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Palaeophonics now returns with Oscar Straus’
THE LAST WALTZ from 1922 . . .
Yves St Laurent presents EMIL GILELS, Vol. 12 . . .
OTMAR SUITNER, Vol. 3, . . .
and Vol. 9,
among the greatest of CHRISTOPHER KEENE’s issues . . .
and SALE titles continue
THE LAST WALTZ (in English) (Music by Oscar Straus; Libretto by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grunwald; English adaptation has Book by Robert Evett & Reginald Arkell); Lyrics by Reginald Arkell, w.Hubert Bath Cond. Gaiety Theatre Ensemble; Jose Collins & Kingsley Lark. (240 performances). (England) Palaeophonics 162, w.Elaborate 'The Play' 16pp. Brochure replete with numerous photos of the Gaiety Theatre 1922 production; Additional excerpts by Edith Lorand, Savoy Havana Band & Hackel-Berge Orch. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm English Columbia rarities. Dominic Combe’s newest delight, produced via his enhanced equipment! For this production he had access to fabulous archival material and superb original 78s with which to work! (PE0341)
"Born in Vienna and a pupil of Max Bruch in Berlin, Oscar Straus followed the advice of Johann Strauss, who told him to gain experience by conducting in provincial theatres. In Berlin he won some fame in the Uberbrettl cabaret, for which Schonberg also wrote. Returning to Vienna at the turn of the century, he began to write operetta in a series of works that rivalled in popularity those of Lehar. In 1939 he moved to Paris and then to New York and Hollywood, returning after the war to Bad Ischl, where he died in 1954.
DER TAPFERE SOLDAT, known in English as ‘The Chocolate Soldier’, won particular success in America. Other popular operettas include DER LETZTE WALZER (‘The Last Waltz’). He wrote film scores, notably for the film of Schnitzler’s LA RONDE."
- THE GUIDE TO MUSICAL THEATREEMIL GILELS: Scriabin & Prokofiev Recital; 'Hammerklavier' Sonata #29 in D-flat (Beethoven). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1155, Live Performance, 5 Feb., 1984, Royal Festival Hall, London. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1385)
"Emil Gilels, one of the world's great pianists and, in 1955, the first Soviet musician to perform in the United States since Sergei Prokofiev in 1921, was a stocky man with a shock of sandy hair and short, stubby fingers, uncharacteristic for a pianist. But his greatness was widely recognized. Howard Taubman of THE NEW YORK TIMES proclaimed him a 'great pianist' on the occasion of his New York debut at Carnegie Hall on Oct. 4, 1955. After his first New York recital a week later, Harold C. Schonberg invoked the phrase 'little giant', the term the critic W. J. Henderson had used for the pianist and composer Eugen d'Albert at the turn of the century.
Mr. Gilels continued to receive such encomiums throughout his career, both in the Soviet Union, where he had taught at the Moscow Conservatory since 1938, and in the West. Altogether he made 14 American tours, the last in 1983. On the occasion of his last New York recital, on April 16, 1983, Donal Henahan wrote in THE TIMES of his 'formidable, high-finish technique and beautiful control of nuance'.
Mr. Gilels led the procession of Soviet artists of his generation to the West; others who emerged shortly after his debut were David Oistrakh, the violinist; Sviatoslav Richter, the pianist, and Mstislav Rostropovich, the cellist. Mr. Rostropovich later became an outspoken dissident, but the others remained honored Russian citizens. Together, this group suggested that the traditions of Romantic music-making had not died out in the relatively isolated Russian musical world. 'The precepts of Leopold Auer still prevailed in violin pedagogy, and the pianists stemmed straight from Anton Rubinstein and the Leschetizky school', Mr. Schonberg wrote in 1979, on the occasion of one of Mr. Gilels' periodic returns to the American concert scene.
But especially in his later years, Mr. Gilels was a more Classically inclined pianist than, say, Mr. Richter. In 1970 he even offered an all-Mozart recital at Philharmonic (now Avery Fisher) Hall, which Allen Hughes of THE TIMES called 'superbly wrought'.
Basically, however, Mr. Gilels was a big, rich-toned pianist who could ride triumphantly over an orchestra in the mainstream Romantic piano concertos - those of Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms and Tchaikovsky, all of which he recorded. He wasn't always note-perfect, but he commanded his repertory with an elan that made such flaws seem insignificant. And unlike some powerhouse virtuosos, he had a poetic gift that enlivened slow movements."
