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Since 1972



celebrated by IMMORTAL PERFORMANCES . . .


MUNCH, Vol. 37 . . .

STOKOWSKI, Vol. 12 . . .

BRUNO WALTER’s 1936 premiere recording of



  • LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. Chicago Orch.: The Golden Age - Suite; Symphony #6 in b (both Shostakovitch); w.Mary Sauer (Organ): Symphony #3 (Khatchaturian). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-992, Live Performance, 15 Feb., 1968, Orchestra Hall. [Replete with broadcast announcer's comments after the Khatchaturian Symphony offering a post-performance tusch (a flourish or fanfare of brass wind musical instruments and drums), with the Maestro addressing the ecstatic audience at the end! An absolute treasure!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1813)

    “On February 15 and 16, 1968, Stokowski returned to Chicago to conduct the Orchestra in Shostakovich’s Suite from AGE OF GOLD and Symphony #6, along with Khachaturian’s Symphony #3. ‘This is probably the best AGE OF GOLD ever to be recorded - and it is certainly the funniest’, wrote the reviewer in HIGH FIDELITY. Stokowski ‘brings out all of the work’s many instrumental nuances, and he also manages to exploit the full potential of each melodic line and underline the ballet’s oft-changing moods’. And the writer in STEREO REVIEW raved that Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony was ‘gloriously played by Stokowski and the Chicagoans and well worth the price by itself’.”

    - CSO Archives

    "Leopold Stokowski, possibly the best known symphonic conductor of all time, who came to fame as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, had a career that spanned more than 70 years and, it has been estimated, more than 7,000 concerts. If Leopold Stokowski qualified as one of the marvels of 20th century musicmaking, and no one knowing the sum of his accomplishments could doubt that he did, he was also one of the more perplexing and least explicable symphonic conductors of his major conductor of this century was more high-handed in the altering of a score than he. He was known to say, 'That's a piece of paper with some marking on it. We have to infuse life into it'. His infusions often involved changes of orchestration, which he made freely. One of the longest-lasting controversies that grew up about the conductor had to do with the many orchestral transcriptions he made of Bach's organ works. He gave them full 20th century symphonic treatment and contended that Bach would have done so himself had he lived to see the development of the modern symphony orchestra. The fact that Bach might have composed an entirely different kind of music for such resources seemed to trouble him not a bit. So strong was Stokowski's impact upon the musical life of the nation in the 1920s and 1930s, however, that many organists cultivated a playing style that imitated Stokowski's symphonic transcriptions while ignoring the natural characteristics of the instrument for which Bach had composed the pieces. His ideas about interpretation were often intensely personal and led him occasionally into excesses that bordered on flamboyance.

    Robert Jacobson in the Lincoln Center program reported that when Stokowski was asked to name the most memorable events of his career, he responded: 'There was never anything like that. The love of music is a continuous enjoying of beauty and sound. It has been a continual effort to make music more alive so that it is not a mechanical reproduction of what is on a piece of paper, but a real expression, as it always was with the greatest artists'."

  • - Allen Hughes, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 14 Sept., 1977

  • TANCREDI PASERO: Arias and scenes (w.Gina Cigna, Beniamino Gigli, Giovanni Malipiero, Gino Vanelli, Paolo Civil, Ebe Stignani, Maria Caniglia, etc.) from Don Giovanni, Barbiere, Semiramide, I Puritani, Norma, Mignon, Faust, Mefistofele, La Forza del Destino, Nabucco, Ernani, Luisa Miller, La Sonnambula, Il Trovatore, Simon Boccanegra, I Vespri Siciliani, Don Carlo & the Verdi Requiem. (Canada) 3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1121, w.Elaborate 18pp Booklet. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Notes by David Cutler & Richard Caniell. (V2636)

    Specially priced at Three discs for the price of Two.

    “What a welcome release from Immortal Performances! The fame of Ezio Pinza was so significant that it tended to blind us to other Italian basses of the period. Pinza (1892–1957) and Tancredi Pasero (1893–1983) were exact contemporaries, and it is undeniable that Pinza had the stronger dramatic presence and vocal charisma. But one should never take for granted the warm, skillful, technically secure singing that Pasero gives us. This 3-CD set is surely the most complete picture of Pasero’s art that we have ever been given, and it is extremely gratifying.

