C1401. AMERICAN RARITIES, incl. THOMAS SCHERMAN Cond. Little Orchestra Society: Symphony #3 in D (Schubert); w.NORMAN DELLO JOIO: Ricercari for Piano & Orchestra (Played by the Composer); w.LEONARD WARREN, Montlack, Gusikoff, Panitz, Shapiro & Roth: The Lamentation of Saul (dello Joio); NORMAN DELLO JOIO Cond.: Overture, Scherzo & Finale, Op.52 (Schumann). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-318. [In stunning sound; Warren is in stupendous voice, well-displayed in this excellent composition!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Founded in 1947 by Thomas K. Scherman, the Little Orchestra Society was conceived as a diminutive counterweight to the huge symphony orchestras that were then the norm in American concert halls. Its mission was twofold: to present early music with an ensemble of historically appropriate size, and to make contemporary music known to a wider public.
In 1947 Scherman became assistant conductor of the National Opera in Mexico City; the same year, he organized in New York the Little Orchestra Society for the purposes of presenting new works, some of them specially commissioned, and reviving forgotten music of the past. [A little-known fact is that Leonie Rysanek made her New York City début at the invitation of Scherman who presented her in Verdi’s MACBETH, 26 March, 1958, with William Chapman, Donald Gramm and John McCollum and The Little Orchestra Society in Carnegie Hall. She would then repeat the role a year later in her Met Opera début].”
- Margalit Fox, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 3 April, 2011
“Norman Dello Joio wrote dozens of pieces each for chorus, orchestra, solo voice, chamber groups and piano, as well as scores for television and three operas. Church music, the popular tunes of the jazz age and 19th-century Italian opera were all influences on his style, which could be both austere and colorful. In defining his musical approach, Mr. Dello Joio cited the advice of a teacher, the composer Paul Hindemith, that he should never forget that his music was ‘lyrical by nature’.
A strong spiritual bent emerged in his composing, and the story of Joan of Arc became a major theme. He wrote an opera called THE TRIUMPH OF JOAN, which he withdrew after a student performance in 1950 at Sarah Lawrence College, saying he was dissatisfied with the work. In its wake came THE TRIAL AT ROUEN, a new St. Joan opera written for television. He revised it for the New York City Opera, under the title THE TRIUMPH OF ST. JOAN, and later derived a symphonic piece from the first version.
Mr. Dello Joio won awards throughout his career, gathering a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his piece ‘Meditations on Ecclesiastes’ for string orchestra and an Emmy in 1965 for a TV series, ‘The Louvre’, on NBC. He also wrote works for ballet; Martha Graham choreographed a number of them. The jazz clarinetist Artie Shaw commissioned a concerto from him. He studied composition at the Juilliard School and with Hindemith at Yale and the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood.”
- Daniel J. Wakin, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 27 July, 2008
"Leonard Warren emerged as the principal baritone of the Met’s Italian wing in the early 1940s and remained so until his untimely death on the Met’s stage, 4 March, 1960, at the peak of his career. His smooth, velvety, and beautiful voice was powerful and had an unusually large range in its high register. It was easily and evenly produced, whether he sang softly or roared like a lion….Warren acted his roles primarily by vocal coloring, expressivity, and his excellent diction….his singing was unusually consistent….Warren’s legacy should be of interest to all lovers of great singing."
- Kurt Moses, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2006
"[Warren's] remarkable voice had a dramatic intensity which did not come naturally to him. As with everything else in his life, he worked at that until he got it right. Fortunately, his incomparable voice and dramatic power are still available to us on recordings of some of his most famous roles....[He] became one of the most famous and beloved operatic baritones in the world....Warren's flawless technique, seamless flow of sound, and brilliant top voice were his vocal trademarks and these qualities became the standard by which others would be measured, including me."
- Sherrill Milnes, AMERICAN ARIA, pp.76-77
“Each of these disks, from Canadian engineer Yves St Laurent… [feature] St Laurent's natural transfer – made without filtering, like all his dubbings – it is easy to listen to, despite the surface noise.”
- Tully Potter, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011