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BRIC-À-BRAC (Lionel Monckton & Herman Finck), recorded 1915, w. Herman Finck Cond. Palace Theatre Ensemble; Walter Jeffries, Teddy Gerard, Murray Johnson, Gertie Millar, Gwendoline Brogden, Nelson Keys & Simon Girard; Extras by Arthur Playfair, Nelson Keys, Murray’s Savoy Quartet, etc. (England) Palaeophonics 123, w.Elaborate ‘The Play’ 20pp. Brochure replete with numerous photos of the Palace Theatre 1915 production & biographies. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm HMV rarities. (PE0279)
1915 London delight BRIC-A-BRAC . . .
APR’s new LOUIS KENTNER . . .
Yves St Laurent’s DESIRE DEFAUW . . .
STOKOWSKI, CORELLI & SUTHERLAND . . .
and our 50% SALE Continues
“The most successful revue of 1915 was BRIC-À-BRAC. It opened at the Palace Theatre on 18 September and ran for 385 performances. The revue was originally set to star American Elsie Janis but she had returned to New York and instead it brought from the world of Musical Comedy its biggest star, the enchanting Gertie Millar. She had a strong team with her in Gwendoline Brogdon, Teddie Gerard, Nelson Keys, Arthur Playfair, Lauri Wylie and French light comedian newcomer, Simon Girard. Miss Millar’s husband, Lionel Monckton, wrote much of the music with Herman Finck and the book and lyrics were by Arthur Wimperis and Basil Hood.
BRIC-À-BRAC was an extravagant production. Gertie Millar made her first entrance in a setting reminiscent of the many musical comedies in which she had starred. It was a village scene where a local fair was taking place. Among the village folk mingled a handsome Anatole (Simon-Girard) singing of love he had yet to find. Teddie Gerard willingly gave him, and the other available young gentlemen in the crowd, her telephone number in the catchy ‘Naughty, naughty, one Gerrard’. The young squire (Nelson Keys) became interested in a village girl (Gwendoline Brogden) and while love was in the air Gertie Millar made her entrance as Polly Myrtle. Anatole was at once attracted and started a mild flirtation, taking her photograph and telling her ‘now I have two pictures of you, one in my camera, and the other in my heart’. But he had to return to London where Polly had only been once on a day trip - the excuse for her first big number ‘Chalk farm to Camberwell Green’. The scene ended with Gwendoline Brogden’s ‘A hundred years ago’, a piece written to rival her previous hit ‘I’ll make a man out of you’ and the show was already back with the War and the recruiting poster ‘Follow the drum’.
Other scenes included a Brighton sea front with a seaside Pierrot troupe, ‘The Incognitos’ in which Miss Millar burlesqued her own singing of ‘Keep off the grass’, the song which had sprung her to fame at the Gaiety in THE TOREADOR fourteen years previously. In the Palace tradition there was a spectacular ballet, ‘La toilette de Venus’ and the closing scene had the artists returning to the characters they had played in the opening scene only it was now set in London and Gertie sang ‘Neville was a devil’. Also in this scene she had her best song, the haunting ‘Toy town’, a song similar to her ‘Moonstruck’ from OUR MISS GIBBS. As a jumping-jack doll with a mass of upstanding flame coloured hair and a stripped black and white dress, she paraded with the sixteen Palace Girls in their toy costumes. The setting had changed to Italy by moonlight with black cypress trees on white marble against a deep blue sky.
BRIC-À-BRAC was the most successful of the Palace revues; it would take Danny La Rue to break its record fifty-five years later. It had taken a British star of the magnitude of Gertie Millar to replace the leading spot so associated at the time with American ladies. True, Teddie Gerard who was American was still in evidence and had scored well, but for the rest, with one notable exception, they were home grown.”
- phayward, OVERTURES, 16 Sept., 2015LOUIS KENTNER: Balakirev, Lyapunov & Liszt (the latter's Sonata in b [never before released]). (England) 2-Appian APR 6020, recorded 1944-49. Transfers by Andrew Hallifax. (P1242)
“....this reminds you that in his heyday Louis Kentner was the most stylish, witty and engaging of all Liszt pianists.”
- Bryce Morrison, GRAMOPHONE, Oct., 2009
“Many of Louis Kentner's early recordings have remained among my most treasured musical possessions....a luxuriant stylist who could touch off much of his vast repertoire with dazzling musical and technical aplomb....you will surely rejoice in a souvenir of true musical glory.”
- Bryce Morrison, GRAMOPHONE, Nov., 2007DIMITRI MITROPOULOS Cond. NYPO: Faust – Overture (Ginastera); Symphony #5 in B-flat (Schubert), Live Performance, 24 Feb., 1957, Carnegie Hall; DIMITRI MITROPOULOS Playing & Cond. NBC S.O.: Piano Concerto #3 in C (Prokofiev), Live Performance, 16 Dec., 1945, w. NBC Concert Hall broadcast announcer Lionel Barrymore's commentary before and after performance. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 33-386. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1468)
[Although previously offered, this relatively new release now has a corrected traycard, radically changing the listing as it originally appeared!]
