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Related Books & Ephemera
Von KARAJAN’s Mahler 6th, in Paris . . .
JORGE BOLET, in Paris . . .
MAURICE GENDRON, Vol. II, also in Paris . . .
an impressive TROVATORE in French,
w. Moizan, Scharley, Romagnoni & Cambon. . . .
many more titles on ‘sale’
-----------------------------------------JORGE BOLET: Chopin, Liszt, Liszt-Schubert & Schubert (incl. the latter's Wanderer Fantasy). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-838, Live Performance, 31 Jan., 1985, Paris. [Revel in one of the most beautiful piano recitals you are likely to encounter in quite a while] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1342)
“Cuban pianist Jorge Bolet is an artist whose interpretive personality came out in live performances but tended to be hidden in the recording studio. In FANFARE 38:5 I reviewed an extraordinary set of 6 CDs on Ward Marston’s label titled ‘Ambassador from a Golden Age’, in which I explored this issue in detail. The present recital from Paris in 1985 (venue unidentified) is one more telling demonstration of the magic Bolet created in the hall. The long length of this program is unusual. St. Laurent Studio has retained only minimal applause, so there is approximately 100 minutes of music, around 20 minutes more than the norm. Bolet shows no sign of tiring; if one can assume the Chopin pieces at the end of the second disc were encores, he chose the monumental Third Ballade as his final encore and played it flawlessly.
Perhaps the first thing you notice in the Liszt ‘Consolations’ that open the recital is the gorgeously sculpted cantabile. Bolet’s playing is the pianistic equivalent of a fine bel canto singer. His tone remains shimmering at all dynamic levels, never turning hard even at fortissimo climaxes. His playing is flexible, marked by a sense of fantasy and imagination. His use of rubato is fairly liberal but always within the bounds of the structure of the music. Nothing that he does technically calls attention to itself. Liszt’s arrangements of Schubert songs benefit in particular from Bolet’s vocal approach, as you might expect.
Bolet was more than a poet, as welcome as that is. He could be a kinetic virtuoso, as capable of dazzling the listener as he was at seduction. He was skilled at finding the right shades to distinguish musical lines that ran simultaneously. Beyond principal melody and accompaniment, he was adept at voicing all of the lines in perfect proportion to each other. A vivid demonstration comes with the Schubert-Liszt ‘Das Wandern’ from DIE SCHONE MULLERIN, where Bolet makes strikingly clear the effect of ever-present rippling water.
Overall, his playing is a rarely found combination of brilliance and delicacy, power and grace. For instance, in ‘Wilde Jagd’, the ninth of Liszt’s TRANSCENDENTAL ETUDES, a work that gives Bolet a chance to show off his technique, he marries virtuosity to a sense of poetry and delicacy that is quite special. The Chopin f-minor Nocturne could serve as a master class in how to employ rubato generously without losing the structural shape of the music. The range of keyboard colors he finds in the two Chopin Etudes is unusually vivid.
In short, this recital combines just about everything one wishes to hear in a program of piano music from the heart of the Romantic era. One presumes that the recording is taken from a French FM stereo radio broadcast, and St. Laurent Studio’s piano sound is warm and natural. As usual with this label, there are no program notes, but you don’t really need them - just sit back and revel in one of the most beautiful piano recitals you are likely to encounter in quite a while.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFAREHERBERT von KARAJAN Cond. Berlin Phil.: 'Tragic' Symphony #6 in a (Mahler). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1044, Live Performance, 6 June, 1977, Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1795)
“Karajan in concert is rarer than you might think, so this splendidly played live Mahler Sixth from Paris in 1977 is quite intriguing. Since it comes in excellent stereo, there are interesting comparisons to be made with Karajan’s studio recording for DG released in 1978. He was a latecomer to Mahler in general, which was typical of an older generation of conductors. They had absorbed the received opinion that Mahler’s music was unacceptable, the usual rationale being its emotional flagrancy, gaucherie, and the exthausting length of the majority of his symphonies. Being Austrian, Karajan didn’t tar Bruckner and Mahler with the same brush, while in America the two were often dismissed together in some musically elite circles. (There could also be a reverse prejudice, as with Bernstein and Levine, two great Mahler interpreters who would have little or nothing to do with Bruckner.)
