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The Worldstar Live on Stage
The Worldstar Live on Stage
Offered by Music-Shop
Price: 11.88

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is beauty? Does it exist,if it does,then surely Bjorling voice shows us what it is., 6 Dec 2013
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(CD reviews further on)Swede Jussi Bjorling's(1911-1960)voice at the end of his life was slightly darker,yet was still in the glorious state it had been in when he made his earliest adult recordings in 1930.This was the year he made his debut at the Royal Opera in Stockholm.By 1945 his repertoire was small,since he did not want to learn new roles.Most of his Italian roles were in Verdi and Puccini;Romeo and Faust were his two French roles.(John Hughes 1991). Steane in his book the Grand Tradition, writes that "Bjorling,has the beauty and sonority of tone,the purity of line,that begin to qualify a singer for inclusion in the ranks of the great".For example,Caruso and Schipa,had an instantly recognisable voice,with an emotional center,this Bjorling had.Since I first heard Bjorling in the 1956 EMI La Boheme cond Beecham with de Los Angeles,he has been one of my favourite lyrical tenors.

To understand these singers of the past,I would suggest you obtain the EMI series, Les Introuvables Du Chant Verdi 8CDs,1900-1950.Wagner 4CDs,plus 50 years of Mozart singing 4 CDs. Also,EMI Record of Singing Vol 4, 1939 to the end of the 78 period.I have owned these sets for years,and found them invaluable.I think UK Amazon sells them.

A smallish box whose lid opens backwards,where you can place the CDs you want to play.The CD sleeves are dark brown with yellow Ochre designs on it with CD number and words Jussi Bjorling,plus the operas names.The back is yellow ochre with the track numbers,arias,orchestra,plus singers with Bjorling.Date performed.The CD is dark brown with yellow ochre designs,opera's name and CD number at the top. No booklet included so I will give you as much information as I can.The sound is much like Naxos singers of the past CDs.A few arias have hiss on the CD.All the excerpts have Bjorling singing.All live.

(CD 1)MASCAGNI: CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA.1954 popular arias sung by Bjorling in Italian, the other singers sing in Swedish. Orch of the Royal Swedish Opera cond Kurt Bendix.(Italian)1959. Tu qui,Santuzza?/Ah!io vedi,che hai detto. Simionato and Elias.Mamma! Quel vino e generoso. Simionato, Votipka. Orch Metropolitan opera house New York.cond Verchi."Here there is no lack of southern passion in Bjorling's Turiddu.A stage performance of 1959 with Simionato,shows him in tremendous form;fiery in the scene with Santuzza".Prompter a bit loud.
LEONCAVALLO:I PAGLIACCI: 1954. Stockholm.The entire cast sings the popular arias in Swedish. Orch Royal swedish Opera House cond Gardelli. Vienna 1937 Swedish. vesti La giubba. No,pagliaccio non son. Orch Vienna Staatsoper cond Karl Alwin. Passionate singing

(CD 2)GOUNOD:FAUST.1950 Siepi and Dorothy Kirsten. Orch and chorus of the Met Opera House New York,cond Cleva.(1959) Soderstrom. Siepi. Merrill. Orch Met Opera House,New York,cond Morel.All the popular duets and arias.Opera on Record States "One of the two best Mephistopheles of the last 45 years(written 1979) is an Italian Cesare Siepi.And a Swede Jussi Bjorling is the best Faust since the war.He represents a link to another lost operatic tradition: voices of lyric weight capable of projecting with proper force. Bjorling was the last lyric tenor to do this with consistency,and as a result a whole cluster of roles,including Faust, that ought to belong to lyric tenors seem to call for bigger voices. But to hear one of Bjorling's Met 'off the air' performances of the Faust love duet is to realize that what is required is not volume of sound for focused intensity".Beautiful-the gulp factor is at work here,more so in Gounod's Romeo and Juliet-T.

(CD 3)PUCCINI: TOSCA. 1959. Stockholm.Bjorling sings in Italian,the others singers in Swedish. Popular aria and duets. Orch of royal Swedish opera house cond Grevillus.LA BOHEME. 1957. Same. Malmo Sym Orch cond Axelson. 1940,Stockholm. Sung in Swedish. Che Gelida manina. O soave fanciulla.Orch of the Royal Opera house cond Grevillus.

(CD 4) PUCCINI: MANON LESCAUT.1949. Tra voi belle,brune e blone.Cortese demigella.Il priego mio fato si chiama/Donna non vidi mai.Dorothy Kirsten.She was a stunningly beautiful woman.Orch of the Met opera House,New York. Cond Antonicelli.Donna non vidi mai rightly earns the audience's applause;but it is not full-throated.it is tender,passionate,but never strained. Bjorling's interpretation of Des Grieux is a beautifully considered and delivered interpretation.Kirsten was blessed with a light pure lyric soprano.I own this set. Naxos,worth buying.1956 same as above. with Licia Albanese,also Oh, saro la piu bella/Tu,amore? Tu?sei tu. Presto...in fila..No'pazzo son. fra le tue braccia amore. Cond Met Opera House,cond Mitropoulos.Bjorling gives one of his finest interpretations on disc. Licia Albanese no longer sounding girlish, yet she has the deepest understanding of Manon.Toscanini chose her in 1946 to be Violetta in his recording of La Traviata.LA BOHEME.1948.Favourite excerpts from this opera,with Frank Valentino. Bidu Sayao. Orch of the Met opera house cond Antonicelli.Sayao is a charming and cultivated singer.

(CD 5)GOUNOD: ROMEO ET JULIETTE.1947.Eh bien! que l'avertissement. Ange adorable. O nuit! sous tes alles obscures. Ah! leve-toi,soleil. helas:moi,le hair! O nuit divine! Jet'implore/Adieu mille fois! Mon pere! Dieu vous garde! Dieu qui fit l'homme a ton image!.Romeo tu Choisis Juliette pur femme? Va! Je t'al pardonne/Nuit d'hymendee! C'est la..salut! tombeau! Somber et silencieux/O ma femme!. Ou suis je?/ Console-toi,pauvre ame.Bidu Sayao(Juliette),Benzell,Bjorling(Romeo),Brownlee,Moscona(Frere Laurent). Orchestra Met opera house cond Emil Cooper. 1940 stockholm. sung in Swedish. C'est la...Salut! tombeau. L.amour!Oui,son ardeur/Ah!leve-toi,soleil!Orch Royal opera house cond Grevillius."In the cast are the best Romeo,Juliette,and Frere Laurent on records as of 1993.Bidu Sayao is always shaping and colouring the melody to give it spontaneity,and warmth.Bjorling is in magnificent voice,a rapturous presence who always speaks through the music." (The Met guide to recorded Opera).This is how this opera should be sung.This is Bjorling at his best. Is beauty a vague memory of another place,we dimly remember.Or just is,because it is.-T

(CD 6) PUCCINI: TOSCA.1959. private tapes. Bjorling,Maria Curtis-Verna. Cornell Macneil.Orch Opera House,New york cond Mitropoulos.Popular excerpts.The prompter can be a bit loud,but the singing is excellent.Special bonus 1944 Stockholm Concert Hall.From concert of Swedish radio. Nussun Dorma. Swedish Symphony orch cond Tor Mann.

(CD 7)VERDI:DON CARLOS.1950. Io i'ho perduta/io la vede e il suo sorriso. E lui! desso! l'infante! /Dio,che nell'alma infondere.lo vengo a domandar/perduto ben,mio sol tesor. al mio furor. Ed io,che tremara al sol aspetto. E dessa/vago sogno m'arrise!ma lassu ci vedremo/si,per sempre Including the original final broadcast announcement.Robert Merrill,was one of the great American Baritones such as Warren, Tibbett,MacNeil. Barbieri, mezzo, who often sung with Callas. Delia Rigal.Orch Met Opera House New York,cond Fritz Stiedry.AIDA.Bjorling sings in Swedish,Nemeth(Aida) in German. Celeste Aida. Pur ti reveggo,mia dolce Aida. Orch Vienna Staats opera cond Victor de Sabata.He was the Conductor of the great 1953 EMI Tosca with Gobbi,Callas,di Stefano. Fritz Stiedry was a one time assistant at the Vienna Court Opera to Gustav Mahler.He fled Germany in 1933 and reached USA in 1937.

(CD 8)VERDI: UN BALLO IN MASCHERA.1940.S'avanza ilConte/la rivedra nell estasi. Signori: oggi d'Ulrica/ogni cura si doni al diletto. Su,profefessa/Du'tu se fedele il flutto m'aspetta. E scherzo od e follia. teco io sto. Forse la soglia attinse/ma se m'e forza perderti. Ah! perche qui!. Ella pura.Milanov. Stella Andreva. Sved.Moscona. bruna Castagna.Orch of the Met Opera House cond Ettore Panizza.He was assistant to Toscanini at La Scala,Milan from 1921-1929.He was appointed in 1934 as Italian conductor at the Met opera,a position he held until 1942.He died in 1967.He conducted in 1926 the first full performance of Turandot with Alfano's ending.Toscanini only conducted up to where Puccini left the score.In this opera Panizza shows a masterhand.Milanov with her rare beauty of voice was one of the most communicative. In this opera she demonstrates the virtues of a Verdi soprano.Sved big voiced and reliable. He was marvellous as Telramund in the 1943 Met performance of Wagner's Lohengrin. The glory is Bjorling's Riccardo,the embodiment of youthful ardour.
1950 New Orleans. As above. Orch of the New Orleans opera cond Herbert.

(CD 9)VERDI: RIGOLETTO. 1957. Stockholm. Favourite excerpts from this opera.Orch of the Royal Swedish Opera. Cond Bendix. 1945. Della mia bella incognita/Questo oquella. E il sol dell anima. Ella mi fu rapita/Parmi verdi le lagrime. La donna e mobile/E la vostr uomo/Un di,se ben rammentomi/Bella figlia dell'amore. Sayao,Lipton, Warren,Cordon. Orch of the Met Opera house,cond Sodero.Sayao was a Brazilian soprano who studied with Jean De Rezeke.Her Gilda shows off the warmth of her singing and portryal of a vulnerable girl.The part Rigoletto shows off Warren's voice in all its fierce beauty,sensitivity and blazing top notes. Bjorling in radiant voice. The Gramophone 2009 states" that it is a superb performance".

(CD 10) VERDI: Il TROVATORE. 1939.London. Tace la notte/Deserto sulla terra.Di quella pira. Orch of the Royal opera house,Covent Garden.Cond Gui.1960 Stockholm. Ah si, ben mio/Di quella Pira. Miserere. Orch Royal swedish opera cond Sandberg. 1947.Tace La Notte Malreggendo all'aspro assalto.Warren,Henshaw. Orch Met opera house,cond Cooper.1941. mal reggendo. Ah!si,ben mio. Di quella Pira.Al nostri monti. Bruna Castagna,Norina Greco.Orch Met opera house cond Calusio.

