C1534. 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 mère 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.
"Once again, Toscanini provided the initial boost to propel a young singer on her way….[Toscanini] simply liked her warm musical manner and the appealing smoky sound of [Merriman’s] mezzo-soprano. In fact, Toscanini used Merriman in more NBC broadcasts than any American singer other than Jan Peerce….The incisive attack, throbbing vibrancy, and wide expressive range of her voice were probably heard to best advantage in the song literature. EMI recorded her in two LP discs of French and Spanish music during the mid-fifties, records that never lasted long in the commercial catalogues but soon became collectors’ items among vocal connoisseurs. Presumably satisfied with a quiet yet fulfilling career, Merriman retired in 1965, her voice and artistry still in peak condition."
- Peter G. Davis, THE AMERICAN OPERA SINGER, p.453
"Oralia Dominguez is a Mexican mezzo-soprano who was active in the mid-20th century. She was born in Northwest Mexico in the town of San Luis Potosi and studied at the National Conservatory of Mexico where she made the acquaintance of the composer Carlos Chavez who championed her career. In 1951 she sang the role of Amneris in AÏDA for the first time at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City with Maria Callas, Mario del Monaco and Giuseppe Taddei under the direction of Italian conductor Oliviero De Fabritiis. A recording of this performance has circulated since that time and is still regarded as one of the most exciting performances of this very popular opera on record. She made her European debut in 1953 at London's Wigmore Hall. That same year she appeared with the La Scala company performing Verdi's MANZONI REQUIEM at the Lucerne Festival. She recorded it the following year under the direction of Victor de Sabata. The following year she appeared throughout Europe with such conductors as Tullio Serafin, Igor Markevitch, Paul Kletzki and Herbert von Karajan. In 1955, she made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, singing in the world premiere of Michael Tippett's A MIDSUMMER'S MARRIAGE."
- Ned Ludd
“Bruno Maderna, like his close friend and fellow avant garde composer Pierre Boulez, had in recent years become a conductor of international reputation. Since his debut here in 1970 conducting Mercadante's opera II GIURAMENTO at the Juilliard School, Mr. Maderna had led the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony and the Detroit Symphony. In Europe he had conducted widely, including the London Symphony, the B.B.C. Symphony and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. For the last two years of his life he was music director of the Italian Radio in Milan.
Mr. Maderna did not put great stock in his, or anyone's, success on the podium. ‘The era of the star conductor is finished’, he told a NEW YORK TIMES interviewer in 1972. In place of that phenomenon we must have, he contended, composer-conductors who could guide the musical life of their communities. His ideal in this respect was Mr. Boulez, the New York Philharmonic's music director.
Mr. Maderna, who was born in Venice, made his New York City Opera debut [in 1972] conducting a new production of DON GIOVANNI.”
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, 14 Nov., 1973
“Italian composer and conductor Bruno Maderna was one of the preeminent figures in contemporary European music in the mid-twentieth century. By the age of 20 Bruno Maderna had already earned his degree in composition from the Conservatory of Rome and returned to Venice to continue under composer Gian Francesco Malipiero.
In 1948 Maderna took a conducting class with legendary maestro Hermann Scherchen and probably through him got to know Wolfgang Steinecke, the founder of the Darmstadt Festival. Maderna had already met composer Luigi Nono at Ricordi, and would meet Luciano Berio in Milan after leaving the Venice Conservatory in 1952. Steinecke engaged Maderna as a conductor at the Darmstadt Festival, a post that made Maderna a celebrity in postwar European avant-garde and one that he would hold until the end of his days.
As the 1950s gave way to the 1960s, Bruno Maderna's work as a composer began to take a back seat to his activity as a conductor. He was named principal guest conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, appeared frequently with the Juilliard Ensemble, and was musical director for two years at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood. He also spent a great deal of time in the recording studio and produced many fine albums of contemporary music, although in concert Maderna was equally well known for conducting the symphonies of Mahler and other well-worn repertoire of the Viennese classics. Perhaps this had some effect on Maderna's personality as a composer, as well, for by the end of his life he'd turned his back on the serial aesthetic espoused by the Darmstadt Festival and his colleague Pierre Boulez.
When the end came for Maderna at age 53, it did so swiftly - he was diagnosed with lung cancer during the rehearsals for his SATYRICON, which premiered in March 1973, and was dead by that November. His celebrity in America was so short-lived that by 2004 Maderna's name was largely forgotten there, but not so in Europe, where he is yet regarded as one of the giants of postwar modernism.”
- Uncle Dave Lewis, allmusic.com