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MET SINGERS’ ROUNDTABLE, Vol. II,

with LEHMANN & JERITZA . . .

RICHARD CROOKS in LA TRAVIATA & MANON . . .

VRCS - 2018 Issue & REINER . . .

many more operas on ‘sale’



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  • LA TRAVIATA, Live Performance, 23 Dec., 1939, w.Panizza Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Helen Jepson, Richard Crooks, Lawrence Tibbett, etc., replete with Milton Cross' commentaries; MANON, Live Performance, 23 Jan., 1940, w.Pelletier Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Grace Moore, Richard Crooks, John Brownlee, Nicola Moscona, etc., replete with Milton Cross' commentaries; Studio recordings by Grace Moore & Richard Crooks. (Canada) 4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1115, w.Elaborate 53pp Booklet. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Notes by Gerald Parker & Richard Caniell. The four discs are priced as three by Immortal Performances. (OP3340)

    “The unifying artistic force in this Immortal Performances release (four CDs priced as three) of two Met broadcasts is the American tenor Richard Crooks. After studies and early performances in the United States, the Trenton, NJ-born Crooks traveled to Europe where he established himself as an important artist. After returning to his homeland, Crooks made his debut at the Met on February 25, 1933, performing one of his signature roles, Des Grieux in Massenet’s MANON, an opera included in this set. Crooks sang leading roles at the Met until December 3, 1942, when he made his farewell as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI. Richard Crooks also had great success as a recording and radio broadcast artist. Illness led to Crooks’s premature retirement in the mid-1940s. But during his relatively brief career, Crooks made several wonderful recordings. And companies like Immortal Performances have done us a great service by making Crooks’ opera broadcasts available to a wider public. As much as I admire Richard Tucker (and that is to say, a very great deal), I would argue that Richard Crooks is the finest American operatic tenor whose work is preserved on recordings. As I wrote in my review of the Immortal Performances release of the Met’s March 20, 1937 broadcast of Gounod’s FAUST (FANFARE 41:4, March/April 2018), ‘Crooks possessed a beautiful lyric tenor voice that soared easily into the upper register, and possessed ample power for Cavaradossi in Puccini’s TOSCA, and Des Grieux’s St. Sulpice Scene in Massenet’s MANON….Crooks was also a highly accomplished interpreter of songs (both classical and popular), and at his best, the tenor brought a Lieder singer’s nuance and detail to his operatic performances’.

    I will deal with each opera on this release individually. But at the outset I’ll note that Crooks, outstanding in each, displays the talents I’ve outlined above. His Alfredo in the December 23, 1939 Met broadcast of Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA is one of the finest on records. Not only is Crooks in splendid voice, but he displays a variety of vocal colors and dynamics and a keen attention to the text (delivered in precise, idiomatic diction) and dramatic situation rarely encountered in this work. Often, the part of Alfredo serves as an unobtrusive foil to the heroine Violetta, and her plight. That is hardly the case in this broadcast. Crooks creates a compelling, three-dimensional portrait of the young Alfredo. It’s a shame that, in accordance with the practice of the time, Alfredo’s Act II cabaletta, ‘O mio rimorso’, is cut. But Crooks makes the most of what remains in his part. This Alfredo is a very important document of Crooks’ legacy.

    Most welcome, too, is the elder Germont of another glorious American artist, baritone Lawrence Tibbett. His vocal crisis of 1940 was just around the corner, and those with hindsight might be able, at certain moments, to hear some premonitions of its onset. But if Tibbett does not quite exhibit the vocal ease of his early-mid 1930s performances, he remains in rich, sonorous voice. And it was, to be sure, one of the most glorious, spine-tingling voices of its kind. Like Crooks, Tibbett lavishes all of his artistry and dramatic gifts upon his role. Tibbett, as well as any singer I’ve heard, conveys both Germont’s determination to end Violetta’s love affair with his son, and the concurrent arousal of his sympathy for the young woman. Tibbett’s ‘Di provenza’, aided by Ettore Panizza’s sensitive accompaniment, is a touching and very personal address to his son, radiantly sung in the bargain - a great performance by a great artist.

