B1864. Nicholas E. Limansky. EARLY 20th CENTURY SINGERS. New York, YBK Publishers, 2016. 284pp. (Pictorial thick paper covers) - 9781936411436
“This is genuinely valuable and thought-provoking writing....Large parts [of this book] are like a friendly, discursive chat to a youngster by a long-time collector in a reminiscent mood; others contain hard, detailed analysis which can be genuinely illuminating….but whichever aspect appeals to you most, you will find enjoyment and food for thought [in this], rather a curate’s egg of a book.”
- Paul Steinson, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2016
“Historical recordings by opera singers have proven since 1900 to offer much reward to the singer, student, listener, and collector alike.
In the first book of this kind to appear in decades, Nicholas Limansky explains why critical listening is important and describes the merits of analyzing and comparing the recordings of previous generations of singers with those of the present. He also recounts how markedly record collecting has changed through the decades-especially in large cities like New York - due mainly to technological advance. He not only treats collecting 78 rpm disks, but LPs and CDs as well.
Expired copyright now enables many of these early recordings to easily be acquired and collected, enabling the broad-scale comparison of style, technique, and vocal quality among the famous performers of earlier eras. The author points out what to look for among these differences in style, technique, and ability-both good and bad. (On occasion, the most famous are not the best!)
With emphasis on today's student and collector, Limansky provides information about where, how, and on what labels given recordings can be found. He discusses printed resources that offer the interested even more information. Beginners and veterans alike will find much of interest in this far-ranging book.
Nicholas Limansky studied voice at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and has a performance degree from the University of West Virginia. He has sung with major professional choral groups in New York City that include The Bach Aria Group, Musica Sacra, New York Choral Artists (NY Philharmonic), Opera Orchestra of New York, The Netherlands Ballet, and Alvin Ailey (Revelations, Rainbow). He has written performance reviews for the Italian publication, RASSEGNA MELODRAMMATIC, and reviewed new vocal releases of historical singers for OPERA NEWS, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, CLASSICAL SINGER, and OPERA QUARTERLY. He lectures at the New York Vocal Record Collectors Society and is a member of its board of directors.”
- YBK Publishers