The Berlin Philharmonic was so unused to Mahler that when Barbirolli guest conducted in the Sixties, they didn’t know the symphonies he programmed, #9 in 1963, #2 in 1965, and #6 in 1966. This wasn’t entirely Karajan’s doing since neither of his predecessors, Furtwängler and Celibidache, had left the orchestra with much experience. (Early on, Furtwängler made room for Mahler, however. Between 1916 and 1932 he led the first four symphonies as well as KINDERTOTENLIEDER and the LIEDER EINES FAHRENDEN GESELLEN, and of course he made a celebrated recording of the latter in 1952 with the young Fischer-Dieskau. There was no Mahler during the Nazi era, since his music was banned, but after the war Furtwängler returned to the song cycles - he fell into the accepted attitude that Mahler’s real strength was his songs.)
In both the studio and live Sixths Karajan avoids extremes without reducing the music to a literal reading of the score. The first movement is taken quickly, and in Paris one feels the added urgency of the concert hall. (There’s also a shock right away when the first trumpet loudly flubs the last note in his solo entry.) One also notices that the soundstage is more expansive in Paris, but DG’s engineers captured a little more transparency in Berlin. The sweep and brilliance one expects from the Berliners is everywhere in evidence, but in addition Karajan is more involved in the music here. Under his control, the successive climaxes in the first movement increase steadily in tension and excitement.
Along with most accomplished conductors, once Karajan had settled on an interpretation, it didn’t vary to any great degree. The Paris Sixth is a couple of minutes slower than the DG recording, but in a movement like the Scherzo, which is placed second, there is little musical difference. The conception is far from Tennstedt’s terrifying intensity with the London Philharmonic on the orchestra’s house label, but Karajan doesn’t smooth things out, either. Such is the Orchestra’s discipline that where you expect excitement in a live performance to cause the timpani and brass to go a little over the top, here they don’t.
For sheer melodic beauty Mahler rarely surpassed the sublime Andante of the Sixth Symphony, and Karajan gives it nuance, sheen, and polish without depriving the music of life. Control usually implies a limiting adjective like ‘tight’, but the playing here is refined without losing the movement’s bucolic air. In Paris Karajan leans a little more into the moving line; for DG we get perfect balance among the various voices. I prefer Paris for the touch of added vibrancy, although both versions are beautiful.
If the slow movement is notable for beauty, the half-hour finale stands as one of Mahler’s most daring conceptions, plunging us immediately into a mesmerizing, unpredictable sound world that leads to shattering waves of emotional turmoil. In a great performance like the two from Bernstein and the Tennstedt mentioned above, this movement can be annihilating (although I don’t think the famous thwacks with a giant hammer really achieve the tragic death blow Mahler must have imagined). This cataclysmic music must have been a reinforcement for Mahler deniers, who would have thought it borderline insane.
Karajan was too unlike Mitropoulos, Bernstein, and Tennstedt to follow their instincts for letting Mahler off the leash at his most extreme. Instead, as with Szell and Michael Tilson Thomas, Karajan’s finale is comparatively reined in for the first few minutes - but only comparatively. The score’s fascinating instrumental colors, the mood of mystery giving way to calamity, the huge-to-bursting orchestral sonority are all present in Paris, and some listeners might even prefer the way that Karajan occasionally relents on the pressure without losing momentum. The middle section swoops and races in a thrilling manner (lacking only Tennstedt’s berserker wildness, which is unforgettable).
The DG recording didn’t arrive so late in the Mahler revolution that it failed to make an striking impression. In FANFARE 2:3 Benjamin Pernick was (to me) inexplicably dismissive: ‘Karajan's ill-conceived interpretation is everything the Mahler Sixth is not: glossy, impersonal, unfeeling, and unemotional’. Most reviewers were all but overwhelmed, and this Paris Sixth relives their astonishment. In the four decades since, I’ve heard the smallest handful of readings that rival it for magnificence. The French audience erupts rapturously half a second after the finale note dies away.
I mustn’t exaggerate the differences between the two Karajan Mahler Sixths. In Yves St-Laurent’s excellent remastering, the two sound equally fine. Listening from moment to moment, I was more involved in the concert reading, as I think most listeners will be. In any event, it’s a luxury to have two great performances at this exalted level.”
