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Related Books & Ephemera
Since 1972


MAGDA OLIVERO again remembered by



von KARAJAN’s Mahler 4th . . .



  • 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. Specially priced at Three discs for the price of Two. (OP3355)

    “This is the second release by Immortal Performances devoted to the artistry of the legendary Italian soprano Magda Olivero (1910-2014). …This new issue comprises a 1966 Palermo IRIS (receiving its CD premiere in complete form), along with excerpts from Olivero opera performances and recitals….In the 1930s, Olivero established herself an important artist. Then in the early 1940s, at what seemed to be the height of her career, Magda Olivero retired from the stage to devote herself to her family. In 1950, Olivero received a letter from Franceso Cilea. The composer, in failing health and what proved to be the final year of his life, implored Olivero to return to the stage to perform one of her most celebrated heroines, the title role in Cilea’s opera ADRIANA LECOUVREUR. Olivero acceded to Cilea’s wish, marking the beginning of the second phase of her career. On April 3, 1975, at the age of 65, Olivero made her Met debut in Puccini’s TOSCA. Even after her retirement at the age of 71, Olivero continued to sing beautifully….The word ‘genius’ is often too liberally applied when it comes to artistic expression, but I believe it is a fitting description of Magda Olivero. Her basic vocal gifts were, truth be told, rather unremarkable. Olivero’s voice did not approach the natural beauty of Milanov, Tebaldi, or Caballe, the power of Nilsson, or the individual timbre of Callas. But Olivero deployed her instrument with breathtaking technical mastery and artistic insight. As a result, Olivero was able to create the impression of a voice of arresting beauty, a rich and varied palette of colors, and impressive dynamic range, power, and breath control. Olivero’s patrician diction was crystal-clear. A beautiful and elegant woman, Olivero’s stage presence was both regal and entirely convincing from a dramatic perspective. And among verismo sopranos, it was Magda Olivero who best displayed the unerring sense of how to push the emotional stakes to their absolute limit, without descending into poor taste or bombast. When Magda Olivero performed a death scene, the audience could easily be persuaded it was witnessing the real thing. Sad to say, Olivero’s studio recordings are few. There are only two such documents of complete operas; Olivero’s Liu in the 1938 Cetra TURANDOT, and Decca’s 1969 FEDORA. Those interested in exploring the legacy of Magda Olivero have searched for her in-performance recordings, of which, thank goodness, there are many.

    The centerpiece of the new Immortal Performances three-disc set is a broadcast of a March 10, 1966 Teatro Massimo de Palermo staging of IRIS. The September 12, 1956 Turin Radio broadcast, included in the previous IP Olivero set, is excellent on many counts, not the least of which, of course, is Olivero’s stunning performance as the innocent and wronged Iris. But Olivero fans will want to have this Iris as well. The IP release is the first of the performance in complete form, and is taken from the RAI master tapes. Ten years have elapsed since the 1956 Turn Iris [OP3323], and Olivero is just two weeks shy of her 56th birthday. But on this occasion, Olivero is, if anything, in more fresh and youthful voice than in the Turin broadcast. Olivero is therefore able to portray in even more convincing fashion the childish innocence of Iris. In addition, the level of vocal security is breathtaking, with Olivero easily able to surmount the dramatic, climactic moments. As a result of these components, Iris’ abduction to a brothel, imprecation by her father, and transformative death are all the more affecting. It’s a brilliant performance, and a wonderful document of this incomparable verismo soprano.

    Sad to say, many of Olivero’s performances preserved on recordings find her paired with tenors who, to put it charitably, may be characterized as ‘provincial’. That is the case with the Osaka of this performance, Giuseppe Gismondo….Gismondo shows little interest in variety of dynamics, or suppleness of phrasing. Gismondo certainly doesn’t lack for volume, or power in the upper register, but he really has no place alongside an artist of Olivero’s stature. The remainder of the cast is much better. Mario Basiola, Jr. brings a warm, lyric baritone and keen dramatic instincts to the role of the scheming Kyoto. Bass Enrico Campi has an appropriately sonorous voice for the role of Iris’ blind father, and is willing to throw himself into the drama….The smaller parts are well performed, with special mention kudos to the wonderful comprimario tenor Florindo Andreolli, who sings beautifully in the final act in the brief role of the Ragpicker. The veteran Oliviero de Fabritiis, an esteemed conductor of Italian opera, leads a compelling performance, one that is deferential to the principle artists, Olivero especially, without sacrificing the work’s overall momentum. The Orchestra and Chorus of Palermo’s Teatro Massimo perhaps deliver the score with more enthusiasm than polish, but the overall effect is still powerful and satisfying. The recorded sound, while not equivalent to mid-60s studio recordings, or even the finest broadcasts of the era, is still perfectly respectable. Although the dynamic range is somewhat limited, the singers are heard with clarity, and a fair representation of their vocal colors. You will certainly be able to enjoy in full the strengths of this performance, and in particular, Olivero’s genius. A spoken introduction, in Italian, precedes the broadcast.