    Notably, Toscanini chose Pasero to sing in the Prologue of Boito’s MEFISTOFELE at the grand reopening of La Scala in 1946. That historic occasion is reproduced here with a much more brilliant and open sound than on any prior issue. There were apparently a few defective moments in the source, so Richard Caniell, the proprietor of Immortal Performances, has filled them in from a 1948 performance from La Scala also conducted by Toscanini. None of Pasero’s passages, however, are from 1948. This collection fills out the excerpts from Boito’s masterpiece with commercial recordings made by Pasero in 1944. The Garden Scene with the glowing soprano of Gina Cigna is particularly treasurable. Pinza made a more immediate dramatic impact through the unique combination of his rich voice and incomparable sense of characterization. Closer to our own time Nicolai Ghiaurov made a strong impression in MEFISTOFELE through an unusually richly colored, dark voice. But none of that takes away from the strength of Pasero’s singing, noble in its generous phrases and seamless cantabile. Pasero’s quick vibrato is something less commonly heard today, but I do not find it intrusive in any way.

    What one hears throughout this compilation are the classic virtues of good singing: a dark, warm, evenly produced sound, comfortable at the top and bottom of the range, perfect intonation that always hits the center of the note, and a wonderfully firm rhythmic pulse. Add to that Pasero’s crisp diction, and you understand why he was valued so highly by Toscanini as well as many other conductors, and why he was able to sustain a 35-year career in which he sang just under 100 roles. Although Pasero sang at the Met for four seasons, he was overshadowed by Pinza’s enormous popularity. At La Scala, however, he was considered a star, singing there for a quarter century in a huge range of roles. These included all the standard Verdi, Donizetti, Rossini, and Bellini parts you would expect, but Boris, Gurnemanz, Hagen, and King Marke as well. He also appeared in some world premieres, including Boito’s NERONE and Pizzetti’s ORSEOLO.

    What one does not hear is a personality that jumps out of the speakers and startles you with its vivid characterizations. This absence is a detriment to character pieces like Leporello’s Catalogue Aria, where Pasero seems too buttoned down. But then he will surprise you by capturing the humor of Basilio’s ‘La calunnia’ and the dignity and inner pain of King Philip in Don Carlo. Pinza might have put more heartbreaking emotion into ‘Ella giammai m’amo’, but Pasero is no less convincing in his more restrained, perhaps more regal, way of conveying the king’s heartache. In the Bellini selections one is impressed over and over again by the smoothness of tonal emission, the ease of technique in passagework, and the solid column of sound. The first disc features the Devil roles of Boito and Gounod, and the second the Verdi REQUIEM segment and FORZA excerpts. The third disc in the set, featuring miscellaneous arias and duets, is in some ways the highlight of the release. The string of Verdi arias demonstrates mastery of line, clarity of diction, and the ability to convey character through purely musical means.

    Let me expand a little on the MEFISTOFELE Prologue, because of historic importance of the occasion. The performance of the ‘Prologue in Heaven’ is shattering in its power, from the choral and orchestral forces, and from Pasero, who must have been energized by the occasion, and of course from Toscanini. This performance has been issued before on Naxos, but the sound here is fuller, less compressed, and far more impactful. The 1944 MEFISTOFELE excerpts come from studio recordings made for Italian Columbia, a particular highlight being the complete Garden Scene with the great Gina Cigna. We also get Mefistofele’s two arias, ‘Son lo spirito’ and ‘Ecco il mondo’. It must be admitted that Pesaro did not summon up the dramatic force in the studio that he did in the live Prologue, but one remains grateful for vocalism that is on an exalted level.

    Another important group are the excerpts from that other great devil role, Mephistopheles in Gounod’s FAUST. Compiling from a variety of studio recordings and Italian radio broadcasts, Immortal Performances has given us a sample of the role large enough to make us wish we had the entire opera. As one expects, Pasero creates the character through musical means rather than dramatic gestures - vocal color and subtle inflection are the methods he prefers, and they are very effective. The performance of ‘Le veau d’or’, from an RAI complete performance, is overwhelmingly powerful because Pasero and conductor Franco Ghione take an unusually fast tempo and a very 'con forza' approach. (All the FAUST excerpts are sung in Italian). By the time we’ve gone through the MEFISTOFELE and FAUST excerpts, we are starting to learn just what made Pasero such an effective singer. Worth commenting on again is that solid column of sound, a very rare quality in singers of any voice category.

