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Historical Reissue Classical CDs, LPs, 78s,
Related Books & Ephemera
Since 1972


A glorious Abbado BALLO from Vienna . . .

Final copies of

PONSELLE, RAMEY & ZIMBALIST biographies . . .

our ‘SALE’ items continue

with additions each week . . .


  • JOHANN STRAUSS COLLECTION, early recordings, 1901 – 1951. (Japan) 8-Opus Kura 1006/13, recorded 1901-51. Out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 4582158684067 >(C1010)

    “This is an enormous treasure mine, with excellent transfers executed by Cho himself: they faithfully convey the warm, resonant sound preserved on the original shellac discs. This boxed set will never fail to please you. A comprehensive collection of recordings of the music of Johann Strauss, almost all of them come from a Japanese collector, Mayumi Cho, who began collecting all recordings of Johann Strauss' music just after the war. His collection exceeds 700 discs with no fewer than 100 versions of 'An der schönen blauen Donau'.”

    - Shuichiro Kawai, CLASSICAL RECORDINGS QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011

    "Whether you are an archivist, an audio engineer, or student, this production has a lot to offer in understanding the development of musical recordings. Strauss, particularly ‘Blue Danube’, was highly recorded by the various Gramophone companies because of its popularity and was in the public domain. Subsequently the recordists were familiar enough with its dynamics to explore the recording technology in order to create better takes over decades. In a sense it became a standard measure on the road to high fidelity recording, 78 records being the essential link between cylinders and audio quality that we know today. We have many of the evergreen waltzes, polkas, and operetta excerpts presented both in their original form and in a great variety of arrangements and adaptations, documenting a cornucopia of idiomatic performance styles and interpretive/re-creative traditions over the first half of the 20th century - much of it directly from younger contemporaries of the composer (d.1899). Although some of the orchestral (and a few of the vocal) items are famous recordings that have appeared in historic collections on other labels, most of the material is new to CD. Many of the recordings are obscure, so putting such a collection together is not only a tribute to the history of recorded music, it also must have been a labor of love by the producers of this set and the recordists who preceded them."

  • - Matthew Dougherty

  • (ROSA PONSELLE) James A. Drake. Rosa Ponselle, A Centenary Biography. Portland, OR, Amadeus, 1997. 494pp. Index; Bibliography; Exhaustive Chronology; Discography by Bill Park; Numerous Photos, many rare & unknown. Very long out-of-print, Final Hardbound Copy! (B0022)

    "One of this century's greatest sopranos, American-born Rosa Ponselle (1897-1981) was, by this account, a forceful personality, a self-absorbed diva, at times pretentious and petulant, who helped to create the myths surrounding her. With meticulous detective work, Drake, author of the authorized biography Ponselle published in 1982, here brings together, scrapbook style, extensive interviews with the singer, recollections by friends, family members, associates, and documentation (reviews, newspaper articles, correspondence) directly relevant to the events discussed in each interview. The author effectively challenges any number of legends involving Ponselle's penurious childhood in Connecticut, her vaudeville act in 1917-18 with her sister Carmelita, her spectacular operatic and concert career, her mismatched marriage at age 39 to Carl Jackson, the unmusical 29-year-old son of Baltimore's mayor, and her confinement to a psychiatric hospital in 1946, which triggered her return to the Catholic faith. A director of the University of Central Florida, Drake has produced a vibrant tribute to the energetic diva, with photos, memorabilia and a discography, published on the centenary of her birth."


