V1500. BIDÚ SAYÃO, w.Breisach, Cimara, Cleva & Leinsdorf Cond.: Arias from Don Giovanni, Nozze, La Sonnambula, La Traviata, La Boheme, Gianni Schicchi, Madama Butterfly & Pagliacci; w.Ormandy Cond. Philadelphia Orch.: La Damoiselle Élue (Debussy). (Austria) Sony MHK 63221, recorded 1941-50. Gatefold Jacket has Brochure, archival photos; Disc features original Columbia 78rpm label. Long Out-of-print. Final copy! - 074646322123
“Some people at Sony have used their ears and eyes wisely to come up with ‘Masterworks Heritage’, a mid-price reissue series drawing on treasures from the Columbia/CBS/Epic vaults and packaging them not in the usual fragile, space-consuming jewel boxes, but in slim, sturdy cardboard folders that suggest the sleeves of old. Furthermore, the funky charming cover illustrations and disc label art of the original 78s and/or LPs is reproduced as well.
Sony has chosen interpretations not previously available on CD, most from monophonic recordings of the 1940s and '50s.”
- Herbert Glass, LOS ANGELES TIMES, 5 Jan., 1997
“One of the most important elements that made Bidú Sayão such a unique artist among other singers and frankly among most instrumentalists was that she was a musician first….In 1923, Teodorini introduced Bidú to her former professor, Jean de Reszke, who concentrated on teaching her the French opera repertoire. After de Reszke’s death in 1925 Sayão continued her studies with Cotogni’s own disciple, Luigi Ricci (1893-1981), who worked with great opera composers such as Giordano, Leoncavallo, Mascagni, and Respighi, as well as coaching celebrated singers such as Ezio Pinza, Tito Gobbi, Benjamino Gigli and Fyodor Chaliapin….What makes her so unique even among the greats is that she found a way to combine, in perfect harmony, two naturally contradicting qualities rarely found in one artist: technical perfection and passion in abundance.”
- Mordecai Shehori, CLASSICAL RECORDINGS QUARTERLY, Winter, 2010
“Sayão herself has said that she disliked recording multiple takes (If you don't get it right the first time, it only gets worse and worse"), and she is proud to relate that her famed Columbia recording of the ‘Bachiana Brasileira #5’ by Villa-Lobos was not even the first take, but the first studio run-through, intended only as a check of audio levels! The explanation for Sayão's confidence is simple: her vocal training took place at a time when the 19th-century values of technical perfection were still in effect. The mechanics of tone production solidly in place, Sayão was free to give full reign to her formidable dramatic imagination. To hear her partnered with Jussi Björling in the Act IV duet from ROMÉO ET JULIETTE is a special treat - two virtuosos who exploit a seemingly endless variety of vocal colors, each more beautiful than the last. Sayão conveys an almost unsettling vulnerability in the more poignant selections included here. In particular, her account of Manon's ‘Adieu, notre petite table’ gives the impression that she will dissolve in tears at any moment, and yet the tone remains steady and supported to the end. This freedom to spontaneously explore shading, dynamics, and phrasing, without fear of technical impediments, is the hallmark of Sayão's art. It is the reason why re-takes were unnecessary: Sayão was (almost) always perfect.”
- Z. D. Akron