OP0109. DON GIOVANNI, recorded 1936, w.Busch Cond. Glyndebourne Festival Ensemble; John Brownlee, Salvatore Baccaloni, Ina Souez, Luise Helletsgrüber, Koloman von Pataky, Audrey Mildmay & Roy Henderson; DON GIOVANNI - Excerpts by Leider, Rethberg, Schumann, Tauber, Chaliapin, Raisa, Rimini & Pinza - recorded 1926-39. (Canada) 3-Naxos 8.110135/37. Transfers by Ward Marston. Final Sealed Copy! - 636943113523
"This set, recorded in 1936, seems to have been available on one label or another pretty much since it was first released; here Naxos has cleaned up the sound to what probably is the best it will ever be. The leadership of Fritz Busch is so natural and comfortable, so witty, so up-to-date, that it's hard to believe that the opera was a rarity at the time."
- Robert Levine, classicstoday.com
“The first truly great complete operatic recording of anything came with a DON GIOVANNI performance at the 1936 Glyndebourne Festival, still available — the last time I looked — on three CDs. Fritz Busch conducted, and the precision of his ensemble work remains untouched; John Brownlee was the suave Don, and Salvatore Baccaloni, before he became overly aware of himself as an Italian clown, was a beautifully antic Leporello. Ina Souez, who ended up running, and singing in, a gay bar in San Diego, was the incomparable Anna. After 70 years, the sound is amazingly clear; this set is to me the rock upon which any Mozart collection should be based.”
- Alan Rich, LA WEEKLY, 28 Nov., 2007
“Canadian soprano Ina Souez (1908-1992) was born in Windsor, Ontario, she studied first in Denver, Colorado, and then in Milan. She made her début in Ivrea as Mimì in Puccini’s LA BOHÈME. The following year she sang a memorable Liù in TURANDOT at Covent Garden, where she would also appear as Micaëla in CARMEN in 1935. In 1929 she married an Englishman and lived in London until 1938. She appeared between 1934 and 1936 at Glyndebourne, where she sang Fiordiligi and Donna Anna in DON GIOVANNI. Souez sang at the Stockholm Opera in 1939 and at the New York City Opera in 1941. During the Second World War she was a member of the US Army’s Women Auxiliary Corps. After 1945 she sang for a number of years as a vocalist with Spike Jones and his City Slickers, before retiring and teaching in California. Her recorded performance of Fiordiligi in COSI FAN TUTTE is widely regarded as the yardstick by which all subsequent interpretations have been measured.”
-Zillah Dorset Akron