REFERENCES:Blyth,A(ED)Opera on record.1979.Hutchinson of Australia. Gramophone 2009 Classical guide. Hughes,J. Biographies EMI The record of singing Vol 4.1991. Gruber,P.The Met Guide to Recorded Opera.1993.Thames and Hudson. Steane,J.The Grand Tradition. 1974 Duckworth.Verdi at the Met.Legendary performances from the Met booklet 2013.
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Weill: Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free]
Weill: Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Measha Brueggergosman
Price: 29.67

5.0 out of 5 stars "Weill stated"There is no difference between serious and light music,there is only good and bad music.", 22 Nov 2013
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Weill was born in Dassau,Germany 1900.His teachers were Humperdinck, who was the composer of the opera Hansel and Gretel.He helped Wagner prepare his score of Parsival for the Premiere. Weill also joined Busoni's composition master class.In otherwords,he was throughly versed in the tradition of the serious music of the time.(the review further on).He worked in the local opera house under Knappertsbusch who was music director.Stravinsky's neo classicism influenced Weill,also he started to gain a social consciousness.In the mid 1920's he discovered tonal and Jazz music.In 1926 he married Lotte Lenya. Weill was established as a leading composer in the Weimar Republic,and in 1927 he gave Brecht an unknown writer, a chance with his Mahagonny Songspiel,then followed the Threepenny opera(1928),Happy end (1929),Rise and Fall of the city of Mahagonny.(1930)and Das Jasager.Weill and Brecht drifted apart, because Brecht felt there was too much music in the operas and music plays. His deeply felt Communist views annoyed Weill who was a humanist.In 1933 Weill left Germany because of the Nazi's and emigrated to France.There was a brief reunion with Brecht who wrote the libretto for Seven deadly sins.In 1935 Weill and Lenya left for the USA.

Weill wanted music to be accessible to a wide variety of listeners.So in Germany he transformed into high art the songs and dance music of the time,also drawing from classical and romantic music.Basically, the libretto and the music was a parody of happy endings and romantic lyrical arias.The works were a combination of spoken theatre and popular musical idioms.Thus,you have a risque text with beautiful tunes,such as that within the Rise and fall of Mahagonny.Sometimes the music is entirely different to the words being sung.Weill wanted to reform opera,he called the Threepenny opera a song play.In the Rise and Fall of Mahagonny,he wanted the words to be sung. Had not performances been interpreted by the Nazi regime,Weill would have worked to tighten the action and resolve the conflict between operatically trained singers and decidedly unoperatic material.Some may think Weill only wanted artists from the fields of Cabaret,because of Lotte Lenya and musical comedy. But he did use singers from operetta.Some of his songs music sound as if they are from operettas,as a couple are from this opera,almost song play

The synopsis is a dig at the social conditions of the time of the Weimar Republic,but it does resonate with audiences of today,with the problems caused by the global economy;capitalism at its worse.Based upon the Reaganite values of deregulation;let the market rip and small government,where positive human values are seen as being weak and politically correct.Brecht and Weill developed a logic of negative values.A City is founded by criminals,humanity is unreal,love is for sale and friendship selfish.There is a kind of justice,but it is one in which the poor suffer. If he cannot produce a bribe it is the person without money who is excuted rather than the murderer. It ends by saying,no one can help anyone.Premiere 1930 Leipzig,Neues theatre.Otto Klemperer director of the Kroll theatre,Berlin,known for his avanteguarde performances,thought it crass. Both authors changed the work.

Stage direction is by Alex Olle,Carlos Padrissa-La Fura Dels Baus.Known for their work on Wagner's Ring cycle,called the Valencia Ring.The set is mainly a rubbish dump,which in turn becames a golf course,created by artifical turf. Chairs,tables and beds are used creatively by the troup la fura Dels Baus,who are involved in the opera in crowd scenes.Modern dress.The Orchestra Teatro Real Madrid is conducted energetically by the young Pablo Heras-Casado.

There are trained opera singers in this cast as there should be. Weill wanted his work to be sung,not shouted. Jenny Smith is sung very well by Measha Brueggergosman.She is different to Lenya,who was like a caberet singer who was not trained.Weill adjusted his parts to her.According to Conductor Maurice Abravanel who knew Weill very well,when interviewed by Mauceri,he stated,"Lenya was a fantastic actress.She wanted to sing and there is this big misunderstanding that Kurt(Weill) wanted it.Never!Never!.It should be sung without any sentimentality but with very strong emotion.Sing.!Sing".(Decca booklet, recording of Weill's seven deadly sins).Hear Measha sing the Alabama Song. Show us the way to the next whisky bar. Michael Konig is Jim Mc Intyre,who tells the others to "Do it".Do what ever they like.He is executed in the end for not being able to pay a bribe. The widow, Leocadia Begbick is sung by Jane Henschel, who is operatically trained, is very animated in the part. Trinty Moses is Willard White,who has played Wotan in the Wagner's ring cycle. He is even a boxer in this opera.John Easterlin plays Jack o'Brien who dies of over eating. Tobby Higgins is his other part.He is let off for murder because of a bribe.Fatty, Donald Kaasch,Played Dantine in the perfect American,an opera by Glass about Walt Disney.A very well directed and sung opera in English,which I much prefer to the German.10 CD box set under 10 pounds with Brecht and Weill's works,plus works from his American period.(see my review)

Another composer who deals with society is American,Phillip Glass who is classically trained, taught composition by Nadia Boulanger,who was a pupil of Faure.He is a minmalist,but uses popular music along with Indian tabla inspired music,plus influences from classical music.His work is very tuneful.His music is a reaction against atonal music.He is the only composer to be on Broadway,have an opera playing at the Met,be in the popular music charts and play at Carnegie Hall all in a year.Even David Bowie likes his music.I wonder if Weill's music inspired Glass?Also,he has deeply held humanitarian views like Weill.

SUBTITLES:English,Spanish,French,German. Sound: PCM Stereo. 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio. 1080i Full HD.16.9. REGION code.A.B.C.Booklet included which only has the synopsis.Recorded live Madrid 9 2010.

References: Batta,A. Opera.2005. Konemann. Ewen,D.20th Century opera music.1968. Prentice-Hall. Guinn,G. Stone,(Eds)The St James Encyclopdedia.1997.Visible Ink. Holden,A.(Ed).Penguin opera Guide.1995.Viking.


R. Strauss: The Great Operas
R. Strauss: The Great Operas
Price: 33.51

26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Strauss wrote heartbreaking melodies for the human voice., 21 Nov 2013
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Richard Strauss was born on the 11th June 1864 and so next year is his 150th birthday,but Warner have released the set now before Christmas,a very shrewd business move.(Details of operas below).However,the Strauss opera's were recorded between 1956 and 1990 and are all ex EMI,that is why Arabella is missing,they never recorded it.I checked my vast classical book library.Decca recorded Arabella twice,DGG once and Orfeo once,just in case you wondered.But what is this box set like?I can honestly swear it is well worth obtaining.Well you would write that,you might think.The 10 opera set has all the operas you would expect,but also operas like Die Schweigsame Frau(silent woman),Friedenstag and Intermezzo with marvellous performances.I had hoped they would come on Bluray.The only other ones missing is the agyptische Helena,once recorded by Decca, conducted by Dorati.Die Liebe der Danae is now on bluray.I own it.

The cardboard box is tough.The lid when opened lies flat,so you can place CDs you wish to play.The front has a picture of the composer when young, with Strauss the great operas,and the operas name in orange.The spine and back are a light lemony green.The spine has Strauss the great Operas written in Orange.The back of the box has the CD numbers and the names of the Operas in the box.Exactly,the same for the Sleeves.The back has the CD number,plus the operas name,track numbers and arias to be sung,nothing else.The Discs are black with CD number and opera.If it is a one Act opera and requires two discs,on the front of the sleeve is beginning and conclusion.If three acts,each Act is on one disc.The booklet has no synopsis,nor translations,nor a CD with that information on it,like Decca's complete Wagner's operas set which does have this CD. All it has is the operas name and roles taken by the singers,and conductors. There is an essay "Love letters to Opera".This keeps the price down to 2 pounds a disc.I suppose we should be happy.I have some of these operas so I have the libretto's.The sound is naturally good.As far as I can gather from the booklet,the Stereo recordings were digitally remastered in 2001.

(CD 1&2)STEREO.(EMI) SALOME:Hildegard Behrens, Agnes Baltsa,Jose Van Dam,Heinz Zednik,Gerald Unger,Erich Kunz,Kurt Rydl.Vienna Philharmonic Cond Herbert von Karajan. Recorded 1978.Recorded after the stage production.He chose as Salome, Hildegard Behrens,then relatively unknown.Her tone is ravishingly conveyed and she is girlish as Salome.The cast is of the finest Salzburg standard.Van Dam stands out as Jochanaan.Von Karajan sound makes one revel in the beautiful music eminating from the Orchestra.For within Salome there are lush melodies His tempo's vary from slowish to fast when required. It is a different approach to Solti's interpretation of this opera. I own that set. His tempo's are fast,bringing out the horror, and the emotion slaps you in the face with Nilsson as splendid as ever. She is eternally wicked. So I thought another interpretation would be fine.The Met Opera Guide to recorded music states "This is one of the best Salomes.Behrens comes about as close to anyone as Strauss's 16 year old with the voice of Isolde."

CD (2&4)DIGITAL.(EMI) ELEKTRA.Eva Marton,Cheryl Studer,Marjana Lipovsek,Bernd Weikl,Kurt Moll. Bavarian Radio symphony orchestra.Cond Wolfgang Sawallisch.Recorded 1990. When I was working in Munich years ago,I used to go to the Munich state Opera to see Sawallisch conduct Strauss. The Gramophone 2009 states"Sawallisch is the most experienced conductor of Strauss's operas today." So when the back of the box set says that featured are the finest Straussian conductors of the last half century,they are not far wrong.Sawallisch conducts five of the operas in this set,Von Karajan two. The Penguin guide 1993 "feels that Eva Marton in the role of Elektra finds more light and shade than Birgit Nilsson did for Solti".Orestes Bernd Weikl is fine in his role. Lipovsek as Klytamnestra is the finest on record 1990.Cheryl Studer Chrysothemis has wonderful moments.Penguin Guide feels that this is the finest of all digital sets.The Solti version knocks your socks off,however,one wants to hear other versions to understand the whole picture as it were.The Met Opera guide to recorded music feels that this recording "can be recommended without serious reservations:the EMI/Swallisch set is a distinguished production in every respect".

(CD 5-7)STEREO.(EMI)DER ROSENKAVALIER.Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Otto Edelmann,Christa Ludwig,Eberhard Wachter,Teresa Stich-Randall,Ljuba Welitsch,Paul Kuen,Nicolai Gedda. Philharmonia Orch cond Von Karajan.Recorded 1956.The Penguin Guide 1993 considers this version "one of the greatest of all opera recordings".They give it a Rosette,which means it is excellent.They go on to write,"that it has an emotional intensity that Von Karajan has rarely equalled,even in Strauss,of whose music he is a supreme interpreter".There is the Feldmarschallin from Schwarzkopf,bringing out detail as no one else can,a woman still young and attractive.Christa Ludwig,Mezzo soprano, makes an ideal,ardent Octavian and Teresa Stich-Randall is a radiant Sophie,just hear the presentation of the Rose.Otto Edelmann is a winningly characterful Ochs who yet sings every note clearly.Stage cuts sanctioned by the composer are observed.I already own this recording. EMI mono Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Cond Robert Heger,made in 1933. Lotte Lehmann as the Feldmarschallin and Elisabeth Schumann as Sophie.Approximately 100 minutes of music. As a bonus,we are offered a Lieder recital with Lehmann and Schumann. Bluray Der Rosenkavalier Cond Luisi.Schwanewilms the greatest exponent of the role today,Kurt Rydl as Ochs.Staatsoper Dresden.I have not forgotten Renee Fleming.

