V2600. GABRIELLE RITTER-CIAMPI: Fédia (Erlanger); Arias from Les Huguenots, Il Pensieroso, Il Re Pastore, Cosi fan Tutti, Die Zauberflöte, Nozze, Barbiere, Faust, Louise, La Boheme & La Traviata. (France) Malibran 784 - Electrical Recordings plus a bonus: Cosi fan Tutti - Come scoglio (recorded 24 March, 1924). - 7600003777843
“Gabrielle Ritter-Ciampi shared something with tenor Miguel Villabella, whose Malibran disc I’ve also reviewed. Near contemporaries they both had very fine musical fathers and their careers, which began in the same year, 1917, followed the same rather local trajectory. Esteemed within France neither travelled far beyond it and theirs remained, in the main, local talents. Local however doesn’t necessarily mean inferior or parochial as the cases of these two singers quite adequately demonstrates. Her father was the Italian Ezio Ciampi, a tenor who had toured with Piatti and set up a teaching studio in Paris. Her uncle was pianist Theodore Ritter and initially she trained as a pianist - it wasn’t until she was sixteen that she retrained as a singer. Her first engagement was at the Trianon-Lyrique in 1917 as Violetta, but two years later she was, just ahead of Villabella, at the Opéra-Comique in Mozart. Her Countess in NOZZE was held in the greatest esteem and her career developed its own natural momentum - she sang more Mozart under Messager and Hahn (her Don was usually Renaud) and in some of her few visits outside France (for example at the 1932 Salzburg Festival) it was Mozart she sang. She sang Louise, Marguerite, Manon, the Marschallin, sang in Rameau as well as Rosina, Gilda and Violetta. Like Villabella she also espoused Arie Antiche - though she never recorded any - and as with him her career wound down after the end of the Second War, though she did give the premiere of Dona Irene in Hahn’s OUI DE JEUNES FILLES in 1949.
Ritter-Ciampi was a light lyric soprano with a fine though not transcendental technique, one that sported great flexibility; it’s light and even and a splendid instrument in her chosen repertoire. Poised and sustained she excelled in showpiece arias….this is a more than welcome tribute to Ritter-Ciampi and is part of a similarly fine collection of similar retrievals from this company."
- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb-International