"[Mitropoulos]...This wonderful, saintly man had such tremendous energy and fire. He used to ask us for a huge dynamic range, and you can hear that so especially effectively in the performances of Mahler we gave with him. But then he was passionate about everything he conducted, and that included the newest and toughest music, which he tackled with the greatest enthusiasm.”
- Stanley Drucker, CLASSICAL RECORDINGS QUARTERLY, Winter, 2010DÉSIRÉ DEFAUW Cond. Brussels Conservatoire S.O.: Orchestral Suite #3 in D (Bach), recorded 1929; DÉSIRÉ DEFAUW Cond. Chicago Orch.: Scythian Suite (Prokofiev); Psyché - Excerpts - both recorded 1945; Le Chasseur Maudit - recorded 1946 (both Franck). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-388. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1469)
“At the age of eight Defauw entered the Ghent Conservatory with the request that he study the violin, declaring: ‘I already know the piano.’ He duly became a student of Johan Smit and was offered a tour of the USA by an impresario when he was only fourteen, but his parents prevented this. A year later he was appointed leader of the orchestra that presented the winter concert season in Ghent, and subsequently began to tour with success as a violin soloist. In 1906 he was selected to lead the New Symphony Orchestra of London, which specialised in contemporary repertoire; and finding himself in London at the outbreak of hostilities in 1914, he established the Allied String Quartet, with Charles Woodhouse (second violin), Lionel Tertis (viola) and Emile Doehard (cello). The quartet toured throughout England, and gave the first performances of several notable works, such as the String Quartet by E.J. Moeran (1923), which was dedicated to Defauw.
At the end of the war Defauw returned to Belgium and taught at the Antwerp Conservatory, founding in 1920 the Concerts Defauw which soon acquired a European reputation. During this period he won the praise and admiration of Richard Strauss and Maurice Ravel amongst others, and six years later he was appointed musical director of Belgium’s National Radio Institute, where his responsibilities included conducting a large symphony orchestra created specifically for broadcasting. In addition from 1926 to 1940 he was conductor of the concerts of the Brussels Conservatory, breaking the tradition that these be led by the director of the Conservatory; Defauw also taught conducting at the Conservatory from 1926. He established the Belgian National Orchestra in 1937, acting as its chief conductor during its initial years.
In 1939 Defauw was invited to conduct the recently formed NBC Symphony Orchestra in New York: he was to lead three concerts during December of that year in repertoire that included Franck’s Symphony, Schumann’s Symphony #4 and Brahms’ Symphony #3, as well as shorter works by Berlioz, Wagner, Poot and Respighi, amongst others. The following year he became chief conductor of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, a post which he retained until 1953. He began to conduct other North American orchestras, such as those in Boston and Detroit, and in 1943 he started his four-year tenure as chief conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Here he faced hostility from local critics towards both his programmes and his conducting, a fate which also befell his successors in this post, Artur Rodzinski and Rafael Kubelík. Defauw introduced the music of many contemporary composers to the ‘Windy City’, including Barber, Bloch, Carpenter, Chadwick, Copland, Elgar, Goldmark, Milhaud, Sibelius, Walton, and Warlock. Following the end of World War II he returned to Belgium, but took up permanent residence in America following his appointment as chief conductor of the Gary Symphony Orchestra (now the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra) in 1950. Ill-health forced him to retire from this post after eight years, and he died in Gary in 1960.
Defauw’s recordings were made principally with the Brussels Conservatory Orchestra before World War II for EMI, and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra after the war for RCA. Of particular note are his recordings of violin concerti by Vieuxtemps and Mozart with Alfred Dubois, an important exponent of the Belgian school of violin playing. With the Chicago Symphony Orchestra his choice of works for recording reflected a preference for colourful and energetic pieces, such as Prokofiev’s ’Scythian Suite’, and Respighi’s ‘Gli uccelli’, also recorded earlier in Brussels. Once again he also proved to be an excellent accompanist to fellow-violinists in concerto recordings. The soloist in his recording of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, Erica Morini, recalled how on the morning after their public performance of the concerto, they began recording at 8.00a.m: ‘Believe it or not, I played it straight through without a stop’.”
- David Patmore, Naxos' A–Z of Conductors
LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. Philadelphia Orch., w.JOAN SUTHERLAND, FRANCO CORELLI & SUSAN STARR: Gala Concert, incl. Verdi, Giordano, Puccini, Donizetti, Strauss & Rachmaninoff. (England) Testament stereo SBT 1513, Live Performance, 19 Jan., 1963, Academy of Music, Philadelphia. Very limited copies available! (C1477)
“Another absolutely unique CD is a major contribution to the vast and wide-ranging discography of the late Leopold Stokowski in that it shows him in the rare guise of an operatic conductor. This recording comes from a complete concert he gave in Philadelphia in 1963 of major operatic excerpts sung by two of the greatest singers of the day - Joan Sutherland and Franco Corelli. Recorded in stereo, this exceptional disc is sure to gain the widest possible interest.”
- Zillah Dorset Akron
“Leopold Stokowski gave the orchestra an entirely new sound, popularly known as the ‘Philadelphia Sound’ or the ‘Stokowski Sound’. Its foundation was a luxuriant, sonorous tone and an exacting attention to color. He pioneered the use of ‘free’ bowing, which produced a rich, homogenized string tone. A relentless innovator, Stokowski experimented with orchestral seating, famously lining up the string basses across the rear of the stage and, in an early instance, massing all the violins on the left side of the orchestra and the cellos on the right. He also had spotlights directed on his hands and his impressively prominent hair to enhance his dramatic, theatrical aura. One of the first modern conductors to give up the use of the baton, Stokowski employed graceful, almost hypnotic, hand gestures to work his magic.”
