V0614. THE RECORD OF SINGING, Vol. IV (From 1939 to the End of the 78 Era), incl. Geori Boué, Guillamat, Joachim, Kolassi, Dolukhanova, Novikova, Obukhova, Elsie Houston, Bouvier, Gorr, Danco, Robin, Grandi, Elmo, Quartararo, Gatti, de los Angeles, Tebaldi, Rysanek, Schumann, Schwarzkopf, Seefried, Stader, Lail, Steber, Teyte, Ferrier, Traubel, Thebom, Dermota, Gedda, Jobin, Kozlovsky, Lisitsian, Gmyria, Reizen, Nelepp, Vinogradov, Zhadan, Christoff, Natzke, Borg, Gorin, Hotter, Harrell, London, Warren, Bernac, Souzay, Pears, Sönnerstedt, Rothmüller, etc.; also featuring bonus tracks (not included in the LP issue) by Leppée, Scuderi, Beckmann, Juyol, Ferrier & Josef Herrmann. 7-EMI 69741, Slipcase Edition. Now out-of-print, Final superb, very slightly used copy. - 077776974125
"These recordings come from 1939 to the End of the 78 Era. Being one of those who grew to love the singers represented in them, cannot be thankful enough to producer and engineer who did such splendid job in bringing us from old 78's and tapes these treasures. Many of today's digital recordings with all its electronic make-up cannot hide modern singers' flaws in technique, breath control and even musicianship. This is more evident when compared with recordings of the past. Try Joan Hammond's rendition (1953) on disc 1 of Korngold's 'Glück, das mir verblieb'; listen to Hammond's long phrases, her exquisite panissimos and the longing well captured by her sorrowful soprano. Compare her rendition with Renée Fleming's (Decca)recent recording and you'll see what I mean: the beautiful voice of Fleming is not enough. Hammond and her kind had that extra dose of involvement with music and words that today's singers are lacking. Or, has anyone sung more beautifully and with more poignant expression Respighi's 'Stornellatrice' than Victoria de los Angeles? One marvels at that most sumptuous and glorious tones of hers who could beautify everything she touched. Or, even more, has anyone sung more expansively and generously Verdi's 'D'amor sull'ali rosee' than Zinka Milanov? Her glorious floating pianissimos in the last phrases have no equal in today's standards. In fact today we don't even have a Leonora who can measure-up to Milanov's definitive rendition. I could go on and on. Just know that the set is organised around 5 schools of singing: Anglo-American, French, German, Russian-Slavonic, Scandinavian and Italian. You will hear Flagstad and Schiotz, Grümmer and Schwarzkopf, Danco and Gorr, Obukhova and Christoff, Tebaldi and Callas. All with a special flavor and with a special item to offer. After having listened to the whole set I closed my eyes and thanked those countries which produced such voices. I also thanked EMI and their team for this colossal enterprise. I often wonder if this mania of mine for past and gone ages of singing and singers is not but nostalgia. But the recordings are there, acoustic and electric, and they reasonably don't lie. Would't it be wonderful that today's singers really sang as they sound on records? They have little or no knowledge or acknowledgement of those upon whose shoulders they stand. This is a collector's set of discs. The 78's and tapes are wonderfully transferred. The joy and pleasures derived from continued listening will pay dividends."
-Zillah Dorset Akron
“Let's simply point to some of the vocal treasures included: 139 singers, recorded between 1939 and the end of the 78 era, sing one track each and virtually all of them provide a supreme example of their art, even allowing for personal taste and foibles of preference.
There is little point in my detailing individual glories; track after track reveals vocal splendours all too rare today. The sweep of Helen Traubel's Elsa, the poise of Eleanor Steber's ‘Depuis le jour’, Joan Hammond's Korngold aria - simply wonderful. I find myself reluctant to stop listening when singer after singer delivers such lovely singing; I meant merely to dip in to refresh my memory before writing this review but found I was unwilling to turn off.”
- Ralph Moore