    But the opera is titled LA TRAVIATA, a reference to its soprano heroine. And here, I’m afraid, the performance falls a bit short. The American soprano Helen Jepson was a radiantly beautiful woman who also possessed a secure and lovely voice that sailed confidently throughout a range of repertoire, both operatic and song. In my review of the FAUST broadcast, I wrote: ‘What Jepson lacks … is an individuality of approach’. That is once again the case with her Violetta. And in this LA TRAVIATA, even more than with Jepson’s Marguerite, the soprano rarely if ever gets below the surface of the text and music. It is all vocalized attractively, securely, and tastefully. But Violetta is one of Verdi’s greatest and most human soprano heroines, a woman who, by sacrificing the only true love she has ever known, also knowingly signs her death warrant. Such nobility and desperation are at the heart of any great interpretation of this role. I’m afraid you will search in vain for it in Jepson’s broadcast performance. But given the special contributions of Crooks and Tibbett, I still heartily recommend the broadcast to anyone with an interest in those singers and/or LA TRAVIATA.

    The remaining singers, many Met stalwarts (including de Paolis, Cehanovsky, D’Angelo, and Votipka) acquit themselves well. Ettore Panizza, one of the Met’s finest conductors of Italian opera during that era, characteristically leads a performance of tremendous vitality, but one that is also attentive to the singers’ desire for expressive time and space. The recorded sound is quite fine, competitive with commercial recordings of the era. And speaking of commercial recordings, the TRAVIATA portion of the set concludes with Crooks singing arias from CARMEN (in German), THE PEARL FISHERS (in Italian), L’ARLESIANA, and DIE MEISTERSINGER. Crooks is in fabulous voice, and frequently uses his mastery in blending of chest and head registers to create moments of absolute magic, hushed singing in which time seems to stand still. These recordings, too, are all marvelously restored.

    The second featured opera is Massenet’s MANON, broadcast on January 13, 1940. The Manon is American soprano Grace Moore, a singer celebrated for her work in French repertoire, including Massenet’s adaptation of the Abbe Prevost novel. For the greater part of this performance, Moore is quite successful and convincing. From Act II on, Moore settles in to give a fine and dramatically compelling performance. ‘Adieu, notre petite table’, Manon’s farewell to her blissful life with des Grieux, is given an intimate and affecting reading, all the more compelling for its simplicity and avoidance of the lachrymose. Moore firmly comes into her own in the St. Sulpice Scene as Manon summons all her wiles to seduce des Grieux to abandon his religious vows and return to her. It would be hard to imagine anyone able to resist Moore’s entreaties! As the Cours-la-Reine scene is cut, Manon’s gavotte, ‘Profitons bien de la jeunesse’, is transferred to the Gambling Scene, where it receives a fine account. And Moore is quite touching in Manon’s death scene, once again all the more effective for her lack of histrionics. When hearing this performance, and imagining it within the context of Moore’s beauty and compelling stage presence, it’s easy to understand why she was so beloved in this role. This is a worthy document of one of the Met’s star sopranos of the 1930s and 1940s.

    From his entrance, Richard Crooks delivers a masterclass in the art of the French lyric tenor. Listen, for example, to the marvelous deployment of mixed voice technique on the repetition of ‘Mon père!’, as the young des Grieux looks forward to being reunited with his father. That, of course, intensifies the dramatic impact of des Grieux being shocked out of his domestic world upon seeing the beautiful Manon for the first time. And speaking of mixed voice, it’s not surprising that Crooks uses it to magical effect in the Act II aria ‘En ferment les yeux’, where the tenor spins a seemingly endless thread of poised, hushed singing. The diminuendo on ‘il y faut’ toward the close is sheer magic, as is the prolongation of the concluding ‘o’ in ‘o’ Manon’ for what seems an eternity. Crooks makes it clear that des Grieux wants this moment in his life to last forever. The St. Sulpice Scene requires tenor vocalizing of a far more robust, dramatic nature. Crooks does not disappoint here, either, as he captures the lovesick desperation of the abandoned des Grieux, soon reunited with Manon. Crooks remains in sterling form right to the opera’s conclusion, and he matches Grace Moore in communicating the tragedy of the final scene without ever overplaying his hand. As with his Alfredo, Crooks’ des Grieux is one of the best to be found on recordings.

