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Caniell's Immortal Performances now presents------------------------------------------------------------
THORBORG & KULLMAN in
RODZINSKI's DAS LIED VON DER ERDE . . .
Yves St Laurent offers
his 2nd volumes of DOLUKHANOVA &
the LENER QUARTET,
plus KONDRASHIN, KOGAN, CELIBIDACHE,
BARENBOIM & ANDRE MATHIEU . . .
Many more CDs on our 50% SALE
This week's offerings for your perusal:
DAS LIED VON DER ERDE (Mahler), w. Rodzinski Cond. NYPO, KERSTIN THORBORG & CHARLES KULLMAN, Live Performance, 19 Nov., 1944, Carnegie Hall, w.broadcast commentary by Gene Hamilton.
BONUS: KERSTIN THORBORG: Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (Mahler), Live Performance, 24 May, 1936; w.Bruno Walter Cond. Vienna Phil.; KERSTIN THORBORG: Lieder and Operatic Scenes: Die Allmacht; Horch, Horch (Schubert); Sapphische Ode (Brahms); Gesang Weylas; Kennst du das Land (Wolf) – Studio recordings, 1940; Wesendonck Lieder – Traume (Wagner), w.Grevillius Cond. Swedish Radio Orch., Broadcast Performance, 22 Jan., 1935; IL TROVATORE – Act II, Scene 1; Act III, Scene 1; Act IV, Scene 2: KERSTIN THORBORG, ARTHUR CARRON & FRANCESCO VALENTINO: Live Performance, Met Opera, 13 March, 1943; BORIS GODUNOV - Act III, Scene 1; Scene 2, abridged: KERSTIN THORBORG, CHARLES KULLMAN & LEONARD WARREN: Live Performance, Met Opera, 9 Dec., 1939.
CHARLES KULLMAN: Operatic Scenes and Operetta Arias: DIE MEISTERSINGER - Prize Song; IL TROVATORE – Act IV: CHARLES KULLMAN & CLOE ELMO; MADAMA BUTTERFLY – Act I duet ¬– Bimba, bimba dagli occhi: CHARLES KULLMAN & DOROTHY KIRSTEN, w.Merola Cond. - Broadcast Standard Hour Performance, 1948; CARMEN - Act I - Micaela - Don Jose Duet: CHARLES KULLMAN & ELEANOR STEBER, Act II La fleur que tu m'avais jetee; Act III Escamillo - Don Jose Duet and Act IV Final Scene: CHARLES KULLMAN, RISE STEVENS & MACK HARRELL, w.Merola Cond. - Broadcast Standard Hour Performance, 1945. MANON - Et je sais votre nom (Act I): CHARLES KULLMAN & BIDU SAYAO, w.Fourestier Cond., Live Performance, Met Opera, 20 Dec., 1947. Das Zauberlied (Meyer-Helmund); Ich sing’ mein Lied; Mein Herz ruft immer (Stolz); DAS LIED DER LIEBE - Die eine Frau; Du bist mein Traum (Korngold); Die Sonne geht auf; Marie Luise (Meisel); DIE ZIRKUSPRINZESSIN - Zwei Marchenaugen (Kalman), Studio recordings, 1932. (Canada) 3-Immortal Performances IPCD-1090. Elaborate 34pp Booklet incl. Mahler texts, w.Program Notes by Dewey Faulkner & Ken Meltzer. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Specially priced at Three discs for the price of Two. (C1605)
“This set serves as a wonderful showcase for two great singers from the middle third of the 20th century, Swedish mezzo Kerstin Thorborg (1896–1970) and American tenor Charles Kullman (1903–1983). Both had long and successful careers at the Metropolitan, Kullman in particular singing 402 performances in that house between 1935 and 1960. Thorborg’s name is remembered better today, even though both took part in the important first recording of Mahler’s DAS LIED VON DER ERDE conducted by Bruno Walter with the Vienna Philharmonic (a 1936 live recording).
One might question the value of this recording of DAS LIED VON DER ERDE, when one can get the same two singers in their younger years and under the baton of Mahler’s colleague and the man who gave the work its world premiere, Bruno Walter. Indeed that 1936 VPO recording is essential to any serious Mahler collection, and one could not make that case for this. Taken on its own merits, however, this performance has much to recommend it. The real value of this set, however, is the solo material with Thorborg and Kullman that fills out the first disc plus two others. More about that later.