- John Rockwell, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 16 Oct., 1985CHRISTOPHER KEENE Cond. Syracuse S.O.: Images pour orchestra (Debussy), Live Performance, 16 & 17 Dec., 1977; Symphony #7 in d (Dvorak), Live Performance, 15 Jan., 1977 (both Mulroy Civic Center, Syracuse, NY). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1091. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1874)
“St. Laurent Studio’s series of releases devoted to conductor Christopher Keene has revealed a gifted artist who sometimes surpassed himself. But to reach that point in my appreciation, it has taken ten installments, of which this is Vol. 9, to grasp what American music lost in 1995 upon Keene’s premature death, at age 48. In retrospect, as one impressive concert after another with the Syracuse Symphony has emerged from private sources, he should be recognized as a tragic loss to the AIDS plague.
It isn’t only world-class orchestras that have a golden period. The Syracuse Symphony, which was entirely professional, enjoyed a time of remarkable music-making during Keene’s tenure as music director from 1975 to 1984. Two years in, he led this wonderful performance of Dvorak’s Seventh Symphony. It affords a perfect example of the occasions when the conductor surpassed himself.
What stands out is the personal bond between conductor and score. Freely using Romantic rubato, Keene shapes the music from a profound depth of feeling. To demonstrate that this isn’t an exaggeration, the slow movement provides a continuous lyrical flow shaped as few others have been able to - you can’t help but feel that the spirit of Bruno Walter is smiling down. There is warmth, heartfelt playing, and a sense of passion in this movement. Taken more slowly than usual, the Scherzo succeeds on the basis of a secure rhythmic pulse. The finale, despite some scruffy passages, is exuberantly dramatic. One can point to felicities throughout, but what’s important is simply stated: You can’t tear your attention away for a moment. The recorded sound is very good FM stereo, expertly remastered by producer Yves St. Laurent.
The recorded sound is even clearer and more vivid for the Debussy IBERIA performed earlier that year. The piece has always been the popular favorite in the IMAGES FOR ORCHESTRA and Keene, true to his musical inclinations, emphasizes the Romantic side of these sketches from Spain. For a generation of Spanish composers who gained fame in the twentieth century, principally Albeniz, Falla, Granados, and Turina, Paris was a musical beacon, and there was reciprocity in the fervor that French composers had for inventing their own imaginary Spain, although Ravel could also claim a family link through his Basque-Spanish mother.
In the first movement, ‘Par les rues et par les Chemins’ (Along the streets and along the paths), Keene conveys the vibrancy of Spanish dance with instinctive sureness, and the orchestral colors at the center of Debussy’s sound world emerge vividly. I am completely in favor of a visceral treatment like this one that avoids sounding gauzily Impressionist. If anything, some listeners might think the energy level is too brash, particularly at the outset, but how often can you call a Debussy performance soul-stirring?
An atmosphere of sultry gardens permeates the second movement, ‘Les parfums de la nuit’ (The scents of the night), and Keene is completely at home with the shift in mood to the sultrily exotic. The orchestra has a lovely capacity to execute a range of dynamics at the softer level without losing tone. In music that often seems to vanish into the night air, this reading is grounded in just the right proportion to keep the lyrical line alive at every moment.
A troupe of guitarists marching through the streets is the picture painted in the third movement, ‘Le matin d'un jour de fête’ (The morning of a festive day). The clamor of a processional approaching from a distance is common to the ‘Fêtes’ movement in Debussy’s Nocturnes and Albeniz’s ‘Corpus Christi en Sevilla’ from Book II of IBERIA. Keene’s reading is particularly jubilant, but the whole performance is imbued with the joy of music-making.
I won’t pretend that the Syracuse Symphony rivals the Berlin Philharmonic under James Levine in the most virtuosic reading of the complete IMAGES that I know. But I’ve grown to respect them enormously as the Keene Edition has unfolded. The musicians knew that they were performing at a special time under a conductor of equally special gifts. This release is one of the ‘must-listens’ in the series. Strongly recommended.”