    As Richard Caniell describes in his Recording Notes, the source for the MANON broadcast was somewhat more compromised than for the accompanying LA TRAVIATA. There are moments when surface imperfections make their presence known, but those episodes are few and of brief duration. Overall the sound, while not the equal of the LA TRAVIATA, emerges as quite clear and detailed in this Immortal Performances restoration. It certainly allows for complete enjoyment of a very fine and important performance. A welcome bonus is a series of French songs Moore recorded commercially for RCA, with Pelletier conducting the Victor Symphony Orchestra. Moore, in wonderful voice, gives stylish, idiomatic readings, lovingly accompanied by Pelletier. The restorations of these recordings are first-rate.

    The booklet includes an essay by Gerald Parker, detailed plot synopses for both operas, Richard Caniell’s Recording Notes, and artist bios and photos. As is the custom for Immortal Performances releases of historic Met broadcasts, the commentary of radio host Milton Cross enhances the experience of coming face to face with great moments in the Met’s legacy. This set would be worth acquiring for Richard Crooks’ contribution alone. But given the many other strengths, the release merits an overall strong recommendation.”


  • - Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, March / April 2020






  • MET SINGERS' ROUNDTABLE, Vol. II, incl. Cyril Ritchard interviews Martina Arroyo, Ezio Flagello, James McCracken & Birgit Nilsson, 20 Feb., 1971; Robert Gutman interviews Maria Jeritza & Lotte Lehmann, 2 Feb., 1963; Francis Robinson discusses Marjorie Lawrence, 1 Jan., 1972. [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-991. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (V2622)

    “John Gutman (1902-1992), an assistant manager at the Metropolitan Opera, had the opportunity to interview Lehmann & Jeritza during the Saturday afternoon broadcasts. In 1962, Lotte Lehmann and Maria Jeritza, her rival who she despised, were brought together for an interview. The vitriol flew and the [above] is the result. Early Versions and the Second Version of ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, Richard Strauss as a conductor, are discussed, plus DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN, ELEKTRA, SALOME, INTERMEZZO, and ROSENKAVALIER, Puccini, TOSCA, and IL TRITTICO, Contemporary Singing.”


    - OPERA NEWS




    “Broadcasting ‘live’ means dead time between acts….Over the years the solutions were many, and eventually the intermission feature became, for most radio auditors, a cherishable part of Saturday afternoons at the Met….on the Christmas Eve matinee of 1949 Mary Garden, on a lecture tour of the United States from her home in Scotland, joined in the game…The parade of retired divas before the microphone went on and on in the fifties with Garden, Marjorie Lawrence, and Ponselle…OPERA ROUNDTABLE was initially designed for a ‘brilliant group of critics, artists and musical personalities’….In 1966, Milton Cross tells groups of Met artists…(Albanese, Siepi, Judith Raskin, and Geraint Evans) assembled on OPERA NEWS ON THE AIR to ‘discuss singing’….”


  • - Paul JACKSON, SATURDAY AFTERNOONS AT THE OLD MET, pp.323, 329, 330, 331; SIGN-OFF FOR THE OLD MET, p.330






  • VOCAL RECORD COLLECTORS' SOCIETY - 2018 Issue: Tiit Kuusik, Joachim Tartakov, Hipolito Lazaro & Riccardo Stracciari, Louis Orliac, Miguel Villabella, Charles Rousseliere, Graziella Valle, Linda Cannetti, Giuseppe Danise, Irene Eden, Constance Drever, Frances Alda, Maria Brian, Leon Rains, Karl Jorn, Thomas Burke, Jeanne Gordon, Hulda Lashanska, Hans Reinmar, Elisabeth Grummer & Eileen Farrell. VRCS-2018, recorded 1901-56. Transfers by Seth B. Winner.