. . . repeated from the recent past . . .LE ROI MALGRÉ LUI, recorded 1960, w. Bigot Cond. Janine Micheau, Christiane Castelli, Willy Clément, Michel Cadiou, Xavier Depraz, Lucien Lovano, etc.; UNE EDUCATION MANQUÉEE - excerpts, recorded 1953, w.Bruck Cond. Claudine Collart, Christiane Castelli & Xavier Depraz (both Chabrier); CHRISTIANE CASTELLI: Chabrier Songs, recorded 1954. (France) 2-Malibran 772. (OP3188)
"’I would rather have written LE ROI MALGRÉ LUI than the RING OF THE NIBELUNGEN’. So wrote Maurice Ravel of Emmanuel Chabrier's comic opera LE ROI MALGRÉ LUI, or The Reluctant King….Chabrier completed it in early 1887 after just nine months of work, producing a lively and melodic score as well as a diverse one - patter song, love music, a bit of heavy Wagnerian drama (reflecting Chabrier's love of the music of the German master), and energetic dances are all part of the mix.
The opera is based, loosely, on historical figures and events….LE ROI MALGRÉ LUI was premiered by the Opéra-Comique of Paris on 18 May, 1887. Despite the complexities of the plot, Chabrier's music won the day and the performance was very well received, with several numbers encored (although the librettists were booed). But the theatre burnt down after just three performances. Six months later the opera was taken up again at the Théâtre Lyrique, Place du Châtelet, and thanks to the support of the noted Wagnerian conductor Felix Mottl, the opera was also performed several times in Germany. But the work seemed to lose favor with the public, to a large extent due to the poor libretto (which was revised substantially for revivals in 1888 and 1929), and it has seldom been performed since that 1929 revival. Some excerpts from the opera, notably the ‘Fête polonaise’ from the beginning of Act II, have taken on their own life in the concert hall, ensuring that the work Chabrier once referred to as a ‘comic opera with elaborate undies’ has not disappeared completely from view.
UNE ÉDUCATION MANQUÉE (An Incomplete Education) is an opérette in one act and nine scenes by Emmanuel Chabrier. The French libretto was by Eugène Leterrier and Albert Vanloo. Composed in 1878-79, the work, which is set in the 18th century, is in a lively, light operetta style in which Chabrier excelled and had perfected in L’ÉTOILE a year or so earlier. It was much admired by Ravel, Hahn and Messager, among others.
The ‘opérette’ was first performed on 1 May 1879 as part of an evening’s entertainment organized by the ‘Cercle international’ in the Boulevard des Capucines, with piano accompaniment by Chabrier himself. It was revived in March 1910 in Monte Carlo and on 9 January 1911 at the Théâtre des Arts conducted by Gabriel Grovlez. In December 1918 Jane Bathori mounted the piece at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier. The 1924 Paris production by Diaghilev, designed by Juan Gris and conducted by André Messager, had recitatives by Darius Milhaud to replace the spoken dialogue. Milhaud also composed an aria for Hélène based on a melody he found among Chabrier’s unpublished manuscripts, ‘Couplets de Mariette’.
The first performance at the Paris Opéra-Comique, conducted by Roger Désormière, was on 24 March 1938, and it reached its 50th performance there in April 1946. It has occasionally been revived, though sometimes with Gontran transposed for a tenor.”
- Chris Morrison, allmusic.comLE VOYAGE DE LA LUNE, Broadcast Performance, 20 Nov., 1961, w.Kreder Cond. Claudine Collart, Joseph Peyron, Lucien Lovano & Michel Hamel; LE VOYAGE DE MESSIEURS DUNANAN PÈRE ET FILS, Broadcast Performance, 6 Feb., 1956, w.Bervily Cond. Christiane Harbell, Nicole Broissin, Jean Giraudeau, etc. (both Offenbach). (France) Malibran 786. (OP3187)
“LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE (A Trip to the Moon) is an opéra-féerie in four acts and 23 scenes by Jacques Offenbach. Loosely based on the novel FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON by Jules Verne, its French libretto was by Albert Vanloo, Eugène Leterrier and Arnold Mortier. It premiered on 26 October 1875 at the Théâtre de la Gaîté. The production was revived at the Théâtre du Châtelet, on 31 March 1877.
Albert Vanloo and Eugène Leterrier, in association with Arnold Mortier (columnist at FIGARO), wrote the libretto. They were hoping for a repeat of the success of the novels of Jules Verne (another, the novel LE TOUR DU MONDE EN QUATRE-VINGT JOURS, had been adapted for the stage at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin by Verne himself in 1874) and the public taste for grand spectacles.
No expense had been spared on the scenery - the 24 majestic sets by Cornil, Fromont and Chéret replicated places (such as the Observatory of Paris, a high-furnace, a lunar passage or a volcano) and created original architectural conceits (such as a glass palace or mother-of-pearl galleries). The use of ‘trucs’, trap-doors and artifices accentuated the surprise-effects on the spectators. The producers even borrowed a dromedary from the Jardin d'Acclimatation. The 673 costumes were designed by Alfred Grévin, and the two ballets choreographed by M. Justament.
LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE left its mark on the year in which it first appeared: seven Parisian winter revues in 1875-1876 made reference to it.
LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE was also put on in London, at the Alhambra Theatre, on 15 April 1876, and Vienna, at the Theater an der Wien, on 16 April 1876. The last performance at the Théâtre de la Gaîté occurred on 25 April 1876 after 185 performances and 965,000 francs in ticket receipts.”
- WikipediaGEORGE SZELL Cond. Cleveland Orch.: Symphony #9 in d (Bruckner); w.PIERRE FOURNIER: Don Quixote (Strauss). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 33-389. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1470)
“Pierre Léon Marie Fournier was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire where his teachers there were Paul Bazelaire and Anton Hekking; he graduated in 1924 at the age of 17. Fournier made his début the year after his graduation. This was a solo appearance with the Concerts Colonne Orchestra, which received favorable notices. The almost invariable comment in reviews was the perfection of his bowing technique. He began a successful career as a touring concert artist and as a performer in chamber music concerts, gaining a great reputation in Europe. In 1937 to 1939, he was the director of cello studies at the École Normal . It was often said that he became a friendly rival with his contemporary, cellist Paul Tortelier. He prescribed the Sevcik violin bowing studies for his cello students.
In 1941, he became a member of the faculty at the Paris Conservatoire, but during the war years, his concert touring career was impossible. Once the war was over, though, was able to resume and he rapidly increased in fame and international stature. His old audience found that he had grown in artistic depth. Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti, meeting Fournier in rehearsals for a 1947 Edinburgh Festival appearance, had not heard him for over ten years and wrote that he was ‘tremendously impressed by the Apollonian beauty and poise that his playing had acquired in the intervening years’. Szigeti, Fournier, violist William Primrose, and pianist Artur Schnabel formed a piano quartet in those years and some fabled concerts at which they played virtually all of Schubert's and Brahms' piano chamber music.
Fournier made his first U.S. tour in 1948. His chamber music partner Artur Schnabel spread the word among cellists, other musicians, and critics that they were to be visited by a great new cellist. The New York and Boston critics were ecstatic. He had to give up his Conservatoire post because of his expanding concert career; he appeared in Moscow for the first time in 1959. Commentator Lev Grinberg wrote that he was notable for a romantic interpretation; clarity of form; vivid phrasing; and clean, broad bowing all ‘aimed at revealing the content’.
He had a broad repertoire, including Bach, Boccherini, the Romantics, Debussy, Hindemith, and Prokofiev. Composers Martinu, Martinon, Martin, Roussel, and Poulenc all wrote works for him. He had a standing Friday night date to privately play chamber music with Alfred Cortot, at which they might be visited by musicians like Jacques Thibaud. In 1953, he became a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor and was promoted to officer in 1963. In 1972, he retired to Switzerland and gave master classes. He still gave concerts, even as late as 1984 when he was 78.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.comTATYANA NIKOLAYEVA: Bach, Schumann, Ravel, Borodin, Scriabin, Mussorgsky & Prokofiev. (EU) FHR 46, Live Performance, 16 Sept., 1989, Herodes Atticus Odeon, Athens, Greece. (P1245)
"Poetic performances from the irrepressible Russian pianist, Tatyana Nikolayeva with recordings published for the first time. The greatest Bach player of her generation, an undisputed authority on the music of Shostakovich and a musician of the highest capabilities, Tatyana Nikolayeva (1924-1993), was a person of piercing intelligence and a delightful generosity of spirit.
This open-air Greek recital displays Nikolayeva’s immaculate technique, her underlying sensitivity and profound musicality in abundance, across a vast array of repertoire ranging from Baroque to twentieth century."
