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Historical Reissue Classical CDs, LPs, 78s,
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Since 1972

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The long-awaited luminous

2003 Boston-Haitink PELLEAS ET MELISANDE

with Hunt Lieberson, Keenlyside & Finley

is here from Yves St Laurent,

along with MUNCH, Vol. XVIII,

MALKO, Vol. XVII & KERTESZ . . .

an elusive STOKOWSKI returns from Guild . . .

NOW OFFERING MORE THAN

1700 TITLES on our 50% SALE

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SMARTER THAN ALL THREE OF US ! ! !

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As some of our readers are noting, 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 regular punctuation. In compliance with Google’s restrictive demands, as well as the fact that 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!

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This week's offerings include:

  • PELLEAS ET MELISANDE, Live Performance, 16 Oct., 2003, w.Bernard Haitink Cond. Boston Symphony Orch.; Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Simon Keenlyside, Gerald Finley, Nathalie Stutzmann, John Tomlinson, etc. (Canada) 3-St Laurent Studio YSL T-521, brilliantly recorded in Symphony Hall. [This luminous live performance beautifully displays the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic.] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (OP3228)

    “The response to the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s luminous concert performances of Debussy’s PELLEAS ET MELISANDE in Boston and New York was almost unanimously ecstatic. The BSO sounded glorious in this music, which it had never before played in full, and there was a superb cast headed by the intelligent Simon Keenlyside and the sublime Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Bernard Haitink’s reading of the score was revelatory!”


    - Richard Dyer, THE BOSTON GLOBE, 28 Dec., 2003


    “...in Lorraine Hunt Lieberson’s MELISANDE the audience experienced a miracle. Others on the story describe MELISANDE’s voice - ‘a voice from the ends of the world’. Lieberson, luminous in a simple white dress, alone fulfilled Debussy’s dictum about never sounding like an opera singer - her timbre was as transparent and as fluid as water, and it always told the truth, even when MELISANDE was lying. She could communicate unhappiness and suffering, fear of darkness, love of light, and she suffused Symphony Hall with the rapture of her joy. She took us on a voyage of the soul, and when that soul left us, we felt a sense of personal and irreplaceable loss.”


    - Richard Dyer, THE BOSTON GLOBE, 17 Oct., 2003


    “With the exquisite mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson singing MELISANDE, and the renowned Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink at the podium, this Debussy opera brought out the best in the Boston Symphony’s [performance under Bernard Haitink]. While Mr. Haitink drew radiant Impressionistic colorings from the orchestra, steeped by long tradition in the refined French sound, he also plumbed the score for its weighty, Wagnerian resonances. The performance had an eerily calm tension, a quality essential to this story of buried yearnings and guarded secrets in a vaguely medieval setting, with a libretto adapted from the play by the Belgian symbolist author Maurice Maeterlinck.

    The wistful beauty and wondrous nuances of Ms. Hunt Lieberson’s singing were ideal for the mysterious Melisande, whom the widower prince, Golaud, discovers lost in the forest outside his castle, weeping, fearful and utterly evasive. What she is running from we never learn. Taking refuge in the older Golaud’s love, she joylessly marries him, only to find her emotional barricade threatened by Golaud’s handsome young half-brother, Pelleas. Every phrase Melisande sings must shimmer with ambiguity, and Ms. Hunt Lieberson hauntingly conveyed this quality. When she forlornly told the suspicious Golaud that she thought that the sullen Pelleas did not like her, you understood the uneasy truth lurking beneath her self-deception.

    The role of Pelleas falls awkwardly on the divide between the tenor and baritone ranges. This performance offered the appealing British baritone Simon Keenlyside as Pelleas, and in certain high-lying passages his voice seemed hard-pressed. But his warm and plaintive sound affectingly suited the role. In the scene in which Pelleas smothers his face in Melisande’s long tresses, which she lets fall from the window of her tower bedroom, Mr. Keenlyside’s quivering intensity, Ms. Hunt Lieberson’s veiled longing and the suppressed stirrings of the orchestra under Mr. Haitink made this music seem more dangerous than ever.

    Though the baritone Gerald Finley’s voice was rather light for the brooding Golaud, he compensated with dark and volatile singing. The bass John Tomlinson brought earthy, Wagnerian power to his portrayal of the aging king, Arkel. Also fine were the dusky-toned contralto Nathalie Stutzmann as Genevieve, the mother of Pelleas and Golaud; the sweet-voiced boy soprano James Danner as Yniold, Golaud’s timorous son by his first wife; and the bass-baritone Alfred Walker in two minor roles.”


    - Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 22 Oct., 2003


    “Nobody should take on Debussy’s PELLEAS ET MELISANDE casually - not singers, not orchestras and especially not audiences. This concert was a classic example. The Boston Symphony Orchestra was performing under Bernard Haitink with a handpicked cast featuring Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Simon Keenlyside in the title roles; the event had a ‘highlight-of-the-season’ buzz from the day it was announced. What made [Keenlyside’s] Pelleas great - and I don’t use this word lightly - were all the usual elements of good performance and then some. His use of the French language wasn’t merely clear and alert to word-painting; his pronunciation suggested he was interpreting the language for the sheer beauty of its sound, just as Impressionist painters used color for its own sake. Dramatically, his performance was emotionally alive, but with an extra sense of purpose that comes with the understanding that the world Pelleas inhabits is essentially arid and loveless with an undercurrent of cruelty, and that his feelings for Melisande are his only way out of this genteel hell.

    Orchestrally, the Opera is in some ways ideal for Haitink: the contemplative dignity he has long brought to Bruckner transfers well to Debussy’s superficially static drama. Admirably, Haitink recognizes that this is an opera about people who are lost together - lost because they’re all prisoners of their own psyches - and that they are buffeted toward and away from each other by fate, chance and natural phenomena. While this awareness seemed to inspire any number of jewel-like details in the characters’ individual moments, Haitink provided an overriding sense of symphonic cohesiveness which reminded you that these characters are making their way through a world far beyond their control. The Boston Symphony played with a sonority and an institutional authority that comes with a long history with Gallic and Francophile conductors.”


  • - David Patrick Stearns, ANDANTE




  • CHARLES MUNCH Cond. Japan Phil., w.Nobuko Gamou, Kuniyo Ono, Toshikata Mori & Takao Okamura: Choral Symphony in d (Beethoven). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-486, Live Performance, 27 Dec., 1962, Hibiya Public Hall, Tokyo. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1539)



  • ISTVAN KERTESZ Cond. Cleveland Orch., w.Birgit Finnila & Simone Mangelsdorff: ‘Resurrection’ Symphony #2 in c (Mahler). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-451, Live Performance, 31 Oct., 1968 (both Severance Hall). Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1537)

    “An inordinately gifted conductor, Istvan Kertesz was decidedly non-interventionist as a conductor. With scrupulous attention to the composer’s directions, his interpretations were more remarkable for sound musicianship than for striking individualism. Still, his performances often held high drama, and he was intentional about advocacy of works he believed in which, in light of his broad interests, were numerous….

    For Decca, Kertesz recorded a superb BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE with Christa Ludwig and Walter Berry, still unsurpassed after several decades. In addition to Bartok, Kertesz was an indefatigable champion of works by Stravinsky, Henze, and Britten. Britten’s BILLY BUDD was first presented to German audiences under Kertesz’s baton and he directed the first performance of the WAR REQUIEM heard in Vienna. For Ravinia Festival audiences, Kertesz directed the WAR REQUIEM with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Chorus shortly before his death. With soloists Phyllis Curtin, Robert Tear, and John Shirley-Quirk, the conductor’s shattering interpretation left audience members limp.”


    - Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com


    “Birgit Finnila, the Swedish contralto, is one of those artists who create advance excitment through word of mouth. She has a long list of credentials: Gerald Moore accompanied her in England in the spring of 1966; it was her debut and his final London appearance. She has sung with an impressive list of conductors and on five continents;.The name of the music she chose to sing [for her New York Town Hall debut] was good taste: four Brahms lieder; the Schumann cycle ‘Frauenliebe and Leben’; three Wolf Lieder and two each by Richard Strauss, Sibelius, Grieg and Randstrom. But the recital itself was tantalizing. Miss Finnila is a finished interpreter. Each song is a fully charged theatrical episode, and she has every detail, down to the last eyelash, exactly in place. Her phrasing, her rhythm, her stance, her gestures, all lend meaning to every speck of the text.”


  • - Theodore Strongin, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 17 April, 1971




  • NICOLAI MALKO Cond. Danish National S.O.: The Sleeping Beauty - Waltz, Act I; Serenade for Strings, Op.48 - Waltz; String Quartet #1 in d - Andante cantabile (all Tschaikowsky); Andante cantabile (Oldberg); NICOLAI MALKO Cond. Philharmonia Orch.: Mazeppa - Gopak; The Sleeping Beauty - Excerpts (both Tschaikowsky); Interview (in French) with Malko. [For any serious collector who has not as yet availed him or herself of the magic of Malko, this title is one of his most engaging. The Oldberg andante is quite special, indeed!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-402, Recorded 1950-52. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1538)



    . . . REPEATED FROM THE RECENT PAST . . .




  • LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. RAI Orch., Torino: Latin-American Symphonette (Morton Gould), Italian Premiere, 6 May, 1955; LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. Hollywood Bowl S.O., w.James Abato: Saxophone Concerto (Paul Creston), West Coast Premiere, 26 Aug., 1955, with broadcast commentary; LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. New York City Symphony Orch., w.Tommy Dorsey: Trombone Concerto (Nathaniel Shilkret), World Premiere, 15 Feb., 1945, New York City Center - Young Peoples’ Concert, featuring Stokowski’s delightful spoken introduction of Tommy Dorsey (then twice chiding the vociferous teen-age crowd - ‘You must be quiet, or the concert ends NOW - you must be quiet!’), plus broadcast commentary. (England) Guild 2424. Very long unavailable, we’re pleased to be able to offer once again! (C1418)

    “The bobby-soxers came out in noisy droves for the world premiere of the Trombone Concerto by composer Nathaniel Shilkret, with popular band leader and instrumentalist Tommy Dorsey doing the solo part. The concert (15 February, 1945) captures the creative personality of Shilkret, who had conducted the premiere of Gershwin’s AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, and aspects of the same composer’s Concerto in F infiltrate the second movement of the Trombone Concerto. Stokowski has to chide twice the vociferous teen-age crowd to quiet down for the music to proceed. Shilkret quotes several popular tunes in his jazzy, flighty, pop style, like ‘I’m Getting Sentimental Over You’. The trombone work proves slick and glossy, virtuosic in a glittery sense, like an Elvis Presley pelvis-shake. Here, the musical allusions beckon to the Hollywood of Errol Flynn and Robert Donat. That Dorsey and Shilkret may have argued about a more substantial trombone part could explain the failure of the principals to bring the piece to a commercial recording.

    Recorded 6 May, 1955, Morton Gould’s LATIN-AMERICAN SYMPHONETTE (1933) actually made its only complete performance under Stokowski at this concert from Turin, its Italian premiere. The world début had occurred in 1941 under Fritz Mahler, who would make recordings in Hartford, Connecticut. In four movements, the SYMPHONETTE intends to capture the Latin, often percussive, flavor of the dance ‘Rhumba’, ‘Tango’, ‘Guaracha’, ‘Conga’, each having an immediate, colorful appeal. The suave, sensuous dances & particularly the second movement ‘Tango’ easily have our feet and hips set in motion, either in the Caribbean or Latin tropics. The colorful, chugging ‘Guaracha’ movement had become a Stokowski staple as a popular encore, and his special affection shows through here in Turin. The primitive energy of the final Conga might conjure images of young Abbe Lane and Xavier Cugat in their dance-band heyday.

    Paul Creston’s 1941 SAXOPHONE CONCERTO had James Abato for its New York Philharmonic premiere under William Steinberg in 1944. In three movements ‘Energetic, Meditative, Rhythmic’ the piece in its West Coast premiere (26 August, 1945) exhibits a natural fluency along with its more bravura colors for the instrument. The Energetic first movement powers forward with a drama slightly reminiscent of Lalo in his d minor Cello Concerto. Alternately declamatory and jazzily active, the solo exhibits the instrument’s flamboyant character when its bluesy persona exits. The brilliant coda brings early applause for Abato and Stokowski. The expansive Meditative movement proceeds in 5/4, allowing its sinuous flow a degree of rhythmic license. The muted strings add to the lyrical, hazy sensibility. Two strong cadenzas from Abato prove beguiling, the latter brief but serving as a long coda. Rhythmic demands unabashed, New Orleans bravura on Abato’s part, rife with curlicues and breathy runs. Abato’s baritone register sings out at the last, just as flamboyant and incensed as his prior tenor riffs. A real étude de bravura, the final bars bring applause and the orchestra strings tapping their professional approval. Good mono sound throughout.”


  • - Gary Lemco, AUDIOPHILE AUDITION, 11 Feb., 2016




  • BABY BUNTING (Nat D. Ayer & Clifford Grey), recorded 1919, w.Jacques Greebe Cond. Shaftsbury Theatre Ensemble; Ronald Squire, William Catlett, Dorothy Brunton, Frank Attree, Daisy Elliston, Joyce Barbour, Davy Burnaby, The Gleesome Singers, etc. (England) Palaeophonics 147, w.Elaborate ‘The Play’ 20pp. Brochure replete with numerous photos of the Shaftsbury Theatre 1919 production & biographies. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm English Columbia rarities. [‘Modern equipment and an aptitude for perfection have helped Dominic Combe ‘clean up’ old 78 and cylinder records to deliver a sound quality that can be stunning. The booklets are produced with as much care by using original theatre programmes or magazines such as PLAY PICTORIAL and MUSIC FOR ALL so that the listener can get a good idea of how the show looked as well as to see the unique art work used to advertise the show back then. Dominic has issued over fifty of these gems and still has titles either being completed or awaiting to be started on. The label is called PALAEOPHONICS’. - OVERTURES: The Bunnet-Muir Musical Theatre Archive Trust, 10 July, 2017] (PE0285) .