    1. CHARLES ROUSSELIÈRE, Tenor: HERCULANUM: “L’Estase - je veux aimer toujours”

    2. MARIA BRIAN, Soprano: Rimsky-Korsakoff - “Oh, If you would for a moment”

    3. LÉON RAINS, Bass: Nicolai - DIE LUSTIGEN WEIBER VON WINDSOR - “Als Büblein klein an der Mutter Brust”

    4. CONSTANCE DREVER, Soprano: TOM JONES: "Which is my own true self?”

    5. KARL JÖRN, Tenor: Herman - “Salomo”, Op. 23, #1

    6. LINDA CANNETTI, Soprano: IRIS: Act 2 - “Io pingo”

    7. JOACHIM V. TARTAKOV, Baritone: Tchaikovsky-“Disenchantment,” Op. 65, #2

    8. HIPÓLITO LÁZARO & RICCARDO STRACCIARI: FORZA: “Solenne in quest'ora”

    9. IRENE EDEN, Soprano: Alabieff - “The Nightingale”

    10. GIUSEPPE DANISE, Baritone: Mozart-DON GIOVANNI-"Deh, vieni alla finestra"

    11. FRANCES ALDA, Soprano: L'AMICO FRITZ: Act 1 - “Son pochi fiori”

    12. FRANCES ALDA, Soprano: L'AMICO FRITZ: Act 3 - “Non mi resta che il pianto”

    13. THOMAS BURKE, Tenor: Puccini - TOSCA: Act 1 - “Recondita armonia”

    14. JEANNE GORDON, Contralto: A. Gordon Thomas - “Summer Night”

    15. MIGUEL VILLABELLA, Tenor: Klingsor / Almaby - “Paysage d’or”

    16. HULDA LASHANSKA, Soprano: Tchaikovsky - “None But the Lonely Heart,” Op. 6, #6

    17. LOUIS ORLIAC, Tenor: LA JUIVE: “Dieu, que ma voix tremblante”

    18. GRAZIELLA VALLE, Soprano: Zandonai - 6 Melodie, #4: “La Serenata”

    19. HANS REINMAR, Baritone: Mussorgsky - "The Song of the Flea"

    20. ELISABETH GRÜMMER, Soprano: Schubert - “Ave Maria,” D. 839

    21. TIIT KUUSIK, Bass-Baritone: Schubert – Schwanengesang - “Aufenthalt,” D.957, No. 5

    22. EILEEN FARRELL, Soprano: MESSIAH - “Come Unto Him”

    23. EILEEN FARRELL, Soprano: Rossini - Stabat Mater “Inflammatus”

    VRCS-2018, recorded 1901-56. Transfers by Seth B. Winner. (V2623)

    “And so we come to this latest release from the Vocal Record Collectors' Society. It contains precisely the kind of rarified content in one respect or another that collectors of historical singers of opera and song have spent hours delighting - and not just ourselves, but others who have fallen into our clutches….

    This disc presents the same kind of experience one would expect upon visiting a knowledgeable collector who, by chance, is also an expert digital editor. Add in biographies of the singers and record information (dates, side length, matrix and catalog numbers, etc), and you have all the makings of a fine collectors' get together….

    Seth Winner does a superior job with the digital transfers. If you aren't aware of the VRCS's annual series but enjoy sampling the rarer side of vintage operatic and song transfers from extensive collections, you should seriously consider this, their 2018 release (the latest from them, by the way), for purchase from Norbeck, Peters & Ford (www.norpete.com).”


  • - Barry Brenesal, FANFARE






  • FRITZ REINER Cond. Chicago Orch.: Manfred Overture (Schumann); Symphony #4 in f (Tschaikowsky); w. JOSEPH FUCHS: Violin Concerto (Hindemith). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-878, Broadcast Performance, 21 Nov., 1957, Orchestra Hall, Chicago. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1773)

    “Joseph Fuchs, an American violinist long acclaimed for his vigorous, intelligent and technically assured performances of old and new music and for the quality of his teaching, was one of those select musicians admired as much by his peers as by audiences. He played not only the standard repertory but also works by such contemporaries as Stravinsky, Thomson and Hindemith. He pioneered in the performance of music by Ben Weber, Nikolai Lopatnikoff and Walter Piston. [A Ford Foundation grant in 1960 enabled him to commission Walter Piston’s Violin Concerto, the première of which he gave that year in Pittsburgh. Fuchs also gave the first performances of concertos by Lopatnikoff (1944–5), Ben Weber (1954) and Mario Peragallo (1955); of Martin’s Madrigal for violin and viola, dedicated to Fuchs and his sister Lillian (1947); of the revised version of Vaughan Williams’ Violin Sonata, with Artur Balsam (1969), and of the posthumous American premiere of Martin’s Sonata for two violins and piano (1974).]

    ‘Joseph Fuchs is the kind of violinist who makes you listen not to himself but to the music, and there is no higher compliment you can pay an artist’, Raymond Ericson wrote in THE NEW YORK TIMES after a 1960 recital at Town Hall.