(CD 8-9) STEREO.(EMI).ARIADNE AUF NAXOS.Staatskapelle Dresden.Cond Rudolf Kempe.Gundula Janowitz,Sylvia Geszty,Teresa Zylis-Gara,James King,Peter Schreier,Hermann Prey.Recorded 1968.Janowitz sings with that distictive heavenly voice of hers.Zylis-Gara is an ardent composer,James King sings the role better then most.Es gibt ein Reich is stunningly sung by Janowitz,sounding as a Strauss singer should. There is in this set featured some of the finest Straussian singers of the last half century and Janowitz is one of them along with Schwarzkopf and Popp.Their voices throb with emotion.The Met Opera guide's critic writes" Kempe's 1968 EMI probably represents the most rewarding combination of good qualities.The orchestra really sounds like a chamber ensemble.The voices stand out"

(CD 10-12)DIGITAL.(EMI) DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN.Rene Kollo,Cheryl Studer,Hanna Schwarz,Paul Frey,Marjana Lipovsek,Alfred Muff,Ute Vinzing.Bavarian Radio symphony orchestra Cond Sawallisch.recorded 1987. Strauss lived in Garmisch,Bavaria.He was born in Munich.So this orchestra has the music in its bones.Sawallisch is a most persuasive Straussian and the Bavarian Radio orchestra plays beautifully for him.Cheryl Studer sings radiantly as the Empress,and Rene Kollo is a powerful Emperor.Hanna Schwarz is marvellous as the nurse. However,Ute Vining as the wife and Alfred Muff as Barak though good,do not capture the emotional Straussian line,so Mir anvertraut Act 3, is not as heartbreaking as it should be.If one has heard the Bluray of the Vienna Phil cond Thielemann,you will know what I mean.Koch,Barak and Herlitzius his wife, are truely heartbreaking in this part.It has very modern staging. The Russian version bluray conducted by Gergiev,which is mostly traditional, understands the emotional impact Strauss's arias have.(Read my review).The Met Opera Guide states about this recording "preference must go to EMI,for its completeness,for Sawallisch's prodigiously insightful conducting,and for the all round competence of its cast."

(CD 13-14)STEREO.(EMI)INTERMEZZO.2 Acts. Lucia Popp,Fischer-Dieskau,Adolf Dallapozza. Kurt Moll.Bavarian Radio symphony Orchestra cond Sawallisch.Recording 1980.This opera was originally written for Lotte Lehmann,but even she could not outshine Lucia Popp who has a distinctive voice that is ideal for Strauss's works. She brings to the fore the quirks of Christine and her captivating ways.An emotional powerful performance from Sawallisch.The cast are ideal. Within the opera there are many interludes,the best being after Christine sings Ein hubscher mensch..interlude.
The opera is based on an incident in Richard's and Paulines marriage in 1902,when she had opened a letter mistakenly addressed to Richard.Mitzi Mucke wanted some tickets.Pauline suspected the worse and started divorce proceedings.It was cleared up by a friend who explained that the letter was meant for the conductor Stransky. Richard turned it into a opera,changed names,but based it on real exchanges between Pauline and himself.He wrote the Libretto.Strauss and Pauline both coached Lehmann-Christine, and the singer who played Strauss-Storch. At the first performance,Dresden 1924,the sets were replicas of the Strauss's home.Because it was felt to be in bad taste it dropped out of the repertoire.But the opera is back and is gradually becoming popular.Mahler and Hofmannsthal,Struass's Librettist, could not stand Pauline.She was house proud,never stopped talking,treated her servants badly,checked to see if Richard was working on his music.Thought Strauss was a peasant,for she was attached to royality. She had tantrums. But Strauss was endlessly fascinated by her. Lotte Lehmann thought they both put on an act for their friends.He was laid back;could handle tempermental Prima Donnas,and was very witty.He does portray Pauline in other operas.He spoke though his music,as does Britten.

(CD 15 &17) STEREO (EMI) DIE SCHWEIGSAME FRAU.3 Acts.Theo Adam,Annelies Burmeister,Wolfgang Schone,Jeanette Scovotti.Staatskapelle Dresden,Cond Marek Janowski.Recording 1977.The plot is to trick the rich old sea dog,Sir Morosus,who abominates noise,into a mock marriage with a silent woman who will turn into a virago and thus teach him how much happier he is by staying single.The opera is certainly merry and bright.

(CD 18) DIGITAL.FRIENDENSTAG. One Act. Bernd Weikl,Sabine Hass.Bavarian State opera, cond Sawallisch.Premiere July 1938-National theate,Munich.It is the final answer by Richard Strauss the artist to critics of his attitude to the politics of his time.it is an anti-war opera.It is his most austere.It drawn from Strauss some of his strongest diatonic music.It is the last day of the Thirty years war,24th October 1648.A besieged city is near to surrender.The inhabitants are starving.Even the mayor begs the commandant to surrender to save their lives.He refuses as his orders are to fight to the last.Bells are rung that means peace is declared.The question often asked about Strauss is,why did'nt he leave Nazi Germany?. I think like Furtwangler,he thought art was life itself, and above everyday events.This is a mistake some individuals make. Art and life are interwoven and each reflects the other.We are part of the times within which we live.

(CD 19 & 20)DIGITAL (EMI) DAPHNE One Act.Lucia Popp. Reiner Goldberg. Ortrun Wenkel.Kurt Moll. Peter Schreier.Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Cond Bernard Haitink. Lucia Popp is an enchanting Daphne.Peter Schreier bringing lieder-like feeling for detail to the role of Leuikippos,and Reiner Goldberg producing heroic singing as Apollo. Kurt Moll is a fine Peneios.One of my favourite Strauss recordings and operas. The DGG version conducted by Bohm,to whom Strauss dedicated this opera,is good,even though it is live.Hilde Gueden does have the same emotional line as does Popp.I own this DGG version.I have been waiting for the Haitink recording for a long time.It is Strauss's finest part for soprano since Der Rosenkavalier."None can compare with the Loveliness of Daphne" states Michael Kennedy in his book on Richard Strauss.It is about a Greek myth where a Nymph turns into a woman into a tree.This opera is written in his Indian summer,when he wrote the Oboe Concerto,the second Horn Concerto and the Four last songs.Daphne DVD June Anderson,Birgit Remmert,Roberto Sacca,Orchestra teatro La Fenice Di Venezia. Cond Reck. Traditional staging.

(CD 21 &22)STEREO.(EMI) CAPRICCIO.Elizabeth Schwarzkopf,Eberhard Wachter,Nicolai Gedda,Fischer-Dieskau,Hans Hotter,Christa Ludwig.Anna Moffo. Philharmonia orchestra cond Sawallisch. Recorded 1958.As the Countess, Schwarzkopf has no equals."The sheer beauty of her voice,poised and pure,shaded with immaculate control.Listen to the Closing scene.Also,supporting her is a cast as starry as could be imagined.They form a wonderfully co-ordinated team,beautifully held together by Swallisch's sensitive conducting".I have the DGG version of this opera conducted beatifully by Bohm. Janowitz has a beautiful voice,but Schwarzkopf is in another class.The opera is about words and music,which is superior.No solution is found.

References:Gramophone 2009. Gruber,P.(Ed).The Met Guide to Recorded opera.1993.Thames and Hudson. Holden,A. The Penguin Opera guide,1995,Viking. Kennedy,M. Richard Strauss.1976.JM Dent and Sons. The Penguin Guide to Opera 1993.
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The Complete Recordings of Bert Brecht & Kurt Weill
The Complete Recordings of Bert Brecht & Kurt Weill
Offered by Music-Shop
Price: 11.88

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weill's music was written for the masses., 15 Nov 2013
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The box is made of tough cardboard and the lid opens backwards,where you can place CD's.The sleeves of the 10 CDs are made of the same substance,and have the CD number on the left hand side. The track numbers and pieces to be played are on the back.The CDs are a brown green,with light green names Weill and Brecht.Number of Disc at the top;with the name of the opera,or music theater piece. No booklet or translations,which makes it difficult,for you need to follow Brechts words to get the meaning.However,it is cheap and does give you Lotte Lenya's singing.Compact disc digital audio.All Mono except Happy end-Stereo.Released by The intense media who released Wagner's vision,a 50 disc set of Bayreuth recorded Wagner operas of the past. I am going to give details about Weill,the operas, musical theatre,plus comments on the CDs,ending with the life of Weill and Brecht.There is a bluray on Weill and Brecht's Rise and fall of the city of Mahagonny sung in English.(See my review).It is excellent.

Weill gave an interview in 1940 in America."I have never acknowledged the difference between serious music and light music. There is only good music and bad music",he said and continued with a direct challenge to critical orthodoxy." Schoenberg" he said "is writing for a time 50 years after his death. But the great classical composers wrote for their contemporary audiences. They wanted those who heard their music to understand it,and they did. For myself,I write for today. I don't give a damn about writing for posterity".Abravanel the conductor,knew Weill well.When interviewed by John Mauceri, he stated about the seven deadly sins,"it should be sung without any sentimentality but with very strong emotion. The beauty of Brechts and Weill's works is that incredible tension between Brecht's cynicism and Weill's music. Weill as a Man had great compassion,but he never showed it to anybody.I saw a letter he wrote to Hollywood"."The money is good but I could never stay there. I would have to sell my soul." "He had no income at that time as he was a refugee."

Certain of Weill's European ideas became central to his musical approach in the USA.His goals remained constant,such as attempting to write music accessible to a wide variety of listeners.In Germany he transformed into high art,familar songs and dance idioms of the time and place.So when he arrived in America he wrote mainly for the Broadway theatre.If he wished to write music as he had done in Europe with subsidized theatre,Broadway it had to be. The Met,New York,would have nothing to do with his work anyway.His own brand of musical theatre integrated music and text,and was a reaction against Wagner. His views had not changed,nor had he sold out,as his fans thought in Europe.The conductor Otto Klemperer thought he had sold out.He wanted to create a the definitive American opera using popular and folk music with social themes. Weill colaborated with the finest American play writers of the 1930's and 1940's.

(CD 1)THE THREE PENNY OPERA.recorded 1930-sound good. Ausrufer Kurt Gerron.Jenny,Polly.Lotte Lenya.Macheath Willy Trenk-Trebitsch;Frau Peachum,Luca Erika Helmke;Peachum;Erich Ponto;Lewis Ruth band. Leitung: Theo Mackeben.Brecht also sings the famous song,now known as Mack the knife.This opera alone is worth the price of this box set.The six songs on this CD with Weill at the piano and Lenya singing,recorded in 1943 has a scratchy surface.This highly tuneful opera was extremely popular.What is ironic is this work was having a dig at the Weimar Republic,now sums up the music of that period between the wars.The libretto of the Three Penny opera was written by Bert Brecht,based on a translation by Elizabeth Hauptmann of the Beggar's opera by John Gay(1728) with ballads by Villon and Rudyard Kipling. Premiere 31st August 1928,Berlin.

The target of the opera is the solid bourgeoisie of post-Ist World War Europe. The characters should be instantly recognizable as,and to the audience even today.Weill wrote the music not for opera singers but for artists from the fields of Cabaret,musical comedy and operetta.The dart of his satire is poisoned by the beauty and catchiness of the tunes.The tunes need to be sung properly,not shouted.Brecht revised both the libretto and the lyrics after the premiere in line with his Marxist thinking.The original is shorter,funny and more anarchic. In 1929 Weill created a suite which was introduced by the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra. After some of the movements were heard in Europe they were played in night clubs and later as dance music. This song play is neither opera or comedy. It is a mixture of fox-trot,tango,blues,mock chorales,music-hall tunes,ballads and ragtime.At the same time it drew from Classical and Romantic music.He was to approach the rest of his output in this manner. The most famous piece is what became known as Mack the Knife.As Weill said "I want to reach the real people,a more representative public than any opera house attracts".