- Ned Ludd
MAUREEN FORRESTER, w.Hertha Klust, Michael Raucheisen & Felix Schröder (Pfs.): Songs by Bach, Haydn, Franck, Loewe, Schubert, Schumann, Wagner, Mahler, Britten, Barber & Poulenc. (Germany) 3-Audite 21.437, recorded 1955-63, Berlin, partially Live Performances. (V2485)
JOSEF KRIPS Cond. Cleveland Orch.: Symphony #2 in D; w.VAN CLIBURN: Piano Concerto #2 in b B-flat (both Brahms); Interview with Van Cliburn. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-393, Live Performance, 24 July, 1969, Blossom Music Festival. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1465)
PAUL PARAY Cond. Detroit S.O.: Symphony #3 in E-flat (Schumann); w. Mischa Mischakoff & Italo Babini: Double Concerto in a (Brahms). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-390, Live Performance, 7 March, 1968. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1466)
BYRON JANIS - The RCA Recordings, 1950-59. 5-Sony 88985313302, in Boxed Set. (P1243)
DIE MEISTERSINGER, Live Performance, 23 Aug., 1937, Salzburg, w.Toscanini Cond. Vienna Staatsoper Ensemble; Henk Noort, Hans Hermann Nissen, Herbert Alsen, Maria Reining, Kerstin Thorborg, Hermann Wiedemann, Viktor Madin, Eduard Fritsch, Georg Maikl, Hermann Gallos, Richard Sallaba, Erich Majkut, Hans Rosenberg, Josef Fruchter, etc.; DIE MEISTERSINGER - Scenes, Live Performance, 8 Aug., 1936, Salzburg, w.Toscanini Cond. Vienna Staatsoper Ensemble; Charles Kullman, Hans Hermann Nissen, Lotte Lehmann, Herbert Alsen, Richard Sallaba, etc.; DIE MEISTERSINGER: Act III Quintet, with Felix Weingartner Cond. Lehmann, Thorborg, Laholm, Werning & Hofmann - Live Performance, 20 Sept., 1935, Vienna. (Canada) 5-Immortal Performances IPCD 1069, w. Elaborate 58pp Booklet, w.Notes & Audio restoration by Richard Caniell. Specially priced at Five discs for the price of Four. (OP3185)
"Despite my long familiarity with earlier reproductions, so striking are the results on these discs that I felt I was hearing the performance for the first time….the experience of hearing the 1937 performance was akin to ‘the first time’. In the case of nearly an hour and a quarter from the 8 August, 1936 performance (four performances were given that summer), we have, quite literally, a first-time experience. It turns out the performance was recorded in its entirety…and that Toscanini loved the results and expected to receive his own set. What happened is that his copies (of this and the 1937 recording) were never sent, and that most of the 1936 masters seem to have been destroyed in 1938.
In the American tenor Charles Kullman we find a measure of vocal beauty unique in recorded performances of Walther of which I am aware. I am a Kullman fan….The tenor is in fresh, open, easy voice, never forces, and his conductor never asks him to [do so].
We also have several informative essays in a handsome booklet, including the best synopsis of the story and action I’ve ever read. An analysis by Robert Matthew-Walker places these performances in context. Two excerpts from the writings of Toscanini expert Harvey Sachs, and the MANCHESTER GUARDIAN review by Neville Cardus, enrich the experience. Finally, Richard Caniell writes at some length of his restoration work, and of the source material, and pays credit to an associate on this project, the young pianist and conductor John Sullivan, who labored to correct the numerous spots of incorrect pitch. The present remastering is, based on my listening, by far the most accurate in that regard. It honors Toscanini on the 150th anniversary of his birth, and also honors Wagner, the vocalists, VSO Chorus, and Vienna Philharmonic of the day. I am honored to recommend it whole-heartedly.”
- James Forrest, FANFARE, Nov./Dec., 2016DIE MEISTERSINGER, recorded 1951, w.Kempe Cond. Dresden Staatsoper Ensemble; Ferdinand Frantz, Bernd Aldenhoff, Tiana Lemnitz, Heinrich Pflanzl, Gerhard Unger, Kurt Bohme, Gerhard Stolze, Theo Adam, etc. (Germany) 4-Hanssler Profil PH13006. (OP3186)
"Anyone who is familiar with Kempe's MEISTERSINGER will know what I mean. Kempe has the gift of making this music sing and surge heroically, without ever sounding overblown or pompous, something that Solti seems not to be able to avoid."
- Ralph John Steinberg, wagneropera.netARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. NBC S.O. & Westminster Chorale: TE DEUM; w.Zinka Milanov, Bruna Castagna, Jussi Björling & Nicola Moscona: MANZONI REQUIEM (both Verdi). (Canada) 2–Immortal Performances 1073, Live Performance, 23 Nov., 1940, Carnegie Hall, with commentary by Gene Hamilton; Toscanini Memorial Tributes and Reminiscences, incl. Announcer Ben Grauer reading RCA’s David Sarnoff’s reflections on Toscanini’s death; Soprano Lotte Lehmann recalling her collaborations with Toscanini; Recollections by Toscanini photographer Robert Hupka; 'The Impact of Toscanini', a 1963 WQXR program with Martin Bookspan, and music critic and NBC Music Executive Samuel Chotzinoff. Transfers by Richard Caniell. (C1463)
“This famous performance of Verdi’s great ‘Manzoni’ Requiem, often reviewed in these pages, along with others of the conductor’s performances, is offered here in a remastering which, I feel confident in saying, surpasses any other I have heard, and is unlikely to be surpassed or even equaled any time soon….My first hearing of this new mastering was little short of hair-raising….this Immortal Performances release, part of a major devoir to the conductor on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his birth, quite supersedes [all previous issues].
In what way is this superior, may you ask? To my ear, clarity, honesty of timbre, and sheer sonic impact. While Milanov and Björling sound like themselves in the various issues I have heard, Castagna and Moscona are vocally reborn in the new release. The Westminster Choir also can be heard more clearly and in better balance with the orchestra. The aural image of the chorus particularly affects the TE DEUM, which on these discs properly opens the program (as it did in Carnegie Hall).
These are the finest remasterings I have heard of two works comprising one of the 20th century’s most notable concert performances - a great conductor, orchestra, chorus, and soloists operating at or near their very peak, in music which this conductor was born to conduct and these soloists born to sing.”