    The second CD offers the ‘Dies Irae’ from Verdi’s REQUIEM in a 1940 radio broadcast that has been assembled by Caniell from a few sources, since a complete ‘Dies Irae’ did not exist. As is usual, his work is seamless, and he is up front about what he has done in the Recording Notes. These selections have been available only in a poor restoration that was constricted and pitched incorrectly. Sadly, all that survives seems to be the incomplete ‘Dies Irae’. Of course, it would be wonderful to have the whole REQUIEM, but those who love this piece will be grateful for this extensive excerpt.

    The other singers are Beniamino Gigli, Ebe Stignani, and Maria Caniglia (listed in descending order of quality), and the dramatic conductor is Victor de Sabata. Gigli and Stignani are perfect. Caniglia, as was often the case with her, demonstrated the right kind of voice but an inability to control her intonation, along with an occasional tendency to turn squally. In David Cutler’s superb essay about Pasero, he is honest enough to point out that the singer jumps a beat in the ‘Confutatis’, but Pasero quickly recovers, and Cutler rightly emphasizes that the bass’s beautiful shaping of the line at ‘Lacrymosa’ is a model of Verdi phrasing.

    The FORZA DEL DESTINO excerpts are from a 1941 broadcast that was originally issued on Cetra and later transferred very nicely by Ward Marston for Naxos Historical. The same issue of erratic intonation affects Caniglia’s Leonora, but Pasero is in stunningly sonorous voice as Padre Guardiano. Importantly, Caniell has taken the opera’s finale from a different recording, a 1929 set with Gina Cigna and Paolo Civil. It is great to have Cigna in this music, and to hear the young Pasero.

    Immortal Performances is famous for the lavishness of their productions. The booklet includes Cutler’s insightful essay, Caniell’s notes about the recordings themselves, and wonderful photos. They are making this available at the price of two discs for the set of three. This is a superb tribute to one of the 20th century’s finest operatic basses.”

    - Henry Fogel, FANFARE

    “All told, Tancredi Pasero gave more than 100 Met performances. But for the better part of his distinguished career, which lasted from 1917 until the early 1950s, Pasero was the leading bass at Milan’s fabled La Scala. Pasero’s artistry is documented in several recordings, including numerous excerpts, and some complete operas, most notably Cetra recording of Bellini’s Norma (1936) and Verdi’s LA FORZA DEL DESTINO (1941). Those recordings demonstrate that Pasero, like Pinza, was one of the finest bassos of all time. The two shared several strengths, including a rock-solid technique throughout the registers, rich and beautiful voices with the pronounced (but always controlled and evenly-produced) vibrato often present in the Italian singers of their era, crystal-clear diction, and a sensitive, patrician approach to phrasing. Pasero’s timbre strikes me as somewhat darker than Pinza’s. He also, based on the recorded evidence, took a more subdued approach to comedy. But in the final analysis, comparisons between the two artists are of minimal importance. Both are legends, and both command the attention of anyone interested in the recorded legacy of great singers and singing. In that spirit, this new Immortal Performances set dedicated to Pasero is a wonderful gift. Had IP just given us selections that showcase Pasero in a wide range of his broad repertoire, that would have made the set of great importance. But IP goes a step further, and includes recordings of unique historic importance, documenting Pasero in collaboration with some of the finest artists of his time.

    Each of the three discs has an overarching theme. The first comprises operatic settings of the Faust legend. The disc opens with a performance of the Prologue from Boito’s Mefistofele, recorded in performance on May 11, 1946, part of the concert celebrating the opening of the rebuilt La Scala Opera House. Pasero is Mefistofele, and the La Scala Orchestra and Chorus are conducted by Arturo Toscanini, returning to his beloved homeland. There is, of course, a 1954 Toscanini recording of this same music, made in Carnegie Hall, and featuring bass Nicola Moscona, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, the Robert Shaw Chorale, and The Columbus Boychoir. That is an impressive achievement in its own right, and in far better sound than the 1946 La Scala concert, even taking into consideration Caniell’s fine restoration. But the 1946 La Scala performance has a sense of occasion, and an electricity that the 1954 RCA release does not. Toscanini builds the performance to a shattering climax, perhaps the most thrilling I’ve ever heard in this music, and the La Scala audience responds in kind. Here, I’ll note that while Pasero’s contribution from the 1946 performance is included complete, some sections are filled in from a June 10, 1948 La Scala concert, also conducted by Toscanini. The disc continues with more excerpts from MEFISTOFELE, including the complete Act II Garden scene (with Gina Cigna, Paolo Civil, and Ida Mannarini). Pasero is a marvelous, characterful Mefistofele, by turns debonair, conniving, and malevolent. Selections from Gounod’s FAUST, sung in Italian, round out the first disc. The excerpts, comprising broadcast and studio recordings, are also impressive, both for Pasero’s contribution, and for those of sopranos Ornelia Fineschi and Cigna, and tenors Giovanni Malipiero and Paolo Civil.