It is interesting that in overall timing, Rodzinski at 58:05 is virtually a complete match for the Walter Vienna Philharmonic performance, both of them being at the quick end of the spectrum. The other end is occupied by the likes of Bernstein (66’), Colin Davis (68’), and Jascha Horenstein (69’). If you ever needed proof that actual speed is not the most significant element of a performance, Rodzinski’s and Walter’s performances will provide it. Walter sounds slower because of more relaxed phrasing and more gentle articulation of much of the music. There is, however, something attractive in a different way about the incisiveness of the rhythms and clarity of orchestral textures, as well as the disciplined precision of the orchestra, under Rodzinski. He is most effective in the more energetic passages, particularly in ‘Das Trinklied von Jammer der Erde’ and ‘Von der Jugend’. But even in the touching orchestral passages of the great final ‘Der Abschied’ one hears detail frequently smudged over elsewhere. At the same time, Rodzinski does convey the music’s inner emotions. Artur Rodzinski was a very important conductor, who would have surely had a more important career were he not virtually impossible for managements to work with. As for the two singers, both so clearly knew and loved this score that they sing it with total command of the music’s phrases and shape. Thorborg’s voice had lost some of the remarkable richness it had in 1936, but was still a sound of great beauty. Kullman was still at the peak of his vocal powers in 1944. While I would never part with that 1936 Vienna recording, I would not be without this one either.
Then we get to the bonus material, and that is what makes this set irreplaceable. Starting with Thorborg, we get Mahler’s great song ‘Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen’ taken live from the same concert as that first recording of DAS LIED VON DER ERDE, so you can actually hear the difference in her singing of Mahler from 1936 to 1944. That recording has long been considered a classic for a reason. The Lieder performances date from 1940, except for the Wesendonck song with orchestra from 1935. The TROVATORE and BORIS GODUNOV performances are from Met broadcasts, respectively from 1943 and 1939, and they amply demonstrate the versatility of this great artist. Her Azucena is thoroughly idiomatic, and she is ably partnered by Arthur Carron (Manrico) and Francesco Valentino (di Luna). During that period at the Met one might get either Thorborg or the phenomenal Bruna Castagna as Azucena - a true period of vocal riches. Thorborg had the lusher, more richly beautiful sound, but she also had the ability to put acid in the tone when the drama required it. The best discovery for me in the Thorborg material were the two scenes from BORIS GODUNOV, in particular the big duet between Marina and Dimitri, the latter sung by Kullman. This is rich, heroic singing in the grand tradition, thrilling in its intensity and vocal richness.
Even more important a discovery lies waiting in the Kullman material, if for no other reason that he never achieved the fame of Thorborg despite his lengthy career. His voice was a lovely lyric tenor, but it lacked the distinctive beauty of a Bjorling or Melchior, or the power of a Martinelli. Thus he was damned with words of praise like ‘admired’, ‘respected’, or even ‘valuable’. And what he did not have was a major recording career. Listening to the material here, one wishes we had a tenor like this today. He sails through the operetta excerpts, as well as the Korngold, with a quite remarkable sense of how that music goes (remarkable when one considers that he was an American and not an Austrian). The voice is lovely and he floats some gorgeous high pianissimi. It is then thrilling to hear him muster the needed power for Manrico in a riveting performance with Cloe Elmo, followed by a soaringly beautiful Love Duet from MADAMA BUTTERFLY, beginning at ‘Bimba, bimba dagli’occhi’, with Dorothy Kirsten. Both are from The Standard Hour in 1948. Three years earlier on The Standard Hour he sang all the important scenes for Don Jose from CARMEN, with Eleanor Steber as Micaela, Rise Stevens as Carmen, and Mack Harrell as Escamillo. (Whatever happened to commercial broadcasting and classical music)? And to close the third disc, there is a wonderful performance of the Act I duet from MANON with Bidu Sayao. What stays in the memory is the complete comfort that Kullman displays with the varying musical styles of Mahler, Puccini, Verdi, Massenet, and Stolz. He adds some uniquely beautiful moments of shading (particularly in the BUTTERFLY and MANON duets) that demonstrate true artistry. This should spark a reassessment of Kullman, whose ability to sing with remarkable sweetness, or to add appropriate metal to the tone when a more dramatic sound is called for, seems to me quite rare among tenors of that or any other period.
The usual extraordinary production standards of Immortal Performances apply. The sonic restoration work is as good as is possible today. The booklet contains a very informative essay on the Mahler by Dewey Faulkner, and then a second intelligent and perceptive article about Thorborg and Kullman from FANFARE’s Ken Meltzer. Unusually, the full German texts and English translations are included, and there are some wonderful photos and artwork as well. The recording includes broadcast commentary, which I always enjoy as it brings back a long-gone era of radio. But it is all separately tracked, so if you prefer not to hear it you can easily skip it. Immortal Performances stands as an example of how to present historical recorded material in the best possible way. To make it even more attractive, Immortal Performances is selling the three-disc set for the price of two discs.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE, Nov. /Dec., 2017ZARA DOLUKHANOVA, w.Nina Svetlanova (Pf.): Songs by Scarlatti, Strauss, Ravel, Shaporin, Arutiunian & Prokofiev; Arias from Don Carlos, Tsar's Bride & Kashchey the Immortal (Rimsky-Korsakov). [Dolukhanova's exquisite rendition of Prokofiev's 'Green Glade' alone is worth the price of this entire program! A pair of rare recitals which feature Dolukhanova, beautifully recorded from down front in Leningrad Philharmonic Hall in remarkably clear sound.] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-719, Live Performance, Philharmonic Hall, New York, 13 Dec., 1961 & 14 Dec., 1964. (V2497)
"Dolukhanova.... had inspiration, intelligence, high musical culture, meticulous taste, poise and nobility in expression of feelings and precision of intonation, not to mention an elegant and attractive stage presence. She had that 'mezzo vibrato' shared by almost all singers of this fach, but she knew how to use it to great musical effect, like a cellist."