    "Rosa Ponselle's voice was one of extraordinary beauty and voluptuousness. In its richness and depth, it has been compared by commentators at various times to port wine, maroon velvet and dark chocolate. The voice was absolutely even in its scale, from top to bottom, with all vocal registers seamlessly integrated and no audible changes of gear. Her legato singing was exemplary. She could sing at all dynamic levels, from a powerful forte to a gossamer pianissimo that carried to all corners of the opera house, and she could execute a perfect messa di voce in all parts of her range. In her early years, she had a three-octave range from low C to high C. She possessed an exceptionally rich and mellow middle and lower register. In weight and caliber Ponselle's voice was a true dramatic soprano, capable of encompassing all the demands of roles like La Gioconda and Norma. Although not a coloratura soprano in the mould of Tetrazzini or Galli-Curci, she had unusual flexibility for such a large and powerful voice and could negotiate fast scale passages with ease and accuracy, the proverbial 'string of pearls'. She possessed a fine trill that she could sustain seemingly forever: when she sang the trill in the cabaletta 'Tutto sprezzo' in Act I of Verdi's ERNANI, the story was that the conductor would simply fold his arms and wait for her to finish, picking up his baton only when she indicated that she was ready to come out of the trill. Added to the above, Ponselle was a sensitive musician and an imaginative interpreter. She was a quick study and could sight-read with accuracy. She possessed an excellent sense of rhythm. She was a convincing and intense actress, at times (in the opinion of some critics) pushing drama and intensity past the bounds of good taste. One can hear something of this in the denunciation scene in a 1935 performance of LA TRAVIATA, during which Ponselle's Violetta sobs and cries out and grows increasingly (and audibly) hysterical as Alfredo berates her. The principal flaw in Ponselle's voice, past the earliest years of her operatic career, was a problematic top register. Even in her earliest days, she had a phobia of the high C. In an interview in 1955, Ponselle said that the first thing she did when looking over a prospective role was flip through the score and count the high Cs. (The exposed high C in 'O patria mia' in AIDA terrified Ponselle and was the reason she did not sing more often a role that otherwise fitted her, vocally, like a glove.) Throughout her career Ponselle availed herself freely of transpositions. Apparently, she never sang any of the high Cs in NORMA but transposed them all down to a B. Her 'Sempre libera' in the live TRAVIATA is taken down a whole tone. In the later years of her career, but while she was still relatively young, her top register receded, and she was increasingly drawn to roles like Santuzza, Carmen and Adriana that did not tax her upper register. Some have speculated that Ponselle was by nature a mezzo-soprano with an exceptional upper extension. This theory is bolstered by the dark richness and solidity of her lower register. Ponselle herself once told mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne that she might have studied as a mezzo had she not begun singing so young. More likely, however, Ponselle, like Horne and Regina Resnik, started out as a true soprano, but as her voice matured it darkened and settled into a lower placement. If Ponselle had continued to sing in opera into the 1940s, she would probably have done so as a mezzo-soprano."

  • - Z. D. Akron

  • (SAMUEL RAMEY) Jane Scovell. Samuel Ramey, American Bass. Accompanied by Ramey CD. Fort Worth, TX, Baskerville, 2009. 278pp. Index; Chronology; Discography; Numerous Photos; DJ. Very long out-of-print, Final Hardbound Copy! (B0291)

    “We owe Jane Scovell a debt of gratitude for undertaking SAMUEL RAMEY: AMERICAN BASS. There is no doubt that Ramey is one of the principal singers of our day, and Scovell has performed an estimable job of research and writing.

    This writer will never forget witnessing the final performance of the run of the series of RINALDO, at the Metropolitan, Ramey's 1984 debut at that theatre. First, the production, by Frank Corsaro, was marvelous, and the rest of the cast was peopled by the likes of Marilyn Horne, John Alexander, Benita Valente, and Edda Moser! We were all stunned at Ramey's entrance, made atop a chariot, singing with an agility that belied his big, glorious voice. For this writer, the sense of exaltation has been present only, in our day, in two male singers, Treigle and Jon Vickers. One can name several women who had/have this quality, but for some reason it is even rarer in men.”

    - Brian Morgan

    “Basses are not typically the superstars of the operatic world, but Samuel Ramey is an exception to that rule. Though his voice does not have the sonority of a Nicolai Ghiaurov or a Boris Christoff, his instrument is remarkable for its easy flexibility -- dealing effortlessly with long runs, ornaments, and leaps -- and its brilliant intensity. His stage presence (particularly when portraying ‘devil’ figures) is vivid and lively, aided by an attractive physique and a dancer-like grace. He and the various stage directors have tended to emphasize these aspects, giving rise to the comment that ‘Ramey's Mefistofele has everything one could desire, except possibly a shirt’."

  • - Anne Feeney,

  • (EFREM ZIMBALIST) Roy Malan. Efrem Zimbalist, A Life. Milwaukee, WI, Amadeus, 2004. 372pp. Index; Bibliography; Discography; Numerous Photos; DJ. Very long out-of-print, Final Hardbound Copy! (B0006)

    ”Efrem Zimbalist, along with Jascha Heifetz, Mischa Elman and Nathan Milstein, was one of the distinguished alumni of Leopold Auer's legendary violin classes in Czarist St. Petersburg. From his first American appearance in 1911 - when he played the United States premiere of Alexander Glazunov's Concerto in a minor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra - until his retirement from the concert stage more than 40 years later, Mr. Zimbalist was acclaimed by colleagues, critics and the general public as one of the most respected musical figures of his time.

