C1674. ERICH LEINSDORF Cond. Boston Symphony Orch.: La Scala di Seta - Overture (Rossini); GOTTERDAMMERUNG - Orchestral Excerpts (Wagner); w.Helen Vanni, Jerold Siena & Thomas Paul: PULCINELLA - Complete (Stravinsky). [The splendor of Symphony Hall radiates primarily in the Stravinsky and Wagner!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-735, Live Performance, 9 Jan., 1965, Symphony Hall, Boston. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"Helen Vanni, who sang over 300 performances for the Met between 1956 and 1973, included Donna Elvira, Dorabella and the Marschallin among her roles, but was mainly a singer of character and secondary parts for the Met. Elsewhere, primarily at Santa Fe, she sang Mozart's Countess and Richard Strauss leads. She collaborated interestingly with Glenn Gould in Schönberg repertory and made recordings with him on Sony. A superlative musician with a high mezzo, Vanni was trained by Edythe Walker, and for years after moving to Santa Fe coached singers at that opera company."
- OPERA-L Archives
"Jerold Siena is a tenor of international acclaim who has appeared regularly at the Metropolitan Opera, and the world’s leading opera houses, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, La Monnaie in Brussels, The Bayerische Staatsoper, Rome Opera, New York City Opera and Teatro di San Carlo of Naples. He has appeared under such conductors as James Levine, Daniel Barenboim, Andre Previn, Seiji Ozawa, Zubin Mehta, Robert Shaw, James Conlon, George Szell and Erich Leinsdorf.
In concert and oratorio he has appeared with The Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Oratorio Society of New York, the Bach Festivals of Carmel, Bethlehem and Baldwin Wallace and with the National Symphony of Washington. He has performed more than 30 different recital programs and has sung important premieres of works by Benjamin Britten, Ned Rorem and Dominick Argento.
Siena is currently professor of voice at the University of Illinois. Previously he held professorships at the University of Arizona and the Yale School of Music.
Professor Siena is recognized internationally as a master teacher who teaches each summer in Salzburg, Austria, and Urbania, Italy. He is much in demand for master classes, which he has presented for the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, the American Opera Center of Chicago Lyric Opera and Westminster Choir College."
- West Virginia University
“The American bass, Thomas Paul, studied at the Juilliard School of Music New York with Hans Heinz, and for orchestra conducting. He studied singing with Beverly Johnson, Gibner Kind and Cornelius Reid, New York.
Thomas Paul's stage debut was in 1962 at the New York City Centre Opera as Sparafucile in RIGOLETTO. His career took place particularly in the USA and in Canada. There he sang in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Houston/Texas, in New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Paul, in Boston, San Francisco, Washington, Vancouver and Montréal, but mostly at the New York City Centre Opera New York. In 1964 he worked also with the Central City Festival in the premiere of the opera LADY FROM COLORADO by Ward, which was also performed at the Aspen Festival. In the years 1962-1977, he performed many times at the Carmel Bach Festival under Sandor Salgo.
From Thomas Paul's stage repertoire should be mentioned: Figaro in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Sarastro in ZAUBERFLÖTE, Pogner in MEISTERSINGER, the title role in Béla Bartók's BLUE-BEARD’S CASTLE, Mephisto in Gounod’s FAUST, the Father in Charpentier’s LOUISE, Padre Guardiano in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, Rocco in FIDELIO, Tiresias in Stravinsky’s OEDIPUS REX, Raimondo in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, Ptolemaeus in Handel’s GIULIO CEDSARE and Don Marco in Menotti’s THE SAINT OF BLEECKER STREET. In the concert halls he also performed a comprehensive repertoire.”
- Bach Cantatas Website
"Erich Leinsdorf, a conductor whose abrasive intelligence and deep musical learning served as a conscience for two generations of conductors, had a utilitarian stage manner and his disdain of dramatic effects for their own sake stood out as a not-so-silent rebuke to his colleagues in this most glamorous of all musical jobs. In addition, Mr. Leinsdorf - in rehearsal, in the press and in his valuable book on conducting, THE COMPOSER'S ADVOCATE - never tired of pointing out gaps in culture among musicians, faulty editing among music publishers and errors in judgment or acts of ignorance among his fellow conductors. He rarely named his victims, but his messages and their targets were often clear. Moreover, he usually had the solid grasp of facts to support his contentions.
Mr. Leinsdorf moved to this country from Vienna in 1937. Helped by the recommendation of Arturo Toscanini, whom he had been assisting at the Salzburg Festival, Mr. Leinsdorf made his conducting debut at the Metropolitan Opera a year later with DIE WALKURE. He was 25 years old at the time . A year later he was made overseer of the Met's German repertory, and his contentious style - in particular an insistence on textual accuracy and more rehearsal - won him no friends among singers like Lauritz Melchior and Kirsten Flagstad. Backed by management, he remained at the Met until 1943. At the New York City Opera, where he became music director in 1956, Mr. Leinsdorf's demanding policies in matters of repertory and preparation made him further enemies, and he left a year later. His searches for permanent employment turned mostly to orchestras. After the briefest of tenures at the Cleveland Orchestra during World War II, Mr. Leinsdorf took over the Rochester Philharmonic and stayed for nine years.
Mr. Leinsdorf's last and most prestigious music directorship was at the Boston Symphony, where he replaced Charles Munch in 1962. No contrast in style could have been sharper: Munch had viewed conducting mystically, as a kind of priesthood; Mr. Leinsdorf's policy was to make performances work in the clearest and most rational way. Observers both in and out of the orchestra could not deny the benefits of Mr. Leinsdorf's discipline, but there were some who were hostile to what they perceived as an objectivity that could hardly be called heartwarming.
One American orchestra manager a few years ago responded to musicians' grumblings over Mr. Leinsdorf's rehearsal manner by saying that he was 'good for my orchestra'. And so he probably was."
- Bernard Holland, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 12 Sept., 1993