- Larry Friedman, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2017
"[Dolukhanova] gave recitals in the U.S. in 1959, 1962 and 1970. In the early 1960s she made a transition to soprano with Yevgeny Kanger, a pianist, whom she names as her most important teacher. Her concerts were eagerly anticipated musical events because she kept to her rule of never singing the same song twice in a city no matter how many times she appeared there. Her farewell concert was at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in the Spring of 1983."
- Richard D. Sylvester, TCHAIKOVSKY'S COMPLETE SONGS, p.303LENER QUARTET: Quartet in C, Op.76, #3; Quartet in d, Op.76, #2; Quartet in D, Op.76, #5 (all Haydn); Quartet in F (Haydn, Op.3, #5 / Hoffstetter). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-711, recorded 1928 & 1935. Remarkably quiet transfers from the superb Royal Blue Columbia Shellac 78s (Hoffstetter from English Columbia) by Yves St Laurent. This is the second in that which will be a monumental series of Lener Quartet CDs produced by Yves St Laurent! (S0721)
“Long ascribed to Haydn, this elegant Quartet in F has since been shown to be the work of a composer named Roman Hoffstetter. The first movement is a good-natured Presto in a high-spirited triple meter, presenting its charming melodies over straightforward accompaniments. The subsequent Adagio cantabile features a famous and elegant singing melody bowed out on the first violin over pizzicato accompaniments from the other instruments. It is from this movement that the quartet has received the nickname ‘Serenade’. There follows a minuet whose trio refers to the texture of the slow movement, this time with two instruments bowed and two plucked, and a dashing finale marked Scherzando.”
- Aaron Rabushka, allmusic.com
“For almost a quarter-century…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.
....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.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFAREKIRILL KONDRASHIN Cond. ORTF S.O.: Symphony #2 in D (Sibelius); w.LEONID KOGAN: Violin Concerto #2 in g (Prokofiev). [An exceptionally treasured concert, among the most glorious offered here, recorded in spectacular sound quality in a spacious acoustic!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-712, Live Performance, 6 Nov., 1974. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1603)
"In 1936 Kiril Petrovich Kondrashin was conductor at the Maly Opera Theater in Leningrad, retaining that post until 1943….In 1943, he became a member of the conducting staff of the Moscow Bolshoi Theater, which was also in a wartime home outside the capital. He remained with the Bolshoi until 1956, making marked improvement in his interpretation.
Meanwhile, a demand was building for him as a concert conductor. He received Stalin Prizes in 1948 and 1949. When he left the Bolshoi, it was with the intention of centering his career on the podium rather than in the pit. His fame grew greatly in 1958, when he led the orchestra in the prize-winning appearances of American pianist Van Cliburn at the Tchaikovsky International Competition. Cliburn charmed both his home country and his Russian hosts, and the resulting LP record of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto, conducted by Kondrashin, was a long-time best seller. This led to his American and British debuts, making Kondrashin the first Soviet conductor to appear in the U.S.
In 1960 he was named artistic director of the Moscow Philharmonic, and as such participated in another piano concerto blockbuster recording with a U.S. piano star, the great Prokofiev Third Concerto recording for Mercury with Byron Janis, still considered by many the greatest interpretation of that brilliant work on disc. Kondrashin's performances were bright and dramatic, tending to programmatic interpretations that commentators saw as the legacy of his theater career. He was the U.S.S.R.'s finest interpreter of Mahler, leading all the symphonies with unusual restraint and with the expressive and dramatic qualities of the music seemingly enhanced by understatement.
He left the Moscow Philharmonic in 1975, turning to guest conducting. As a result of high demand outside the U.S.S.R., he decided to emigrate in 1978. He was named permanent conductor of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 1979, and immediately began making a notable series of recordings with them, but died in that city only two years later.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.comSERGIU CELIBIDACHE Cond. Swedish Radio S.O.: Symphony #2 in C (Schumann), Live Performance, 28 Oct., 1962, Vienna; 'Facetter' Symphony #3 (Blomdahl), Live Performance, 27 Sept., 1969, Stockholm. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-669. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1604)
“What we have [in Karl-Birger Blomdahl] is a work that lives and breathes, changes at turns, presents an entire palate of colors and expressions in one sound world. There are passages where the work sounds far more traditional, where things come into clear focus of a few bright, clean colors, but also passages of a much darker intensity,
There’s something magical here about this symphony, a work that begins with flute and unfolds bit by bit to give us an incredibly full 23 minutes of very well-crafted music. Despite the 12-tone nature of the work, there is still a certain romanticism about it in the sense that it feels solidly based in Classical Music Tradition, with some forms and a style that might be familiar, but with challenges and innovations of its own.”