    Joseph Fuchs studied with the noted Franz Kneisel at the Institute of Musical Art, now the Juilliard School, and graduated in 1918. He gave his New York debut recital in 1920 at Aeolian Hall. In 1926 Mr. Fuchs was appointed concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, a post he held until 1940. After Cleveland, he resumed his solo career. He gave his last recital, at Carnegie Hall, in 1992 and his last public performance, at the Juilliard School, in 1995 [at age 95].

    He often appeared in concert with his sister, Lillian Fuchs, a violist. Mr. Fuchs also collaborated regularly with the pianist Artur Balsam and the cellist Leonard Rose. Mr. Fuchs was a founding member of the Musicians Guild, a chamber music organization that presented many concerts during the 1940s and ‘50s. A true upholder of the Kneisel tradition, he called chamber music his 'true love’. He became a professor of violin at the Juilliard School in 1946 and held the position until his death. He was a founder of the Blue Hill Music School in Maine in 1953, a summer program that evolved into the Summer Chamber Music Institute at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y.

    Mr. Fuchs made many recordings, including one of the first complete sets of the Beethoven violin sonatas, with Balsam in 1952. He also recorded Mozart's works for violin and viola, the duos and the Sinfonia Concertante, with his sister…vivid testimonials to his artistry. [He played the ‘Cádiz Stradivarius’ violin of 1722].”


    - THE NEW YORK TIMES, 17 March, 1997


    “Fritz Reiner was a legend among conductors. Universally admired for his music-making, widely disliked for his aggressive and exacting temperament, and survived by a legacy of definitive recorded performances, he was largely responsible for the artistic ascendancy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and exerted considerable influence on generations of musicians.

    Born in Budapest in 1888, he studied piano with his mother and, at the age of 15, entered the Franz Liszt Academy - an institution that also boasts Bela Bartok, Zoltan Kodaly, Ernst von Dohnanyi, George Szell, Eugene Ormandy, Georg Solti and Antal Dorati as graduates. Reiner gained conducting experience at a number of regional opera houses before eventually returning to Budapest in 1911 to serve at the city's Volksoper, where his reputation as a conductor of special abilities finally emerged. In 1914 Reiner accepted a position at the Dresden Court Opera, where he formed a fortuitous relationship with both the conductor Arthur Nikisch and the composer Richard Strauss; Reiner would eventually give the German premier of Strauss' DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN, and would remain a devoted interpreter of the composer's works throughout his career. The economic chaos and emergent anti-Semitism that followed the First World War made Reiner anxious to leave Europe, and an invitation (in 1921) to become the music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra provided just the right opportunity. From that point onward, Reiner's career was firmly rooted in the United States, where he became a citizen in 1928.

    After resigning his post at Cincinnati Reiner became a professor of conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where his students included both the young Leonard Bernstein and Lukas Foss; Bernstein, in particular, credited Reiner with a great deal of influence in his development. In 1938 he became the director of the Pittsburgh Symphony - one of several positions that established Reiner as a fine builder of orchestras, with a talent for steering ensembles toward new levels of quality and success. A number of Reiner's well-known recordings stem from his tenure there. Guest appearances during his Pittsburgh years include those at Covent Garden and the San Francisco Symphony. From Pittsburgh he moved to the Metropolitan opera, where he remained on the conductor roster until 1953. His advocacy of Strauss' operas was especially strong there, and his performances of SALOME and ELEKTRA number among the most memorable evenings in the Met's history.

    1953 was a watershed year for Reiner, since it was then that he assumed the directorship of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This was to become his signature partnership, and the position that would establish his lasting legacy. His relationship with the orchestra was never a smooth one -- he was known for hostility and impatience in rehearsal, and for firing musicians for mistakes in concerts - but he undeniably raised the ensemble from its status as a good American orchestra to that of one of the finest in the world. Unlike a number of other prominent conductors who excelled in narrow corners of the musical canon, Reiner maintained his excellent standards and clarifying precision throughout an especially broad repertory that crossed boundaries of nationality and style. He was as renowned for his performances of new works, such as Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra - a piece that Reiner himself commissioned from the dying composer - and Alan Hovhaness' MYSTERIOUS MOUNTAIN as he was for his Mahler, Strauss and Haydn. His tenure in Chicago also resulted in what was then an unprecedented volume of fine recordings, some of which still remain as favorites, despite the [purported] improved fidelity of modern competitors. Reiner resigned from Chicago in 1962 (after only nine seasons), and died the following year of heart failure.”