- Huntley Dent, FANFAREOTMAR SUITNER Cond. NHK S.O.: Nozze – Overture (Mozart); Der Freischutz – Overture (von Weber); Tannhauser - Overture, Tristan - Prelude & Liebestod (both Wagner); 'Pastorale' Symphony #6 in F(Beethoven). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1157, Live Performance, 25 Dec., 1971, Tokyo. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1873)
"Otmar Suitner was one of the last survivors of the old Kapellmeister tradition, learning his crafts as he made his way up the professional ladder in slow and steady stages, rather than the catapult-to-stardom system that deposits young conductors before the public these days. Eventually, Suitner's name was to become a frequent one on recordings, but the fact that he spent most of his working life in the former East Germany meant he was not as familiar a figure on the international scene as his abilities deserve....under the tutelage of the eminent Clemens Krauss, Suitner's first professional position came quickly, in 1942, as ballet repeiteur for the Tiroler Landestheater. The job allowed him to take to the podium occasionally, although for the years after 1944 he was active mainly as a concert pianist. His second post, in 1952, brought more responsibility, as Musikdirektor in Remscheid, near Dusseldorf, whence five years later he progressed to the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz as Generalmusikdirektor. With his next step, in 1960, he covered several rungs at once, with a move to Dresden as chief conductor of the Staatskapelle, a post that attracted some of major names in conducting: Suitner was preceded there by Fritz Busch, Karl Bohm and Rudolf Kempe, among others, and in 1964 he was succeeded by Kurt Sanderling.
His most prestigious position took the form of a two-part period as Generalmusikdirektor of the Staatsoper in East Berlin - perhaps the foremost musical job in the German Democratic Republic - first from 1964 to 1971 and then again from 1974 to 1990, although he was also busy as a guest conductor during his interregnum. Here his interpretations of Mozart, Wagner and Strauss were admired for their freshness, as was his handling of Italian repertoire - less predictably, perhaps, but then his mother was Italian. His friendship with the composer Paul Dessau was to result in the premieres of no fewer than three operas: PUNTILA in 1966, EINSTEIN in 1973 and LEONCE UND LENA in 1979 - the latter two documented in CD recordings.
Suitner also continued to appear in the West, not least at Bayreuth in the mid-1960s, the far West, as a guest conductor of the San Francisco Opera from 1969, and the Far East. Indeed, he was a frequent guest in Japan, especially with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, where he was made an honorary conductor in 1973. He was also professor of conducting at the Hochschule fur Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna from 1977 to 1988."
- Martin Anderson, THE INDEPENDENT, 19 February, 2010. . . FROM THE RECENT PAST . . .
REPEATEDROMEO ET JULIETTE (in Swedish), Live Performance, 27 March, 1940, w.Nils Grevillius Cond. Royal Opera Ensemble, Stockholm; Jussi Bjorling, Hjordis Schymberg, Sigurd Bjorling, Leon Bjorker, Gota Allard, etc.; ROMEO ET JULIETTE (in French), Act III, conclusion, Live Performance, 1 Feb., 1947, w.Cooper Cond. Met Opera Ensemble & Jussi Bjorling; ROMEO ET JULIETTE – Act II (in Swedish), Live Performance, 13 May, 1943, w.Nils Grevillius Cond. Royal Opera Ensemble, Stockholm, Jussi Bjorling, Hjordis Schymberg & Gota Allard; LA BOHEME, Act I Complete (in Swedish), Live Performance, 21 March, 1940, w.Nils Grevillius Cond. Royal Opera Ensemble, Stockholm; Jussi Bjorling, Hjordis Schymberg, Sven Herdenberg, Carl Richter, Leon Bjorker, Folke Cembraeus, etc.; JUSSI BJORLING: Adelaide (Beethoven); JUSSI BJORLING & HJORDIS SCHYMBERG: ROMEO ET JULIETTE - Ange adorable; Va! Je t’ai pardonne…Nuit d’hymenee (in Swedish), Live Performance, 23 Aug., 1949, w.Izler Solomon Cond.L.A. Phil. (Canada) 3–Immortal Performances IPCD 1134. Notes by Stephan Johansson and Kristian Krogholm & Richard Caniell; Restoration & transfers by Richard Caniell. (OP3379)