- Fugue for Thought, 27 Sept., 2016
"Celibidache was the most phenomenally gifted musician. He could shape a piece any way he liked, and did....of his musicianship, his ability and his showmanship there can be no doubt. His intellect was prodigious - he spoke fifteen languages, or it may have been thirty. Who knows? He was a truly, truly great musician. He was certainly a character and conductor one can't ignore in terms of the development of conducting in the second half of the twentieth century".
- Norman LebrechtANDRE MATHIEU: Mathieu Program (Played by the COMPOSER); w.Andre Kostelanetz Cond. CBS S.O.: Concerto de Quebec – Andante); ANDRE MATHIEU, w.Madge-Dube & Alexanian: Trio for Piano, Violin & Cello; ANDRE MATHIEU, w.Jean Beaudet Cond. Radio-Canada S.O.: Concerto de Quebec. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL 33-710, recorded 1943-67. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1282)
“Andre Mathieu was a Montreal piano prodigy, born in 1928, feted in his early life, but later forgotten, even before his early death at 39. He did most of his composing between the ages of 4 and 21, as far as is known. Probably because of his age, expression is at the core of his music rather than form and structure, but despite his age, there is a level of maturity and sophistication in the expression. [His compositions] are in the vein of works by Scriabin, Debussy, Ravel, and Rachmaninov: flowing, lyrical, impassioned, and with wide ranging, yet tonal, harmonies. Mathieu's most famous work is the ‘Concerto de Quebec’. It follows the tradition of not only Rachmaninov, but the Tchaikovsky and Grieg piano concertos. ‘Printemps Canadien’ demonstrates Mathieu's ability to absorb and adapt other styles, combing lush Romanticism with jazz rhythms; ‘Abeilles piquantes’ is reminiscient of Debussy and Ravel in its concise, precise, pointed depiction of bees jabbing a victim. If the works are somewhat derivative, they show a potential, supposedly unfulfilled, for greater compositions.”
- Patsy Morita, allmusic.comDANIEL BARENBOIM Cond. Philadelphia Orch.: Symphony #4 in e (Brahms), Live Performance, 3 Jan., 1971; DANIEL BARENBOIM Cond. English Chamber Orch.: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta (Bartok), Live Performance, 1970s. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-700. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1602)
. . . REPEATED FROM THE RECENT PAST . . .
SALOME, Live Performance, 12 March, 1949, w.Fritz Reiner Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Ljuba Welitsch, Kerstin Thorborg, Herbert Janssen, Frederick Jagel, etc.;
SALOME, Live Performance, 30 Sept., 1947, w.Clemens Krauss Cond. Vienna Staatsoper Ensemble (at Covent Garden); Maria Cebotari, Julius Patzak, Elisabeth Hongen, Marko Rothmüller, Karl Friedrich, Ludwig Weber, etc.; MARIA CEBOTARI: Arias from Nozze, Don Giovanni, La Boheme & Ariadne auf Naxos; MARIA CEBOTARI & MARCEL WITTRISCH: Duets from La Boheme – recorded 1932-48; LJUBA WELITSCH: Scenes from Salome, (1944) & Eugen Onegin (1948). (Canada) 4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1089, accompanied by Elaborate 54pp. Booklets, with photos & notes by Dewey Faulkner & Richard Caniell. The Met Opera broadcast also features Milton Cross' loquacious commentary. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Specially priced at 4 CDs for the price of 3. (OP3265)
“Cebotari and Welitsch were both truly great Salomes, both deeply admired by Strauss himself, and both providing different but equally satisfying experiences with this difficult role….At the center of both performances are not only great sopranos, but great Strauss conductors. Both knew and worked with the composer, and both were admired by the composer….It becomes even more difficult to put into words the difference between the two sopranos, although when you hear the performances you intuitively get the differences immediately. Both at this stage of their careers were in very good voice (Welitsch’s deteriorated much too quickly), and both soar over Strauss’ orchestra with ease. Both voices have a shimmering glow at their core, and both women have remarkable abilities as vocal actresses. Listening to both of these performances critically was difficult. Both sweep you along and you start to put aside your critical faculties and become immersed in Strauss music-drama. I would say that Cebotari has the slightly lusher timbre and Welitsch the more brightly focused tone. And one would also observe that Cebotari makes her dramatic points through dynamic variety and inflection, whereas Welitsch more so through changes in vocal color. So Cebotari’s hushed ‘Es ist eine schreckliche Stille’ (There is a terrible stillness) is a perfect example of her imaginative use of dynamic shading. And the huge range of vocal colors employed by Welitsch as she rages at Jokanaan’s head is a miracle of imagination. But if from that you would infer that Cebotari’s ability to vary her color is limited, or that Welitsch lacks subtlety in her use of dynamics, you would be wrong. Both sopranos maintain their vocal beauty and intensity through the length of the final scene, and both do it without sounding tired by the end. Quite simply these two ladies personified Strauss’ bizarre heroine in a way that no one since has managed. I have seen and heard many fine Salomes, and I certainly would not minimize for instance the vocal achievement of Nilsson in the role. But for complete ownership of this role, Cebotari and Welitsch simply provide a completeness of absorption of character that is unmatched. How wonderful that Immortal Performances has sonically restored these two performances and brought them together in one release….The bonus material is a joy. For the Cebotari SALOME we hear Cebotari’s exquisite vocalism at its best in The Countess’ ‘Dove sono’ from LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and in Donna Anna’s two arias from DON GIOVANNI. The coloratura in ‘Non mi dir’ shows her pressing a bit, but the gloriously even legato and tonal beauty of the opening almost stops our breath. The two arias and duet that close the first act of LA BOHEME with Marcel Wittrisch are classic 1932 recordings that have never sounded as rich and full as they do in this transfer. The sweetness of Wittrisch’s voice is an added pleasure. And the glorious recording that concludes the second disc in this set will long stay in the memory. Cebotari’s soars through ‘Es gibt ein Reich’ from ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, with rich, glowing tone. It is hard to believe that the recording was made seven months prior to her death in June 1949, at the age of 39, of cancer of the liver and pancreas! Cebotari was still singing staged performances 10 weeks before her death, until she collapsed during one. Only then did doctors discover the truth about her condition. She was still in what would be considered her prime years, and we should be grateful to Immortal Performances for this wonderful preservation of her art. That sentiment applies equally to Welitsch.