(CD 2 & 3)RISE AND FALL OF THE CITY OF MAHAGONNY.Opera in three acts.Jenny: Lotte Lenya;Jimmy Mahoney: Heinz Sauerbaum. Mrs Begbick: Gisela Litz:Fatty: Peter Markwort;Moses: Horst Gunter;Bill:Georg Mund;Jack,Tobby Higgins: Fritz Gollnitz;Joe:Sigmind Roth;Speaker:Richard Munch. Orchester des Nordeutschen Rundfunks; Cond Wilhelm Bruckner-Ruggeberg.Recorded 1956.Very tuneful,many of the songs you may recognise.The tenor here reminds me of Peter Anders, who was the singer in Beethoven's 9th Symphony conducted by Furtwangler with the Berlin Phil 1942.Premiere 9th March 1930. Leipzig (Neues Theater).Its first outing was in 1927 Baden-Baden;the audience was outraged.Otto Klemperer conductor of the Kroll Oper in Berlin thought it was too crass and disconcerting.The work had to be toned down,which the authors agreed to.It is about a community that is tearing itself apart as a result of excessive persuit of pleasure.A city is founded by criminals,humanity is unreal,love is for sale and friendship selfish. There is a kind of justice,but it is one in which the poor suffer. If he cannot produce a bribe it is the men without money who are executed rather than the murderer. This work is a complete reaction against atonal music.

(CD 4)THE JASAGER. Libretto Brecht. Written in 1930; is based on a Japanese NOH plays,one of the first German operas written for schools.Der Knabe Joseph protschka tenor;Die mutter Lys bert.mezzo;Der Lehrer: Willibald Vohla,baritone;Erster Student: Walter Jenckel,tenor;Zweiter Student:Hans markus,Tenor; Dusseldorfer Kinderchor und kammerorchester Cond Kohler.recorded 1954.

(CD 5) THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS. Ballet Chante in one act.Libretto by Brecht.Premiere Paris 1933.Anna Lotte Lenya; Family:Julius Katona,Fritz Gollnitz,Siegfried Roth,Ernest Poettgen;Hamburger Sinfonieorchestra,cond Bruckner-Ruggeberg recorded 1956. Popular song idioms(waltz,foxtrot,shimmy,march,tarantella)are mixed with elements of Schubertian lyricism,plus Mahlerian climaxes.Thus,the score is witty and ironic. The music is never sentimental or self indulgent,but the human elements of the work fits with Brechts biting social criticism."Lenya's understanding of the idiom is unique".

(CD 6)HAPPY END.Libretto Brecht. Premiere 1929, Berlin.The following songs are well known, The Bilbao song,the sailors song,Surabaya Johnny.Lotte Lenya. Orchestra cond Bruckner-Ruggeberg. Recorded 1960.Stereo.The Penguin guide 1993 states "Lenya's vocalizing is compelling.Many of these numbers are the finest that Weill wrote."

(CD 7)LADY IN THE DARK.Libretto Ira Gershwin.In English. recorded 1954.Has not the bite of his earlier pieces-T.

(CD 8)DOWN IN THE VALLEY.In English.From rise and fall of the city of Mahagonny.Alabama Song.Denn wie man sich bettet.Lotte Lenya.(1930) Medley.(1932) cond Hans Sommer Orch des Theaters am Kurfurstendamm.

(CD 9)KLEINE DREIGROSCHENMUSIK-fur Blas orchestra.4 pieces are conducted by Otto Klemperer with the Staatsoper,Berlin 1931. Blasorchestra cond Mackeben.1930.September song(1944) Walter Huston, father of Film director John Huston.September -Frank Sinatra.(1946). 4 songs sung by Mary Martin cond Maurice Abranavel. 1943.

(CD 10)THE THREE PENNY OPERA in three Acts.recorded 1958.Herr Peachum: Willy Trenk-Trebitsch; Frau Peachum:Trude Hesterberg: macheath: Erich Schellow; Polly peachum;Johnna Von Koczian.Jenny Lotte Lenya.Penguin Guide 1993 states"gives an incomparable performance as Jenny."Tiger Brown Wolfgang grunert.Lucy Inge Wolfberg:orch des sender Freies berlin;Cond bruckner-Ruggeberg.

Weill(1900-1950) was born in Dessau,Germany,the son of the Chief Cantor.He received his musical education in Dessau, from conductor,Albert Bing,once a pupil of Hans Pfitzner.Then in 1918 from Humperdinck who helped Wagner prepare the score of Parsival for its Premiere.He was the composer of Hansel and Gretel.Weill had practical work at the local opera house where Hans Knappertsbusch was the music director. He then became a staff conductor at the opera house in Westphalia. He returned in 1920 to join Busoni's composition masterclass. Busoni composed the opera Doktor Faust.His teacher's influenced Weill to write Classical music of the time, but the influence of Stravinsky,with an evolving social consciousness, led him to believe music could influence social thinking.In the mid 1920's he discovered tonal and jazz elements. In 1926 he married Lotte Lenya( 1898-Died New York 1981).She created Jenny in the three penny opera,and other Weill roles. Weill was established as one of the leading composers in Weimar Germany.In 1927 he gave Brecht who was an unknown writer, his first chance with Mahagonny Songspiel,then the Three penny opera,Rise and fall of the city of Mahagonny, Happy End(1929) and Jasager(1930). Weill drifted apart from Brecht because of his Marxist views. Lotte and Weill left Germany in 1933 because of the Nazi's coming to power. They arrived in Paris with none of his works. The Nazi's attempted to destroy his work. Weill reused some of his music in later pieces. He had a brief reunion with Brecht for the Seven deadly sins,then left for the USA in 1935 and lived there for the rest of his life;dying in New York in 1950.

REFERENCES : Batta,A.Opera.2005.Konemann. Ewen,D.The world of 20th century music. 1968 .Prentice-Hall. Guinn,J.Stone,L.(Eds) The St James Opera Encyclopedia. 1997. Visible Ink. Holden,A. Penguin Opera guide.1995.Viking. Penguin Guide 1993.Penguin Books.
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The Complete Aria Collection 1949 - 1960
The Complete Aria Collection 1949 - 1960
Price: 17.88

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here in this set we get right into the core of Callas's being., 14 Nov 2013
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Maria Callas was born New York 2nd December 1923,died Paris 16th September 1977.( Details of CDs below).She studied in Athens with Elvira de Hidalgo in Athens.Her teacher realized that her pupil could be developed as a dramatic d'aglita,a very rare voice that can sing lyrical and dramatic works.The conductor Serafin helped to develop her musically,and prepared her for Bellini's Norma and Elvira in I' Puritani.She restored the balance of voice,drama and expression that had been established by Pasta,Malibran and other singers of the 19th century. She was able to bring back neglected Donizetti and Bellini operas into the repertoire through her mastery of the bel canto technique.Callas gave meaning to those vocal embellishments which many singers had reduced to a circus display.She acted through her body and voice.For example, she turned Lucia di Lammermoor from a light soprano's role with no human character,into a doomed dramatic individual.However,one should not forget singers such as Supervia and Ponselle, who were able to revive early 19th Century operas between the two world wars.Also, Claudia Muzio,who according to Steane, could like Callas, convey a warmth of suffering and sympathy that was beyond the expressive range of others.All it required was for a singer to ignite the fire,and that was Callas, to create a revolution,but she was conservative.Here she is at her best.For the only way to hear her is on live recordings,and this box set of 14 CDs has them.For me this set is amazing and it is cheap.

As you may well realize,there is no booklet in the 14 CD box set,so I have provided some details about Callas.The box is sturdy and the lid opens backwards,where you may place the CDs you wish to play.The CD sleeve is black with Maria Callas in big white letters.Also,beneath in red,for example,Live at La Scala 1952-1954.The CD number is at the top left hand side.Exactly the same for the CD disc,which has the following printed on it; documents.ADD. Mono and Stereo.Most are in Mono.Compact disc digital audio.Made in the EU by the Intense media,the same firm who released the box set,Wagner's vision.The sound is very good,although some of the early 1949-1950 live pirate recordings can be scratchy.I am afraid as you can gather,I am not a tech head,just as well, as I like singers from 1900 upwards.There are details on the back of the CD sleeve about tracking numbers and arias.Dont forget the red box of Callas's 30 recorded operas;12 of them are live.64 CDs with CD Rom notes.(Check my review).

I shall go across the page with has much detail as I can.The CD numbers will be in brackets.Also, at times with a few comments from Penguin guides and myself with T next to it.As the arias are all with Callas,I shall only mention,date sung, the other singers,orchestra, conductor and where sung.

(CD 1)LIVE AT LA SCALA,1952-1954.Verdi Macbeth:(1952) Nel di della vittoria/Vieni t afftetta.La luce langue. Una macchia e qui tuttora. Cond de Sabata.Cherubini Media.(1953)Dei tuni figli la madre.Numi,venite a me.Barbieri.Cond Bernstein.Donizetti. Lucia di Lammermoor.(1954) Regnava nei silenzio.Cond Von Karajan. Gluck. Alceste.(1954)O Apollo immortal. Morir per esso.Cond Giulini. Spontini.La Vestale. Oh di funesta possa. caro oggetto.Cond Votto.All with the Orch Teatro alla Scala di Milano.LIVE AT LA SCALA,1955.(CD 2)Giordano Andrea Chenier.La mamma morta.Cond Votto. Bellini La Sonnambula. Care compagne/Come per me se sereno...Sempre O felice amina. Oh! se una volta sola rivederio. Ah!non giunge uman pensiero. Valletti.Carturan. Cond Bernstein.Bellini.Norma.Casta Diva Ah! bello a me ritorna. Nicola Zaccaria. Mira, o Norma. Carturan. Simionato,cond Votto.(CD 3)LIVE AT LA SCALA.1955-1960.(STEREO & MONO)Verdi La Traviata.(1955) E strano/Ah,forse lui che l'anima/Follie !Follie/Sempre libera with di Stefano.Ah! Dite alla giovine.Bastianiini. teneste la promessa/(1956)addio del passato."There is no more vividly dramatic a performance on record then this.Callas responds with a greater depth of expression." Barbiere di Siviglia(1956)Una voce poco fa.Cond Giulini.Gluck Iphigenia in Tauride(1957) Ah! L'esecrando vito non so perpetrar cond Sanzogno. Donizetti Anna Bolena(1957)Piangete Voi? D'onde tai pianto?.Verdi Un ballo in Maschera(1957)Eccol'orrido campo. Morro,ma prima in grazia.Cond Gavazzeni.Donizetti Poliuto. Ove m'inoltro? Di quai soavi lagrime. Cond Votto.