    BABY BUNTING, a musical comedy by Fred Thompson and Worton with Lyrics by Clifford Grey with music by Nat. D. Ayer, opened on 25 Sept. 1919 and ran for 213 performances. Harry Nicholls’ JANE was turned into a musical comedy in 1919 under the title BABY BUNTING (Nat D Ayer/Clifford Grey/Fred Thompson, Worton David).”


  • - British Musical Theatre




  • AIDA (Act II, Scene 2; Act III; Act IV - Scene 1), Live Performances, 1936, w. Bellezza Cond. Royal Opera House Ensemble; Elisabeth Rethberg, Gertrud Wettergren, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, Ezio Pinza, John Brownlee & Robert Easton; LA FORZA DEL DESTINO & AIDA, Extensive Scenes, 1927-30, from renowned Victor, Vitaphone, NBC, WJR-NYC & Met Opera recordings, w. Rosa Ponselle, Giovanni Martinelli, Ezio Pinza, Giuseppe de Luca, Bruna Castagna, Salvatore Baccaloni, etc. (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1071, accompanied by Elaborate 38pp. Booklet, with photos & notes by Henry Fogel & Richard Caniell. Transfers by Richard Caniell. [Now available again; the initial copies sold out within hours!] (OP3227)

    AIDA is represented by two casts. The close of the first CD, chiefly dedicated to FORZA, includes AIDA excerpts with Pinza, Martinelli, and Ponselle. Again, 1920s studio recordings are most prominent. But the excerpts begin with the initial Ramfis-Radames exchange from a 1937 Met broadcast, followed by Martinelli’s marvelously-sung ‘Celeste Aida’, the latter taken from a 1930 Vitaphone, receiving its first CD release. Ponselle’s magnificent 1926 ‘Ritorna vincitor!’ is well known, as is the 1927 Temple Scene with Pinza and Martinelli. The Heritage Series release includes both 78-rpm sides of the Temple Scene, the first including the contribution of the Priestess, sung by Grace Anthony. It’s the first time I’ve heard that portion of this legendary recording, and it is a most welcome addition. Again, the remasterings are first-rate.

    The second CD is devoted to an AIDA cast including soprano Elisabeth Rethberg and tenor Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, along with De Luca and Pinza. Here, in-performance recordings play a far more prominent role. First is a 1937 NBC radio broadcast, in wonderful sound, of Aida’s ‘Ritorna vincitor!’ sung by Rethberg with a remarkable blend of elegance and passion. The Act II Triumphal Scene, performed in its entirety, is from 1936 Covent Garden productions. Baritone John Brownlee is a vibrant and intense Amonasro, and it’s wonderful to hear Rethberg and Lauri-Volpi immerse themselves completely into the music and drama. Lauri-Volpi joins Rethberg for a blazing high C before the scene’s final portion (not part of the tenor’s music in Verdi’s score, but I will hardly complain). Act III (Nile Scene) comprises the following: (1) opening (March 2, 1940 Met broadcast); ‘O patria mia’ (1927 Berlin studio recording); (3) the remainder of the Act (involving Aida, Amonasro, and Radames) assembled from classic 1929 and 1930 studio recordings. The latter is one of the great versions of this music, with all of the artists at their artistic and vocal peaks. The Act IV confrontation between Amneris (Gertrud Wettergren) and Radames (Lauri-Volpi) is part of the May 15, 1936 Covent Garden performance. Once again, Lauri-Volpi throws himself into the music and drama with an almost frightening intensity. Lauri-Volpi made many studio recordings in his prime, but in-performance documents from the same period are indeed rare. It’s clear that an audience brought out the best and most intense singing from Lauri-Volpi, and I am most grateful for the opportunity to hear him in that environment….

    It’s important, I think, to acknowledge Richard Caniell’s superb achievement in selecting and mastering the various sources to create a listening experience both seamless and highly musical. No doubt the labor and care necessary to achieve this result were painstaking and intense, and therefore all the more deserving of my gratitude. The accompanying booklet includes Henry Fogel’s insightful and affectionate tribute to the artists, the recordings, and their significance in opera’s grand tradition. There are also plot synopses, artist bios, and Richard Caniell’s recording notes. If you don’t already own the studio recordings included on this Heritage Series release, they should be a part of your collection. And even if you already do have them, the wonderful restorations, coupled with the many in-performance treasures, make this Heritage Series LA FORZA / AIDA retrospective a very attractive proposition. I had a marvelous time listening to this set, and will return to it often, with great pleasure. I also very much look forward to future releases in this series.”


  • - Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, March/April, 2017




  • MEDEA (Cherubini), Live Performance, 7 May, 1953, w. Vittorio Gui Cond. Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Ensemble; Maria Callas, Fedora Barbieri, Gabriella Tucci, Mario Petri, Carlos Guichandut, etc.;

  • LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, Live Performance, 8 Dec., 1956, w.Cleva Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Maria Callas, Giuseppe Campora, Enzo Sordello, Nicola Moscona, Thelma Votipka, James McCracken, etc. (Canada) 4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1076, accompanied by Two Elaborate Booklets with photos & notes by Henry Fogel & Richard Caniell. Transfers by Richard Caniell. [Now available again; the initial copies sold out within hours!] (OP3226)

    “This MEDEA is the earliest of six recordings of this signature role for Callas….I am not sure that I have ever heard a characterization on an operatic stage with a greater sense of unbridled emotion. The range of vocal colors available to Callas, and the imagination to employ them, is without parallel. The degree to which she throws herself into the role, particularly in the last act, is almost frightening. The disgust and rage she hurls at Giasone, done with a voice still in its youthful prime, is the extreme of operatic thrill-giving….Gui is to be admired as well for the dramatic urgency of his conducting, for his permitting (probably even encouraging) the white heat of Callas’s singing. Together they achieve something even beyond Callas and the young Bernstein and beyond Callas and Rescigno. If I had to choose a single act of a Callas performance to demonstrate to someone unfamiliar with her art just what made her unique, it would quite probably be the final act of this performance of MEDEA….The audience at the Florence May Festival in 1953 knew what it was hearing, and Immortal Performances’ decision to retain the first three minutes of the ovation at the opera’s end allows us vicariously to experience their enthusiasm. It borders on delirium, and one can understand why….this MEDEA…is essential to a full understanding of her art, and it is simply one of the most thrilling operatic performances I have ever heard.”


    - Henry Fogel, FANFARE, March/April, 2017


    “….The December 8, 1956 LUCIA proved to be Maria Callas’ only Met broadcast….Richard Caniell has located a fine source for this broadcast, and the Immortal Performances remastering has fine definition and ample dynamic range….The LUCIA begins not only with the familiar tones of Milton Cross as announcer, but also with Maria Callas speaking to her radio audience (she tells us she hopes she will please us). Other singers from the case send their regards, with Italian and Greek added to the linguistic mix; Rudolf Bing is there, too….There are a million reasons to obtain this set.”


  • - Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, March/April, 2017




  • 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)

    “The Fifties saw major recordings [of L’ENFANCE DU CHRIST] under Jean Martinon and Charles Munch - both classics - before the Sixties brought the first of Colin Davis’ three accounts and a high-profile one from Andre Cluytens….the elegant French-Canadian lyric tenor Leopold Simoneau…is featured on this invaluable reissue - and a premiere on CD, I believe - of the recording Scherman made for Columbia Records in 1957. Simoneau’s Narrator is a magnetic presence throughout….I haven’t heard the vinyl issue of this performance, but working from LPs, the remastering by the St. Laurent Studio is clean and the overall sound clear, especially of the singers. As a ‘filler’ we get Simoneau in one of his most famous parts on disc, as the tenor in Munch’s Berlioz REQUIEM from 1959. He sings the ‘Sanctus’ with utmost beauty, and the recorded sound is comparable to RCA’s current CD version. This track is in stereo.


  • - Huntley Dent, FANFARE




  • 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)

    “… if you love the art of Lieder, you simply must buy this set and hear the magnificent artistry of this octet of vocal ‘greats’….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….

    Choosing a favorite version from this embarrassment of vocal riches risks being a churlish exercise….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




  • ALFRED DUBOIS & MARCEL MAAS: Violin Sonatas Nos. 4, 5 & 6 (all Bach). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-532, recorded 7 Jan., 1932. Remarkably quiet transfers, from Royal Blue Shellac Columbia pressings, by Yves St Laurent. (S0708)

    “In the heyday of the Franco-Belgian school of string playing, the little country of Belgium held almost equal sway with its neighbour France. Dubois toured the United States in the 1938–39 season, appearing as a concerto soloist and in recitals with Marcel Maas. Sadly the outbreak of World War II put paid to his transatlantic career; in fact he was one of those musicians for whom the hostilities came at the worst possible moment. In effect his career was cut off at the flood. During the war he organised the Quatuor Artis in which the second violinist was Grumiaux and the cellist was Robert Maas – who had become separated from the rest of the Quatuor Pro Arte when they went to America at the end of 1939. The violist was the magnificent Robert Courte, who later played with Maas in the Paganini Quartet in America….Dubois and the Maas brothers also gave important series of sonata performances, ranging from Vivaldi to Bartok.