  • - Allen Schrott, allmusic.com








    . . . FROM THE RECENT PAST . . .


    REPEATED








  • KIRSTEN FLAGSTAD - 125th Birthday Tribute: Beethoven - Missa Solemnis (First three movements) w.Flagstad, Jagel, Meisle and Pinza, 1937, w. Goossens Cond. Cincinnati Festival Chorus & S.O; Beethoven - 'Ah, Perfido': two performances. Songs and Lieder: Schubert, Wagner, Grieg, Kvandal, Dorumsgaard & Kielland. Arias from Wagnerian operas. Flagstad Farewell speech after Dido and Aeneas (1953). (Canada) 3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1119 (3 discs for the price of 2) Program Notes by Dewey Faulkner; Transfers & Recording Notes by Richard Caniell w.34pp. booklet. (V2621)





  • WILLIAM STEINBERG Cond. Boston Symphony Orchestra: Symphony #3 in E-flat - Marcia funebre (Beethoven) (in memory of Igor Stravinsky [who had died the previous day]); Konzertmusik fur Streichorchester und Blechblaser, Op.50 (Hindemith); Symphony #7 in E (Bruckner). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-938, Live Performance, 7 April, 1971, Liederhalle, Stuttgart. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1771)





  • DESIRE-EMILE INGHELBRECHT Cond. RTF S.O.: The Star-Spangled Banner; O Canada; La Marseillaise; Massenet, Rossini, Ibert, Pierne, Liadov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Inghelbrecht & Debussy (incl. his Nocturnes). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-961, Live Performances, 1948-52, Theatre des Champs Elysees. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1772)





  • THE BEGGAR's OPERA (John Gay; A Revised Version by Frederic Austin), recorded 1920, w. Lyric Theatre Ensemble, Hammersmith; Frederic Austin, Frederick Ranalow, Sylvia Nelis, Kathleen Hilliard, Nellie Walker, Frederic Austin, Alfred Heather, Violet Marquesita, etc. (1,463 performances); POLLY (John Gay's sequel, adapted by Clifford Bax), recorded 1922, w.Kingsway Theatre Ensemble; Lillian Davies, Stanley Vilven, Winifred Hare, Lovat Crossley, Pitt Chatham, Percy Parsons, Adrienne Brune, etc. (England) 2-Palaeophonics 153/54 , w.Elaborate 'The Play' 36pp. Brochure replete with numerous photos of the Lyric Theatre & Kingsway Theatre productions & biographies. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm English HMV rarities. For this production Dominic Combe had access to fabulous archival material and superb original 78s with which to work! (PE0292)





  • IL TROVATORE, Live Performance 19 Dec., 1987, w.Bonynge Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Joan Sutherland [Sutherland's Last Met Performance], Luciano Pavarotti, Leo Nucci, Shirley Verrett, Franco De Grandis, Jean Kraft, Mark (W.) Baker, Stephen O'Mara & Ray Morrison. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1002. (OP3339)





  • ESCLARMONDE (Massenet) , Live Performance, 11 Dec., 1976, w.Bonynge Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Joan Sutherland, Giacomo Aragall, Huguette Tourangeau, Clifford Grant, John Macurdy, Louis Quilico & John Carpenter. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-986. (OP3338)





  • ADRIANA LECOUVREUR, Live Performance, 19 April, 1969, w. Cleva Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Renata Tebaldi, Franco Corelli, Irene Dalis, Anselmo Colzani, etc. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-974. (OP3337)





  • LA GIOCONDA, Live Performance, 2 March, 1968, w. Cleva Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Renata Tebaldi, Carlo Bergonzi, Fiorenza Cossotto, Cornell MacNeil, Bonaldo Giaiotti, Mignon Dunn, etc. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-935. (OP3330)





  • MANON LESCAUT, Live Performance, 31 March, 1956, w.Mitropoulos Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Licia Albanese, Jussi Bjorling, Frank Guarrera, Fernando Corena, etc. [Among the very best of the '50s Met broadcasts, due not merely to the stunning performance but as well to the extraordinary clarity of the sound!] (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-976. (OP3335)