(CD 4)LIVE ON STAGE.Puccini Turandot.(1949)In questa reggia.Buenos Aires.del Monaco. orchestra del Teatro Colon/cond Serafin.Verdi Nabucco.(1949)Napoli. Ben io t'invenni,o fatal scritto. Su me..morente.-scratchy-T Orch del Teatro San Carlo di napoli cond Gui.What a voice she had at 26.You can hear the Callas of the future-T Verdi Il trovatore.(1951)D'amor sull'ali rose. Orch del teatro san Carlo di Napoli.Cond Serafin.Verdi I Vespri Siciliani (1951)Florence. In alto mare e battuto dai venti. Merce,dilette amiche.Orch e Coro del maggio Musicale Fiorentino cond Erich Kleiber.Rossini Armida(1952)Florence.Dove so io?Orch del Teatro Comunale cond Serafin.Cherubini Medea.(1953)Florence. Eche? Io son Medea. Orch del maggio Musicale Fiorentino cond Gui.Verdi Aida.(1953)London. Ritorna vincitor. Orch of royal opera house cond Barbirolli.Bellini Norma.(1953) trieste. Casta Diva. Orch teatro Verdi cond Votto.Donizetti Lucia Di Lammermoor.(1955) Berlin.Il dolce suono mi colpi di sua voce. Di Stefano,Zaccaria. RIAS sinfonie orch Berlin.Cond Von Karajan.This live recording is the best she recorded of the Lucia's-T.(CD 5) LIVE ON STAGE.Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor.(1956) Il dolce suono.Orch MetNew York cond Cleva.Bellini La Sonnambula (1957) Cologne. Ah! non credea mirati/Ah!non giunge uman pensiero.Orch Teatro alla scala di Milano cond Votto.MEXICO CITY Place of her first triumphs-Norma 23 May 1950.Bello a me ritorna.A bit scratchy at places. But here you hear the young 27 year old Callas.T Verdi Aida.(1951).Gloria all'Egitto.Del Monaco. Taddei.Verdi Il trovatore.(1950) Tacea la note placida.D'amor sull'ali rosee.Verdi la traviata.(1951) E strano/fors'e lui che l'anima/Follie/sempre libera.Bellini I Puritani(1952) Son vergin vezzosa.Verdi La traviata(1952)Dite alle giovine si bella e pura.Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor.(1952) ancor non giunse.Verdi Rigoletto.(1952)Guatier malde/Caro nome.Puccini Tosca. Vissi d'arte. orchestra del Palacio de las Bellas Artes. cond Picco, Mungai &de Fabritiis.(CD 6)IN CONCERT.(STEREO & MONO).ROMA Feb 18,1952.Verdi Macbeth. Vieni! t'affretta.Verdi Nabucco. Ben io t' invenni. Donizetti.Lucia di Lammermoor. Il dolce suono. Delibes Lakme. Dov'e l'indiana bruna. Orch sinfonica di Roma della RAI cond de Fabritiis. SAN REMO Dec 27th 1954.Mozart.Tutto le Torture.Meyerbeer.Dinorah Ahime! che notte oscura/ombra leggiera.Charpentier. Depuis le jour.Rossini Armida. D'amore al dolce impero. Orch della RAI cond Simonetto.MILANO Sept 27,1956. Spontini La vestale. Tu,che invoco con orrore. Rossini Semiramide Bel raggio lusinghier. Orch Sinfonica di Milano della RAI cond Simonetto.LONDON,Oct 3,1959. Boito Mefistofele. L'altra notte in fonte al mare. Royal Phil orch cond Sargent.

(CD 7)IN CONCERT.(STEREO&MONO).MILANO,Sept 27th,1956. Thomas Hamlet. Ai vostri giochi. Och sinfonica di Milano della RAI cond Simonetto.ATHENS. Verdi La Forza Del Destino Pace,pace mio DIO.Festival Orch cond Votto. HAMBURG May 15,1959.Verdi Don carlo. Tu che le Vanita..Verdi Macbeth. Nel di della vittoria/vieni t'affretta.Bellini Il Pirata.Col sorriso d'innocenza. Sinfonieorchester des norddeutschen Rundfunks/cond Rescigno. AMSTERDAM July 11,1959.Rossini Semiramide. Bel raggio. Rossini La Cenerentola Nacqui all'affanno. Massenet Manon. adieu.notre petite table. Massenet Werther. Werther! Werther.(Air des lettres.) Puccini La boheme. Quando m'en vo. Puccini Madama Butterfly Tu,Tu, piccolo iddio. Puccini Gianni Schicchi O mio babbino caro.

(CD 8)THE EARLY YEARS IN ITALIAN BROADCAST.Wagner Tristan und Isolde(1949) Liebestod.Bellini Norma(1949) Casta Diva. Bellini I puritani. Qu1 la voce sua soave.Orch Sinfonica della RAI cond Basile. Wagner Parsival(1950) Ich sah das kind.parsival Baldelli.Orch Sinfonica della RAI cond Gui.Ponchielli La Gioconda(1952) Suicidio."Steane thought that Ponselle and Callas stood head and shoulders above the others when singing this aria". Orch Sinfonica di Torino della RAI cond Votto.Mozart Don Giovanni.(1953)Non mi dir.Orch del Teatro comunale, Firenze cond Serafin.Verdi La Traviata.(1953) E Strano/fors'e e lui che l'anima/Follie/Sempre libera. Albanese.Orch sinfonica di Torino della RAI cond Santini.From the first recording Callas made of la Traviata-T.Bellini Norma.(1955 live)Casta Diva. orch Sinfonica DI Roma della RAI cond Serafin.Bellini I Puritani.(1956) Vieni al tempio. Sinfonica di Milano della RAI cond Simonetto. Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor.(1957) Ardon gli incenci. Orch Roma della RAI cond Serafin.

(CD 9)GREAT ARIAS FROM THE STUDIO PRODUCTIONS OF COMPLETE OPERAS.(MONO & STEREO)Mascagni Cavalleria Rusticana.(1953) Voi lo sapete,O mamma.Teatro alla Scala di milano cond Serafinf. Puccini Tosca(1953)Vissi d'arte. Teatro alla scala di Milano cond Serafin.Bellini Norma Casta Diva. Teatro Alla scala Serafin. Leoncavallo I Pagliacci.(1954) Qual fimma avea nel guardo.Verdi La Forza Del destino(1954) Madre pietosa Vergine.Pace,Pace mio Dio. Teatro alla Scala cond Serafin.Rossini Il Turco in italia non si da follia maggiore. teatro alla Scala di Milano cond Gavazzeni.Puccini Madama Butterfly(1955) Ancora un passo or via. Un bel di vedremo Teatro alla scala di Milano.Cond Von Karajan.From Re-recordings of the complete operas Donizietti Lucia di Lammermoor (1959) Regnava nel silenzio. Elkins-cond Philhamonia orch cond Serafin. Ponchielli La Gioconda Suicidio! Teatro alla Scala di Milano cond Votto."among Callas's finest achievements in this second version"(CD 10)Verdi il Trovatore(1956) Tacea la notte placida. D'amor sull'ali rosee. Teatro alla Scala di Milano cond von Karajan.Puccini La Boheme(1956).Si,Mi Chiamano Mimi. Di Stefano. orch teatro alla Scala di Milano cond Votto.UN Ballo in Maschera.(1956). Ecco l'orrido campo. Morro,ma prima in grazia. Orch del teatro alla Scala di milano cond Votto. Rossini Il Barbiere Di Siviglia.(1957)Una voce fa. Philharmonia orch cond Galliera.Bellini La Sonnambula (1957)Non credea mirart. Mont. teatro alla scala di milano cond Votto.Puccini Turandot.(1957) In questa reggia.Teatro alla Scala do Milano cond Serafin.Puccini Manon Lescaut.(1957) In quelle trine morbide. Teatro alla scala di Milano cond Serafin.Cherubini Medea.(1957) Del fiero duol che il cor mi frange. Teatro alla Scala di Milano cond Serafin.From re-recordings of the complete operas Bellini Norma(1960)Casta Diva. Teatro ala Scala di Milano cond Serafin.

(CD 11) THE FIRST OFFICAL SOLO RECITAL.Sept 1954.The Gramophone 2009 states that"the 1954 Puccini recital disc that Callas made with Serafin,the singing is perfectly schooled in every detail."Puccini Manon Lescaut In quelle trine morbide. Sola,perdutta abbandonata. Butterfly Un bel di vedremo. Con onor amore. La Boheme. Si,Mi chiamano Mimi.Donde lieta usci.Suor Angelica. Senza Mamma. Gianni Schicchi O mio babbino caro. Turandot Signore,asolta. In questa reggia. Tu che di gel sei ciuta. Philharmonia Orch cond Serafin.From the Third offical solo recital. June 1955. Cherubini Medea. Dei tuoi figli la madre. Spontini La Vestale Tu che invoco con orrore. O nume tulear degli infelice. Teatro alla scala di milano cond serafin.(CD 12) THE SECOND OFFICAL SOLO RECITAL.Sept 1954.Received a rosette from the Penguin Classical Guide 1993,which means it is excellent."This has claims to be the finest single Callas recital on CD." Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur Ecco: repire appena/lo son l'umbile ancella. Poveri fiori.Giordano Andrea Chenier. La mamma morta.Catalani La wally. Ebben? ne andro lontana. Boito Mefistofele L'altra notte in fondo al mare.Rossini IL Barbiere Di Sviglia.Una voce poco fa.Meyerbeer Dinorah Ombra leggiera.Delibes Lakme Dove l'indiana bruna. verdi I vespri Siciliani. mece,dilette amiche. Philhamonia Orchestra cond Tullio Serafin. From the third solo recital June 1955. Bellini La Sonnambula. Compagne teneri amici/come per me serreno. Non credea mirati.Non giunge unman pensiero. teatro alla Scala di milano cond Serafin.(CD 13) Recordings of the first and late years.(CD 14) MARIA CALLAS-INTERVIEW- REHEARSAL,WALKOUT. Tosca Nov 1956,Vissi d'Arte(live)New York,Ed Sullivan TV show. Orchestra cond Mitropoulos. Interview with Maria Callas where she talks about her technique and how she has no competitors,as she can sing many types of roles,where others cannot.She prefers La Scala. Rehearsal for the concert, Dallas Nov 1957,Dallas,Texas.Her conductor is Nicola Rescigno of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. She seems to sing in full voice,not half voice as so many singers do.I own this CD of the Dallas rehearsal,its fascinating.Then the walkout in Rome in Italian.

REFERENCES:Barker,F.The incomparable Callas 1987. EMI. Christiansen,R. Prima Donna.A history.1995.Pimlico.Gramophone 2009. Haymarket.Penguin Guide to opera 1993.Steane J.B. The Grand tradition.1900-1970 singing on record.1974. Duckworth.Warrack,J & West E.The oxford Dictionary of Opera.1992.Oxford university press.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 7, 2013 1:39 AM GMT


Britten: Gloriana [Susan Bullock, Toby Spence, Patricia Bardon, Mark Stone] [Opus Arte: OABD7134D] [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Britten: Gloriana [Susan Bullock, Toby Spence, Patricia Bardon, Mark Stone] [Opus Arte: OABD7134D] [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Susan Bullock
Price: 29.08

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Britten's most lyrical operas., 7 Nov 2013
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There was a lot of jealousy amongest the musical establishment about Britten's success;for it was thought he had sold out,also they made fun of his homosexuality behind his back.However,his true feelings were conveyed quite bluntly in the War Requiem,that remarkable work set to poems by Owen.A pacifist work that was anti-establishment,which shocked some people.He lived behind a mask and to peak behind it,you will see who he truely was in his operas and music for instruments and voices.

To celebrate the Coronation in 1953 of Queen Elizabeth II,her cousin the Earl of Harewood, founder of the Opera magazine,later managing director of English National theatre,suggested to Britten,that he should compose an opera on the subject of Essex and Elizabeth I. Thus the idea took flight. The libretto written by William Plomer is based upon Lytton Strachey's Elizabeth and Essex(1928)and the more scholarly Queen Elizabeth 1 by J.E Neale(1933)."It is a mixture of prose and verse,archaic and Modern English and the music is a balancing act between Tudor dance and music,plus Britten's own style".(Sadie 2006:260).Thus Gloriana is a succession of tableaux and brilliantly succeeds in showing the private and public life of Elizabeth I.The other characters including Essex are subsidary.One could say that in this opera he was influenced by late Verdi to create a multi-facited women.The booklet suggests that this opera is England's answer to Italy's Aida, the Czech Bartered bride and Russia's Boris Godunov.

Paul Daniel in the interview included with the opera,states that the opera is about the later stage of Elizabeth's life,when she falls in love with the Earl of Essex,who is much younger then her.The problem is Essex takes his position too seriously which ends in his beheading and she ponders upon her own death.Daniel points out that this performance of Gloriana recorded 20th June 2013,Covent Garden,is being performed 60 years after the premiere at the same opera house.