    Disc 2 is devoted to Verdi, opening with an absolute treasure: the ‘Dies Irae’ portion of a December 14, 1940 RAI broadcast of the Verdi REQUIEM, conducted by Victor de Sabata, and featuring soloists Maria Caniglia, Ebe Stignani, Beniamino Gigli, and Pasero, along with a chorus and orchestra assembled from musicians in Turin and Rome. In short, a collaboration between one of the greatest and most intense conductors of the 20th century and a dream quartet. And what a performance it is. De Sabata opens the ‘Dies Irae’ at a hair-raising clip, marvelously executed by all concerned. As in the case of the Toscanini MEFISTOFELE Prologue, de Sabata builds to a stunning climax in the ‘Tuba mirum’. Having portrayed the abject terrors of the Day of Judgment, de Sabata gives the soloists the opportunity to plead their case before God. Without ever slackening the tension, de Sabata allows the soloists to impart their unique artistry and voices to Verdi’s miraculous score. To cite but one highlight, Gigli’s rendition of the ‘Ingemisco’ is remarkable for its flexibility of phrasing, diverse palette of dynamics and vocal colors, and glorious vocalizing. But all of this performance of the ‘Dies Irae’ is on that level. IP’s restoration, while not the equivalent of studio recordings of the era, is excellent, allowing us to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime performance. The remainder of the disc includes music from Verdi’s LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, the greater part taken from the Cetra 1941 complete recording. Made in Turin starring Canigila, Stignani, Galliano Masini, Carlo Tagliabue, Pasero, and Saturno Meletti. Gino Marinuzzi is the superb conductor, in a recording that remains one of the finest of this opera. The IP set includes the complete Act II Cloister Scene. By this stage of her career, high notes did not come easily to Canigilia, but she soldiers through in admirable fashion, and there is no denying the intensity of her voice, and of her interpretation. Alongside Caniglia’s masterful portrayal of the desperate Leonora, Pasero’s Padre Guardiano is the perfect foil; a man of strength and authority, but also of great compassion. And what a pleasure it is to hear Guardiano’s music sung with such elegance and vocal richness. For the final scene, we hear a 1929 studio recording with Pasero, Bianca Scacciati, and Francesco Merli. No shortage of Italianate vibrato, temperament, and all-round glorious singing! The final disc features studio recordings of arias, and a few duets, spanning the 1920s-40s. They demonstrate that Pasero was an artist of impressive versatility and sensitivity, and one who was able to maintain, with remarkable consistency, a voice that was one of the glories of its time. Thanks also to Richard Caniell and IP, for painstakingly presenting all the excerpts at correct pitch. IP has given us is an embarrassment of riches. Just Wonderful."

  • - Ken Meltzer, FANFARE

  • BRUNO WALTER Cond. Vienna Phil., w.Kerstin Thorborg & Charles Kullman: DAS LIED VON DER ERDE (Mahler). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-1016, Live Performance, 24 May, 1936, Musikvereinssaal, Vienna. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1812)

    "...under the baton of Mahler's colleague and the man who gave the work its world premiere, Bruno Walter, indeed [this] 1936 VPO recording is essential to any serious Mahler collection."

    - Henry Fogel, FANFARE, Nov. / Dec., 2017

    "‘I know of no one who understands me as well as I feel you do and I believe I have entered deep into the mine of your soul’ wrote Gustav Mahler. Alma, too, credited Walter with a full understanding of her husband and wrote in her autobiography: ‘After [Mahler's] death, Walter's great and exalted art was at his service. He mastered its every subtlety…and he took the spirit of Mahler's work as the keystone of his own work as an interpretive musician’.