    Alfred Dubois, described by Grumiaux as ‘a wonderful teacher’, died suddenly in Brussels on 24 March 1949 and was succeeded at the Conservatoire, as he would have wished, by his star pupil. He was not granted the time to re-establish his international career after the war and therefore his reputation does not stand as high as his artistry warranted. But his colleague Bosquet was not exaggerating in writing of Dubois: ‘The virtuoso, in addition to his qualities of simplicity, of perfect equilibrium between instinct and intelligence, of great reliability of technique, impressed one irresistibly with the charm of his sonority and his phrasing’….Luckily he left some superb recordings….”


  • - Tully Potter, ContraClassics, 2017




  • ANNIE FISCHER, w.Blomstock Cond.: Concerto #4 in G (Beethoven), Broadcast Performance, 1973; w.Moralt Cond.: Concerto #20 in d, K.466 (Mozart), Broadcast Performance, 1956, (Danish National S.O., in both). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-455. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1264)

    “Annie Fischer, a Hungarian pianist known for the elegance of her Mozart performances and her vital, prismatic approach to early Romantic repertory, was a pianist who played with an intensity of concentration and focus that seemed almost at odds with the poetry and impetuousness of her interpretive style. She shunned the machinery of modern career-making and rarely gave interviews. Preferring not to be far from Budapest, she performed mostly in Europe, although she undertook several brief tours of the United States over the last 13 years. And because she disliked making recordings, the comparatively few disks she recorded for Deutsche Grammophon and EMI are prized by collectors….”


  • - Allan Kozinn, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 13 April, 1995




  • ROBERT CASADESUS, w.Boulez Cond. Cleveland Orch.: Concerto #21 in C, K.467 (Mozart), Live Performance, 13 Jan., 1971; w.Rosbaud Cond. Southwest German Radio Symphony Orch.: Konzertstuck in f (Weber), recorded 1959. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-493. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1262)



  • JOHN NEWMARK, Vol. III: John Field Recital. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 33-437. [Exquisitely beautiful playing and phrasing here!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1263)



  • ERNEST ANSERMET Cond. Boston Symphony Orchestra: Symphony in d (Franck), Live Performance, 6 Jan., 1956, Symphony Hall, Boston; ERNEST ANSERMET Cond. Stuttgart Radio S.O., w. Clifford Curzon: ‘Emperor’ Piano Concerto #5 in E-flat (Beethoven), Live Performance, 11 March, 1966. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-483. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1529)



  • BRUNO MADERNA Cond. RAI S.O., Torino: Pause del silenzio (Malipiero); 6 Pieces for Large Orchestra (Webern); BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Baden-Baden S.O.: Ma mere l’Oye (Ravel); BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Concertgebouw Orch.: Grande Aulodia; w.Hans de Vries: Oboe Concerto #3 (both Cond. by the Composer); BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Bayerischen Rundfunks S.O., w.Nan Merriman: Histoires naturelles (Ravel); BRUNO MADERNA Cond. Utrecht S.O. & Choir, w.Oralia Dominguez: L’ORFEO - Excerpts; w.Oralia Dominguez, Barry McDaniel & Pieter van den Berg: Ahi, caso acerbo ... Tu sei morta (Monteverdi). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-471, Live Performances, 1960-73. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1534)



  • GEORGES PRETRE Cond. Cleveland Orch.: Symphony #5 in E-flat (Sibelius); Nocturnes - Nuages; Fetes (Debussy); Bolero (Ravel); w.THEODORE LETTVIN (Pf.): Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Rachmaninoff). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-450, Live Performance, 6 March, 1969. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1536)

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    SMARTER THAN ALL THREE OF US ! ! !

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    As some of our readers are noting, 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 regular punctuation. In compliance with Google’s restrictive demands, as well as the fact that 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!

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    . . . numerous out-of-print CDs and LPs, [many sealed

    copies of numerous out-of-print additions: The Record

    Collector, Naxos, VRCS, Issues of Symposium's Harold

    Wayne series, Romophone, GOP & many Met Opera

    broadcasts & operas from Moscow's Aquarius, plus

    Operas by Mercadante, Marais, Coccia, Vivaldi,

    Cherubini, Spontini, Ricci, Vaccaj, Fioravanti,

    Paisiello, Scarlatti, de Majo, Generali, Cavalli,

    Rameau, Lully, Pergolesi, Cimarosa, Anfossi, Pietri,

    Musinelli, Rossini, Charpentier, Gluck, Handel,

    Vivaldi, Monteverdi, Rossini, Cagnoni, Myslivecek,

    Mayr, Hasse, Meyerbeer, Weckerlin, Nicolai,

    Marschner, Gurlitt, Schreker, etc.] have been added

    throughout our listings, in appropriate categories . . .

    out-of-print books [many biographies,

    Record Catalogue- Discographies . . .

    and more CDs and books are added each week] . . .

    our 50% Discount Sale continues,

    now offering more than 1700 titles . . .