Richard Jones the director scenery is traditional,in the sense he combines 1953 staging and costumes with the Elizabethian era.The opera is set in a Coronation Hall built in 1953. So when the overture begins,the Mayor comes walking across the stage with his wife,to greet Queen Elizabeth 11 and Prince Philip. Thereafter, schoolboys dressed in school clothes of that era come on with letters. Thus,when George VI and his wife come on stage,the letters spell out Windsor,then appears monarch's such as Edward,Victoria,and various Queens and Kings up to the Tudor period. When an event or place is indicated by the scenery,the boys spell out with the letters what is happening.A very clever and witty way of linking all the eposodes together.Also,there is a director at the side of the stage giving directions,stage hands,and even army personal changing the scenery dressed in 1953 costumes.On stage all the singers are wearing Elizabethian clothing.Thus,it is a very traditional staged opera,surrounded by the early 1950's.The Daily Telegraph writes "Richard Jones(Director) paints the picture with a delicate brush...both moving and surprising".

The conductor of the Orchestra of the Royal opera house Paul Daniels,brings out all the emotion in the opera,plus the tempo's are extremely quick.He is a singers conductor and is at one with the staging.Susan Bullock is a brilliant aging Elizabeth 1.The Indepenent states "Susan Bullock is an awe -inspiring Gloriana".She is on stage most of the time.Toby Spence tenor is the much younger Earl of Essex,a foil to the aging monarch.His famous lute song is "Happy were he",known as a beautiful song,which he makes much of.Francis,Countess of Essex is Patricia Bardon a mezzo usually seen in baroque operas, makes much of the part,as does Kate Royal,Penelope,Lady Rich, sister of the Earl of Essex.These two women in the last act sing"We come to plead for him(Essex),sung with baritone Lord Mountjoy,Mark Stone.It is a very beautiful Trio,sung by three singers who have sublime voices. The scheming Robert Cecil is made much of by Jeremy Carpenter.Clive Bayley,with his huge bass voice as Walter Raleigh is very good.At the end of the opera he wants Essex beheaded. He is Lucretia's husband in Britten's Bluray Rape of Lucretia.All the cast are very good.At the end of the opera the curtain closes,and Elizabeth II walks across the stage with Philip trailing behind,receives some flowers from a young girl.She turns around and the curtain rises, there is Elizabeth I.They stand still,looking at each other.The lights fade.FINI.Truely,a great opera written by Britains greatest composer.

ALL REGIONS. SUBTTILES:English.French.German.Japanese.Korean.LPCM 24 bit Stereo. 5.O DTS-HD Master audio.1080i HD. 16.9.Extras features an Introduction to Britten's Gloriana. Britten's Aldeburgh.

REFERENCES:Booklet Gloriana.Opus Arte. Holden,A.(ED)The Penguin Opera Guide.1995.Viking. Sadie,S.(ED)The Grove book of Opera's 2009.Oxford University press.
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Britten: The Rape Of Lucretia [Sarah Connolly, Christopher Maltman, Catherine Wyn-Rogers] [Opus Arte: OABD7135D] [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Britten: The Rape Of Lucretia [Sarah Connolly, Christopher Maltman, Catherine Wyn-Rogers] [Opus Arte: OABD7135D] [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Sarah Connolly
Price: 28.14

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This jewel amongest Britten's works., 7 Nov 2013
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Britten was born 22nd November 1913,Lowestoft,Suffolk,England. Died 4th December,1976,Aldeburgh,where his festival is held.Because he was a homosexual and a pacifist,he felt isolated,oppressed and alienated.These feelings he acted out in his operas such as Peter Grimes. If you wish to understand Britten,understand his operas.However,the composer always thought in his younger years,that Britain should have a culture of opera written in the English language.In one of these opera's, The rape of Lucretia, Britten brings out his lyrical side; his love of Mozart,Schubert and Purcell,mixed with atonal music,inspired by Berg,Webern and Shostakovich.If you wish to hear more of Britten, read my review on the box set,Britten the complete works box set,where I have reviewed most of the works.This will help you, if you wish to buy one of the individual sets of the big box set.Also, Britten-the performer.

The premiere was held at Glyndebourne,Sussex,England,on the 12th July 1946.Out of this opera came the English Opera group,for which Britten became its resident composer.The Premiere was conducted by Ernest Ansermet,with Lucretia,the part especially written for Kathleen Ferrier-a contralto.(Decca the World of Ferrier Vol 1 & 2).Joan Cross and Peter Pears as the chorus,Otakar Krauss as Tarquinius and Brannigan as Collatinus.The opera has eight vocal soloists and 13 instrumentalists.

Synopsis:"Rome,510.With a male(ten) and female(sop).Chorus commenting and eventually drawing a Christian moral,the opera relates the story of the period,destructive Tarquinius(bar). He rides from the camp where news has arrived of the Roman wives infidelity to make an attempt on the virtue of the sole exception,Lucretia(Mezzo),wife of Collatinus (bass). Claiming hospitality,he later enters her room and rapes her. Unable to bear the burden of her shame,she kills herself the next day in the prsence of her urgently summoned husband".(Oxford Dictionary of 0pera pg 587).Janet Baker thought about the part of Lucretia,"that if she had been emotionally uninvolved,she would not have felt guilty after the rape".(Kildea 2013:273).The booklet provided with the opera delves into this fact as well.

The opera opens with a picture of the Aldeburgh festival Hall where this opera was produced June 2001.The director McVicar, uses a minimalist approach to staging.A few props to indicate a room. Also,gravel where Lucretia is sleeping before the rape,with mirrors on the wall.Lighting builds up the atmosophere.Mc Vicar states in his brief interview"That in the first page of the score it states, that the chorus must stand at the side of the stage and not get involved.Because Lucretia had been objectified,I had her interact with the Chorus.I do discover things during the rehearsals,then I get to know the opera.Not work it all out beforehand.The Christian ending I had trouble with. Many have been struggling with it since 1946. But Britten had been to Belsen,so he longed for a redemptive force to take sin away. This ending is in the context of the time. But its hard now,for we live in a secular world."

The choir, two people, are dressed in modern clothes,whereas the soldiers,Junius,Collatinus and Prince Tarquinus are wearing leather armour,and Lucretia, a Roman dress.Orchestra of the English National Opera is conducted by Paul Daniel,who brings out the beautiful melodies,atonal sounds and arias.At times this small orchestra sounds like a large one. The chorus is based on the ancient Greek manner of commenting on events during a play.The male chorus John Mark Ainsley and female Chorus Orla Boylan are excellent.Clive Bayley as Colatinus with his bass voice brings a pathos to his role. Tarquinus bartione brings a realism to the part.He is in excellent voice.His aria 'to wake Lucretia with a kiss'is heartfelt. "Sarah Connolly is an impassioned,robust Lucretia" stated the critic of the Observer.At times she does bring to mind Janet Baker.Hear Connolly sing,'Flowers alone are chaste for their beauty is so brief.Or as she sings about her love' was too rare for life to tolerate'.It is heartbreaking as she sings about her rape. Bianca Wyn-Rodgers and Lucia Mary Hudson are good in their roles. As the Evening Standard wrote"the cast is so superb." The ending of this opera captures that feeling of having lost a loved one.Britten captures that in musical terms so well.Maybe,Mc Vicar is right,he may have had Belsen in mind, when he wrote this ending.

ALL REGIONS.SUBTITLES: English. French.German. Japanese .Korean. 1080iHD.16.9.LPCM 24 bit stereo. 5.0 DTS HD master audio.Remastered for bluray and surround sound.The sound is excellent probably because of the smallness of the stage.

REFERENCES:Batta,A.Opera.2005.Konemann. Booklet 2013 Opus Arte. Holden,A.(ED)The Penguin Guide opera guide.1993.Viking. Kildea,P. Benjamin Britten.A life in the 20th century.2013.Allen Lane. Warrack,J.&West,E.The Oxford Dictionary of Opera.1992.Oxford University press.


Fritz Reiner: Complete RCA Collection
Fritz Reiner: Complete RCA Collection

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reiner felt intensely the music he was conducting., 1 Nov 2013
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Who was Fritz Reiner?He was born in Budapest in 1888. One of his teachers at the Franz Liszt Academy was Bela Bartok whose music he championed all his life.He helped the composer when he was poverty stricken in the USA.In 1914-1921 he was appointed principal conductor of the Saxon state opera in Dresden,where he became a life long friend of Richard Strauss.He travelled to Leipzig and Berlin to absorb and learn from the great Hungarian conductor Arthur Nikisch,who became Reiner's mentor.According to Lebrecht "Nikisch was the model for youngsters wherever he went.In Russia,he fired the imagination of Koussevitsky,France,Monteux,in Switzerland of Ansermet,in Germany of Furtwangler- his only role model. The mighty succession of Hungarian maestro's-Reiner,Szell,Ormandy,Fricsay,Dorati,Kertesz(drowned in his 40's)and Solti-traced its origin to Nikisch. Both Karajan and Bernstein dropped his name as a token of their legitimacy".So Bernstein might for his teacher was Reiner.(pg 40).

Reiner came to the States in 1922 where he became music director of the Cincinnati Symphony orchestra and left the post in 1931,because he divorced his second wife and quickly married his third,who stayed with him until his death.However,from 1931 to 1941 Reiner was a teacher of conducting at the Curtis institute of Music,Philadelphia,where one of his pupils was Leonard Bernstein.During 1938 to 1948 he was music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.He hit the big time,when from 1948 to 1953,he was a leading conductor at the Met,New York.Thereafter,from 1953 until his death in November 1963,he was conductor of the Chicago symphony orchestra.

Reiner loved music to the depths of his soul,for he stated "a conductor needed to live a piece heart and soul.Feeling intensely the music that he is conducting or else his music falls coldly on the heart".His pupil Bernstein took this view as if writ in stone.Reiner had a contempt for poor musicianship and would not tolerate it. Second best was not good enough.This was his sensitvity coming to the fore;believe it or not. He also had a sense of humour,though a biting one.I do not think he suffered fools gladly.Fritz Reiner "was a short man who used a big baton and a tiny beat"wrote Harold Schonberg in the New York Times."As a musical intellect,as an incomparable musician,as the possessor of an ear virtually unparalled in his field,Reiner held a unique spot in 20th century musical life".He held his long and extraordinarily eloquent baton lightly with his fingers. Only for special emphasis did he raise his arms,and the figure he presented to the audience lacked any hint of histrionics,which you cannot accuse Bernstein of.But to the players in front of him,he offered extensive body language.He would cue a wind player by puffing out his cheeks,indicate a crescendo by raising his eyebrows or a diminuendo by lowering them.For complex meters,he used his body,beating in three with his baton,while marking duple time with his left elbow. This then is Reiner,the Man. From the Pittsburgh Orch; Masterworks Hertiage box set. Beethoven Sym No 2(1945).Mozart Sym 35(1946) and 40(1947).Shostakovich sym no 6 (1945).Works by Kodaly,Weiner and Bartok and Glinka.(1945-1947).REFERENCES:Hart,P.Fritz Reiner-a biography.2013.Masterworks Heritage.Lebrecht,N.The Maestro Myth.1997.Pocket books. Morgan,K. A perfectionist on the podium.2013. RCA Reiner box set.

A dark strong card board grey box, with Fritz Reiner Chicago Symphony orchestra written in white with complete RCA recordings in yellow Ochre below.One side has printed 36 sleeves,and the other the head of Reiner.Underneath,has written 32 pieces of music remastered from the original analogue tapes in this edition.Also,the symbol of Sony Classics,which has produced box sets such as The Toscanini complete RCA collection,and the Satin covered box set,Verdi,the great recordings.The dark grey lid has Reiner's signature,which is bold and slants to the right, which shows Reiner was a strong personality and artistic.This lid is unusual,in that it has a small front and big back.On a flat surface,you can use it to put CDs waiting to be played.Inside the box,is another box which is the norm these day's. The sleeves are the originals,with the actual essay in small writing on the composer,symphony,or music to be played on the back,as in the days of LPs;remember them. I shudder at the thought. They are making a come back.The spine has the composer,the name of the music to be played,and the CD number.No track numbers on the back,or on the CD.There a four double CDs with no information on the back,only on the front. The CDs are easy to extract.You might see part 1,or first movement on the label,ignore it.Some labels are deep purple;not the rock group,and the rest bright red.This is an attempt to make it exactly like the original LP,even down to the black vinyl colour.Why?I havent a clue.For example,so authentic is this box,that Also sprach Zarathustra,is in one sleeve CD 1,and CD 2 is Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben.Whereas in the RCA Living stereo Box,both tone poems are on one CD.Anyway,you cannot get lost.