- James Forrest, FANFARE, Nov./Dec., 2016JUSSI BJÖRLING, w.Bertil Bokstedt (Pf.): Songs by Schubert, Brahms, Liszt, Strauss,Wolf, Sibelius, Alfvén, Grieg & Tosti: Björling announces Peterson-Berger song as a substitute; Arias from Andrea Chénier, Carmen & Die Zauberflöte - Live Performance from Falkoner Centret, Copenhagen, 15 October 1959; w.Howard Barlow Cond. Voice of Firestone Orch.: If I Could Tell You (Idabelle Firsetone), Sylvia (Speaks), L’alba separa (Tosti), PRINCESS PAT - Neapolitan Love Song (Victor Herbert), TURANDOT – Nessun dorma – Broadcast Performance, 10 March, 1952. Voice of Firestone, NBC Studios Rockefeller Center, New York. (England) JSP Records JSP 682, accompanied by elaborate 24pp booklet containing Stephen Hastings' analysis of this recital. Transfers by Seth B. Winner. (V2472)
“This is an extraordinary discovery - a Jussi Björling recital that has not previously been available….There are some cases where the performances strike me as among the finest of his that can be found on disc….His singing offers a text book example of an evenly produced legato and flexible phrasing. We also recognize immediately that in Bertil Bokstedt the tenor has a particularly sensitive and skillful pianist….in fact this recital finds him in such magnificent voice that it can be recommended to anyone who loves the singer, and it also is a wonderful way for someone who wants to understand the reasons that we old-timers rave about [him].
The Copenhagen recital is greatness defined, and the recorded sound is remarkable. Apparently the concert was recorded on reel-to-reel tape by the venue…and the balance and perspective are ideal. Even if you have a reasonably extensive collection of Jussi Björling recordings, this is a worthwhile addition. If you don’t, it is essential. The sound quality is more natural and well balanced than many of the tenor’s live recitals, and the magnificence of the singing is something the likes of which we shall probably never hear again. The recording is available from Norbeck, Peters & Ford (www.norpete.com)
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE
MARIAN ANDERSON: First Restored Release of the fabled 1939 concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., w. Kosti Vehanen (Pf.): ‘America’; ‘Ave Maria” (Schubert); Spirituals; LA FAVORITA – ‘O mio Fernando’.
Also a recently discovered live concert by MARIAN ANDERSON at Falkoner Centret, Copenhagen in 1961 is presented, in excellent sound, in its FIRST EVER RELEASE, w. Franz Rupp (Pf.): Songs by Brahms, Schubert, Kilpinen, Palmgren & Sibelius; Spirituals; SAMSON ET DALILA – Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix. Copenhagen, Falkoner Centret, Live Recital, 1961. Includes a richly illustrated 24pp. booklet featuring detailed discussion by noted author Harlow Robinson. Restorations by John H. Haley of Harmony Restorations, LLC. (England) JSP Records JSP 683. (V2481)
MARIAN ANDERSON, w. Franz Rupp (Pf.): FRAUENLIEBE UND LEBEN (Schumann), Live Performance, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, 1 Feb., 1957; w.Mitropoulos Cond. Members of NYPO: LAMENTO DI ARIANNA - Lasciatemi morire (Monteverdi); DON CARLOS - O don fatale - Live Performance, Lewisohn Stadium, 24 June, 1952; LE CID - Pleurez, mes yeux - Live Performance, 12 Nov., 1944; HÉRODIADE - Ne me refuse pas - Live Performance, 6 Jan., 1947; LA FAVORITA - O mio Fernando - American Radio Début, 2 Feb., 1936. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-384. (V2482)
“About a year ago JSP Records issued a sensational disc with a newly found concert with Jussi Björling, recorded at Falkoner Centret in Copenhagen. Now comes a recital from the same source with another fixed star in the vocal firmament: the American contralto Marian Anderson. In both cases the material, from what is obviously a hitherto unknown goldmine, has been lovingly restored by John H. Haley. Coupled with the recital is a restoration of the legendary concert, broadcast from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on Easter Sunday in 1939.
The U.S. Government had planned to present her at Constitution Hall but was denied access to the hall because Marian Anderson was African American. Instead they installed a grand piano on the steps of the monument, where Ms Anderson and her regular accompanist Kosti Vehanen performed in front of an audience of 75,000. In the booklet with this issue there is a photo, taken from the Memorial steps. One can understand the feelings Marian Anderson had when she looked out over the crowd: ‘I felt for a moment as though I were choking. For a desperate second I thought that the words, well as I know them, would not come’. She also felt the positive atmosphere from the audience, and what we hear on this disc -in amazingly good sound - is a singer with strong confidence and the voice in excellent condition. She was 42 at the time and we recognize all the qualities that we know from some of her most famous recordings, made more or less at the same time. ‘Ave Maria’, for instance, was recorded in 1936. Here the tempo is slightly more expansive, possibly due to the importance of the occasion. The roundness of the tone, the quick vibrato, the warmth of the delivery, the finely shaded nuances - all those characteristics that made Toscanini exclaim: ‘Yours is a voice such as one hears once in a hundred years’….What has been preserved is of such quality that had there been no other recordings of her, [this recital] would be enough to render her a place at the top of the Pantheon of great singers. So for musical reasons this restored concert is a valuable addition to her discography in itself. The historic importance of the concert is even greater. The booklet reveals in detail the many turnabouts before the concert could be arranged, a concert that reached millions through the NBC broadcast and became the starting shot for opposition against US discrimination policies. Marian Anderson became a symbol for the Civil Rights Movement. So important was this concert that when Martin Luther King gave his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech on 28 August 1963, he did it from exactly the same spot on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where she had sung all those years earlier.