- Huntley Dent, FANFAREMAURICE GENDRON, w. Madeleine Lipatti (Pf.): Bach, Chopin, Schumann & Beethoven (the latter's Cello Sonata #3 in A & Cello Sonata #5 in D). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-964, Live Performance, 27 Nov., 1953, Salle Gaveau, Paris. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0774)
“Maurice Gendron, the French cellist and conductor whose lyrical style brought him international renown, was best known in the United States through his recordings of the standard cello repertory. Mr. Gendron was highly regarded for his elegance in Baroque and Classical works, as well as the deep coloration he applied to the Romantic concertos. Among his best-known recordings are a set of the Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, recorded in 1967; several Mozart and Schubert piano trios with the violinist Yehudi Menuhin and the pianist Hephzibah Menuhin, and Boccherini and Haydn concertos, with Pablo Casals conducting.
His American debut took place in 1958 when he played three concertos with the National Orchestral Association in New York City. He returned to play the Schumann Cello Concerto with the New York Philharmonic the following year. Between 1959 and 1967, he performed in the United States frequently, both as a soloist and in collaboration with the Menuhins and the pianist Philippe Entrement.
Mr. Gendron also pursued a conducting career, having studied with the Dutch conductor Willem Mengelberg and the West German conductor Hermann Scherchen. He did not conduct in the United States, but he frequently led orchestras in France, Portugal and Japan, where he made some symphonic recordings. He was an assistant conductor with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta in England in the early 1970s.
Mr. Gendron taught at the Paris Conservatoire until his retirement in 1986. France also awarded him two high civilian honors: Officer of the Legion of Honor and the National Order of Merit.”
- Allan Kozinn, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 21 Aug., 1990LE TROUVERE (IL TROVATORE) (in French), Broadcast Performance, 1954, w.Gressier Cond. Genevieve Moizan, Denise Scharley, Raphael Romagnoni, Charles Cambon, Adrien Legros, etc. (France) 2-Malibran 785. [A thrilling performance without a single weak link; Moizan certainly will not erase Milanov, etched in our sub-conscious, but she is a notable contender; Gressier's contribution is magnifique. Highly recommended!] (OP3351)
"It was in 1945 at the Salle Favart that Denise Scharley was offered the role of Carmen which she performed countless times until 1968. Immediately the critics raved – ‘Denise Scharley is an ideal Carmen. Her voice without a hole nor broken pieces, without white notes, is a model of vocal equilibrium. In addition, this great singer who continues to play true, gives his character a striking relief. Denise Scharley, if life does not spoil her too much, should make a sensational career’."
- Martial Bardinez
“Raphael Romagnoni, who in the course of a long career would become one of those 'essential tenors' who are regarded as 'pillars' of our Parisian opera houses, made his debut at the Grand Theatre in 1931 in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA. His beautiful voice with its generous top notes led to many engagements in the provinces and North Africa until World War II. In his first year at the Opera, he sang Romeo, the Duke of Mantua, Mylio and Faust, a role that he performed with great success for several years. There followed the creations at the Palais Garnier of JEANNE d’ARC AU BUCHER in which he sang the role of Bishop Cauchon in all 93 performances with Claude Nollier and six times with Ingrid Bergman (Jeanne), and successively with Jean Vilar, Henry Doublier and Robert Vidalin (Frere Dominique). Later would come LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN in which he sang the title role and, at the end of his career, Spalanzani. He made his debut at the Salle Favart in 1947 where he sang Don Jose, Des Grieux, Werther, Gerald, Hoffmann, Nadir, Pinkerton, Turiddu and Rodolfo in LA BOHEME and Alfredo in LA TRAVIATA. At the same time as his Parisian activities, he toured the big provincial towns and also abroad."
“In the firmament of model French singers, Charles Cambon figures amongst the greatest. Thanks to the good instincts of certain artistic directors, this voice of exceptional timbre, power and range has been preserved for us in all its splendour.
Charles Cambon joined the chorus at l’Opera in 1923, making his solo debut a year later in a small role in BORIS GODUNOV. He would remain thirty years in this illustrious theatre, making an impression as Amonasro, Valentin, Ottokar in DER FREISCHUTZ, as Sylvio in PAGLIACCI and as the Dutchman. He appeared only once at l’Opera-Comique as a memorable Zurga in LES PECHEURS DE PERLES. But it was radio and records that brought him fame. True opera-lovers never missed the broadcasts in which he starred, admiring his diction, his fearlessness, his fabulous top notes but also his sensibility and his dramatic instincts in the greatest roles: Rigoletto, Luna in IL TROVATORE, Athanael, Iago and of course Hamlet.
Charles Cambon died in Paris on 17 September,1965. He lives on, thanks to recordings, as one of the most admired baritones of the French vocal tradition.”
- Jean Ziegler (for both Romagnoni & Cambon)
. . . FROM THE RECENT PAST . . .
