Fidelio  (Toscanini;  Bampton, Peerce, Steber, Janssen)   (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1007)
Item# OP1985
$39.90
Availability: Usually ships the same business day

Product Description

Fidelio  (Toscanini;  Bampton, Peerce, Steber, Janssen)   (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1007)
OP1985. FIDELIO, Broadcast Performance, 10 & 17 Dec., 1944, w.Toscanini Cond. NBC S.O.; Rose Bampton, Jan Peerce, Herbert Janssen, Nicola Moscona, Eleanor Steber, etc., including the previously omitted dialogue, the broadcast commentary and ovations and the original �Abscheulicher� never heretofore included; TOSCANINI Cond. NBC S.O.: Leonore Overture, II, Broadcast Performance, 25 Sept., 1945, Carnegie Hall. The bonus adds an electrifying performance of the �Leonore Overture #2�, and Ben Grauer interviews Rose Bampton about her singing the role of Leonore, both never before on disc. (Canada) 2�Immortal Performances IPCD 1007. Transfers by Richard Caniell. - 625989620522

CRITIC REVIEWS

"Rose Bampton, an American opera singer who switched from mezzo-soprano to soprano and sang leading roles in both ranges at the Metropolitan Opera. In January, 1940, she appeared at the Met as Ada one Saturday and as Amneris a week later. By the time she married Wilfrid Pelletier, a conductor at the Met, in 1937 (he died in 1982) [she] decided to return to the soprano repertory."

- Allan Kozinn, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 23 Aug., 2007



"Rose had one of the finest mezzo-soprano voices I ever heard - and I say that without any hesitation. Stately and beautiful, she was a gifted actress and was never less than total in her study of a new role....Rose's ruby-like mezzo was a phenomenon...."

- Rosa Ponselle, A SINGER'S LIFE, p.13





"The basic tonal quality [of Peerce's voice] is bright, ringing, and firmly focused on the note. The superior diction that Toscanini so admired is abundantly audible, as is the elegant musicianship and fervent declamation. Most striking of all [Peerce] exudes an infectious self-confidence and absolute security in his vocal personality, virtues that cannot be taught."

- Peter G. Davis, THE AMERICAN OPERA SINGER, p.421



"Jan Peerce was known as 'Toscanini's tenor', with his clean, incisive singing, exceptional breath support, and immediately distinctive timbre. After his New York song recital in 1964, Theodore Strongin wrote in The New York Times: 'He is a phenomenon, a master professional, a tenor of impeccable poise and control. His enunciation is completely clear, no matter what the language. His fortissimos fill the hall. His pianissimos, though remarkably soft, come through as clearly as many singers' fortissimos, so solid is the basic quality of his voice'. Mr. Peerce participated in Toscanini's broadcasts of LA BOHEME, LA TRAVIATA, FIDELIO, UN BALLO IN MASCHERA and the last act of RIGOLETTO. Many of these were released by Victor as commercial recordings. On 14 May, 1941, Mr. Peerce made his stage debut as the Duke in RIGOLETTO in Philadelphia. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut on 29 Nov., 1941, as Alfredo in LA TRAVIATA. In his Metropolitan Opera years, Mr. Peerce concentrated on the Italian repertory. From 1941 to 1968 at the Met, Mr. Peerce sang 205 performances in 11 operas, plus 119 performances on tour. His last complete stage performance at the Metropolitan Opera took place on 21 Feb, 1966, in DON GIOVANNI. On 16 April, 1966, he was one of the participants in the Metropolitan's farewell gala, the last performance in the old opera house.

James Levine, who first heard Mr. Peerce in Cincinnati many years ago and later worked with him professionally, described Mr. Peerce as 'one of the most extraordinary singers and human beings I have ever known'. He paid tribute to the tenor's 'stylistic versatility, rhythmic & élan, communicative ability and wide repertory'.

When he was not singing at the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Peerce was giving concerts. He never could stand still. But the basic condition of his voice never changed, and he thrived on a schedule that would have killed most other singers. He also appeared in European opera houses, and in 1956 was the first American ever to sing at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow since the war.

His films included appearances in CARNEGIE HALL, TONIGHT WE SING and GOODBYE, COLUMBUS. He recorded for many companies. For many years Mr. Peerce was one of the steadiest, most reliable singers before the public. He attributed his vocal longevity to a secure technique."

- Harold C. Schonberg, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 17 Dec., 1984





"Herbert Janssen - with his plangent, fine-grained voice, keen intelligence, aristocratic musicianship, and (not incidentally) handsome appearance - was the leading German baritone in several major theatres during the 1920s and 1930s. After study with Oskar Daniel in Berlin he was immediately accepted by Max von Schillings for the Berlin State Opera, where he made his debut in 1922 as Herod in Schreker's DER SCHATZGRABER . He remained at the Berlin State Opera until 1937 singing both lyric and dramatic roles, many of them in the Italian repertory. He later appeared in important productions of DER FLIEGENDE HOLLANDER and TRISTAN UND ISOLDE at Covent Garden conducted by Reiner and Beecham, also singing Orest / ELEKTRA and in 1935 taking the title role in Borodin's PRINCE IGOR, for which he was highly praised.

Janssen was a fixture at the Bayreuth Festival from 1930 to 1937. His Wolfram in TANNHAUSER set a standard not approached since, and, fortunately, it was recorded in a somewhat truncated 1930 production. During that decade, he established benchmarks for several Wagner roles, particularly Kurwenal, Telramund, Gunther, and - especially - Amfortas. His interpretation of the latter was an exquisitely sung realization of a soul in torment, achieving a remarkable unity of voice, movement, and makeup. His doggedly loyal Kurwenal is preserved on complete recordings of TRISTAN UND ISOLDE made live at Covent Garden in 1936 and 1937. His tortured Dutchman is also available in a live recording made at Covent Garden and featuring Kirsten Flagstad as Senta.

In addition to his stage work, Janssen acquired a reputation as a superior singer of Lieder. The exceptional beauty of his voice and his interpretive acuity made him a prime candidate for Walter Legge's Hugo Wolf Society venture of the 1930s. Among the finest singers Legge could pull together, Janssen was given the largest assignment and his subscription recordings made throughout the decade remain supreme, even in the face of the best achievements of post-war Lieder singers.

Janssen was very unpopular with the Nazi regime, having turned down a dinner invitation from Hitler at Bayreuth, Janssen left Germany in 1937 and with Toscanini's assistance traveled immediately to Buenos Aires. After a season in Argentina, he came to the United States where he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1939, remaining at that theater until his stage retirement in 1952.

From 1940 onwards Janssen sang regularly at Buenos Aires and with the San Francisco Opera between 1945 and 1951. Following his retirement in 1952, he remained in New York as a respected teacher.

Janssen's performances were notable for the warm and sympathetic timbre of his voice, his excellent command of legato and clear enunciation, as well as his convincing acting. Also a highly accomplished lieder singer, he had in addition starred in the musical DREI MUSKETIERE at the Metropol Theatre in Berlin during 1928 opposite Gota Ljungberg."

- Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com