Elektra   (Rodzinski;  Rose Pauly, Huehn, Szantho, Jagel)  (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1045)
Item# OP2967
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Elektra   (Rodzinski;  Rose Pauly, Huehn, Szantho, Jagel)  (2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1045)
OP2967. ELEKTRA (Concert Version), Live Performance, 21 March, 1937, Carnegie Hall, w.Artur Rodzinski Cond. NYPO: Rose Pauly, Charlotte Boerner, Enid Szantho, Frederick Jagel, Julius Huehn, etc.; ROSE PAULY, w.Barbirolli Cond. NYPO: All-Strauss Broadcast, incl. Don Juan; 2 lieder - Verführung; Gesang der Apollopriesterin; SALOME - Final Scene, 27 Feb., 1938, Carnegie Hall, w.broadcast commentary; DIE AEGYPTISCHE HELENA (Strauss) - Three Scenes, w.Fritz Busch Cond., recorded 1928; 'Allerseelen' (Strauss) w.Fritz Reiner Cond. Detroit S.O., Ford Hour, Live Performance, 20 Feb., 1938; Fidelio - Abscheulicher! (Beethoven), recorded 1927. (Canada) 2-Immortal Performances IPCD 1045, w.Elaborate 50pp Booklet. Transfers by Richard Caniell. - 748252293145


"Rose Pauly....was a hugely successful dramatic soprano in Germany in the 1930s, but had to leave as the Nazis rose to power....She made very few recordings, and so we don't think of her in the same way we think of other great dramatic sopranos of her day and the next generation - Flagstad, Leider, Lawrence, Varnay, Borkh and then Nilsson. This ELEKTRA and the astonishing SALOME final scene from a New York Philharmonic concert with Barbirolli in 1938 make clear that she is of the same caliber as any of them....(Her) vocal brilliance and steely power, combined with a sufficient warmth of tone to provide vocal beauty as well as sheer volume, are part of the picture. But of equal importance is her understanding and communication of the text....Her rage and hatred are reflected in her tone, as is the ecstasy when she recognizes her brother. For those to whom ELEKTRA is an important work, it would be essential to get to know this recording. The excerpts from the 1938 all-Strauss New York Philharmonic concert are valuable too, giving us more documentation of the art of John Barbirolli...the accompaniments to Pauly in the two songs ('Verführung' and 'Gesang der Apollopriesterin') are sensitive, and the singing is remarkably intimate....

Then comes the other highlight of this set: the final scene from SALOME. Pauly manages to convey the sense, through vocal color and phrasing, that this girl is indeed a teenager. At the same time, she rides the orchestra with power. This is one of the great recording performances of this scene.

The excerpts from DIE AEGYPTISCHE HELENA are immensely valuable. . . The conducting strikingly beautiful - not surprising since it is Fritz Busch. These four scenes, as well as the Ford Hour broadcast from Detroit of Allerseelen with Reiner, are extremely gratifying extras in this set, as is the FIDELIO aria.

Immortal Performances' usual high production standards apply. The transfers are all infinitely superior to what has [previously] been around before of this material. The essays by Caniell himself and by London Green are illuminating, stimulating, and models of what we would hope to find in historical re-issues but almost never do. And the artwork and photographs are up to the same level. The texts and translations of the two songs are given as well."

- Henry Fogel, FANFARE Nov./Dec., 2014

"Everyone on stage was excellent, but Pauly was nothing less than phenomenal. For that matter, Artur, whose ELEKTRA in Cleveland I had thought impossible to top, completely transcended himself. The public went wild with enthusuiasm. To a man, from parterre to galleries, the audience in Carnegie Hall stood and shouted and applauded for a full twenty-five minutes. I had not seen an ovation like this before, neither for Artur nor anyone else. My husband was sublimely happy as, time after time, he led Mme Pauly and other members of the cast back on stage with him for bow after bow. Raising the orchestra to share the applause with him drove the audience to noisier, prolonged acclamations. It seemed as though they would never stop."

- Halina Rodzinski, OUR TWO LIVES, p.157

"[Pauly] is completely the dramatic interpreter. It is in this cause that the tone assumes a thousand colors, according to the stress of the moment, which sometimes the voice is as jagged as Strauss' terrific text....Few voices have at once the power and the color that the music asks. Here is a singer born for the part."

- Olin Downes, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 8 Jan., 1938

"Considering the range of her roles, the length of her career, the number of creations, the major opera houses where she sang, and the stature of the musicians with whom she worked, Pauly enjoys nothing like the posthumous fame that time has granted to so many of her contemporaries' concert recordings taken from a 1937 ELEKTRA performance serve as a fine testimony to her excellence in this role. Pauly sings it to perfection."

- Vivian A. Liff, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2009

"Truly one of the finest dramatic sopranos of the 20th Century, yet today known only by the true connoisseurs of vocal music. Pauly was considered to be the greatest of all 20th Century Elektras, a role she made her own throughout the World, including 8 performances over 3 seasons at the Metropolitan Opera. A refugee from the Holocaust, her disappearance from people's lips perhaps was by her own design, as she left her meteoric career in 1946 and settled in Tel Aviv as a pedagogue. Pauly made her first American appearance in a March 18, 1937, New York Philharmonic concert performance of ELEKTRA. After a prolonged ovation, a host of the musical elite streamed backstage to offer their congratulations. Olin Downes proclaimed her 'the greatest and most dramatic singer in this part to have been heard in this country'."

- Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com

"Frederick Jagel began his education with William Brady and Vincenzo Portanova in New York and concluded with Corace Cataldi-Tassoni in Milan. He made his debut in 1924 at the Teatro in Livorno under the name Federico Jeghelli as Rodolfo in LA BOHEME. He guested at different Italian operatic stages and sang during a season at the Italian Opera in Holland. In 1927 he was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York where he appeared longer than twenty years (under his own name Frederick Jagel). He made his debut as Radames. At the Metropolitan Opera he was highly acclaimed especially as an interpreter of the Italian repertoire, however, he also sang Wagner roles (Lohengrin, Tannhauser, Tristan) and in 1930 the role of Gritzko in the Met premiere of Mussorgsky's THE FAIR AT SOROCHYNTSI. His special star role was Herod in SALOME. In 1948 he sang the title role in the Met premiere of PETER GRIMES. From 1930 he guested regularly at the San Francisco Opera, in 1928 and in the 1939-1941 seasons at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. In 1943 he appeared at the Chicago Opera as Lohengrin, in 1942 at the City Center Opera as Herod."

- Ashot Arkelyan

"Artur Rodzinski was born in Split, the capital of Dalmatia on 1 January, 1892. In Vienna, his teachers included Josef Marx and Franz Schreker (composition), Franz Schalk (conducting), and Emil von Sauer and Jerzy Lalewicz (piano). He returned to Lwow where he was engaged as chorus master at the Opera House, making his debut as a conductor in 1920 with Verdi's ERNANI. The following year saw him conducting the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Warsaw Opera House. While visiting Poland, Leopold Stokowski heard Rodzinski leading a performance of Wagner's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG and exclaimed 'I have found that rare thing, a born conductor!' and invited him to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Between 1925 and 1929 he served as Stokowski's assistant, conducted for the Philadelphia Grand Opera and directed the opera and orchestral departments at the Curtis Institute of Music. From 1929 to 1933, Rodzinski became the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, garnering praise not only for his interpretations but for his innovative programming. From 1933 to 1943, he was music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, developing it into one of the foremost orchestras in America. He engaged new musicians and raised the playing standards to a very high level. His programs were innovative, offering works such as the first performance in America of Shostakovich's opera LADY MACBETH OF THE MTSENSK DISTRICT, which gained the orchestra national attention. Between December 1939 and February 1942, Rodzinski and the Cleveland Orchestra made an extensive series of recordings for the Columbia Records label. During this time he appeared with the New York Philharmonic in 1934 and 1937, when his concert performance of Richard Strauss' ELEKTRA aroused great enthusiasm. Rodzinski was also active in Europe, becoming the first naturalized American citizen to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival in 1936 and 1937. At Arturo Toscanini's recommendation, Rodzinski was engaged by NBC to select the musicians for the new NBC Symphony Orchestra. He rigorously trained the orchestra and conducted its first concerts in 1937, before the arrival of Toscanini.

Rodzinski was appointed music director of the New York Philharmonic in 1943. Though his four-year tenure was marked by considerable acrimony with Arthur Judson, the powerful manager of the orchestra, Rodzinski achieved high standards of performance. The renowned music critic and composer Virgil Thomson wrote about Rodzinski's tenure at the Philharmonic: 'We now have an orchestra that is a joy to hear...and we owe it all to Artur Rodzinski'. During Rodzinski's time on the podium the Philharmonic recorded extensively, again for Columbia, performed weekly live broadcasts on CBS Radio, and appeared in the feature film CARNEGIE HALL.

Despite, however, the quality of the orchestra's performances, numerous artistic matters such as the prerogative of the music director to dismiss musicians, select soloists and determine repertoire were persistent grounds of contention. Not willing to compromise on these matters, Rodzinski resigned in 1947. His reputation as a conductor was so prominent at this time that his resignation was the subject of a cover story in TIME MAGAZINE in February 1947. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra had been wooing Rodzinski for some time and now he decided to immediately accept the leadership of that orchestra starting with the 1947-1948 season. Here again, an inability to work with the board resulted in his swift departure after only one season. His short tenure still had a significant impact upon the orchestra and local audiences through performances such as a legendary account of Wagner's TRISTAN UND ISOLDE with Kirsten Flagstad.

After his departure from Chicago, Rodzinski's health began to deteriorate. There was little recording activity available to him in the U.S. and he settled in Europe once more. Here, his status as a major musician was recognized and he was invited to lead significant productions, such as the 1953 first performance of Prokofiev's WAR AND PEACE at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, as well as traditional repertoire works. He conducted at La Scala and also worked extensively for Italian radio, conducting well received readings of Wagner's TANNHÄUSER and TRISTAN, and Mussorgsky's BORIS GODUNOV and KHOVANSHCHINA. He re-established his presence as a recording artist through a contract with Westminster Records, for whom he recorded extensively with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London from 1955. His final recordings were for EMI in 1958. By this time Rodzinski's health was fragile. He was warned by his Italian doctor that further conducting activity would put his life at risk. However, he returned to Chicago in 1958 to conduct TRISTAN once again, this time with the Chicago Lyric Opera and soprano Birgit Nilsson. His return was a triumph, but these were his last performances and he died shortly afterwards."

- Ned Ludd