    The first recording of DAS LIED was not made until May 24, 1936. Even then, the work apparently was deemed too obscure to risk the expense of studio sessions, and so its 14 sides were cut live at a Vienna Philharmonic concert to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Mahler's death. Suitably, Walter conducted. The result was an intensely human document, propelled by a marvelous feeling of spontaneity that eludes all other recordings. Orchestra and vocalists (tenor Charles Kullman and contralto Kerstin Thorberg) dig into their notes with wholehearted passion, often taking substantial liberty with the written rhythm; indeed, the scheme is set in the first movement, as the tenor often lags the orchestra, only to suddenly leap ahead, adding a vibrant touch of personality to his already heroic lines. Both singers project vast sincerity and even vulnerability by holding their vibrato to a minimum, and in the process avoid any suggestion of stylized opera or refined art singing. Even if the beginning is a bit scrappy, the orchestra, too, eschews the smooth sonic blend for which it was famed. While the somewhat crude recording obscures some of the detail and weakens the delicacy of the ending, the instrumental choirs compensate by standing out with vivid detail that highlights the inventiveness of Mahler's scoring. Although a relatively fleet 57 minutes, Walter's pacing never seems rushed, but rather vibrant and lucid. Among its glories are a ‘Von der Schonheit’ that effortlessly integrates the heady drive of the galloping horses into the girls' wistful heartache. While we never will know how Mahler would have led DAS LIED, and while Walter undoubtedly had matured and evolved over the quarter-century that had elapsed since he encountered the work with its composer, this first recording, even aside from its intrinsic splendor, boasts unique authenticity."

    - Peter Gutmann, Classical Notes

    “The first thing that strikes one upon hearing this live broadcast from Vienna in 1936 is how well-played it is. It is actually far better played than the 1952 studio recording with the same orchestra. The instrumental soloists each pick up the text cues and illustrate them to perfection. This is something that is utterly missing from the New York recording of 1948 where a flute or oboe solo is played as an opportunity to shine and not as a segue, or anticipation to the text. The other thing, indeed the most striking feature of this performance, is the same thing that struck me when I first heard the Busch Quartet’s recording of Beethoven’s ‘Rasumovsky’ Quartets: a sense of ensemble tightness that was linear and not horizontal. There was no sense of bar-lines, or even of a consistent pulse that would indicate a clear meter of the work. Yet, astonishingly, everyone was together. Every member of the ensemble flowed as a single organic unit in the same direction with the same sense of tempo, structure and dynamic….and with the 1952 studio recording of the work in Vienna, it’s clear that even the orchestra no longer has any natural understanding of the work. It was more than composers and their music that were lost with Hitler’s arrival, it was also a manner of making music.”

  • - Norman Lebrecht, Forbidden Music

  • CHARLES MUNCH Cond. RTF S.O.: 'The Great' Symphony #9 in C (Schubert); w. Annie Jodry: Violin Concerto in d (Khatchaturian); w.Henri Bronschwak & Jacques Neilz: Concerto Grosso in a (Handel); ANNIE JODRY (Solo): Sonata #1 in g – Fugue (Bach). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-950, Live performance, 19 June, 1954. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1811)

    “The violinist Annie Jodry was born in 1935 in Beziers, France. In the 1950s she studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Marcel Reynal and was a prize-winner in Geneva. Celebrated for a remarkable bowing technique, she made a notable impact on French violin playing. As a teacher, she was generous but demanding. She now lives in retirement.”

    - Stephen Greenbank, MusicWebInternational

    "It's difficult to articulate what makes Munch's conducting special - or indeed if there even is anything identifiably unique about it. A lesser talent would simply turn out generic, cookie-cutter performances; but Munch was anything but generic. He was one of the most musical of conductors; in so many of his performances, everything simply sounds 'right'. Certainly, his experience as an orchestral musician gave him a lot of practical insight into the mechanics of directing orchestra traffic. But a classic Munch interpretation never sounds calculated. Spontaneity was one of his hallmarks, sometimes to the surprise and discomfort of the musicians playing under him. From one night to the next, a Munch performance of the same piece might be very different, depending on his mood of the moment - yet it would always sound like Munch."

  • - Lawrence Hansen, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov. / Dec., 2012

    . . . FROM THE RECENT PAST . . .


  • ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. Philadelphia Orchestra: Victor Recordings Restored, Vol. II, incl. Tod und Verklarung (Strauss); w.University of Pennsylvania Women’s Glee Club; Edwina Eustis & Florence Kirk (sopranos): A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Incidental Music (Mendelssohn), recorded 12 Jan., 1942; ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. NBC S.O.: Die Zauberflote – Overture (Mozart); Symphony #99 in E-flat (Haydn); Ein Heldenleben (Strauss), Live Performance, 1 Feb., 1941, with broadcast commentary by Gene Hamilton. Includes 22pp Booklet with Program Notes by Robert Matthew-Walker & Richard Caniell. (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1129. (C1806)

  • HERBERT von KARAJAN Cond. Berlin Phil., w.Edith Mathis (S): Symphony #4 in G (Mahler). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1050, Live Performance, 26 Jan., 1980, Berlin. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1808)

  • DESIRE-EMILE INGHELBRECHT Cond. RTF S.O.: Weihnachts-Oratorium – Sinfonia (Bach); German Dances, K.605 (Mozart); Kinderszenen (Schumann); Hansel und Gretel – Pantomime (Humperdinck); Ma Mere L'Oye (Ravel); w.Ginette Guillamat: La Legende de Saint-Nicolas (Cond. by the Composer); Noel des enfants qui n'ont plus de maison (Debussy); Les enfantines (The Nursery)- Excerpts (Mussorgsky); w.Ginette Guillamat & Denise Boursin: Weihnachts-Oratorium - Flosst, mein Heiland, flosst dein Namen (Bach). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1019, Live Performance,25 Dec., 1952, Theatre des Champs Elysees. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1809)

  • OTELLO (Act I, Complete) , Live Performance, 15 Aug. 1939, Castello Sforzecso, Milano, w. Arturo Lucan Cond. La Scala Ensemble; Francesco Merli, Claudia Muzio, Enrico de Franceschi, etc.; Francesco Merli, Claudia Muzio, Giannina Arangi-Lombardi, Bianca Scacciati, Tancredi Pasero, Carlo Galeffi & Gino Vanelli: Duets & Trio from I Lombardi, Aida, Forza, Cavalleria, Manon Lescaut & La Gioconda - recorded 1927-31; Claudia Muzio: La Separazione (Rossini) - recorded 16 Nov., 1923, Edison; Claudia Muzio: La Traviata - Teneste la promessa . . . Addio del passato - recorded 1935. (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1132, w.Elaborate 46pp Booklet. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Notes by Bill Russell & Richard Caniell. [For anyone who hasn't yet heard Muzio's justifiably famous reading of Germont's letter - 'Teneste la promessa' it is here better transferred than anywhere else. It should be mandatory listening!] (OP3354)

  • LE CANTATRICI VILLANE (Fioravanti), Live Performance, 31 Oct., 1951, Teatro di Corte, Napoli, w. Mario Rossi Cond. Scarlatti Ensemble; Alda Noni, Ester Orell, Fernanda Cadoni, Sesto Bruscantini, Franco Calabrese & Agostino Lazzari; LE ASTUZIE FEMMINILI, Live Performance, 23 Sept., 1959, Teatro di Corte, Napoli, w. Mario Rossi Cond. Scarlatti Ensemble; Graziella Sciutti, Sesto Bruscantini, Franco Calabrese, Luigi Alva, Renata Mattioli & Anna Maria Rota; IL MATRIMONIO SEGRETO - Udite, tutti udite (w. Wolf-Ferrari Cond. Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orch. & Sesto Bruscantini), recorded 1950; IL MAESTRO DI CAPPELLA (w.Gracis Cond. RAI Ensemble, Roma & Giuseppe Taddei), recorded 4 March, 1953 (all Cimarosa); ALDA NONI & SESTO BRUSCANTINI: Martini and Rossi Concert of Mozart, Bellini & Donizetti. (Canada) 3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1122, w.Elaborate 42pp Booklet. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Notes by Ken Meltzer & Richard Caniell. [What a lovingly presented series of Italian delicacies – not to be missed!] (OP3353)

    Specially priced at Three discs for the price of Two.

