Bidu Sayao;  Leonard Rose;  Villa-Lobos;  Milne Charnley               (Sony MHK 62355)
Item# V1876
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Product Description

Bidu Sayao;  Leonard Rose;  Villa-Lobos;  Milne Charnley               (Sony MHK 62355)
V1876. BIDÚ SAYÃO: Brazilian Folk Songs (Braga); w.Milne Charnley (Pf.): Songs by Moret, Koechlin, Ravel, Debussy, Duparc & Hahn; w.Leonard Rose (Cello); Villa-Lobos Cond.: Bachiana Brasileira #5 (Cond. by the Composer); w.Breisach, Cimara, Cleva & Leinsdorf Cond.: Arias from Roméo, Faust & Manon. Sony MHK 62355, recorded 1941-50. Transfers by Seth B. Winner. Disc has facsimile of original Columbia 78rpm label. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 074646235522


“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…The late Brazilian soprano Bidu Sayão graced the stage of the old Metropolitan Opera house from the mid-'30s to 1952, bringing her silvery soprano and appealingly delicate physical presence to the Mozart soubrette roles and the light-lyric heroines of French opera. The present recital (62355), a 1945-1950 compilation, includes opera arias, French songs and, of particular charm and interest, music by her compatriots Heitor Villa-Lobos - her still-unequaled performance of the exquisite ‘Bachiana Brasileira’ #5--and Ernani Braga's fetching arrangements of Brazilian folk songs.”

- Herbert Glass, LOS ANGELES TIMES, 5 Jan., 1997

“…the Brazilian soprano Bidu Sayão (1902-99), some of whose opera arias and songs are on a Sony Masterworks Heritage disc (62355) made her New York début in 1935 and sang at the Met until 1951, taking on a wide range of coloratura and lyric parts. She was petite, chic, and vivacious, and was at her best in soubrette roles; her bright, pure tones and impeccable diction made her particularly effective as Manon, Mimi, and Susanna in MARRIAGE OF FIGARO. This disc presents her in arias and songs by French composers like Gounod, Debussy, and Ravel, as well as her most famous recording, Villa-Lôbos's ‘Bachiana Brasiliera #5’, and a group of Brazilian folk songs arranged by Braga that are inimitably idiomatic and colorful.”

- Alexander J. Morin,

“…the Aria-Cantilena from Villa Lobos’s 'Bachianas Brasileira' #5, with an ensemble of eight cellos and a double bass led by Leonard Rose under the composer’s direction was made in an impromptu fashion during the composer’s visit to New York City in 1945. Sayão loved the piece on first hearing it in the original version for eight cellos and a violin. She persuaded Villa-Lobos that the violin line could be replaced by a humming, mainly wordless soprano melody. The composer made the arrangement and selected the New York Philharmonic’s best cellists to record the work with Sayão. They rehearsed the piece once from beginning to end, with a single microphone. Afterwards Villa-Lobos told the singer, ‘You will never do it any better than this. That’s it’. This was the performance released. It displays Sayão’s ability to sing the notes ethereally, with sensitive dynamic shading, excellent breath control and eloquent phrasing. The recording became a best seller. Villa-Lobos was impressed enough to dub Sayão’s voice, ‘The Human Violin’. Sayão later recalled her good fortune in making a famous record for just seven minutes’ work….Sayão’s brings out the airiness of the text in Reynaldo Hahn’s 'Si mes vers avaient des ailes', a song she learned from the composer when she lived in Nice in the mid-1920s. Ravel’s 'Toi, le coeur de la rose' from L’ENFANT ET LES SORTILÈGES and Koechlin’s 'Si tu le veux' are stylish and strongly etched characterisations of the emotions behind the texts….Sayão captures the plaintive, mysterious atmosphere of LA DAMOISELLE ÉLUE. Conveying the purity of the vocal line, the innocence of the character, and the tenderness of Debussy’s setting of Rossetti’s poem, Sayão is an ideal interpreter of this music. Toscanini referred to her singing as ‘just like a dream, an angel, from the sky’.”

- Kenneth Morgan, CLASSICAL RECORDINGS QUARTERLY, Winter, 2010

“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

“Bidú Sayão's silvery, impeccably tuned voice was small in size, but rich in nuance, shading, and emotion. Her recording of the Villa-Lobos ‘Bachiana Brasileira' #5 is justly famous, unmatched for lightness and sensuality. Few have dashed off the Jewel Song from FAUST with similar insouciance or imbued the last phrases of Manon's ‘Adieu, notre petite table’ as touchingly as Sayão does here. Her French song interpretations glow with charm and style, and a previously unreleased snippet from Ravel's L'ENFANT ET LES SOTILÈGES makes one regret she never recorded the entire rôle. Sony's transfers are more lifelike and three dimensional than previous issues. A delectable disc.”

- Jed Distler,

“What further eulogies can be written about this charming, mid-century songbird? A Jean de Reszke pupil and the worthy successor to the delicious Lucrezia Bori at the Met, she enjoyed a long career in the lighter French repertoire and is remembered with deep affection by all who had the good fortune to hear her in her prime.”

- Vivian A. Liff, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, May / June, 2011