When Marian Anderson visited Copenhagen in 1961 she had already reached the venerable age of 64, an age that for many singers implies that retirement is imminent. Not so for Ms Anderson who continued singing another four years. In the meantime she had also made another historic imprint in the annals of the Civil Rights Movement when she, as the first black singer, appeared on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera on 7 January 1955….
The programme is, I believe, quite characteristic of her: some German Lieder - in particular Schubert who was close to her heart and the three songs by him….The sorrow she expresses at the end of ‘Erlkönig’ is even deeper here. Marian Anderson was, during the greater part of her career, a keen advocate of the music of Kilpinen and Sibelius…. Kilpinen was, before the war, the internationally best known Finnish composer, next to Sibelius, primarily through his almost 800 songs. Both composers are represented with two songs each and the song from BELSHAZZAR’S FEAST was arranged specifically for her by Sibelius. As always, her spirituals make a special impact. She even had to reprise He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands’.
No one with an interest in good singing can afford to be without this disc.”
- Göran Forsling, MusicWebInternational.comMARIAN ANDERSON, w.Vehanen & Rupp (Pfs.) & Primrose (Viola): Scarlatti, Purcell, Handel, Schubert, Strauss, Sibelius, Rachmaninoff, Spross, Thomas, Liza Lehmann, etc.; Vier Ernste Gesänge (Brahms), the latter and several others Unpublished. VAI 1168, recorded 1936-52. Transfers by Ward Marston. (V0260)
“It is difficult now to separate the voice and the woman from the almost marbleized monument that Anderson became long before she died in 1993….America’s traveling good will ambassador, a special United Nations delegate, the subject of numerous television documentaries, and a beloved icon.”
- Peter G. Davis, THE AMERICAN OPERA SINGER, p.340
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,
VRCS, GOP & many Met Opera broadcasts, plus Operas
by Handel, Mercadante, Marais, Cavalli, Rameau, Lully,
Monteverdi, Charpentier, Gluck, Vivaldi, Pergolesi,
Rossini, Meyerbeer, Weckerlin, Nicolai, Schreker,
Marschner & Gurlitt] have been added
throughout our listings,
in appropriate categories . . .
out-of-print books [many biographies,
Record Catalogue-Discographies . . .
more being added each week . . .
our 50% Discount Sale continues,
with numerous additions . . .
--------------------- ANNOUNCEMENT -----------------------
You can view our current Auction #147
online, with revised closing date of Saturday, 21 May!
At a total of 118 pages, this is the largest auction we’ve ever produced, filled with many rarities, plus MINT
copies of ‘Society’ recordings (all pressed from original masters), now at closeout prices.
It will come as no surprise that Norbeck, Peters & Ford have been concentrating our efforts in locating and promoting thousands of historical-interest CDs during the past quarter century, often at the expense of the somewhat rarified collector of the original 78rpm issues. Now, the long wait is over as we have spent much of the past year organizing, researching and listing many 78s in our vast inventory, many of them with appropriate critical and biographical quotes. This auction features a large assortment of instrumental, vocal and historically important records, the vast majority being in truly spectacular condition.
As our little urchin stares into the recording horn, you can now view our current AUCTION
whose revised closing date is Saturday, 21 May!
For the recently-offered Archipel, Myto, Gebhardt, Walhall, Melodiya, Vista Vera & Living Stage titles on sale, simply visit our sale section of our website
). This is the ideal opportunity at bargain prices to fill in gaps in one’s collection.
. . . For the Melodiya, Vista Vera, Archipel, Myto,
Walhall, Gebhardt &
Living Stage titles on sale,
simply visit our sale section of our website . . .
Once again . . .
Welcome to our new bookshop & list of Original Cast LPs, www.norpete.com
where you will see a vast array of excellent, used out-of-print books. You're sure to find many books of interest which may have long eluded you, so now is your opportunity to fill in missing gaps. Our online bookshop includes composer and performer autobiographies and biographies. Soon we will include musical criticism, theory and history, plus histories of symphony orchestras, opera houses and festivals. In addition, we shall offer quite an array of vocal scores, many of which are most rare and unusual.
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Now that our Auction #145
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PE0279. BRIC-À-BRACK (Lionel Monckton & Herman Finck), recorded 1915, w. Herman Finck Cond. Palace Theatre Ensemble; Walter Jeffries, Teddy Gerard, Murray Johnson, Gertie Millar, Gwendoline Brogden, Nelson Keys & Simon- Girard; Extras by Arthur Playfair, Nelson Keys, Murray’s Savoy Quartet, etc. (England) Palaeophonics 123, w.Elaborate ‘The Play’ 20pp. Brochure replete with numerous photos of the Palace Theatre 1915 production & biographies. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm HMV rarities.