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




    - - - - - - - 78rpm collectors, please note auctions from: Dave Schmutz, www.78classicalgallery.com - or at: 818-242-6247



    ------------------ ANNOUNCEMENT -----------------



    Norbeck, Peters & Ford's Annual 78rpm Has Now Closed!

    This auction featured an entire section of which is dedicated to 7" discs, plus many wonderful instrumental and vocal rarities, many of which we're offering for the first time in our 45 years of operation.

    You can still view the online version simply click the link below:

    Auction #148 Online Catalog

    To download a copy of Auction #148, simply click the link below:

    Auction #148 Catalog File Download

    For the recently-offered Archipel, Myto, Gebhardt, Walhall, Melodiya, Vista Vera & Living Stage titles on sale, simply visit our sale section of our website). This is the ideal opportunity at bargain prices to fill in gaps in one's collection.

    . . . For the Melodiya, Vista Vera,

    Archipel, Myto, Walhall, Gebhardt &

    Living Stage titles on sale,

    simply visit our

    sale section of our website . . .



    Once again . . .

    Welcome to our new bookshop & list of Original Cast LPs, www.norpete.com where you will see a vast array of excellent, used out-of-print books. You're sure to find many books of interest which may have long eluded you, so now is your opportunity to fill in missing gaps. Our online bookshop includes composer and performer autobiographies and biographies. Soon we will include musical criticism, theory and history, plus histories of symphony orchestras, opera houses and festivals. In addition, we shall offer quite an array of vocal scores, many of which are most rare and unusual.

    Take a look at our exciting array of Broadway & Off-Broadway Original Cast and London Original Cast LPs, all in superb condition.

    We continue to offer FREE Shipping on all U.S. orders over $49.00. If you would like to join our emailing list, please sign up at the top right.

    We carry splendid CD offerings from Yves St Laurent, VRCS, The Record Collector, Marston, Palaeophonics, Immortal Performances (Canada), Malibran, Aquarius, Truesound Transfers, Walhall, Bongiovanni, Clama and many other labels.

    Now that our Auction #145 is completed, the Auction Catalogue remains on our current website. Most of the elusive and rare items of course are gone, but some titles remain available.

    As always, please contact us with any special requests.

    Please remember that we can take your order over the telephone from 10:00am to 6:00pm (EST), thereby providing you with the most current status of your order. Should you order by email or shopping cart and do not receive a timely acknowledgement of your order, please telephone.

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

  • Pelleas et Melisande  (Haitink - Boston;  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Keenlyside, Finley)   (3-St Laurent Studio YSL T-521)
    OP3228. PELLEAS ET MELISANDE, Live Performance, 16 Oct., 2003, w.Bernard Haitink Cond. Boston Symphony Orch.; Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Simon Keenlyside, Gerald Finley, Nathalie Stutzmann, John Tomlinson, etc. (Canada) 3-St Laurent Studio YSL T-521, brilliantly recorded in Symphony Hall. [This luminous live performance beautifully displays the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic.] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
    $49.90
    Charles Munch, Vol. XVIII;  Nobuko Gamou, Kuniyo Ono, Toshikata Mori & Takao Okamura  (St Laurent Studio YSL T-486)
    C1535. CHARLES MÜNCH Cond. Japan Phil., w.Nobuko Gamou, Kuniyo Ono, Toshikata Mori & Takao Okamura: Choral Symphony in d (Beethoven). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-486, Live Performance, 27 Dec., 1962, Hibiya Public Hall, Tokyo. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
    $19.90
    Istvan Kertesz;  Birgit Finnila & Simone Mangelsdorff   (Mahler)   (St Laurent Studio YSL T-451)
    C1537. ISTVÁN KERTÉSZ Cond. Cleveland Orch., w.Birgit Finnila & Simone Mangelsdorff: 'Resurrection' Symphony #2 in c (Mahler). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-451, Live Performance, 31 Oct., 1968 (both Severance Hall). Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
    $19.90
    Nicolai Malko, Vol. XVII         (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-402)
    C1538. NICOLAI MALKO Cond. Danish National S.O.: The Sleeping Beauty - Waltz, Act I; Serenade for Strings, Op.48 - Waltz; String Quartet #1 in d - Andante cantabile (all Tschaikowsky); Andante cantabile (Oldberg); NICOLAI MALKO Cond. Philharmonia Orch.: Mazeppa - Gopak; The Sleeping Beauty - Excerpts (both Tschaikowsky); Interview (in French) with Malko. [For any serious collector who has not as yet availed him or herself of the magic of Malko, this title is one of his most engaging. The Oldberg andante is quite special, indeed!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-402, Recorded 1950-52. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
    $19.90
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    Klaus 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)

    $19.90Meistersinger  (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)

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

    $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)

    $39.90Ariadne 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)

    $19.90La 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)

    $39.95William 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)

