V1033. FÉLIA LITVINNE: The Complete Félia Litvinne, incl. Songs by Rubinstein, Fauré, Hahn & Schumann; Arias from Le Cid, Samson et Dalila, Harold, Sapho, Faust, Les Troyens, L’Africaine, La Favorite, Carmen, Cavalleria, Aïda, Il Trovatore, Lohengrin, Die Walküre & Tristan; NATALYA YERMOLENKO-YUZHINA: Arias from Tannhäuser, Il Trovatore, Aïda, La Gioconda, Mefistofele, Ruslan and Ludmila, Rusalka, Rogneda, Judith, Prince Igor, Sorochintsy Fair, Oprichnik, Mazeppa, Enchantress, Pique Dame & Dubrovsky. 2-Marston 52049. Transfers by Ward Marston. - 638335204925
"The recordings of Natalya Yermolenko-Yuzhina are a revelation. Yuzhina was born in Kiev in 1881 and studied with Maria Zotova in both Kiev and St. Petersburg. She later worked with Paul Vidal in Paris. Her operatic début in 1900 as Lisa in PIQUE DAME in Kiev was swiftly followed by a 1901 début in St Petersburg that lead to a contract with the Mariinsky Theatre. Yuzhina sang with the Mariinsky from 1901 to 1905, continuing guest appearances at the Bolshoi. A 1903 GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG paired Yuzhina’s Gutrune with Litvinne’s Brünnhilde. In 1904 she sang Brünnhilde in the Bolshoi’s RING Cycle. She joined the Bolshoi afterwards, remaining until 1908. Important appearances at La Scala during the 1906-1907 season, and as Marina in the 1908 Paris première of BORIS GODUNOV with the Diaghilev Company and Chaliapin in the title role, added to Yuzhina’s renown; she was awarded the Légion d’Honneur. From 1910 to 1915 Yuzhina was the leading dramatic soprano at the Bolshoi singing the Russian première in 1913 of Richard Strauss’ ELEKTRA. From 1915 to 1920 she was once again at the Mariinsky, having great success in 1915 with Chaliapin in PRINCE IGOR and MEFISTOFELE in 1918. Yuzhina immigrated to Paris in 1924 and joined the Russian community there, occasionally concertizing. In December 1930 she sang Natasha in Dargomyzhsky’s RUSSALKA with Dimitri Smirnoff and Chaliapin at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Yuzhina would have only been 49, but this was probably her last stage performance. Although large voices often gave early recording devices a difficult time, Yuzhina’s records are thrilling. It clearly was a superb natural voice, with a solid, rich timbre throughout her range. Her voice has no weak patches and her range seems endless."
- Harold Bruder, Program notes to Marston’s Juzhina Issue
"…[one] had never heard another voice like Litvinne’s, for fullness of the sound itself, for the enchanting timbre, for the softness and the richness of the range of colourings, or for such music in the sound itself and its overtones….In each role, Litvinne’s voice seemed made for that particular role: in every sound was the music of the particular character.
Irrespective of the tessitura and language in which she was singing, the articulation of every word was clear and somehow transparent….Every phrase was alive with her temperament and involvement….
- Sergei Levik, THE LEVIK MEMOIRS, p. 307
“Born in Russia, Litvinne came to Paris to study with Barthe-Banderali, Pauline Viardot and Victor Maurel. She made her stage début at the Théâtre-Italien in 1883, as Amalia in SIMON BOCCANEGRA, as a last minute replacement for Fidès Devriès, and shorthly after made her official début as Elvira in ERNANI. Her career became rapidly international, appearing at the Academy of Music in New York, at the Paris Opéra, La Scala, the Rome Opera, La Fenice, Royal Opera House, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, etc. She made her Metropolitan Opera début on 25 November, 1896, as Valentine in LES HUGUENOTS; she sang there for only one season. Her other roles included Aïda, Donna Anna, Chimène, Sélika, Brünnhilde and Isolde. She took part in the creation of operas by Camille Saint-Saëns, such as HÉLÈNE, L'ANCÊTRE, and DÉJANIRE, as well as Camille Erlanger 's BACCHUS TRIOMPHANT. She also won great acclaim in operas by Gluck, such as ALCESTE and ARMIDE. She gave her last operatic performance in Monte Carlo in 1915 as Aïda, opposite Enrico Caruso, but continued giving recitals until 1924. She taught at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau; among her pupils were Nina Koshetz and Germaine Lubin. She published a book of 'Conseils et exercices' in 1924, and her autobiography 'Ma vie et mon art', in 1933. Widely regarded as one of the greatest voices of all time, she possessed a brilliant, flexible and resonant voice, and had a powerful stage presence.”
- Ned Ludd