    ‘Less emotional than Elman's and less perfectionist than Heifetz's, Zimbalist's interpretations derived their strength from a searching penetration into the meaning of the music’, the late Boris Schwarz wrote in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. ‘His quiet temperament led to unhurried tempos; his performances were noble, fine-grained, never extrovert. In general he avoided virtuoso exhibitionism, yet he could play Paganini with flair’.

    Olin Downes, the music critic of THE NEW YORK TIMES from 1924 until 1957, reviewed the violinist's formal farewell recital in November 1949: 'The instant Mr. Zimbalist played the first six notes of the Beethoven sonata one knew that he was in the presence of a consummate musician, unsurpassed among violinists for the sincerity, the knowledge and the reverence in which he holds his art. He touched nothing that he did not give distinction and high dignity’.

    In 1928, Mr. Zimbalist joined the violin faculty of the newly formed Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, becoming the head of the department two years later (upon the death of Auer, who had followed his celebrated students to America). Mr. Zimbalist was appointed the director of the institute in 1941, a position he held until 1968. Oscar Shumsky and Norman Carol were two of his best known violin students.

    During his first American tour in 1911, Mr. Zimbalist met the Metropolitan Opera soprano Alma Gluck on a ferry to New Jersey. They were married three years later, after a courtship during which Mr. Zimbalist followed the soprano back and forth to Europe a dozen times. He toured in joint recital with his wife until her retirement in 1925. Miss Gluck died in 1938; in 1943, Mr. Zimbalist married Mary Louis Curtis Bok, the widow of Edward W. Bok, and the founder of the Curtis Institute.

    Three years after Mr. Zimbalist's farewell recital, he returned to the stage to give the premiere performance of Gian Carlo Menotti's Violin Concerto, which was dedicated to him. He played Beethoven's Violin Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra as late as 1955, and served on the jury of the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow in 1962 and 1966. He continued to practice the violin for a half hour every day until a few months before his death.

    With his friend Fritz Kreisler, Mr. Zimbalist made the first recording of Bach's Concerto for Two Violins in D minor in 1915; a gracious, leisurely performance, it was named by Kreisler many years later when enumerating his favorite records.”

    - Tim Page, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 23 Feb., 1985

    "This authorized biography by one of Efrem Zimbalist’s students is very enjoyable reading….Roy Malan brings his teacher to life, giving many examples of his wry sense of humor, showing the development of his political views as a participant in the student strike in Russia in 1905 to his latter-day political and fiscal conservatism, his easy-going yet taciturn nature, and, most important, his noble, subdued musicianship. While Zimbalist has been seen as a rather distant third in the trinity of Leopold Auer’s first three and greatest students (with Mischa Elman and Jascha Heifetz) he was the most musical of the three and was free of their distracting mannerisms."

    - Joseph Magil, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, July/Aug., 2005

    "Violinist and educator Efrem Zimbalist (1890-1985) led a legendary life in music in an age of violin legends. Of the dazzling stars to emerge from the Russian School at the beginning of the 20th century, Zimbalist earned a special place. David Oistrakh compared him to Heifetz: 'While Heifetz conquered by sheer brilliance, Zimbalist captivated people by appealing to profound mysteries of heart and soul'. Zimbalist was also one of the century's great teachers, for 40 years devoting himself to the renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, serving as its director from 1941 to 1968. His was a remarkable journey, fortunately recounted in hundreds of hours of taped interviews with author and Curtis Institute student Roy Malan, longtime concertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Malan then waited nearly a decade after Zimbalist's death before seeking publication, so that the story could be told in its entirety. This definitive biography of the world's first globe-trotting virtuoso also includes a discography and a list of Zimbalist's students."