The production values are up to the usual high standards of Immortal Performances. The booklet contains insightful, intelligently written essays by Dewey Faulkner and by Caniell himself. The Met SALOME includes (separately tracked) opening and closing announcements with Milton Cross, bringing back lovely memories to all opera lovers of a certain generation. This is a very important release.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE, Nov. / Dec., 2017OEDIPE (Enescu), Live Performance, 18 May, 1955, w. Charles Bruck Cond. RTF Ensemble; Xavier Depraz, Genevieve Moizan, Rita Gorr, Berthe Monmart, Freda Betti, Lucien Lovano, Joseph Peyron, Andre Vessieres, Jean Giraudeau, Louis Noguera, etc.; OEDIPE - Final Scene, w.Brediceanu Cond. Bucharest Opera Ensemble, w.David Ohanessian. (France) 2-Malibran 805. (OP3262)
CARMEN, Live Performance, 31 Jan., 1953, w.Reiner Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Fedora Barbieri, Mario del Monaco, Hilde Guden, Frank Guarrera, Lucine Amara, Margaret Roggero, Alessio De Paolis, etc. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-705. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (OP3257)
“Fedora Barbieri was an important mezzo in the 1950s and 60s, at the Met and on many important recordings….From a vocal point of view Barbieri is superb, with an evenly produced, firmly centered mezzo that is free all the way up to the top.
If there is a Don Jose who would likely fall for brazen seduction, it is Mario del Monaco. Don’t believe the myth that he only sings at levels of forte and louder. He does some very sensitive singing here, including some lovely soft tones in the ‘Flower Song’ (not the climactic B-flat of course - that is full-voiced and thrilling), and he conveys the heartache of Jose through some effective vocal coloration. Del Monaco and Barbieri create real chemistry, and their scenes together come alive vibrantly. One cannot deny that del Monaco had one of the most viscerally thrilling voices of the twentieth century, and what one remembers from his performance is full-throated, generous singing….
In every other respect, one should take this for what it is: a thrilling, Italianate CARMEN with great singing from its two principals (and some smaller roles, too, such as Lucine Amara’s Frasquita), adding good, committed singing from its Escamillo. Not incidentally, we also get impassioned, committed, always-engaged orchestral playing under Fritz Reiner, whose quick tempos never seem rushed.