However,do not lose the hard covered booklet;with many pictures. An essay on Reiner,and next,a picture of the sleeve,with the composer,music to be played,CD numbers and track numbers.At last a strong booklet,as they are usually flimsy. The sound is good, according to the publicity stuck to the plastic covering the box." 32 works newly remastered from the original analogue tapes using 24 bit/96kHz technology. All other CDs feature latest Living stereo SACD and XRCD remasterings." I wonder what it means. A tech head would know. However,when I play the 18 duplicates from the Living stereo box set,they are in the Reiner box as well;the sound is not as good as those in this new box set.Hurray!

I shall go across the page using reviews from the Penguin classical guides;1977,1996 and 2008,plus Gramophone Guide 2009.I shall start off with the CD number,the date recorded,Composer and then review,with a few comments from me-T.All with Reiner and Chicago Symphony orchestra,so I will not mention him,accept the soloists.He comes up in some reviews.

(CD 1)(1954)RICHARD STRAUSS:Also sprach Zarathustra."Among the earliest of stereo LPs,it has been acclaimed for 50 years as one of the finest recordings of the work ever.The stuff of legends."(CD 2)(1954)RICHARD STRAUSS: Ein heldenleben."Whatever he does is convincing"(CD 3)(1954)BRAHMS: Piano concerto no 1-Rubinstein,Piano."This is a poetic and essentially lyrical reading."(CD 4)(1955)LIEBERMANN: Concerto for Jazz band and symphony orchestra.Reiner was conducting and stated in the newspaper cutting printed on the back of CD sleeve "that there was future for this new type of music".He was swaying to the music,he seemed to like it.Above, the head line,"long hairs,hepcats-dig that crazy combo". I wonder what he would have made of the Rolling stones,Sid Vicious and the Punks,or even hippies.The mind boggles.Give Reiner his due he did try to keep in touch with musical trends.RICHARD STRAUSS: Don Juan."It is most famous for the erotic central section and for the thrilling climax".(CD 5)(1955)BEETHOVEN "Eroica".Sym No 3."Undoubtedly a compulsive Eroica,big boned in its epic qualities."(CD 6)(1955)Brahms violin concerto in D-Heifetz violinist."A sovereign account of this concerto."(CD 7)(1955).TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano concerto No I-piano Emil Gilels."This is a very exciting,full blooded version,including a beautifully gentle account of the outer sections of the slow movement."One of the best-T.(CD 8)(1956).MOZART:Divertimento No 17. Eine kleine nacht music.(CD 9)(1956) BARTOK: Concerto for orchestra."A classic recording."(CD 10 &11)(1956)RICHARD STRAUSS: SALOME and ELEKTRA Excerpts. Inge Borkh,Paul Schoeffler and Frances Yeend.'No Straussian should miss this disc."Suite from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Inge Borkh. CD Preiser records.London sym orch. Vienna Phil. Courtsey of Decca records.(CD 12)(1956)BEETHOVEN: Symphony no 7."A powerful,understanding performance. The fast tempo for the final draws brilliance from the Orchestra."(CD 13)(1956)TCHAIKOVSKY: 1812 overture."Without cannon,but is very enjoyable nevertheless."LIZST: Mephisto waltz. A superb account of Lizst's waltz,perhaps the finest on record.WEINBERGER: Polka and Fuge from Schwanda. SMETANA: The bartered bride overture. DVORAK: Carnival overture.Fizzes. Fast tempo.-T
(CD 14)(1957)RACHMANINOFF:Piano Concerto no 2-piano Rubinstein.(CD 15)(1962) RACHMANINOFF: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini-Rubinstein Piano. FALLA: nights in the Gardens of Spain.(CD 16)(1957)JOHANN STRAUSS: Morgenblatter. kaiser-Walzer.An der schonen ,blauen Donau. WEBER:Invitation to the dance. RICHARD STRAUSS. Der Rosenkavalier: Waltzes.Reiner plays the Johann Strauss's waltz's as they should be played,he captures the viennese spirit.-T(CD 17)(1957) TCHAIKOVSKY: violin concerto -Heifetz Violin."A performance of personality from Heifetz and Reiner."(CD 18)
(1957)RACHMANINOFF: Piano concerto No 1 piano Janis.(CD 19)(1957) RICHARD STRAUSS: Domestic symphony."A reading of stature,worthy to rank along side the best."

(CD 20 & 21)(1957) MOZART:Symphonies No 36,39,40 &41.The movements taken very fast remind you of the authentic instrument school. Yet these symphonies were recorded years before they began their revolution.-T(CD 22)(1958) PROKOFIEV: Lieutenant Kije."This is another colourful example of the Chicago orchestra at their peak." STRAVINSKY: Song of the nightingale.(CD 23)(1958)BRAHMS: Piano concerto no 2.Gilels-piano."very satisfying performance".(CD 24)(1958).RAVEL:Rapsodie espagnole.Pavane for a dead Princess. RACHMANINOFF: Isle of the dead."These performances are in an altogether special class"(CD 25)(1958) MUSSORGSKY:Pictures at an exhibition arr Ravel."Reiner's approach is evocative."(CD 26)(1958) BRAHMS: Symphony no 3."a magnificent performance" (CD 27)(1958) TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony no 6.Good, but I prefer Mravinsky conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic orchestra."His very Russian account is justly renowned.It is deeply passionate".(Penguin Guide 1996)(CD 28)(1958)DEBUSSY: Iberia. Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales.Alborada del gracioso.A penguin rosette for excellence.(CD 29)(1958)DVORAK: Symphony no 9 "New world"."How well the music flows with lovely playing."(CD 30)(1958)GRANADOS: Intermezzo. DE FALLA:Interlude(La vida breve. Dance(La Vida breve). Three cornered Hat suite no 2. ALBENIZ:Navarra."They have more sparkle then many recordings made since."(CD 31)(1958) HOVHANESS: Symphony No 2.Mysterious Mountain. STRAVINSKY: Divertimento from the fairy's kiss.(CD 32)(1959)TCHAIKOVSKY: 1812 Overture reissued in stereo,the other(CD 13) was mono?.MENDELSSOHN: Fingal's Cave."exciting account"LIZST: Mephisto Waltz. BRAHMS:Tragic Overture.(CD 33)(1959) ROSSINI: overtures. William Tell. La Scala di Seta. Il Signor Bruschino. The barber of Seville.La Gazza Ladra. La Cenerentola." Reiner's classic collection here emerges as sparkling and vivacious as ever."(CD 34)(1959)BEETHOVEN:Symphony No 5.Quick tempo's as Beethoven should be played-T Coriolan overture.(CD 35)(1959) MAHLER: Symphony no 4. Lisa Della Casa-soprano."Everything Reiner does sounds spontaneous.The slow movement has striking intensity. Della Casa is in ravishing voice" Reiner prefered long takes so that his recordings had the feel of a live performance.Booklet.
(CD 36)(1960)BARTOK: Music for strings,percussion & celesta/hungarian sketches."Reiner is one of the master Bartok conductors" (CD 37&38)(1960)MAHLER: Das Lied von der Erde.Maureen Forrester. Richard Lewis.This is one of the best recorded,along with Ferrier &Patzak,Vienna Philharmonic Orch cond Walter 1952. Thats how highly I rate this recording-T. HAYDN: Symphony no 88.(CD 39)(1960)RICHARD STRAUSS: Don Quixote."A top recommendation."(CD 40)(1960)MOZART:Concerto no 25- piano Tchaikowsky.Overture to Don Giovanni.

(CD 41)(1960)PROKOFIEV: Alexander Nevsky. Rosalind Elias Mezzo."The performance is gripping from the first bar to the last,with choral singing of great fervour and a movingly eloquent contribution from Elias in the great Lament."
(CD 42)(1960)KABALEVSKY:Colas Breugnon overture.TCHAIKOVSKY: Marche Slave. BORODIN: Prince Igor: Polvotsian March. MUSSORGESKY: Night on the bare mountain. TCHAIKOVSKY: Marche Minature. GLINKA:Russlan and Lyudmila overture. Reiner is always good in these popular pieces,full of energy and quick tempo's. He shows us how they should be played.-T (CD 43)(1960)SCHUMANN:piano concerto. Van Cliburn-piano."Satisfying reading"(CD 44)(1960)TCHAIKOVSKY:Excerpts from the Nutcracker ballet.(CD 45)(1960)RESPIGHI:Pines of Rome.Fountains of Rome. "Legendary recordings of Respighi have never been surpassed for their sultry Italian warmth."(CD 46)(1960)RIMSKY-KORSAKOFF:Scheherazade."Stands out among the many superb RCA recordings made in Chicago in the 1950's."(CD 47)(1960) WAGNER:Die Meistersinger: Prelude to Act 1.Prelude to Act 3. dance of the Apprentices. Entry of the Masters.Gotterdammerung:Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine journey. Funeral Music.(CD 48)(1961)DEBUSSY: La Mer."he captures the atmosphere of this french piece-T RICHARD STRAUSS: Don Juan.Recommended-T.(CD 49)(1961)JOHANN STRAUSS: Wiener Blut. Rosen aus dem Suden.Unter Donner und Blitz.(CD 50)(1961)SCHUBERT: Symphonies 8th'unfinished' and 5th. "Which is essentially sunny with a vigorous finale. No 8 has a superly dramatic and impulsive first movement and a rich lyrical finale". (CD 51)(1961)LIZST: Totentanz. RACHMANINOFF: Piano concerto no 1.Janis.(CD 52)(1961)BEETHOVEN: Piano concerto no 5 "Emperor"-Piano Van Cliburn "creates much excitement in the outer movements,with powerful support from Reiner."(CD 53)(1961)BRAHMS: Piano concerto no 2-Van Cliburn.(CD 54&55)(1962)BEETHOVEN: 1st and 9th symphony."The 9th convey's power. This is a fine example of Reiner's mastery." Extremely fast tempo's.Makes you hear Beethoven's 9th as if for the first time.-T(CD 56)(1962)RICHARD STRAUSS:Also Sprach Zarathustra.A newer recording-T.(CD 57)(1962)RACHMANINOFF: piano concerto no 2. van Cliburn-piano."is second to none".(CD 58)(1963)BEETHOVEN: piano concerto no 4-van Cliburn piano.(CD 59)(1963)BEETHOVEN: Symphony No 6."an outstandingly fresh and enjoyable performance."(CD 60)(1963) FALLA: El Amor Brujo.Leontyne Price."Fiery and colourful account.Price is riviting,as a flamenco singer". BERLIOZ:Les Nuit's D'ete."Price is well supported by Reiner and the Chicago orch in its heyday."(CD 61)(1963)HAYDN: sym no 101.Sym no 95.Musicians from the Chicago orch,Met Orch,New York Phil and the sym of the air,(NBC Orch). Made two months before Reiners death.(CD62)(1959)SCHUMANN Concerto for piano and orch. LIZST: Totendanz- Janis Piano.(CD 63)J.S BACH: Concerto for key board and orch no 5.Piano-Tchaikowsky.SMITH: The Star Spangled banner. fritz reiner discusses Beethoven's symphony very briefly.I hope you enjoy this set as much as I do.For those who like their music with quick tempo's.I do.
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Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten (Mariinsky Orchestra / Valery Gergiev) [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten (Mariinsky Orchestra / Valery Gergiev) [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Avgust Amonov [Emperor]
Price: 29.99

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kent's staging helps you to understand this complex opera., 31 Oct 2013
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I shall write the review first,and details about the opera will come afterwards.The staging and costumes are both traditional and modern,so the opera should appeal to both,because it makes sense.Jonathan Kent opens Act One with a messenger sitting on a swing,dressed in traditional Eastern combined Chinese Costume,as is the nurse.This is the spiritual world. She sits next to a red ancient door,where the building sits on a rock.A tree is nearby with a background of deep blue.The Empress is dressed in traditional golden clothes,the Emperor the same.We do see a golden falcon which sings. Then the nurse and Empress decends to the mortal world,which is set in dirty rooms of today,as are the costumes.Dancers from the spiritual world dressed traditionally, dance and sing in this setting.Modern technology is used,when there are changes from the spiritual to the mortal world and vice versa between scenes. A screen shows clouds,or sky and the falcon,the sun and sea,plus a pool of water.

