OP1680. PORGY AND BESS, Live Performance, 21 Sept., 1952, Titania Palast, Berlin, w.Smallens Cond. Eva Jessye Choir; William Warfield, Leontyne Price, Cab Calloway, Helen Thigpen, Helen Dowdy, John McCurry, Helen Colbert, etc. (England) 2-Guild 2313/14. - 795754231427
“Here is something I never expected to hear – one of the most significant 20th-century opera productions, caught live and in amazingly vivid sound….William Warfield’s Porgy is a noble achievement: as [Maya] Angelou described him, ‘he dragged the audience into his despair…his resonant voice straddled the music as he rode it’. Price’s voice is at its youthful best – this is one of the earliest examples of her art on disc….The sound is clear, well defined….No one who admires Gershwin’s work should ignore this unique document.”
- James Inverne, GRAMOPHONE, Aug., 2008
"This is one of the most important issues of historic opera recordings ever released. In 1952, the US State Department subvented a world tour of George Gershwin’s opera Porgy & Bess which was seen in many countries in Europe and in South America. It was the tour which made an international star of the great black soprano Leontyne Price, who thereafter never recorded the opera complete. We are pleased to present a broadcast recording from September 1952 in Berlin, sung in English, of a live performance of the complete opera from the opera house. The sound has been completely updated with modern technology, and the ‘feel’ of a live performance (which this is) adds a dimension to the experience which is utterly authentic and most exciting."