P1242. LOUIS KENTNER: Balakirev, Lyapunov & Liszt (the latter's Sonata in b [never before released]). (England) 2-Appian APR 6020, recorded 1944-49. Transfers by Andrew Hallifax. - 5024709160204
C1469. DÉSIRÉ DEFAUW Cond. Brussels Conservatoire S.O.: Orchestral Suite #3 in D (Bach), recorded 1929; DÉSIRÉ DEFAUW Cond. Chicago Orch.: Scythian Suite (Prokofiev); Psyché - Excerpts - both recorded 1945; Le Chasseur Maudit - recorded 1946 (both Franck). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-388. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
C1477. LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. Philadelphia Orch., w.Joan Sutherland, Franco Corelli & Susan Starr: Gala Concert, incl. Verdi, Giordano, Puccini, Donizetti, Strauss & Rachmaninoff. (England) Testament stereo SBT 1513, Live Performance, 19 Jan., 1963, Academy of Music, Philadelphia. [Stokowski's 'Romanian Rhapsody' must be heard to be believed!] Very limited copies available! - 749677151324
Klaus Tennstedt (Bruckner 8th, Boston) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-332)
Marian Anderson - Copenhagen & Lincoln Memorial Recitals (JSP 683)
Jussi Bjorling; Bertil Bokstedt - Copenhagen Recital (JSP 682)
Irene Jordan, Vol. II; MEDEAD (Giannini) - Paray (YSL T-343)
Norma (Sutherland, Horne, Alexander, Cross) (3-IPCD 1055)
Meistersinger (Toscanini; Noort, Nissen, Alsen, Reining) (5-IPCD 1069)
Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2015 Issue (VRCS-2015)
Verdi Requiem - Toscanini; Milanov, Roswaenge, Thorborg (IPCD 1058)
Verdi Requiem - Toscanini; Milanov, Bjorling, Castagna (2–IPCD1073)
Claudia Novikova & Obukhova (Eclectra E CCD-2029)
Mignon - TWO Performances (Tourel, Stevens, Crooks) (4-IPCD 1061)
Don Giovanni - TWO Performances (Szell; Pinza, Steber) (4-IPCD 1059)
Aida / Carmen (Vickers, Zeani, Bumbry, Merrill) (4-IPCD 1056)
Otello (Uzunov, Milanov, MacNeil; Schippers) (2-HTM 65-001)
Germaine Lubin; Lucienne de Meo; Gerard Souzay (2-Marston 52070)
Offenbach - Hommage Mechanique (Music Box) (Malibran 214)
The Bing Girls are There (Nat D. Ayer) (Palaeophonics 136)
Il Tabarro; Don Pasquale (Albanese, Sayao) (3-IPCD 1057)
The Chocolate Soldier (Straus) (Lempriere Pringle) (Palaeophonics 135)
Hullo America! (Janis, Chevalier, Lupino) (Palaeophonics 112)
The Shop Girl (Alfred Lester, Evelyn Laye, Bates) (Palaeophonics 132)
Going Up (Joseph Coyne, Evelyn Laye) (Palaeophonics 131)
Marian Anderson; Rupp; Mitropoulos (St Laurent Studio YSL T-384)
Ernani (Santini; del Monaco, MacNeil, Cavalli; Santini) (2-Myto 00337)
Contes d'Hoffmann (Beecham; Jobin, Singher, Pinza) (2-IPCD 1060)
As You Were (Alice Delysia) (Palaeophonics 139)
Leopold Stokowski; Birgit Nilsson, George London (Guild 2410)
The Artistry of Virginia Zeani (9-Musique Aria 7648401)
Rosenkavalier (Leinsdorf; Ludwig, Della Casa, Soderstrom)(4-IPCD 1050)
Oberon (Cluytens; Araujo, Angelici, Nore) (3-Malibran 790)
Yes, Uncle! (Henri Leoni, Crawford, Griffin) (Palaeophonics 138)
Conchita Supervia, Vol. V; Maria Barrientos (Marston 51010)
Tristan (Bodanzky; Melchior, Flagstad, Thorborg, Huehn) (3-IPCD 1040)
A–Z of Singers (4-Naxos 8.558097/100)
GIGLI (Leonardo Ciampa)
Charles Munch, Vol. VII; Addison, Gramm (2-YSL T-308)
Charles Munch, Vol. XI; Margaret Harshaw (YSL T-335)
Joseph Fuchs, V; Lillian Fuchs; Bernstein; Perlea (YSL T-331)
Nineteenth Century Italian Tenors (3-Marston 53018)
Jennie Tourel; Zinka Milanov, Joseph Rogatchewsky (3-IPCD 1048)
Paris, le Bon Juge; Temps des Croisades (Duval) (Malibran 783)
Gabrielle Ritter-Ciampi (Malibran 784)
Charles Munch, Vol. VIII; Rudolf Firkusny (YSL T-312)
Arturo Toscanini, Vol. II (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-324)
Charles Munch, Vol. X; Alexander Borovsky (YSL T-315)
Bruno Maderna, Vol. II; Boston S .O. (YSL T-360)
Busch String Quartet, Vol. IV; Rudolf Serkin; Reginald Kell (YSL 78-264)
Sergei Lemeshev, Vol. VII (8-Aquarius AQVR 400)
Mattia Battistini; Giuseppe Bellantoni (6-Marston 56002)
Charles Munch, Vol.XII; Valletti, Kopleff, Souzay (2-YSL T-336)