    $19.90Eleanor Steber     (Marcia Sloat)     (9780963417404)
    Eleanor Steber (Marcia Sloat) (9780963417404)

    $4.95Arturo Toscanini;  Michel Piastro, Alfred Wallenstein  (Brahms)  (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1077)
    Arturo Toscanini; Michel Piastro, Alfred Wallenstein (Brahms) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1077)

    $39.90Le 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)

    $71.90Arturo Toscanini;   Rethberg, Schorr;  Horowitz  (Brahms)    (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1068)
    Arturo Toscanini; Rethberg, Schorr; Horowitz (Brahms) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1068)

    $39.90The 1902 London 'Reds'          (2-Truesound Transfers 4002)
    The 1902 London 'Reds' (2-Truesound Transfers 4002)

    $29.90Artur Rodzinski, Vol. XXXVI;  Arthur Rubinstein    (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-404)
    Artur Rodzinski, Vol. XXXVI; Arthur Rubinstein (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-404)

    $19.90Aida  /  Forza  (Bellezza;  Rethberg, Ponselle, Martinelli, Pinza, de Luca)  (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1071)
    Aida / Forza (Bellezza; Rethberg, Ponselle, Martinelli, Pinza, de Luca) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1071)

    $39.90Ivan Kozlovsky  -  Beethoven, Schubert & Liszt        (Aquarius  AQVR 395)
    Ivan Kozlovsky - Beethoven, Schubert & Liszt (Aquarius AQVR 395)

    $19.90Norma  (Panizza;  Cigna, Castagna, Martinelli, Pinza, Votipka)   (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1063)
    Norma (Panizza; Cigna, Castagna, Martinelli, Pinza, Votipka) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1063)

    $39.95Erich 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)

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

    $19.90Jussi Bjorling;  Bertil Bokstedt  -  Copenhagen Recital   (JSP 682)
    Jussi Bjorling; Bertil Bokstedt - Copenhagen Recital (JSP 682)

    $19.90Otello  (1940 Performance)  (Panizza;  Martinelli,  Rethberg, Tibbett)  (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1070)
    Otello (1940 Performance) (Panizza; Martinelli, Rethberg, Tibbett) (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1070)

    $39.95Eugen Onegin   (Khaikin;  Alekseyev, Kozlovsky, Kashevarova, Preobrazhenskaya, Konstantinov)  (2-Aquarius AQVR 398)
    Eugen Onegin (Khaikin; Alekseyev, Kozlovsky, Kashevarova, Preobrazhenskaya, Konstantinov) (2-Aquarius AQVR 398)

    $29.90Zara Dolukhanova;  Nina Svetlanova      (St Laurent Studio YSL T-421)
    Zara Dolukhanova; Nina Svetlanova (St Laurent Studio YSL T-421)

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

    $53.90Medea (Gui) /  Lucia di Lammermoor  (Cleva) - TWO Maria Callas Performances   (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1076)
    Medea (Gui) / Lucia di Lammermoor (Cleva) - TWO Maria Callas Performances (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1076)

    $49.95Andrea 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)

    $19.90Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. III       (St Laurent Studio YSL T-543)
    Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. III (St Laurent Studio YSL T-543)

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

    $53.90Melanie 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)

    $39.90Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. II      (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-542)
    Klaus Tennstedt, Vol. II (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-542)

    $29.90Carmen  (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)

    $19.90Pierre Boulez, Vol. VIII;  Bluebeard's Castle, w. Tatiana Troyanos;  Zoltan Kelemen     (St Laurent Studio YSL T-385)
    Pierre Boulez, Vol. VIII; Bluebeard's Castle, w. Tatiana Troyanos; Zoltan Kelemen (St Laurent Studio YSL T-385)

    $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)

    $39.90Alexis Weissenberg, Vol. V;   Kondrashin,  Rowicki    (St Laurent Studio YSL T-485)
    Alexis Weissenberg, Vol. V; Kondrashin, Rowicki (St Laurent Studio YSL T-485)

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

    $19.90L'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)

    $39.95Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2009 Issue        (2-VRCS 2009)
    Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2009 Issue (2-VRCS 2009)

    $39.90La Boheme   (Samosud;  Kozlovsky, Shumskaya, Burlak, Yakovenko, Korolev)    (2-Aquarius AQVR 405)
    La Boheme (Samosud; Kozlovsky, Shumskaya, Burlak, Yakovenko, Korolev) (2-Aquarius AQVR 405)

    $29.90Samson 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)

    $29.90Boatswain's Mate;  The Wreckers  (both Ethel Smyth)  (Odaline de la Martinez)   (2-Retrospect Opera RO 001)
    Boatswain's Mate; The Wreckers (both Ethel Smyth) (Odaline de la Martinez) (2-Retrospect Opera RO 001)

    $23.90