  • LA GIOCONDA, Live Performance, 31 March, 1962, w. Cleva Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Eileen Farrell, Franco Corelli, Robert Merrill, Nell Rankin, Giorgio Tozzi, Mignon Dunn, etc.; EILEEN FARRELL, w. William Hess & Chester Watson; Bernard Herrmann Cond. CBS S.O.: L'ENFANT PRODIGUE (Debussy), Broadcast Performance, 5 Oct., 1947; EILEEN FARRELL, w. Thomas Schippers Cond. Los Angeles Philharmonic: Tannhauser - Dich teure halle; Tristan und Isolde - Prelude and Liebestod; Gotterdammerung - Brunnhilde's Immolation Scene, Live Performance, 1959, Hollywood Bowl. (Canada) 3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1130, w.Elaborate 46pp Booklet. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Notes by William Russell & Richard Caniell. (OP3352)

  • IRIS (Mascagni), Live Performance, 10 March, 1966, Palermo, w.Oliviero de Fabritiis Cond. Teatro Massimo Ensemble; Magda Olivero, Giuseppe Gismondo, Mario Basiola, Jr., Enrico Campi, etc.; MAGDA OLIVERO, w.Napoleone Annovazzi Cond.: Louise – Depuis le jour (in Italian), 1957; MAGDA OLIVERO, w.Maria Balduicci (Pf.): Arias from Adriana Lecouvreur, Tosca, La traviata & Otello, from 1959 Vatican Radio Recital; MAGDA OLIVERO, w.Franco Mannino Cond.: Arias from Suor Angelica, Loreley, Xerxes & Tristan und Isolde, from 1958; MAGDA OLIVERO & Ferruccio Tagliavini; Magda Olivero & Claudio Villa: L’Amico Fritz - Cherry Duet, 1939 & 1958, resp. (Canada) 3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1133, w.Elaborate 26pp Booklet. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Notes by Stephen Hastings & Richard Caniell. (OP3355)

    Specially priced at Three discs for the price of Two.

  • EMIL GILELS: Bach, Schubert, Schumann (incl. the latter's Toccata in C), Kabalevsky (the latter's Sonata #2 in E-flat) & Liszt (the latter's Hungarian Rhapsody #15 in a). [Another extraordinary Gilels treasure which brings the ecstatic Parisian audience to a frenzy, not to be missed!] (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1047, Live Performance, 6 March, 1960, Paris. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1354)

  • LANDMARKS OF RECORDED PIANISM, Vol. II, incl. Etelka Freund, Rosita Renard, Reah Sadowsky, Moritz Rosenthal, Federico Mompou, Mark Hambourg, Frank La Forge, Grace Castagnetta, Arnold Dolmetsch & Percy Grainger. 2-Marston 52075. (P1353)

  • MAURICE GENDRON, w. Jean Francaix (Pf.): Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (Bach); Cello Sonata (Debussy); 'Arpeggione' Sonata in a (Schubert); Fantasia for Cello & Piano (Acc. by the Composer), Live Perf., 2 Jan., 1962 [World Premiere]; w. Bigot Cond. NRDF S.O.: Fantasia for Cello & Orchestra (Francaix), Live Perf., 4 July, 1952, Saarbrucken. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1054. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0776)

  • JOSEF KRIPS Cond.RTF S.O.: 'Surprise' Symphony #94 in G (Haydn), Live Performance, 7 Oct., 1954, Paris; JOSEF KRIPS Cond. RTF S.O.: Symphony #1 in C; w.Maria Stader, Margrit Conrad, Anton Dermota & Walter Berry: 'Choral' Symphony #9 in C (both Beethoven), Live Performance, 28 Aug., 1965, Montreux. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-989. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1807)

  • BRUNO MADERNA Cond. BBC S.O.: Music for Orchestra (Elisabeth Lutyens) [World Premiere]; Compositione per Orchestra #1 (Nono); w.Yvonne Loriod (Pf.): Oiseaux exotiques (Messiaen); w.Alexander Young (T) & Allegri Sring Quartet: In Memoriam Dylan Thomas (Stravinsky). (Canada) St Laurent Studio 33-1045, Live Performance, 1 June, 1961, from BBC Transcription Service with rather comical BBC announcements. [Among Maderna's most fascinating programs!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1810)

  • PRADES FESTIVAL, Vol. IV: PABLO CASALS, JOSEPH FUCHS & EUGENE ISTOMIN: (Beethoven & Schubert). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1064, Live Performances, 1953-54, Abbaye Saint-Michel de Cuxa & Eglise Saint-Pierre de Prades. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1805)

  • ELEANOR STEBER – AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, with Marcia Sloat. Ridgewood, NJ, Wordsworth, 1992. 268pp. 16 pages of Photos; List of Roles; Discography; DJ. (B0025)




    “Books have become our lonely stepchildren! By spending so many hours constantly revising our thousands of CDs we realize we have paid scant attention to our BOOKS ON SALE, thus many have been added (with more appearing), accompanied by greatly reduced prices! Have a glance at our SALE section - for BOOKS!