HERBERT von KARAJAN Cond. Berlin Phil.: The Four Symphonies (Brahms). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T1014, Live Performances, 2 & 3 June, 1975, Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris. [From one who was never warmed by the imperious Karajan mystique, I must say these performances are truly revelatory, structurally impressive and beyond beautiful! They must be heard!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1792)
CESARE VALLETTI, w.Lowell Farr (Pf.): Songs by Caccini, Paisiello, Hahn, Donaudy, Obradors & Quilter; Arias from Don Giovanni, L'Elisir d'Amore & Le Villi. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1037, Live Performance, 15 Dec., 1965, Statler Hilton Ballroom, Boston. [Redolent of a bygone era, the white-gloved ladies adored Valletti singing for them prior to their luncheon at the Statler Hilton Ballroom!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (V2635)
CHARLES MUNCH Cond. Boston S.O.: Symphony #2 in D for Strings & Trumpet (Honegger); Bostoniana (Ibert); Les Troyens - Chasse royale et orage (Berlioz); w.Berj Zamkochian (Organ): Symphony #3 in c (Saint-Saens). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-941, Live performance, 26 Jan., 1963, brilliantly displaying the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic! [This splendid concert thrillingly presents the glorious BSO at its peak! The sound is amazing!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1799)
WILLIAM STEINBERG Cond. Boston Symphony Orchestra: Symphony #7 in E (Bruckner). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-943, Live Performance, 4 Jan., 1974, Symphony Hall, Boston. [Beautifully displaying the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic.] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1798)
CARL SCHURICHT Cond. Berlin Phil.: Symphony #7 in E (1885 Version, Albert Gutmann Ed.) (Bruckner). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-923, recorded 1938, Polydor. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1796)
KLAUS TENNSTEDT Cond. Philadelphia Orch.: Adagio for Strings (Barber), Live Performance, 21 Nov., 1985; 'Song of the Night' Symphony #7 in e (Mahler), Live Performance, 5 Feb., 1987. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1026. [The Mahler is an overwhelming performance in the beauty of the Academy of Music acoustic!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1791)
LOEWENGUTH QUARTET (Alfred Loewenguth, Maurice Fueri, Roger Roche & Pierre Basseux) & STROSS QUARTET: Octet in E-flat (Mendelssohn), Live Performance, 26 March, 1960, Paris; LOEWENGUTH QUARTET, w.Jean Fournier & Ginette Doyen: Concert for Violin, Piano & String Quartet (Chausson). Live Performance, 3 July, 1957, Divonne-les-Bains, France. [A most treasurable issue!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-933. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0769)
DEVY ERLIH, w.Maurice Bureau (Pf.): Romanian Folk Dances (Bartok), Live Performance, 15 Dec., 1952, Salle Gaveau, Paris (Paris debut); w.Jacques Fevrier (Pf.): Sonata in g (Debussy), recorded 9 June, 1959, Paris Radio; w. Jean-Claude Ambrosini (Pf.): La Campanella (Paganini); Suite Italienne [after Pulcinella] (Stravinsky), recorded 30 June, 1959, Paris Radio; w.Andre Girard Cond. ORTF Chamber Orch.: Rondo in A (Schubert), recorded 21 May, 1964, Paris Radio; w.Pierre Capdevielle Cond. ORTF Chamber Orch.: Havanaise; Introduction & Rondo capriccioso (both Saint-Saens), recorded 29 Dec., 1966, Paris Radio. [The Romanian Folk Dances are sheer magic! What a debut this must have been! Both Saint-Saens excursions are breathtaking! Altogether, a splendid issue!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-998. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0771)
DAVID OISTRAKH, w. Alexander Goldenweiser, Mikhail Terian & Sviatoslav Knushevitsky: Piano Quartet in E-flat (Schumann), recorded 1952, Moscow; DAVID OISTRAKH & YEHUDI MENUHIN, w. Georgescu Cond. Enescu Phil.: Concerto for Two Violins in d (Bach), live performance, 18 Sept., 1958 - First Enescu Festival. (Canada) St Laurent Studio T-1004. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0770)
MONIQUE de la BRUCHOLLERIE, w. Ansermet Cond. Boston S.O.: Piano Concerto #3 in d (Rachmaninoff), Live Performance, 14 Dec., 1951, Symphony Hall [de la Bruchollerie's North American debut]; MONIQUE de la BRUCHOLLERIE, w. Baudo Cond. Lamoureux Orch.: Piano Concerto #5 in F (Saint-Saens), Live Performance, 18 Nov., 1964, Salle Playel, Paris. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1013. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1349)
