VB0287. EVA TURNER: Dame Eva Turner – The Collected Recordings, incl. Songs by Grieg, d’Hardelot, Tosti, Ronald, Bantock & del Riego; Arias from La Boheme, La Gioconda, Cavalleria, Tosca, Turandot, Aïda, Madama Butterfly, Lohengrin & Il Trovatore, Tannhäuser; w.Dino Borgioli; Stanford Robinson Cond.BBC Theatre Orch.: Duets from La Boheme, Madama Butterfly & Turandot - BBC Broadcast, 11 Aug., 1937; w.Beecham Cond. Royal Opera Ensemble: God Save the King (Bull), Live Performance, 12 May, 1937; w.Henry Wood Cond. BBC S.O.; Baillie, Nash, Widdop, Williams, Allin, Henderson, etc.: SERENADE TO MUSIC (Vaughan Williams); w.Barbirolli Cond. Royal Opera House Ensemble; Martinelli, Favero, Albanese & Dua: TURANDOT - Excerpts from Live Performances, 5 & 10 May, 1937, Covent Garden. (England) 3-Pearl 0094, recorded 1926-38, featuring alternate ‘Takes’ plus many Unpublished recordings. Transfers by Roger Beardsley. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 727031009429
"Dame Eva Turner, the great, woefully under-recorded British dramatic soprano, is represented here with a three-CD set of her recordings for Columbia, as well as unpublished ‘takes’, sound checks, BBC archival material and the legendary live TURANDOT riddle scenes recorded at Covent Garden during the Coronation Season of 1937. In the past decade, some of the material on these discs has come – and gone – on CD, but nothing so complete as this collection has appeared previously….her voice is enormous and possesses an amazing cutting edge of steel, combined with richness….with an ease and beauty that would have annoyed Zinka Milanov.”
- Ira Siff, OPERA NEWS, Jan., 2001
“Eva Turner appeared with great success in many Italian opera houses, becoming well-known for her Turandot. She also sang in Berlin, Dresden, and Munich as well as in the U.S. For some reason she never sang at the Met, but she appeared often in Chicago. Turner was a great favorite with audiences—for good reason. Her voice was huge, totally controlled and brilliant. She was fearless in her attack on high notes, and her voice apparently projected over orchestra and chorus with thrilling effect. She sang the lighter Wagner roles (Elisabeth, Elsa and Sieglinde) as well as the SIEGFRIED Brünnhilde, along with Verdi, Mascagni, Ponchielli and Puccini.
This Pearl 3-CD set contains virtually all known recordings by Eva Turner. She worked with some of the best-known conductors of the time including Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir John Barbirolli and Lorenzo Malajoli. Her voice recorded quite well even in the first batch made from 1926/28, and all performances display her youthful exuberance. No problems whatever for her in that climactic high C towards the end of ‘O patria mia’, and her 1926 recording of Tosti's ‘Goodbye’ rivals Rosa Ponselle's recording of the following year. Many of the recordings on these CDs were previously unpublished.
Another major blunder in the classical music recording industry was that Eva Turner never had the opportunity to record a complete opera. However, two performances of TURANDOT were recorded live at Covent Garden in May 1937, the first more or less an acoustic test, the second apparently satisfactory in every way, and another performance was recorded in October of the same year. Excerpts from both once were issued on EMI (761074), long discontinued. ‘In questa reggia’ and the riddle scene from both performances are included in this fine new Pearl set. It is thrilling to hear Turner's voice soaring above full orchestra and chorus.
The set also includes excerpts from Madama Butterfly, La Bohème and Turandot from a BBC broadcast of November 1937. Signs of vocal decline are apparent, but the performances are of interest as is a stunning live recording of Bull's ‘God Save the King’ recorded at the Royal Opera House on the night of the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, with the Opera House Chorus and the London Philharmonic conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham. It must be heard to be believed. The set ends with Vaughan Williams' SERENADE TO MUSIC written for the Jubilee of Sir Henry Wood, first performed at Royal Albert Hall October 5, 1938 featuring sixteen prominent British singers. The recording made a few days later, ends this superb collection. The highest recommendation!”
“Eva Turner’s début in Italy was encouraged by no less than Arturo Toscanini, and eventually she made her way to La Scala. She and Italy liked each other, and she sang her first Turandot just eight months after the work's 1926 première. This is the opera that has been associated with her more than any other and recordings of her 1937 performances at Covent Garden (partnered by Giovanni Martinelli, with Sir John Barbirolli conducting) are justly famous.
She was a diminutive woman with a huge voice. Her very first recordings, made in Italy in 1926, can send shivers up your spine, not just with their theatricality, but also with the transfixing power, beauty, and accuracy of her singing. She cuts right through the limitations of the faded sonics with the astonishing purity of a laser beam. She was back in London in the summer of 1928, when she made her most famous studio recordings, with Stanford Robinson and Sir Thomas Beecham on the podium. These include ‘In questa reggia’, ‘Suicidio!’, ‘Vissi d'arte’, ‘Voi lo sapete’, ‘Ritorna vincitor’, and ‘D'amor sull'ali rosee’. If she had done nothing more than these six records, Turner's exalted place in singing history still would be secure.
If you love the sound of a great, and I mean great, dramatic soprano, Turner's your woman. Don't be intimidated by the size (and price) of this collection; the initial outlay may be a little painful, but you will get unparalleled enjoyment from Turner's voice.”
- Raymond Tuttle, ClassicalNet.com