    . . . numerous out-of-print CDs and LPs,

    [many sealed copies of numerous out-of-print

    additions: The Record Collector, Naxos, VRCS,

    Issues of Symposium's Harold Wayne series,

    Romophone, GOP & many Met Opera

    broadcasts & operas from Moscow’s Aquarius, plus

    numerous lesser-known operas have been added

    throughout our listings, in appropriate categories . . .

    out-of-print books [many biographies,

    Record Catalogue-Discographies . . .

    numerous CDs are added each week] . . .



    Norbeck, Peters & Ford's Auction #151 has Closed. We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for participating in Auction #151.

    Auction #151 now closed Saturday, 30 November 2019.

    We invite you to review our Auction #151. It is comprised of Vocal, Victor 'GEMS', Light Opera, and Spoken Word Records.

    To view the online version of our auction #151, simply click the link below:

    Auction #151 Online Catalog

    To download a copy of Auction #151, simply click the link below:

    Auction #151 Catalog File Download ** This auction has been applied online in various sections in order to facilitate faster loading, especially on mobile phones.

    Enjoy perusing!

    Once again . . .

    Welcome to our bookshop & list of Original Cast LPs, where you will see a vast array of excellent, used out-of-print books. You're sure to find many books of interest which may have long eluded you, so now is your opportunity to fill in missing gaps. Our online bookshop includes composer and performer autobiographies and biographies. Soon we will include musical criticism, theory and history, plus histories of symphony orchestras, opera houses and festivals. In addition, we shall offer quite an array of vocal scores, many of which are most rare and unusual.

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    We carry splendid CD offerings from Yves St Laurent, VRCS, The Record Collector, Marston, Palaeophonics, Immortal Performances (Canada), Malibran, Aquarius, Truesound Transfers, Walhall, Bongiovanni, Clama and many other labels.

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  • Leopold Stokowski, Vol. XII - Chicago  - Shostakovitch & Khatchaturian  (St Laurent Studio YSL T-992)
    C1813. LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Cond. Chicago Orch.: The Golden Age - Suite; Symphony #6 in b (both Shostakovitch); w.Mary Sauer (Organ): Symphony #3 (Khatchaturian). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-992, Live Performance, 15 Feb., 1968, Orchestra Hall. [Replete with broadcast announcer's comments after the Khatchaturian Symphony offering a post-performance tusch (a flourish or fanfare of brass wind musical instruments and drums), with the Maestro addressing the ecstatic audience at the end! An absolute treasure!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
    Tancredi Pasero;  Gina Cigna, Ebe Stignani, Beniamino Gigli, Giovanni Malipiero, Paolo Civil)  (3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1121)
    V2636. TANCREDI PASERO: Arias and scenes (w.Gina Cigna, Beniamino Gigli, Giovanni Malipiero, Gino Vanelli, Paolo Civil, Ebe Stignani, Maria Caniglia, etc.) from Don Giovanni, Barbiere, Semiramide, I Puritani, Norma, Mignon, Faust, Mefistofele, La Forza del Destino, Nabucco, Ernani, Luisa Miller, La Sonnambula, Il Trovatore, Simon Boccanegra, I Vespri Siciliani, Don Carlo & the Verdi Requiem. (Canada) 3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1121, w.Elaborate 18pp Booklet. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Notes by David Cutler & Richard Caniell. Specially priced at Three discs for the price of Two. – 748252292346
    Das Lied von der Erde  - Bruno Walter, Vol. V;  Kerstin Thorborg & Charles Kullman  (St Laurent Studio YSL 78-1016)
    C1812. BRUNO WALTER Cond. Vienna Phil., w.Kerstin Thorborg & Charles Kullman: DAS LIED VON DER ERDE (Mahler). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-1016, Live Performance, 24 May, 1936, Musikvereinssaal, Vienna. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
    Charles Munch, Vol. XXXVII;  Annie Jodry;  Henri Bronschwak & Jacques Neilz)  (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-950)
    C1811. CHARLES MUNCH Cond. RTF S.O.: 'The Great' Symphony #9 in C (Schubert); w. Annie Jodry: Violin Concerto in d (Khatchaturian); w.Henri Bronschwak & Jacques Neilz: Concerto Grosso in a (Handel); ANNIE JODRY (Solo): Sonata #1 in g - Fugue (Bach). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-950, Live performance, 19 June, 1954. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.