    ….The wonderful 1939 Cetra recording of the ‘Cherry Duet’ from Mascagni’s L’AMICO FRITZ [follows the IRIS]. Fritz was another Fernando de Lucia role. His successor in the 1939 Cetra recording is tenor Ferruccio Tagliavini, in his finest, sweetest voice, performing with sensitivity, and in response to Olivero’s lovely Suzel, growing ardor. I also think that IP’s restoration of this excerpt betters the official Cetra version, here offering a more focused and multicolored document of the singers. Another ‘Cherry Duet’, this time a 1958 RAI telecast (with piano accompaniment), pairs Olivero with Claudio Villa. Despite the fact that Villa was what we might call a tenorino, and one who specialized in popular repertoire, he acquits himself beautifully here, and Olivero makes sure to match her vocal color and weight to the boundaries of her partner’s abilities. Yet another marvelous tenor, Flaviano Labo, partners Olivero in excerpts from a 1964 Rio de Janeiro performance of Boito’s MEFISTOFELE, with the magnificent bass Cesare Siepi in the title role. All of these artists are in top form. Olivero brings down the house with a hair-raisingly intense rendition of Margherita’s ‘L’altra notte’. Richard Caniell and IP have done their best with the source material. And while it is far from ideal, IP gives us this performance in its most listenable sound to date. The remainder of the set, presenting Olivero in recital performing various operatic excerpts, provides one treasure after another. Olivero, perhaps as convincingly as any soprano I’ve heard (and this includes Callas), was able to embody fully a three-dimensional character in the few-minute span of an isolated aria. All of the verismo excerpts are sung with an intensity of purpose and mastery of style and that are in a class of their own. Of special interest will be the two concluding excerpts on the final disc, taken from a 1958 RAI Milano recital. I doubt anyone would pick ‘Ombra mai fu’ from Handel’s XERXES as a natural fit for Olivero’s voice and talents. It is true that the lower tessitura poses some problems, and the rendition is shorn of the ornamentation we would expect today. But the nobility of declamation and sustained vocal line, and the intense feeling Olivero invests in the music make this a treasure. Even better is the concluding ‘Liebestod’ from Wagner’s TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, sung in Italian. Olivero adopts a trance-like, inward state at the start, inexorably blossoming to the height of unbridled, ecstatic passion. It may be that Olivero did not possess an ideal, or even appropriate voice, for this music, but I defy anyone to listen to this performance and in its wake, maintain that belief.

    The accompanying booklet includes yet another superb essay from Stephen Hastings, as elegantly written and argued as it is informative, Richard Caniell’s plot synopsis for IRIS, as well as his Recording Notes, artist bios, along with some beautiful photos and paintings. It’s clear that Richard Caniell harbors a profound admiration and affection for Magda Olivero and her extraordinary legacy. And in releases like this, he pays the finest tribute possible. Of supreme importance to Olivero fans, and to those who want to explore the legacy of a unique and magnificent artist.”

    - Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, March / April, 2020

    “Immortal Performances has already issued a 1956 Italian radio broadcast of Pietro Mascagni’s IRIS starring Magda Olivero, and with a far better tenor than we have here….So why has the label chosen to put out a different performance with the same soprano? Once you listen, the answer is clear. As fine as Olivero was in that 1956 performance [OP3323], she is absolutely on fire here. This was a staged performance, the other an RAI studio broadcast. Perhaps this explains the difference. Also, in Olivero di Fabritiis she had one of the finest conductors of his generation in the verismo repertoire. The two work together to give an astonishingly vivid performance.

