
    Artur Rodzinski, Vol. XXXVI; Arthur Rubinstein (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-404)

    $19.90Ivan Kozlovsky  -  Beethoven, Schubert & Liszt        (Aquarius  AQVR 395)
    Ivan Kozlovsky - Beethoven, Schubert & Liszt (Aquarius AQVR 395)

    $19.90Arturo Toscanini;   Rethberg, Schorr;  Horowitz  (Brahms)    (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1068)
    Arturo Toscanini; Rethberg, Schorr; Horowitz (Brahms) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1068)

    $39.90Arturo Toscanini;  Michel Piastro, Alfred Wallenstein  (Brahms)  (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1077)
    Arturo Toscanini; Michel Piastro, Alfred Wallenstein (Brahms) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1077)

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

    $29.90Margarethe Siems; Aranyi, Forstel, etc. (2-Truesound Transfers 4001)
    Margarethe Siems; Aranyi, Forstel, etc. (2-Truesound Transfers 4001)

    $29.90Jussi Bjorling;  Bertil Bokstedt  -  Copenhagen Recital   (JSP 682)
    Jussi Bjorling; Bertil Bokstedt - Copenhagen Recital (JSP 682)

    $19.90Eugen Onegin   (Khaikin;  Alekseyev, Kozlovsky, Kashevarova, Preobrazhenskaya, Konstantinov)  (2-Aquarius AQVR 398)
    Eugen Onegin (Khaikin; Alekseyev, Kozlovsky, Kashevarova, Preobrazhenskaya, Konstantinov) (2-Aquarius AQVR 398)

    $29.90William Kapell - 3 First Releases;  Rodzinski, Richard Burgin, Ormandy   (JSP684)
    William Kapell - 3 First Releases; Rodzinski, Richard Burgin, Ormandy (JSP684)

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

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

    $19.90Nineteenth Century Italian Tenors        (3-Marston 53018)
    Nineteenth Century Italian Tenors (3-Marston 53018)

    $53.90Andrea Chenier  (Cleva;  Richard Tucker, Zinka Milanov, Anselmo Colzani)   (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-434)
    Andrea Chenier (Cleva; Richard Tucker, Zinka Milanov, Anselmo Colzani) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-434)

    $39.95Bric-a-Brac    (Millar, Jeffries, Gerard, Johnson)   (Palaeophonics 123)
    Bric-a-Brac (Millar, Jeffries, Gerard, Johnson) (Palaeophonics 123)

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

    $53.90Norma  (Panizza;  Cigna, Castagna, Martinelli, Pinza, Votipka)   (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1063)
    Norma (Panizza; Cigna, Castagna, Martinelli, Pinza, Votipka) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1063)

    $39.95Melanie Kurt;  Matzenauer, Metzger, Urlus, Jorn, Kraus, Feinhals, Knupfer & Schorr    (2-Truesound Transfers 4005)
    Melanie Kurt; Matzenauer, Metzger, Urlus, Jorn, Kraus, Feinhals, Knupfer & Schorr (2-Truesound Transfers 4005)

    $29.90Adolf Wallnofer  &  Hermann Winkelmann       (2-Truesound Transfers 4004)
    Adolf Wallnofer & Hermann Winkelmann (2-Truesound Transfers 4004)

    $29.90Simon Boccanegra  (Cleva;  Cornell MacNeil, Zinka Milanov, Giorgio Tozzi, Barry Morell)  (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-442)
    Simon Boccanegra (Cleva; Cornell MacNeil, Zinka Milanov, Giorgio Tozzi, Barry Morell) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-442)

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

    $39.90Carmen  (Paray;  Jean Madeira, Brian Sullivan, Marjorie Gordon  & Donald Gramm)    (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-396)
    Carmen (Paray; Jean Madeira, Brian Sullivan, Marjorie Gordon & Donald Gramm) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-396)

    $29.90K.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)

    $29.90Maria Jeritza              (Malibran AMR 133)
    Maria Jeritza (Malibran AMR 133)

    $19.90George Szell, Vol. IV         (St Laurent Studio YSL T-405)
    George Szell, Vol. IV (St Laurent Studio YSL T-405)

    $19.90The Unknown Fernando De Lucia  -  Phonotype Recordings, 1917-21      (The Record Collector TRC 44)
    The Unknown Fernando De Lucia - Phonotype Recordings, 1917-21 (The Record Collector TRC 44)

    $39.90Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. III       (St Laurent Studio YSL T-543)
    Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. III (St Laurent Studio YSL T-543)

    $19.90The Boy    (William H. Berry, Peter Gawthorne & Nellie Taylor)          (Palaeophonics 141)
    The Boy (William H. Berry, Peter Gawthorne & Nellie Taylor) (Palaeophonics 141)

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

    $69.90L'Elisir d'Amore  (Weikert;  Upshaw, Cole, Taddei)   (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-516)
    L'Elisir d'Amore (Weikert; Upshaw, Cole, Taddei) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-516)

    $39.95Verdi Requiem - Toscanini;  Milanov, Roswaenge, Thorborg, Moscona   (2-Immortal Performances IPCD  1058)
    Verdi Requiem - Toscanini; Milanov, Roswaenge, Thorborg, Moscona (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1058)

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

    $39.90Samson et Dalila   (Paray;  Jean Madeira, Albert da Costa & Chester Ludgin)    (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-403)
    Samson et Dalila (Paray; Jean Madeira, Albert da Costa & Chester Ludgin) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-403)

    $29.90Leopold Simoneau;    Janine Lachance (Pf.)        (St Laurent Studio YSL 33-441)
    Leopold Simoneau; Janine Lachance (Pf.) (St Laurent Studio YSL 33-441)

    $19.90Judith Raskin, Vol. I, w.George Schick (Pf.)        (St Laurent Studio YSL T-444)
    Judith Raskin, Vol. I, w.George Schick (Pf.) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-444)

    $19.90Nicolai Gedda, Vol. I ;  John Wustman (Pf.)       (St Laurent Studio YSL T-435)
    Nicolai Gedda, Vol. I ; John Wustman (Pf.) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-435)

    $19.90Bruno Maderna, Vol. V;      Ashkenazy;      Kempff    (St Laurent Studio YSL T-375)
    Bruno Maderna, Vol. V; Ashkenazy; Kempff (St Laurent Studio YSL T-375)

    $19.90George Szell, Vol. III        (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-394)
    George Szell, Vol. III (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-394)

    $19.90