In sum, this is a thrilling release....As usual, St. Laurent Studio provides no notes, but we do get complete tracking information and documentation of the cast and origin of the broadcast, accompanying a superb transfer.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFAREGINA CIGNA: Arias & Ensembles (w.de Sabata, Elmo, Stignani, Gigli, Merli, Pasero, etc.) from La Fanciulla del West, Turandot, Adriana Lecouvreur, La Wally, Norma, Ballo, Forza, Il Trovatore, La Gioconda & Aida. [A treasurable program restoring the great Cigna to her formidable glory; the sensational 1937 de Sabata Berlin live Nile Scene with her glorious high C and breathtaking diminuendo in 'O Patria mia' is included, plus a live 'In questa reggia' with Merli!] (France) Malibran 157, recorded 1930-41, partially Live Performances. (V2563)
ZINKA MILANOV, w.Vincent La Selva Cond. Trenton S.O.: Arias from Otello, La Boheme, Cavalleria & Gianni Schicchi - Live Performance, 13 Nov., 1966 - Milanov's Final Performance; Otello - Ave Maria - Live Performance, 15 April, 1965, Met Opera; Milanov's Farewell speech, 13 April, 1966, Met Opera; William H. Wells [New York Opera Club] Interviews Zinka Milanov, 1962 [an exhaustive 69-minute interview discussing her entire career]. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-648, front cover featuring a previously unknown Boston 1956 Milanov photo by Thomas Murphy. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (V2555)
MANUEL SALAZAR: Agnus Dei (Bizet); Arias from Norma, Forza, Otello, Tosca, La Fanciulla del West & Tannhauser; MANUEL SALAZAR & LELANE RIVERA: Otello - duets (from 1930 film). (France) Malibran 162, recorded 1927-30. (V2568)
GIUSEPPE ANSELMI: Arias from Il Duca d'Alba, Werther, Iris, Fedora, Marcella, Barbiere, L'Elisir, Romeo, Mignon, La Favorita, Lucia, L'Africaine, Les Pecheurs de Perles, Tosca, Rigoletto, Pagliacci, Mefistofele & La Gioconda. (France) Malibran 160, recorded 1907-13, Fonotipia & Edison. (V2567)
BERNARDO de MURO: Arias & Scenes (w.Oltrabella, Badini, Janni, Casazza & Bettoni) from Isabeau, L'Africana, Carmen, Andrea Chenier, La Fanciulla del West, Il Trovatore, Don Carlos & Otello. (France) Malibran 163, recorded 1912-28. (V2565)
VALERE BLOUSE: Arias from Boris Godunov, Prince Igor, Hamlet, Patrie, Herodiade, Lakme, Thais, Guillaume Tell, Faust, Les Pecheurs de Perles, Lucia, Ballo, Rigoletto, Tosca, La Traviata & Il Trovatore. (France) Malibran 164. (V2570)
“Blouse was a favorite in Marseilles, singing there from 1934 through 1960….His was a remarkable career of over fifty active years singing more than 120 roles. He sang Scarpia 188 times and Escamillo 187 times. He was famous for his reliability and willingness to step in to cover emergencies. He saved countless performances through his ability and cooperation….He was a pillar of the Marseilles Opera and will always be associated with the history of that house. At the end of his extraordinary career he still offered an exemplary style of singing as a model for young singers.”
- Richard T. Soper, BELGIAN OPERA HOUSES AND SINGERS, pp.345-46CHRISTIANE CASTELLI: Arias by Rameau, Chabrier, Mozart, Gounod, Leoncavallo, Puccini, Verdi, Mussorgsky, Petit & Strauss; 'Mon Homme' (Yvain). (France) Malibran 804. (V2566)
GERMAINE MARTINELLI: Songs by Schubert (incl. the latter's Die Schone Mullerin), Schumann (the latter's Frauenliebe und Leben), Faure & Duparc. (France) Malibran 158, recorded 1928-36. (V2564)
ANDRE MALLABRERA: Tenor Songs & Arias by de Mondonville, Rossi, Rameau, Lully, Boieldieu, Auber, Maillart, Bazin, Adam, Bizet, Gounod, Chabrier, Massenet, Rossini, Suppe, Lehar & Freire. [A lovely program from this lesser-known tenor-legere; the Rameau, Lully, de Mondonville & Rossi are exceptionally beautiful] (France) Malibran 156, recorded 1958-63, several being Live Performances. (V2561)
ADRIEN LEGROS (Bass-Baritone): Songs by Flegier, Massenet, Hahn, Marinier (Au clair de la lune), Tosti (Ideale), Nadaud (Le Soldat de Marsala), Saboly (La Coupo Santo) & Rasbach (Trees); Arias from Robert le Diable, Don Carlos, Herodiade, Faust, Barbiere, Carmen, Mireille, Manon, Tosca & Pagliacci (the latter in French and Italian); Interview w.Jacques Bonnadiere, 1976. (France) Malibran 146. (V2562)
GEORGES THILL, w.Pares, Heurteur, Frigara, Gaubert, van Parys & Cohen Cond.: Quatrieme Beatitude (Franck); Les anes du Caire (Nerini); Dans la foret (de Faez); Arias from Lakme (Unpublished), Werther, Romeo, Carmen, La Damnation de Faust, Marouf, Herodiade, Die Walkure,Tosca, Pagliacci, La Traviata & Manon (the latter partially w. American soprano Mary McCormic). (France) Malibran 147, recorded 1925-28 (including four rare acoustic recordings from early 1925). (V2559)
WAGNER EN FRANCAIS: Jane Cros, Maryse Beaujon, Marcel Journet, Paul Franz, Cesar Vezzani, Georges Thill & Germaine Lubin. (France) Malibran 166. [Sheer enchantment in these marvelous displays of the now extinct French style.] (V2560)
OPERA DE CHICAGO, incl. Joseph Schwarz, Claire Dux, Rosa Raisa, Eva Turner, Edith Mason, Claudia Muzio, Jose Mojica, Antonio Cortis, Ulysses Lappas, Mary Garden, Carlo Galeffi, Rene Maison, Toti dal Monte, Tito Schipa, Titta Ruffo, Graziela Pareto, Lotte Lehmann, Alexander Kipnis, Frida Leider, Amelita Galli-Curci & Maria Kurenko. (France) Malibran 167, recorded 1908-35. (V2571)
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 Opus Kura,
Archipel, Myto, Walhall, Gebhardt &
Living Stage titles on sale,
simply visit our
sale section of our website . . .