    Those who are passionate about opera would be making a mistake to skip this release. Olivero is riveting. As Stephen Hastings observes in his superb essay accompanying this edition, ‘She projects the character much more boldly’ when compared to the RAI broadcast. One of Olivero’s many strengths is her ability to sing consistently through the passaggio, the area where so many singers have difficulty maintaining consistency of sound in the bridge between middle and upper registers. Mascagni wrote a great many notes for Iris situated in the passaggio, but Olivero seems to have no difficulty at all with it. Not only does she manage vocally, but she also does so with such technical prowess that she is still able to color her voice for dramatic impact with no audible evidence of whatever technique she might be using. This performance, along with the famed ARIANA LECOUVREUR from Teatro San Carlo in Naples in 1959 with Franco Corelli, Ettore Bastianini, and Giulietta Simionato (also transferred brilliantly by Immortal Performances) represents the best example of Olivero’s vocal and dramatic artistry….

    Also included are a number of scenes from various RAI broadcasts [plus] four arias from a 1959 Vatican Radio recital include a deeply touching rendition of ‘Addio del passato’ from the last act of LA TRAVIATA, where Olivero holds on to the final sustained soft note as Violetta might be trying to hold on to a life that is fading away.

    This group is followed by four selections from a 1958 RAI Milan recital, each a gem, particularly an aria from Catalani’s LORELEY that is gorgeously sung and the ‘Liebestod’ from TRISTAN UND ISOLDE. I doubt that Olivero had the vocal heft for a complete TRISTAN…but as a recital performance this excerpt, even in Italian, is magnificent.

    All of the felicities that are common with Immortal Performances’ releases are present here, including a lavish booklet with very insightful commentary by Stephen Hastings, artists’ bios, notes by Richard Caniell on the recordings themselves, and lovely photographs. The three generously filled discs are being sold for the price of two. This set is a truly magnificent tribute to a great soprano. Very few singers imprint themselves in the memory with the force of Olivero.”

  • - Henry Fogel, FANFARE, March / April, 2020

  • 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)

    “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., 1990

    "Composer Jean Francaix wrote in an accessible, attractive style that often led listeners and commentators to ignore the depth and originality present in much of his music. His father was the director of the Le Mans Conservatory. His mother was a teacher and choir director on its staff. He began to study piano when he was four. Before he was ten he had music lessons from Isidor Philipp (piano) and Nadia Boulanger (harmony, counterpoint, composition). He published a composition at the age of ten, Pour Jacqueline, a piano suite dedicated to his baby cousin.

    In 1930 he won first prize in piano at the Paris Conservatory. Pierre Monteux premiered his Symphony in 1932. In the same year he wrote his Concertino for Piano & Orchestra. The premiere of the work in 1934 made Françaix's reputation. He quickly came into demand and the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo commissioned a ballet, 'Scuola di ballo' (Dance School), choreographed by Leonide Massine, based on themes of Boccherini. He wrote a piano concerto in 1936 and played it on his first American trip, in 1938. He toured often with cellist Maurice Gendron, the Trio Pasquier and, later, with his daughter Claude as a piano duo partner."

  • - Joseph Stevenson,

  • 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)

    “By the time Karajan made his DG studio recording of the Mahler Fourth in February, 1979, no one didn’t have an opinion about him. In the welter of fame, power, adulation, denigration, and revelations about his activities during the Third Reich, it became hard simply to sit down and listen. I shake my head over the numberless reviews that spoon feed someone’s fixed beliefs, but more than 30 years after his death, I am optimistic that a superb performance like this live Mahler Fourth from 1980 can cast its spell without knee-jerk reflexes.

    Even Karajan’s harshest detractors, many clustered in America rather than the UK or Germany, were forced to concede that he had built the Berlin Philharmonic into the world’s greatest orchestra, and one is struck here by the lustrous depth of the fabled Berlin strings in the slow movement. But it’s important not to trip up here, because reviewers put together Karajan and any date after the mid-Seventies as a case of over-refinement, glib smoothness, and a gleaming surface polish empty of deeper meaning. Nothing of the sort applies here. The slow movement exhibits thoughtfulness, delicacy, an astonishing variety of subtle moods, and dramatic tension to relive the stream of legato melody. Karajan vies for emotional authenticity with Walter, Bernstein, Barbirolli, and Tennstedt in this music. For me, he surpasses them all.