  • - Amadeus


  • SERGIU CELIBIDACHE Cond. Danish National S.O.: Johann Strauss Waltzes, Marches & Polkas; Bolero (Ravel); Capriccio Italien (Tschaikowsky); Maskarade - Overture (Nielsen); Rehearsals & Interview. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1082, Live Performance, 12 & 13 Dec., 1970, Copenhagen. [Once in a very rare while my day is transformed by a truly magical concert, and this one is among the very best; the audience's responses make me realize I'm not deluded! Every piece is uniquely transformed! - J. R. Peters] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1839)

  • ROMEO ET JULIETTE - Excerpts, recorded 1911, w.Ruhlmann Cond. Yvonne Gall, Agustarello Affre, Marcel Journet, Henri Albers, Alexis Boyer. (France) Malibran AMR 200. [AMR titles are issued without rear tray-cards] (OP3364)

  • ROSE ADER: Songs by Cimarosa, Schumann & Schubert; Arias from Otello, La Boheme, Madama Butterfly & Turandot - recorded 1928-52; EDITH BACH: Two songs; FRITZI JOKL: Arias from Nozze, Les Huguenots, Martha, Don Pasquale & Alessandro Stradella; HENRIETTA GOTTLIEB: Siegfried - Ewig war ich; w.WALTER KIRCHHOFF: Heil dir Sonne; w.LUDWIG WEBER: Die Walkure - Nicht weise bin ich, doch wusst ich das eine. (France) Malibran AMR 198, w.notes n French and English. [AMR titles are issued without rear tray-cards] (V2642)

  • TOSCA (in French) - Excerpts, recorded 1963, w.Dervaux Cond. Suzanne Sarroca, Guy Chauvet, Roger Bourdin, etc. (France) Malibran AMR 199. [AMR titles are issued without rear tray-cards] (OP3363)

  • VOCAL RECORD COLLECTORS' SOCIETY - 2019-20 Issue: Ernest van Dyck, Emma Carelli, Clarence Whitehill, Otakar Marak, Vincenzo Bettoni, Adele Ponzano, Rosina Buckman, Sophie Braslau, Leopold Demuth, Luigi Abrate, Emile Marcelin, Andree Marilliet, Helena Forti, Rogelio Baldrich, Clemens Andrijenko, Karl Schmitt-Walter, Verna Osborne, Bidu Sayao, Evelyn Herbert, Giorgio Sembri & Frieda Van Hessen. VRCS-2019-20. Transfers by Seth B. Winner. (V2641)

  • A SURVEY of BRITISH TENORS BEFORE PETER PEARS, incl. Dan Beddoe, Webster Booth, Tom Burke, Joseph Cheetham, John Coates, Sydney Coltham, Ben Davies, Tudor Davies, Hubert Eisdell, Gervase Elwes, Walter Glynne, William Green, John Harrison, Gregory Hast, Ruby Helder, Joseph Hislop, Walter Hyde, James Johnston, Hirwen Jones, Arthur Jordan, Morgan Kingston, Edward Lloyd, John McCormack, Frank Mullings, Heddle Nash, Joseph O’Mara, Charles Saunders, Herbert Teale, Frank Titterton, Henry Wendon, Walter Widdop & Evan Williams 3-Marston 53020, recorded 1901-42. Transfers by Ward Marston. Elaborate 111pp Booklet has notes by Michael Aspinall. [A treasurable program, mandatory for lovers of the art song] (V2637)

  • JEAN-PIERRE RAMPAL & JACQUELINE BONNEAU: Fantasie (Faure); JEAN-PIERRE RAMPAL & LILY LASKINE, w.Jacques Lancelot, Luben Jordanoff, Jean, Pierre & Etienne Pasquier: Introduction et Allegro (Ravel); PIERRE BERNAC (Bar.) & FRANCIS POULENC (Pf.): Debussy Songs; MARGUERITE LONG, w.Jean, Pierre & Etienne Pasquier: Piano Quartet #1 in c minor, Op. 15 [the Scherzo is repeated as a welcome Encore] (Faure). [What a glorious evening this must have been! The Piano Quartet sails by in grand and delicate style!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-952, Live Performance, 9 May, 1957, Salle Gaveau, Paris. (W0051)

  • LOEWENGUTH QUARTET (Alfred Loewenguth, Maurice Fueri, Roger Roche & Pierre Basseux): String Quartet in G, Op. 112 (Florent Schmitt), Broadcast Performance, 13 Oct., 1956, Paris; LOWENGUTH QUARTET, w.ALFRED LOEWENGUTH & JEAN DOYEN: Piano Quintet in b, Op.51 (Florent Schmitt), Broadcast Performance, 4 May, 1956, Paris; ALFRED LOWENGUTH & AIMEE van de WIELE: Violin Sonata in c (Bach), Broadcast Performance, 14 June, 1958, Paris. [Another Loewenguth treasure!] (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1083. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0781)