PRIMROSE. Music: George Gershwin; Lyrics: Desmond Carter & Ira Gershwin); Book by George Grossmith & Guy Bolton, w.John Ansell Cond. Winter Garden Theatre Ensemble; Leslie Henson, Margery Hicklin, Ernest Graham, Vera Lennox, Heather Thatcher, Percy Heming, etc. (255 performances). (England) Palaeophonics 166, w.Elaborate 'The Play' 20pp. Brochure replete with numerous photos of the Winter Garden Theatre 1924 production. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm English Columbia rarities. Dominic Combe’s newest delight, produced via his enhanced equipment! For this production he had access to fabulous archival material and superb original 78s with which to work! (PE0340)
PRADES FESTIVAL, Vol. VII: PABLO CASALS, JOSEPH FUCHS, LILLIAN FUCHS, CLARA HASKIL & MARCEL TABUTEAU: Bach & Mozart; w. MARIA STADER: Cantata 202- Weichet nur, betrubte Schatten; w. MIECZSLAW HORSZOWSKI: Piano Concerto #1 in C (Beethoven); Interview with Pablo Casals. (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1140, Live Performances, 1953, Abbaye Saint-Michel de Cuxa. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1871)
DAVID OISTRAKH, w.Vladimir Yampolsky; Abram Markov; Nikolai Rakov (Pfs.): Beethoven, Paganini, Rakov, de Sarasate, Prokofiev & Vladiguerov. (Canada) St Laurent Studio 33-1127, recorded 1945-52. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0790)
SMETANA >QUARTET'Intimate Letters' Quartet #2 (Janacek); Quartet #13 in B-flat, Op.130 (Beethoven). (Canada) St Laurent Studio T-1152, Live Performance, 6 Sept., 1969, Besancon. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (S0791)
PIERRE MONTEUX Cond. Boston S.O.: 'Surprise' Symphony #94 in G (Haydn), Live Performance, 24 Feb., 1956, Symphony Hall; 'Haffner' Symphony #35 in D, K.385 (Mozart); w.Eleanor Steber, Frieda Gray-Masse, John McCollum & David Laurent: 'Choral' Symphony #9 in d (Beethoven), Live Performance, 31 July, 1960, Tanglewood. [The Beethoven is a monumental performance in a spacious acoustic!] (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1078. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1863)
JEAN MARTINON Cond. Chicago Orch., w.MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH: Cello Concerto #2 in G (Shostakovitch) (Played by the dedicatee; Shostakovich allowed Rostropovich to make a few changes to the Concerto's cadenzas); MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH (Solo Cello): Suite in d – Sarabande (Bach) - preceded by Rostropovitch's spoken introduction, Live Performance, 5 May, 1967, Orchestra Hall; JEAN MARTINON Cond. ORTF S.O.: Symphony #1 in f (Shostakovitch), Live Performance, 17 Dec., 1960, Paris. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1117. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1864)
PAUL KLETZKI Cond. Polish National Radio S.O., w.Teresa Stich-Randall: Symphony #4 in G - Live Performance, 21 Sept., 1968, Montreux; PAUL KLETZKI Cond. ORTF S.O., w.Mignon Dunn & Janis Martin: 'Resurrection' Symphony #2 in c - Live Performance, 12 Feb., 1973, Salle Pleyel, Paris (both Mahler). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio T-1095. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1858)
ALOIS MELICHAR Cond. Berlin Staatsoper Orch.: Luigini, Boieldieu, Rossini, Saint-Saens, Thomas, Bizet & Offenbach. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1161, recorded 1929-35. Transfers by Denis Pelletier. (C1856)
CHRISTOPHER KEENE Cond. Syracuse S.O., w.Igor Kipnis (Harpsichord): Concert champetre (Poulenc), Live Performance, 7 & 8 Oct., 1977; w.Margaret Gawrystak (Mezzo Soprano): Alexander Nevsky (Prokofiev), Live Performance, 30 & 31 Jan., 1976 (both Mulroy Civic Center, Syracuse, NY). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1085. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (C1859)
CARL FRIEDBERG: Mozart, Paradisi, Scarlatti, Pauer, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms & Chopin - Live Performance, Juilliard School of Music Concert Hall, 24 July, 1951 [Excellent sound in an open acoustic]; w.Wolfgang Stresemann Cond. Toledo S.O.: Piano Concerto #2 in B-flat (Brahms) - Live Performance, 7 Nov., 1951; plus an incomplete, undated private recording of Chopin's Scherzo #1 in b, Op.20. [Most acceptable recordings, including the Brahms Concerto which alone has the very occasional tape recording technical issue] (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1130. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1384)