    The finale rises to the same level of musical imagination. The whole movement is wonderfully alive, and when the verse arrives about 11,000 maidens giving themselves over to dancing, no one I’ve ever heard invests the music with such hushed mystery. It’s a lovely example of Karajan applying delicacy of imagination. In Edith Mathis he has one of the few sopranos who sings with flawless technique, never losing breath control in the fast passages. Mathis has a pure lyric tone that’s quite engaging, but she doesn’t go as deeply into the text as I’d like, and there’s no attempt at portraying a child’s wide-eyed innocence. She is surrounded by the Philharmonie’s roomy ambience, which thankfully doesn’t blur her excellent diction.

    To these two masterful movements I’d add the first movement even though it introduces a criticism that has some validity in my mind. Mahler’s sense of humor isn’t conveyed - he lamented in a letter that no one really caught on to it - and Karajan doesn’t exploit the quirks in Mahler’s orchestration, the music’s extreme gestures, or its moments of darkness. For that, no one I know is better than Valery Gergiev with the London Symphony (LSO Live) and Vladimir Jurowski with the London Philharmonic on the orchestra’s house label. Karajan’s genial approach needs no special pleading, however; he’s in the same tradition as Bruno Walter and, leaving Mengelberg aside, it must be said that an older generation was apt to treat the Mahler Fourth, with some inner relief, as his most normal music. It gave conductors a chance to convey unspoiled beauty without intrusions of agitated turmoil. In that line Karajan’s reading achieves the unalloyed beauty it sets out to achieve.

    Where I have to temper my admiration a little is the second movement - concertmaster Michel Schwalbe makes too little of the grotesquerie of the Devil’s fiddle part. As with the klezmer band interlude in the First Symphony, this bit of folk parody has become more antic and caricatured since this performance took place. There was a more rounded treatment of both episodes in the past, and by no means is Karajan asleep at the wheel. The second movement is full of vibrancy and energy.

    I have seen this live performance on only one other tiny label, Sardana, where it was presented in artificial SACD sound. Thanks to the excellent remastering by Yves St-Laurent, the sound here is close to studio quality. Given the heightened atmosphere of a live performance, I prefer this 1980 version over DG’s commercial release (which wasn’t one of Karajan’s commercial triumphs; it was relegated to the label’s mid-priced Galleria line). I won’t disguise that I am almost the only Fanfare reviewer in a long line who has such a deep admiration for Karajan; his Mahler in particular has come in for a fair amount of scorn.

    To each his own is an iron-clad rule in the arts, so I can only repeat that the simple act of sitting down and listening to what is before us can dissolve the weight of prejudice. In this case, what I found before me was a Mahler Fourth of unusual beauty and interest.”

  • - Huntley Dent, FANFARE

  • 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)

    "The first performance of Debussy's PELLEAS ET MELISANDE in 1902 made a major impact upon Inghelbrecht and he was to be associated with the music of that composer throughout his life. Jacques Rouche engaged Inghelbrecht as conductor at the Theatre des Arts in 1908, where he directed the first performance of Florent Schmitt's LA TRAGEDIE DE SALOME, and in 1911 he was chorusmaster for the stage premiere of Debussy's mystery-play with dance, LE MARTYRE DE SAINT SEBASTIEN; he later conducted with distinction its revival as a concert piece in 1912. In order to give Paris a first-class choir, Inghelbrecht founded the Association Chorale Professionelle in 1912 and in the same year was appointed director of music at the newly constructed Theatre des Champs-Elysees, where he conducted the theatre's opening season productions. These included Berlioz's BENVENUTO CELLINI, Mussorgsky's BORIS GODUNOV, and Dukas' LA PERI.