Once again . . .
Welcome to our new bookshop & list of Original Cast LPs, www.norpete.com where you will see a vast array of excellent, used out-of-print books. You're sure to find many books of interest which may have long eluded you, so now is your opportunity to fill in missing gaps. Our online bookshop includes composer and performer autobiographies and biographies. Soon we will include musical criticism, theory and history, plus histories of symphony orchestras, opera houses and festivals. In addition, we shall offer quite an array of vocal scores, many of which are most rare and unusual.
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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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V2497. ZARA DOLUKHANOVA, w.Nina Svetlanova (Pf.): Songs by Scarlatti, Strauss, Ravel, Shaporin, Arutiunian & Prokofiev; Arias from Don Carlos, Tsar's Bride & Kashchey the Immortal (Rimsky-Korsakov). [Dolukhanova's exquisite rendition of Prokofiev's 'Green Glade' alone is worth the price of this entire program! A pair of rare recitals which feature Dolukhanova, beautifully recorded from down front in Leningrad Philharmonic Hall in remarkably clear sound.] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-719, Live Performance, Philharmonic Hall, New York, 13 Dec., 1961 & 14 Dec., 1964.
C1605. DAS LIED VON DER ERDE (Mahler), w. Rodzinski Cond. NYPO, KERSTIN THORBORG & CHARLES KULLMAN, Live Performance, 19 Nov., 1944, Carnegie Hall, w.broadcast commentary by Gene Hamilton.
BONUS: KERSTIN THORBORG: Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (Mahler), Live Performance, 24 May, 1936; w.Bruno Walter Cond. Vienna Phil.; KERSTIN THORBORG: Lieder and Operatic Scenes: Die Allmacht; Horch, Horch (Schubert); Sapphische Ode (Brahms); Gesang Weylas; Kennst du das Land (Wolf) â€“ Studio recordings, 1940; Wesendonck Lieder - TrÃ¤ume (Wagner), w.Grevillius Cond. Swedish Radio Orch., Broadcast Performance, 22 Jan., 1935; IL TROVATORE â€“ Act II, Scene 1; Act III, Scene 1; Act IV, Scene 2: KERSTIN THORBORG, ARTHUR CARRON & FRANCESCO VALENTINO: Live Performance, Met Opera, 13 March, 1943; BORIS GODUNOV - Act III, Scene 1; Scene 2, abridged: KERSTIN THORBORG, CHARLES KULLMAN & LEONARD WARREN: Live Performance, Met Opera, 9 Dec., 1939.
CHARLES KULLMAN: Operatic Scenes and Operetta Arias: DIE MEISTERSINGER - Prize Song; IL TROVATORE â€“ Act IV: CHARLES KULLMAN & CLOÃ‹ ELMO; MADAMA BUTTERFLY â€“ Act I duet Ââ€“ Bimba, bimba dagli occhi: CHARLES KULLMAN & DOROTHY KIRSTEN, w.Merola Cond. - Broadcast Standard Hour Performance, 1948; CARMEN - Act I - Micaela - Don JosÃ© Duet: CHARLES KULLMAN & ELEANOR STEBER, Act II La fleur que tu m'avais jetÃ©e; Act III Escamillo - Don JosÃ© Duet and Act IV Final Scene: CHARLES KULLMAN, RISÃ‹ STEVENS & MACK HARRELL, w.Merola Cond. - Broadcast Standard Hour Performance, 1945. MANON - Et je sais votre nom (Act I): CHARLES KULLMAN & BIDÃš SAYÃƒO, w.Fourestier Cond., Live Performance, Met Opera, 20 Dec., 1947. Das Zauberlied (Meyer-Helmund); Ich singâ€™ mein Lied; Mein Herz ruft immer (Stolz); DAS LIED DER LIEBE - Die eine Frau; Du bist mein Traum (Korngold); Die Sonne geht auf; Marie Luise (Meisel); DIE ZIRKUSPRINZESSIN - Zwei MÃ¤rchenaugen (KÃ¡lmÃ¡n), Studio recordings, 1932. (Canada) 3-Immortal Performances IPCD-1090. Elaborate 34pp Booklet incl. Mahler texts, w.Program Notes by Dewey Faulkner & Ken Meltzer. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Specially priced at Three discs for the price of Two. - 019962793714
S0721. LÃ‰NER QUARTET: Quartet in C, Op.76, #3; Quartet in d, Op.76, #2; Quartet in D, Op.76, #5 (all Haydn); Quartet in F (Haydn, Op.3, #5 / Hoffstetter). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-711, recorded 1928 & 1935. Remarkably quiet transfers from the superb Royal Blue Columbia Shellac 78s (Hoffstetter from English Columbia) by Yves St Laurent. This is the second in that which will be a monumental series of LÃ©ner Quartet CDs produced by Yves St Laurent!