SHURA CHERKASSKY: Sonata #3 in d (Handel); Fantasie in C (Schumann); The Four Ballades (Chopin) - Live Performance, 25 Nov., 1994, Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw (Cherkassky's final recital in Poland); w.Gunter Herbig Cond. St Louis S.O.: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in a (Rachmaninoff) - Live Performance, 19 March, 1988. [The recital portion features Cherkassky at age 85, a remarkable 'desert island' performance!] (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1144. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1383)
FRANCIS POULENC & ANDRE ASSELIN: Violin Sonata (Acc.by the COMPOSER), recorded 18 Feb., 1945; FRITZ MUNCH Cond. Genevieve Moizan, Saint-Guillaume Chorus & Strasbourg S.O.: Stabat Mater, w.Georges Pretre Cond. Dominique Doublier & ORTF Ensemble: Sept Repons des tenebres - Live Performance, 10 Dec., 1963, Theatre des Champs-Elysees (all Poulenc). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-977. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. (P1381)
TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, Live Performance, 26 July, 1958, w.Sawallisch Cond. Bayreuth Festival Ensemble; Wolfgang Windgassen, Birgit Nilsson, Josef Greindl, Erik Saeden, Fritz Uhl, Grace Hoffman, etc. (Austria) 4-Orfeo C 951 183, w.Elaborate Libretto-Brochure. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! (OP3365)
BOOKS ON SALE
Books have become our lonely stepchildren! By spending so many hours constantly revising our thousands of CDs we realize we have paid scant attention to our BOOKS ON SALE, thus many have been added (with more appearing), accompanied by greatly reduced prices! Have a glance at our SALE section - for BOOKS!
. . . numerous out-of-print CDs and LPs,
[many sealed copies of numerous out-of-print
additions: The Record Collector, Naxos, VRCS,
Issues of Symposium's Harold Wayne series,
Romophone, GOP & many Met Opera
broadcasts & operas from Moscow’s Aquarius, plus
numerous lesser-known operas have been added
throughout our listings, in appropriate categories . . .
out-of-print books [many biographies,
Record Catalogue-Discographies . . .
numerous CDs are added each week] . . .
COLLECTOR ALERT ! ! !
Norbeck, Peters & Ford's Auction #151 has Closed.
We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone
for participating in Auction #151.
Auction #151 now closed Saturday, 30 November 2019.
We invite you to review our Auction #151. It is comprised of Vocal, Victor 'GEMS', Light Opera,
and Spoken Word Records.
To view the online version of our auction #151, simply click the link below:
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PE0341. THE LAST WALTZ (in English) (Music by Oscar Strauss; Libretto by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald; English adaptation has Book by Robert Evett & Reginald Arkell); Lyrics by Reginald Arkell, w.Hubert Bath Cond. Gaiety Theatre Ensemble; Jose Collins & Kingsley Lark. (240 performances). (England) Palaeophonics 162, w.Elaborate 'The Play' 16pp. Brochure replete with numerous photos of the Gaiety Theatre 1922 production; Additional excerpts by Edith Lorand, Savoy Havana Band & Hackel-Berge Orch. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm English Columbia rarities. Dominic Combe’s newest delight, produced via his enhanced equipment! For this production he had access to fabulous archival material and superb original 78s with which to work!
P1385. EMIL GILELS: Scriabin & Prokofiev Recital; 'Hammerklavier' Sonata #29 in D-flat, Op.106 (Beethoven). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1155, Live Performance, 5 Feb., 1984, Royal Festival Hall, London. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
C1874. CHRISTOPHER KEENE Cond. Syracuse S.O.: Images pour orchestre (Debussy), Live Performance, 16 & 17 Dec., 1977; Symphony #7 in d (Dvorák), Live Performance, 15 Jan., 1977 (both Mulroy Civic Center, Syracuse, NY). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1091. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
C1873. OTMAR SUITNER Cond. NHK S.O.: Nozze - Overture (Mozart); Der Freischütz - Overture (von Weber); Tannhäuser - Overture, Tristan - Prelude & Liebestod (both Wagner); 'Pastorale' Symphony #6 in F (Beethoven). (Canada) 2-St Laurent Studio YSL T-1157, Live Performance, 25 Dec., 1971, Tokyo. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.