V0116. EMMY DESTINN: The Complete Victor Recordings, 1914 - 1921. Songs & Duets (w.Dinh Gilly) by Mozart, Bach-Gounod, Liszt, Gounod, Stange, Tosti, Jindrich, Destinn, Hess, Stepan, Dvorák, etc.; Arias & Duets (w.Caruso, Duchęne & Martinelli) from Zauberflöte, Mignon, Hubicka, Russalka (Dvorák), Nazarene, Pique Dame, Il Trovatore, Madama Butterfly, La Gioconda, Aďda, Ballo, Tosca, Tannhäuser & Il Guarany. (England) 2 Romophone 81002. Transfers by H. Ward Marston. Elaborate booklet features discographic information, photos & notes by John Steane. Long out-of-print, Final copy! - 754238100222
“Czech soprano Emmy Destinn's first musical studies were on the violin which she first played in a public concert at age eight. At 14, she started to study voice and at the age of 20 she made her début at Berlin as Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA. She was immediately given a five-year contract with the Berlin Imperial Opera. In 1901, she sang Senta in Der FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER to great acclaim, which led to her London début as Donna Anna in DON GIOVANNI. In London, she also sang Aďda and Madama Butterfly. In 1904 at Berlin, she sang in the world premiere of Leoncavallo's DER ROLAND VON BERLIN. During this period, she also sang in Vienna, Prague, Hamburg, Leipzig, Dresden, and Paris. At London in 1908, she created the title role in TESS by Erlanger. That same year, she came to the Metropolitan Opera, making her début as Aďda. It was there that she created Minnie in LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST with Caruso and Toscanini. She returned to her homeland during World War I and worked for national independence, and at one point she was interned at her home for her activities. In 1919, she returned to the Metropolitan Opera for two seasons. It is said that Destinn could sing over 80 operas on a moment's notice and at one Metropolitan Opera performance when a colleague was ailing, she sang the off-stage Priestess as well as Aďda in the same performance. In 1926, she gave her final stage performances. She lived out her life in Straz, Bohemia, and occasionally gave concerts, primarily benefit performances.
Destinn had a beautiful, rich soprano voice with an extensive range. It was a very expressive voice with complete command of the dynamic range. The voice recorded very well and she recorded over 200 items. Her recordings have been issued on CD (Romophone 81002); her 1908 recording of CARMEN with Karl Jorn (Marston 52022) was one of the earliest complete opera recordings and is sung in German. It gives a wonderful example of her vocalism and her ability to create a character. Destinn also recorded a complete FAUST by Gounod. This recording was also sung in German with Karl Jorn as Faust. Emmy Destinn was one of the greatest sopranos of the first quarter of the twentieth century, and we are fortunate that her voice recorded so well.”
- Richard LeSueur, allmusic.com
"They're very collectable, these Romophone complete editions. Up they go on the shelves, and you know that there is another small but quite important area in the history of singing on records properly covered, ready for reference at any time, and reference that will be a pleasure because the standard of transfer is so reliable."
- J. B. Steane, GRAMOPHONE, Feb., 1995