  • VLADO PERLEMUTER - Ravel d'apres Ravel, w.Jacques Beaudry Cond. ORTF S.O.: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D (Ravel), Live Performance, 26 Jan., 1966; Interviews w. Vlado Perlemuter & Jacques Beaudry, guided by Bernard Gavoty. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1028, w.broadcast announcements throughout these recitals. [Outstanding performances in deservedly superb sound!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1372)

  • JORGE BOLET, w.Leopold Stokowski Cond. American S.O.: Piano Concerto #2 in g (Rachmaninoff), Live Performance, 12 Oct., 1971, Carnegie Hall [What a beautiful performance, especially in the grandeur of Carnegie Hall's warm & spacious acoustic!]; w.Gunter Wand Cond. NDR S.O.: Piano Concerto #1 in b-flat (Tschaikowsky), Live Performance, 14 Jan., 1985, Hamburg [Another marvelous performance, equally brilliant in a vast acoustic!]. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-963. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1371)

  • GEZA ANDA, w.Fricsay Cond. Deutsches S.O.: Piano Concerto #3 in c (Beethoven), Live Performance, 5 Feb., 1961, Grosser Sendessal, Berlin; w.Jochum Cond. RTF S.O.: Piano Concerto #3 in E (Bartok), Live Performance 20 Sept., 1960, Montreux, Switzerland; 1967 Interview w.Anda in French. [Monumental performances; the Beethoven cadenza will grasp your breath!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1070. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1370)

  • JOSEF LHEVINNE: The Complete Josef Lhevinne: Josef Lhevinne, Rosina Lhevinne, Members of Perole String Quartet, John Barbirolli Cond. NYPO, etc.: Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Tschaikowsky, Rachmaninoff, & Schulz-Evler. 3-Marston 53023, recorded 1920-36. (P1369)

  • ARTURO TOSCANINI: Victor Recordings Restored, Vol. III, incl. Philadelphia Orchestra: La Mer (Debussy); ‘Pathetique’ Symphony #6 in b (Tschaikowsky), recorded 8 / 9 Feb., 1942, Carnegie Hall; ARTURO TOSCANINI Cond. NBC S.O.: Symphony #98 in B-flat (Haydn); Barbiere & Cenerentola – Overtures (Rossini), all recorded 1945; Die Meistersinger - Act I Prelude (Wagner), recorded 11 March, 1946; w.ANIA DORFMANN: Piano Concerto #1 in C (Beethoven), recorded 9 Aug., 1945. Includes 18pp Booklet with Program Notes by Robert Matthew-Walker & Richard Caniell. (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1125. (C1837)

  • YALE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY - TREASURES FROM THE YALE COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL SOUND RECORDINGS, featuring Abendroth, Senger-Bettaque, Korolewicz-Wayda, Monrad, Ekman, Santagano-Gorchakova, Lilli Lehmann (incl. the celebrated Unpublished 'Liebestod,' 1907, [from Lehmann's private 'Test Pressing,' only known copy]), Winkelmann, Mayr, Jarnefelt, Kruszelnicka, Seligman, Marak, Levik, Simonsen, Destinn, Tartakov, Gibert, Maturova, Filippi-Myzhuga, O'Sullivan, Litvinne, de Lussan, Henschel, Greef-Andreissen, Saville, Lassalle, Gailhard, Tariol-Bauge, Muratore, Piccaluga, Marie de Lisle, Clement, Pandolfini, Carelli, Pacini, Marconi, Giraldoni, Sistermans, Antonio Pini-Corsi, Giraud, Caruso, Vasquez, Ferrani, Corradetti & Tamagno. 2-Yale University Library. Long out-of-print, Final Copies, Specially priced at $9.90! (V0639)




    “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.

    Take a look at our exciting array of Broadway & Off-Broadway Original Cast and London Original Cast LPs, all in superb condition.

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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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  • Johann Strauss Collection of Mayumi Cho       (8-Opus Kura 1006/13)
    C1010. JOHANN STRAUSS COLLECTION, early recordings, 1901 – 1951. (Japan) 8-Opus Kura 1006/13, recorded 1901-51. Out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 4582158684067
    Regular price: $199.90
    Sale price: $99.95