  • LEONARD BERNSTEIN Cond. Concertgebouw Orch., w.LUCIA POPP & ANDREAS SCHMIDT: Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Mahler). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-965, Live Performance, 27 Oct., 1987, Amsterdam. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1769)





  • ARTUR RODZINSKI Cond. NYPO: 'Haffner' Symphony #35 in D, K.385 (Mozart); El sombrero de tres picos - 3 dances (de Falla); w.GREGOR PIATIGORSKY: Schelomo (Bloch); w. MACK HARRELL (Bar.) & EDWARD STEUERMANN (Pf.): Ode to Napoleon (Schonberg), all preceded by The Star Spangled Banner (Key). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-622, Live Performance, 26 Nov., 1944, Carnegie Hall. . Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1767)





  • OTMAR SUITNER Cond. Staatskapelle Dresden: Symphony #39 in E-flat, K.543 – Menuet (Mozart); Symphony #88 in G (Haydn); Der Freischutz – Overture (von Weber); Die Meistersinger – Overture (Wagner); 'The Great' Symphony #9 in C (Schubert). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-951, Live Performance, 25 Jan., 1963, Great Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1770)





  • GUIOMAR NOVAES: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Moszkowski, MacDowell, Gluck-Saint-Saens, Liszt & Albeniz. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-934, recorded 1920-47. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1337)





  • ARTURO BENEDETTI MICHELANGELI, w.Moshe Atzmon Cond. Vienna S.O: Piano Concerto #15 in B-flat, K.450 (Mozart); Piano Concerto in a (Schumann). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-975, Live Performances, 14 / 11 June, 1975, resp. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1336)





  • JORGE BOLET: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel (Brahms); Aufforderung zum Tanz (von Weber); Petrarca Sonata #23 in A-flat; Annees de pelerinage – Deuxieme annee: Italie - Apres une lecture du Dante - Fantasia Quasi Sonata in d (Liszt). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-798, Live Performance, 28 Aug., Edinburgh. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1335)





  • JOSEPH FUCHS & LILLIAN FUCHS: String Duo #2 in B-flat for violin and viola, K.424 (Mozart); MARIA STADER & WILLIAM KAPELL: 6 Schubert Lieder - Live Performance, Abbaye Saint-Michel de Cuxa, 16 June, 1953; JOHN WUMMER, BERNARD GOLDBERG & EUGENE ISTOMIN: Sonata in G for two flutes and basso continuo - Live Performance, Abbaye Saint-Michel de Cuxa, 3 July, 1953; PABLO CASALS & EUGENE ISTOMIN: Sonata for 2 violins & continuo in C, BWV 1037 (Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, [previously attrributed to J. S. Bach], Live Performance, Abbaye Saint-Michel de Cuxa, 7 July, 1953. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-921. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0761)





  • RICHARD TAUBER: Songs by Alfred Beines, Robert Schumann, Edvard Grieg, Eugen Hildach, Erik Meyer-Helmund, Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Felix Weingartner & Maurice Rudolphe; Arias & Duets (w.Elisabeth Rethberg, Emmy Bettendorf & Benno Ziegler) from Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflote, Il Barbiere Di Siviglia, Fra Diavolo, Martha, Carmen, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Forza del Destino, Il Trovatore, I Gioielli della Madonna, Prodana Nevesta, Evgenij Onegin, Der Kuhreigen, Der Evangelimann, Der Rosenkavalier & Die Walkure. (Germany) 2-Truesound Transfers 4011, recorded 1919-1922. Transfers by Christian Zwarg. (V2618)





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    BOOKS ON SALE



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    “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!



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    . . . 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] . . .





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    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.

    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, www.norpete.com 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.

    As always, please contact us with any special requests.