WITOLD MALCUZYNSKI: Chopin & Szymanowski Recital. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-863, Live Performances, 17 Sept., 1960 & 20 Dec., 1956. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1348)
RICHARD TAUBER, Vol. III: Songs by Giordani, Braga, Toselli, de Curtis, Leoncavallo, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Grieg, Meyer-Helmund, Luther, Radecke, Silcher, Stransky, Egen, Ries, Loewe, Strauss, Lehar, Reimann, Katsche & Hill; Arias from Don Giovanni, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Madama Butterfly, Paganini, Das Dreimaderlhaus & Der Evangelimann; Duets w. Carlotta Vanconti from Paganini. (Germany) 2-Truesound Transfers 4013, recorded 1925-1926. Transfers by Christian Zwarg. (V2632)
LOTTE SCHONE: The Complete Recordings, incl. Songs by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Wolf, Richard Strauss, Josef Strauss, Johann Strauss, Rossini, Rubinstein, Benedict, Debussy, Chausson, Ravel & Roussel; Arias & Duets (w.Wittrisch, Janssen, Domgraf-Fassbander & Hislop), from Nozze, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan Tutte, Die Zauberflote, Barbiere, Don Pasquale, Les Huguenots, Manon, Ballo, Rigoletto, Turandot, La Boheme, Madama Butterfly, Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Eine Nacht in Venedig, Der Vogelhandler, Der Obersteiger, The Geisha, Cagliostro in Wien, Die Schone Galathee, Der Arme Jonathan & Die Fledermaus. 5-Marston 55002, recorded 1921-50. Specially priced, 5-CDs for the price of 4. (V2630)
HELEN WATTS, w.Ryan Edwards (Pf.): Songs by Schumann, Britten & Mussorgsky. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1030, Live Performance, 16 Feb., 1969, Hunter College Playhouse, New York. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (V2634)
ELEANOR STEBER – AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, with Marcia Sloat. Ridgewood, NJ, Wordsworth, 1992. 268pp. 16 pages of Photos; List of Roles; Discography; DJ. (B0025)
DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN – Abridged (Complete, as performed), Live Performance, 11 June, 1953, w.Böhm Cond. Vienna Staatsoper Ensemble; Eleanor Steber, Elisabeth Höngen, Christel Goltz, Set Svanholm, Karl Kamann, Otto Wiener, Ilona Steingruber, etc. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1022 (OP3350)
MET SINGERS' ROUNDTABLE, Vol. VIII, incl. Francis Robinson recalls Giovanni Martinelli, 8 Feb., 1969; Francis Robinson recalls Rise Stevens, 7 Dec., 1968; Paul Hume interviews Charles Anthony, Paul Franke & Andrea Velis, 5 Feb., 1972; Licia Albanese. [In professional sound, the ideal gift for any opera lover who already has everything! These mementi are irresistible components to any aficionado's collection!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1001. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (V2633)
BOOKS ON SALE
“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] . . .
COLLECTOR ALERT ! ! !
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.
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P1342. JORGE BOLET: Chopin, Liszt, Liszt-Schubert & Schubert (incl. the latter's Wanderer Fantasy). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-838, Live Performance, 31 Jan., 1985, Paris. [Revel in one of the most beautiful piano recitals you are likely to encounter in quite a while] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
C1795. HERBERT von KARAJAN Cond. Berlin Phil.: 'Tragic' Symphony #6 in a (Mahler). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1044, Live Performance, 6 June, 1977, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
S0774. MAURICE GENDRON, w. Madeleine Lipatti (Pf.): Bach, Chopin, Schumann & Beethoven (the latter's Cello Sonata #3 in A & Cello Sonata #5 in D). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-964, Live Performance, 27 Nov., 1953, Salle Gaveau, Paris. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
OP3351. LE TROUVÈRE (IL TROVATORE) (in French), Broadcast Performance, 1954, w.Gressier Cond. Geneviève Moizan, Denise Scharley, Raphael Romagnoni, Charles Cambon, Adrien Legros, etc. (France) 2-Malibran 785. [A thrilling performance without a single weak link; Moizan certainly will note erase Milanov, etched in our sub-conscious, but she is a notable contender; Gressier's contribution is magnifique. Highly recommended!] - 7600003777850