Eileen Farrell;  Robert Farnon  -  Love is Letting Go      (DRG 91436)
Item# V0240
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Product Description

Eileen Farrell;  Robert Farnon  -  Love is Letting Go      (DRG 91436)
V0240. EILEEN FARRELL, w.Robert Farnon Cond.: Love is Letting Go, incl. Songs by Leonard, Coates, Styne, McGlohon, Schwartz, Loesser, Farnon, etc. DRG Stereo 91436, recorded 1994-1995. Very Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 021471143621


"Some singers have continued to sound great when they entered their seventies - the amazing Jimmy Scott immediately comes to mind. And others kept singing after they should have retired; Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee, for example, made the mistake of continuing to record even though their voices had deteriorated considerably. Born in 1920, Eileen Farrell was 74 when she recorded Love Is Letting Go for the independent DRG label - and at that age, she was past her prime but didn't sound bad either. If you compared Farrell at 74 to Sinatra at 74, you would have to say that Farrell had aged more gracefully as a singer. Arranged, conducted, and co-produced by Robert Farnon, 'Love Is Letting Go' is a pleasant, if unremarkable, example of traditional pre-rock pop. Farrell was never an improvising jazz singer, although Farnon's orchestral arrangements are jazz-influenced on familiar standards. And because 'Love Is Letting Go' is jazz-tinged pop rather than serious vocal jazz, it must be judged by pop standards - Farrell was always closer to Mabel Mercer than Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, or Chris Connor."

- Alex Henderson, Rovi

“Perhaps her generation's premiere dramatic soprano, Eileen Farrell later became a renowned exponent of jazz and blues. After graduating from high school in 1939 she received further vocal training in New York City then was signed by the CBS Radio Chorus and soon had her own ‘Eileen Farrell Sings’ which ran on CBS for seven years. Already well known from her years before the microphone she earned good reviews in the United States before being heard in South America in 1949. Returing home Farrell became associated with such prominent conductors as Leopold Stokowski, Pierre Monteux, and Dimitri Mitropoulos and in 1950 made her début at Carnegie Hall appearing with the New York Philharmonic. In 1951 she recorded Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Arturo Toscanini and his NBC Symphony and through the decade continued her recital career while being seen on such television shows as the ‘Texaco Star Theater’, the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’, the ‘Bell Telephone Hour’, and the ‘Carol Burnett Show’. In 1955 she provided Eleanor Parker's singing voice for her Oscar-nominated portrayal of polio stricken Wagnerian Marjorie Lawrence in MGM's INTERRUPTED MELODY and that same year gave an acclaimed performance of Luigi Cherubini's MEDEA at New York's Town Hall. In 1956 she made her bow with the San Carlo Opera Company at Tampa, Florida, as Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA then later that year was heard with the San Francisco Opera as Leonora in Verdi's IL TROVATORE. In 1957 she sang LA GIOCONDA with Lyric Opera of Chicago and in 1959 saw her career partially change course while at Italy's Spoleto Festival to sing the Verdi Requiem when she was called upon to substitute for an ailing Louis Armstrong and astounded audiences with her jazz interpretations. In 1960 she recorded the much acclaimed ‘I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues’, the first of her four jazz and pop albums made for Columbia, and that same year finally made her bow at New York's Metropolitan Opera as the title lead of Gluck's ALCESTE. Farrell proved a mismatch at the Metropolitan from the start; General Manager Rudolf Bing liked neither her nor her working class persona, was unable to recognize her ability, and resented her preference for associating with the stagehands rather than the other singers and the high society Metropolitan fans. Over her five seasons with the company she sang 46 performances as, in addition to Alceste, La Gioconda, Santuzza, Leonora from LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, and Maddalena in ANDREA CHÉNIER, the last named being the vehicle for her 1966 final Metropolitan appearances. Audiences had long wanted to hear her sing Wagner and if Bing did not appreciate her talent, Leonard Bernstein of the New York Philharmonic did, casting her in much acclaimed concert presentations of GÖTTERDAMMERUNG and TRISTAN UND ISOLDE. In 1971 she accepted a professorship at Indiana University where she added jazz to the curriculum and proved a popular and effective teacher. A chance, however, to record THE SOUND OF MUSIC for Telarc with Erich Kunzel revealed that her powers were in no wise diminished leading to seven highly prized discs of ‘The Great American Songbook’ made for the San Francisco-based audiophile label Reference Recordings in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and even to an appearance on Frank Sinatra's ‘Trilogy’ album. She made her last record in 1993, at the age of 72. Gradually retiring, she lived her last years in New Jersey, published CAN'T HELP SINGING: THE LIFE OF EILEEN FARRELL in 1999, and died on 23 March, 2002”

- Bob Hubbard