    After World War I in 1919, Inghelbrecht founded the Concerts Pleyel with the objective of performing the music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He toured Europe with the Ballets Suedois between 1920 and 1923, conducting the first performances of LES MARIES DE LA TOUR EIFFEL by Les Six, and Milhaud's L'HOMME ET SON DESIR (both in 1921) and on his return to France became chief conductor at the Opera-Comique, Paris (1924-1925). He then held a succession of posts - second conductor at the Concerts Pasdeloup (1928-1932), chief conductor of the Algerian Opera (1929-1930), and once again chief conductor at the Opera-Comique (1932-1933) - before embarking upon his major achievement: the formation in 1934 of the top radio orchestra in France, the Orchestre National de Radio France, of which he was chief conductor until the liberation of France at the end of World War II. He continued to conduct this orchestra until the end of his life, including on tour to England in 1953, even during the years (1945-1950) when he was chief conductor at the Paris Opera.

    Inghelbrecht knew Debussy well, and specialised in the performance of his music throughout his career. He recorded works by Debussy both before and after World War II, on 78rpm and long-playing records, keeping alive a style of interpretation which he sedulously maintained to the end of his life. His performances of Debussy's music were direct and precise, and without any hint of 'impressionism'. His own compositions, especially those written when he was young, clearly showed the influence of Debussy. Among the most well-known of his works are LA NURSERY, composed between 1905 and 1932, the ballet EL GRECO of 1920, and the REQUIEM of 1941. He also wrote several books on different aspects of conducting."

  • - David Patmore, A-Z of Conductors

    . . . 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)

  • 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!] Specially priced at Three discs for the price of Two. (OP3353)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • PIERRE BOULEZ Cond. BBC S.O., w. HELEN WATTS, IAN PARTRIDGE & JULES BASTIN: ROMEO ET JULIETTE (Berlioz). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1061, Live Performance, 13 Nov., 1974, Royal Festival Hall, London. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1802)

  • SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY Cond. Boston S.O.: Peter Grimes - Orchestral Interludes & Passacaglia (Britten); Le Poeme de l'extase (Scriabin); Scythian Suite (Prokofiev). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-870, Live Performances, 1946 & 1948, Symphony Hall, Sanders Theatre (Cambridge) & Metropolitan Theatre (Providence). Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1801)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • NEW GROVE DICTIONARY OF MUSIC AND MUSICIANS, Stanley Sadie, Ed., 1980 Edition. (Hong Kong) Macmillan, 1981, c.25,845pp., in 20 Volumes. Bound in original publishers brown cloth, blue title label, gilt lettering, this 1980 edition includes 22,500 articles and 16,500 biographies. [this 20 volume set will involve extra shipping charges to some countries] (B0216)

  • KUTSCH & RIEMENS. UNVERGANGLICHE STIMMEN - Sangerlexikon (Biographical Dictionary of Singers) [German Text]. Bern, Francke, 1997. 5-Volume Set has 3980pp. featuring over 14,500 persons, many obscure. DJ Final copy! [this 5 volume set will involve extra shipping charges to some countries] (B0206)

  • 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)

  • 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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  • Iris (Mascagni)  (Oliviero de Fabritiis;  Magda Olivero, Giuseppe Gismondo, etc. ) (3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1133)
    OP3355. 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. Specially priced at Three discs for the price of Two. – 787790470106
    Maurice Gendron, Vol. III;  Jean Francaix   (St Laurent Studio YSL T-1054)
    S0776. MAURICE GENDRON, w. Jean Françaix (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 (Françaix), Live Perf., 4 July, 1952, Saarbrücken. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1054. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
    Herbert von Karajan, Vol. VI - Mahler 4th;  Edith  Mathis   (St Laurent Studio YSL T-1050)
    C1808. 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.
    Desire-Emile Inghelbrecht, Vol. XIII;  Ginette Guillamat & Denise Boursin   (St Laurent Studio YSL T-1019)
    C1809. DESIRE-EMILE INGHELBRECHT Cond. RTF S.O.: Weihnachts-Oratorium - Sinfonia (Bach); German Dances, K.605 (Mozart); Kinderszenen (Schumann); Hänsel und Gretel - Pantomime (Humperdinck); Ma Mère L'Oye (Ravel); w.Ginette Guillamat: La Légende de Saint-Nicolas (Cond. by the Composer); Noël des enfants qui n'ont plus de maison (Debussy); Les enfantines (The Nursery)- Excerpts (Mussorgsky); w.Ginette Guillamat & Denise Boursin: Weihnachts-Oratorium - Flösst, mein Heiland, flösst dein Namen (Bach). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1019, Live Performance,25 Dec., 1952, Théâtre des Champs Elysées. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.