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  • La Traviata / Manon (Pelletier / Panizza;  Richard Crooks, Grace Moore, Jepson, Tibbett)  (4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1115)
    OP3340. LA TRAVIATA, Live Performance, 23 Dec., 1939, w.Panizza Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Helen Jepson, Richard Crooks, Lawrence Tibbett, etc., replete with Milton Cross' commentaries; MANON, Live Performance, 23 Jan., 1940, w.Pelletier Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Grace Moore, Richard Crooks, John Brownlee, Nicola Moscona, etc., replete with Milton Cross' commentaries; Studio recordings by Grace Moore & Richard Crooks. (Canada) 4-Immortal Performances IPCD 1115, w.Elaborate 53pp Booklet. Transfers by Richard Caniell. Notes by Gerald Parker & Richard Caniell. The four discs are priced as three by Immortal Performances. - 644216110322
    $49.95
    Met Singers' Roundtable, Vol. III,  (Maria Jeritza, Lotte Lehmann, Arroyo, Nilsson, McCracken, Marjorie Lawrence) (St Laurent Studio YSL T-991)
    V2622. MET SINGERS' ROUNDTABLE, Vol. III, incl. Cyril Ritchard interviews Martina Arroyo, Ezio Flagello, James McCracken & Birgit Nilsson, 20 Feb., 1971; Robert Gutman interviews Maria Jeritza & Lotte Lehmann, 2 Feb., 1963; Francis Robinson discusses Marjorie Lawrence, 1 Jan., 1972. [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-991. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. [NB: Inadvertently offered before Vol. II, due shortly!]
    $19.90
    Vocal Record Collectors' Society - 2018 Issue   (VRCS-2018)
    V2623. VOCAL RECORD COLLECTORS' SOCIETY - 2018 Issue:

    1. CHARLES ROUSSELIÈRE, Tenor: HERCULANUM: “L’Estase - je veux aimer toujours” 2. MARIA BRIAN, Soprano: Rimsky-Korsakoff - “Oh, If you would for a moment” 3. LÉON RAINS, Bass: Nicolai - DIE LUSTIGEN WEIBER VON WINDSOR - “Als Büblein klein an der Mutter Brust” 4. CONSTANCE DREVER, Soprano: TOM JONES: "Which is my own true self?” 5. KARL JÖRN, Tenor: Herman - “Salomo”, Op. 23, #1 6. LINDA CANNETTI, Soprano: IRIS: Act 2 - “Io pingo” 7. JOACHIM V. TARTAKOV, Baritone: Tchaikovsky - “Disenchantment,” Op. 65, #2 8. HIPÓLITO LÁZARO & RICCARDO STRACCIARI: FORZA: “Solenne in quest'ora” 9. IRENE EDEN, Soprano: Alabieff - “The Nightingale” 10. GIUSEPPE DANISE, Baritone: Mozart - DON GIOVANNI - "Deh, vieni alla finestra" 11. FRANCES ALDA, Soprano: L'AMICO FRITZ: Act 1 - “Son pochi fiori” 12. FRANCES ALDA, Soprano: L'AMICO FRITZ: Act 3 - “Non mi resta che il pianto” 13. THOMAS BURKE, Tenor: Puccini - TOSCA: Act 1 - “Recondita armonia” 14. JEANNE GORDON, Contralto: A. Gordon Thomas - “Summer Night” 15. MIGUEL VILLABELLA, Tenor: Klingsor / Almaby - “Paysage d’or” 16. HULDA LASHANSKA, Soprano: Tchaikovsky - “None But the Lonely Heart,” Op. 6, #6 17. LOUIS ORLIAC, Tenor: LA JUIVE: “Dieu, que ma voix tremblante” 18. GRAZIELLA VALLE, Soprano: Zandonai - 6 Melodie, #4: “La Serenata” 19. HANS REINMAR, Baritone: Mussorgsky - "The Song of the Flea" 20. ELISABETH GRÜMMER, Soprano: Schubert - “Ave Maria,” D. 839 21. TIIT KUUSIK, Bass-Baritone: Schubert – Schwanengesang - “Aufenthalt,” D.957, No. 5 22. EILEEN FARRELL, Soprano: MESSIAH - “Come Unto Him” 23. EILEEN FARRELL, Soprano: Rossini - Stabat Mater - “Inflammatus”

    VRCS-2018, recorded 1901-56. Transfers by Seth B. Winner.
    $19.90
    Fritz Reiner, Vol. II;  Joseph Fuchs   (2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-878)
    C1773. FRITZ REINER Cond. Chicago Orch.: Manfred Overture (Schumann); Symphony #4 in f (Tschaikowsky); w. JOSEPH FUCHS: Violin Concerto (Hindemith). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-878, Broadcast Performance, 21 Nov., 1957, Orchestra Hall, Chicago. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
    $29.90