C1603. KIRILL KONDRASHIN Cond. ORTF S.O.: Symphony #2 in D (Sibelius); w.LEONID KOGAN: Violin Concerto #2 in g (Prokofiev). [An exceptionally treasured concert, among the most glorious offered here, recorded in spectacular sound quality in a spacious acoustic!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-712, Live Performance, 6 Nov., 1974. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
Pelleas et Melisande (Haitink - Boston; Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Keenlyside, Finley) (3-St Laurent Studio YSL T-521)
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)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. IV (Bruckner 7th - Boston) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-570)
Eleanor Steber (Marcia Sloat) (9780963417404)
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)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. I (Bruckner 8th - Boston) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-332)
Renata Scotto; John Wustman (1970 Hunter College Recital) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-665)
Samson et Dalila (Pelletier; Maison, Stevens, Warren, Moscona) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1084)
Medea (Gui) / Lucia di Lammermoor (Cleva) - TWO Maria Callas Performances (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1076)
Carmen - 9 Jan., 1937 (Papi; Ponselle, Rayner, Bodanya, Huehn) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-649)
Arturo Toscanini; Michel Piastro, Alfred Wallenstein (Brahms) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1077)
Regine Crespin; Karl Kritz, Thomas Schippers, John Wustman (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1085)
Istvan Kertesz; Birgit Finnila & Simone Mangelsdorff (Mahler) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-451)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. II (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-542)
William Kapell - 3 First Releases; Rodzinski, Richard Burgin, Ormandy (JSP684)
Walkure, Act III (Traubel, Janssen) - Tristan, Act II, 1944 (Melchior, Traubel) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1093)
Mark Reizen - Live Recital, 15 March, 1958 (Aquarius AQVR 408)
Norma (Panizza; Cigna, Castagna, Martinelli, Pinza, Votipka) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1063)
Otello (1940 Performance) (Panizza; Martinelli, Rethberg, Tibbett) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1070)
Arturo Toscanini (Beethoven 9th); Bovy, Thorborg, Peerce, Pinza (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1079)
Der Fliegende Hollander (Steiner; Janssen, Bohme, Friedrich, Andersen) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1080)
Charles Munch, Vol. XVII; Damnation de Faust (Steber, Singher, McCollum) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-458)
Forza (Molinari-Pradelli; Leontyne Price, Corelli, Merrill, Hines, Corena) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-652)
Gianna Pederzini; Renato Zanelli (2-St. Laurent Studio 78-522)
Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. III (St Laurent Studio YSL T-543)
L'Elisir d'Amore (Weikert; Upshaw, Cole, Taddei) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-516)
Die Fledermaus (Kozma; Steber, Kullman, Munsel, Hayward, Novotna, Brownlee) (2-St Laurent Studio T-647)
Rheingold (Boulez; Donald McIntyre, Zoltan Kelemen, Bengt Rundgren, Matti Salminen) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-590)
Salome - Two Performances (Reiner; Welitsch; Krauss; Cebotari) (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1089)
Arturo Toscanini - Victor Records Restored (3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1087)
Falstaff (Levine; Taddei, Neblett, Cossotto, Blegen, Monk, Ahlstedt, Tajo) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-653)
Zinka Milanov - Final Recital, plus Interview with William H. Wells (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-648)
Landmarks of Recorded Pianism, Vol. I (Lipatti, Cortot, Novaes, Rosenthal, Horowitz, Niryeghazy) (2-Marston 52073)
Erich Leinsdorf, Vol. IV; Idil Biret - debut (St Laurent Studio YSL T-380)
Alexis Weissenberg, Vol. V; Kondrashin, Rowicki (St Laurent Studio YSL T-485)
Erich Leinsdorf, Vol. VI; Sills, Wolff, Domingo, Berberian) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-453)
I Vespri Siciliani (Levine; Renata Scotto, Elvira, Ochman, Raimondi) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-677)
Missa Solemnis (Toscanini; Milanov, Thorborg, von Pataky, Moscona) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1086)
Cosi Fan Tutte (Cantelli; Schwarzkopf, Merriman, Sciutti, Alva, Panerai) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1083)
La Navarraise; Griselidis (Moizan, Vanzo, Mollien, Roux, Mars) (2-Malibran 813)
Sir John Barbirolli - Boston Symphony Orchestra (St Laurent Studio YSL T-415)
Lener String Quartet, Vol. I (Brahms) (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-634)
Walkure (Boulez; McIntyre, Hofmann, Jones, Bode, Salminen, Randova) (3-St Laurent Studio YSL T-645)
Siegfried (Boulez; McIntyre, Jones, Kollo, Kelemen, Zednik, Rundgren) (3-St Laurent Studio YSL T-670)
Aida (Cleva; Arroyo, McCracken, Bumbry, Colzani, Flagello, Plishka) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-515)
Madama Butterfly (Patane; Scotto, Aragall, Edwards) (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-658)
Les Collections des Chefs-d'oeuvre Artistiques de Girard & Cie (2-Truesound Transfers 4007)
La Boheme (Samosud; Kozlovsky, Shumskaya, Burlak, Yakovenko, Korolev) (2-Aquarius AQVR 405)