Act 2. A return to the spiritual world,traditional costumes which give it this other worldliness,so you understand where you are.A tree with huge light blue flowers are at one end of the stage,with a small falcon. Nearby a horse.Then back to today's world.Act 3 really comes into its own,where the Empress is laying next to the stone of her husband. Above the rocks,hang to one side,the posessions of the physical world and the other the red door and the tree;symbolizing her state of mind and the test she must endure.The scenery and costumes help you understand the opera and what world you are in.Brilliant.

Gergiev conducts the Mariinsky Orchestra and Chorus;at 203 minutes,faster then Thielemann.Each conductor has a different agenda and cannot be compared. Gergiev brings out the modern music and melodies within the opera. Thielemann the beautiful long melodies of Strauss.One brings out the tension contained within this opera,the other the sheer beauty of the score.Gergiev uses the shortest baton I have ever seen,it is the size of a match stick.Both are good."This score" according to Irving Kolodin,contains some of the freshest,sweetest,and most heartfelt music Strauss wrote."

The singers I have never heard of before.The Emperor is Avgust Amonov,has the type of voice Peter Seiffert had when he was younger. The Empress Mlada Khudoley,has a different voice to the great Anne Schwanewilms,but the part suits her. There is no one to touch Anne in this part.But Mlada is very good.Nurse,Olga Savova,is near enough a contralto. Barak, Edem Umerov, sings "Mir anvertraut" beautifully,which makes you gulp.When his wife, Olga Sergeeva,who has sung Brunnhilde in the Ring cycle,sings if 'only you would believe I have not sold my shadow' in a distinctive manner. You believe her.This opera has to have four good singers for it to work,and they have,and it does.The rest of the cast are worthy of the parts they sing.

This opera staged by Loy as if actually recording the opera in the mid 1950's,works on many levels.It is about a new singer threatening a older one,but also the psychological termoils in the life of the singers,which illustrates what this opera is all about.It made you think.Thielemann conducts the Vienna Philharmoniker. The cast has Anne Schwanewilms,Michaela Schuster,Wolfgang Koch,Evelyn Herlitzius,Stephen Gould.It works because of these singers but it is not to everyones taste because of the staging.But it had a different agenda and cannot in anyway be compared with this new version. This new version is a combined traditional and modern staged opera,which would suit those who did not like this Thielemann version.Even if you did,like me,you will like this version as well.

ALL REGIONS. HD 1080i. 2.o 24 bit PCM Stereo. 5.1 DTS-HD master audio. Menu English. Subtitles: English. French. German.Spanish. Russian.The booklet has the synopsis and details about the singers in Russian,English,French and German,plus a few pictures from the opera.

REFERENCES:Batta,A.(Ed) Opera.2005.Konemann. Ewen,D. The world of 20th century music.1968. Prentice-hall. Guinn,J&Stone,L(Eds) St James Opera Encyclopedia(1997).Visible Ink. Holden,A.(Ed) The Penguin opera guide 1995.Viking. Kennedy,M. Richard Strauss.(1976)J.M Dent &Sons.

Richard Strauss (1864-1949) and his librettist Hofmannsthal were opposites. The former was easy going,the latter was a snob,stiff and aloof. However,when Hofmannsthal died on the 13th July 1929,Strauss wrote to his widow,"no musician ever found such a helper and supporter. No one will ever replace him for me or the world of music."Between them they created; Elektra,Der Rosenkavalier,Ariadne Auf Naxos,Die Frau Ohne Schatten,Die Egyptian Helena(available on Decca with Gwyneth Jones,Detroit Sym orch cond Dorati) and Arabella.

The libretto for Die Frau ohne Schatten draws upon Grimm's fairy tales,folk stories of China,Persia(Iran)and India,to the works of Goethe,Ruckert and other German Romantic poets.However,some of Strauss's music is in the Wagnerian mode,also that of Elektra, the delicacy of chamber music,and in parts resembles closely Mahler's 8th symphony and Das Lied von der Erde's exotic oriental flavour.

The Synopsis: In the World of spirits,a young Empress,offspring of the supernatural Keikobad,has no shadow. The shadow being symbolic of fertility. This is the reason why she cannot bear a child,though she has been married to the emperor for a year. In three days time her husband will be turned to stone,then she will be forced to return to her father. So the Empress accompanied by the nurse descends to earth to buy a shadow.They arrive at the hut of Barak,a dyer,who has a nagging wife,based upon Pauline,Strauss's wife. In return for worldly riches the wife is willing to sell her Shadow.Later on the wife reveals to Barak what she has done.He threatens to kill her.The Empress moved by pity states she cannot accept a shadow stained with blood. The dyers wife confesses she has not actually sold the the shadow. Then the Barak and his wife are sucked into the world of spirits,where they are reconciled.The Empress because of her unselfishness and nobility,gains a shadow and the Emperor is released from being a stone.

According to Ewen "the shadow is is a symbol of humanity.The Empress is a non human who has to experience love and pity to fulfil her.Barak is humanity,who has not achieved spiritual values.The nurse is unable to follow the Empress on her quest to have sympathy for all beings". The Crippled brothers represents the imperfect qualities of Mankind. Voices of unborn children: symbolizing latent creative posiblities,they await their manifestation.Falcon analytical consciousness.Hofmansthal stated that it is about,"combining the higher values of the spiritual realm with that of the earthiness of Man".There are so many ways one can interpret this opera.That is why it is one of my favourites.This opera was completed in 1917,so the work was probably a reaction to the First world war.The Premiere was held in 1919 at the Vienna Staatsoper.Dont forget the DGG CD Live version with Rysanek, cond Bohm.I hope you enjoy this opera as I did.
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Verdi At The Met: Legendary Performances
Verdi At The Met: Legendary Performances
Price: 56.12

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those who love singers of the past, 19 Oct 2013
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The Verdi at the Met is the companion of Wagner at the Met;but does not have the problems with the sleeves that the Wagner set had. We struggled to pull out the CDs from the sleeves. The reason being they had three CDs for each opera.However,the Met Verdi set only having two discs makes it easier to pull out the CDs from the sleeve.The box has another box glued to the inside and has a lid.One can describe the package as petite.Details of the operas are on the back of the box.The sleeves have pictures of the singers in the opera on the front,on the back the singers roles they are in.Inside the sleeves, track numbers and the arias sung.On the spine the order in which the operas are to be placed,Opera and conductor.All CDs are white with details in light blue and the Disc number with Acts.

To clean up the sound celemony capstan software was used on these releases to reduce transport pitch fluctuations present on the original sources. All recordings restored and mastered from lacquer discs or analogue tapes from the Met opera Archives. I can attest to this,as I once owned the Pearl La Traviata with Ponselle;the sound was shocking,I gave it away. The Naxos I own is better,but this new recording is as though the dirt was cleaned from an oil painting.I can hear the orchestra and the voice of Ponselle and Tibbett clearly.Now I know how they really sound.The booklet has a Note from Peter Gelb General manager of the Met,also there is an essay on Verdi at the Met, which goes into the history of Verdi at this opera house,and details about the Singers in this box set.At the end there is the Producers Note with a history of Box 44 where most of the machinery for recording was placed.The singers roles are placed first,then the Track numbers and arias,plus details about the singers and the conductor.Translations German and French.Pictures of the singers and conductors are sprinkled throughout the booklet.The Met opera Orchestra and Chorus is used in all the operas in this set.

Sleeve 1. LA TRAVIATA:(LIVE, recorded January 5,1935.)Ponselle,Jagel,Tibbett cond Panizza,who was assistant to Toscanini from 1921-1929.He was appointed in 1934 as Italian conductor at the Met Opera,a position he held until 1942.He died in 1967.In 1926 he conducted the first full performance of Turandot with Alfano's ending. Toscanini only conducted the premiere up to where Puccini left the score.Maria Callas said the Ponselle was"the greatest singer of us all"In 1918 she sung opposite Caruso in Forza del Destino aged 21.It was Caruso who brought Ponselle to general Manager Gatti-Casazza attention(his wife was New Zealander diva Francis Alda),that Ponselle sung in that opera.Geraldine Farrar once stated "when you wish to discuss singers there are two you must put aside.One is Caruso,the other is Ponselle. Then you may begin." Christiansen writes"Like Caruso's or Schumann-Heink Ponselle's voice floats-it never sounds pushed. Her singing is of a matchlessly satisfying completeness" Steane mentions that" her voice was probably the richest soprano the 20th Century has known". Tibbetts Di Provenza is a model of how the aria should be rendered.His Germont is sung with dignity and with the imposing beauty of his voice.Jagel is good,how good,you can hear through this cleaner sound. "It is a shattering performance" Opera on record concludes. Nimbus Records Ponselle NI 78051923-1939.RCA Victor Vocal CD series.Rosa Ponselle.1923-1939.This recording by its own is worth the price of this set.

Sleeve 2. OTHELLO:(LIVE, recorded February 24th 1940).Martinelli,Rethberg,Tibbett.Cond Panizza.I own the 12 February 1938 recording of this opera.Steane writes that"the best of complete recordings from the stage is that taken on February 24th 1940. Rethberg is recognisably the Worlds greatest soprano and Tibbett is the excellent Iago. Martinelli's Othello was the last grand creation of an epoch"In Kaufmann's Verdi CD there is an essay titled Verdi and his Tenors by Karl Grawe "About Othello,Del Monaco( Tebaldi cond Von Karajan,Decca Analogue box set)had been warned aginst inviting comparisons with Ramon Vinay(Furtwangler Salzburg 1951).Yet it had been argued that Vinay, too, could never stand comparison with Martinelli." Tibbett,a great singing actor,is the first in a long line of American Verdi Baritones,Warren,Merrill,Milnes and Macneill. Has Era la notte ever been more beautifully vocalized.The RCA Victor vocal series CD- Lawrence Tibbett(1926-35) Rethberg was considered the singers singer. She was once voted the worls's most perfect singer,an opinion shared by Toscanini.Her early records the HMV,Parlophone,and Victor recordings 1927-1934 2 discs.Romophone.

Sleeve 3.UN BALLO IN MASCHERA:(LIVE,recorded December 14th 1940) cond Panizza. Zinka Milanov,Bruna Castagna,Jussi Bjorling,Alexander Sved.Con Panizza. After years at La Scala and the Met shows a masterhand. Milanov with her rare beauty of voice was one of the most communicative. In this opera she demonstrates the virtues of a Verdi soprano. Sved big voiced and and reliable. He was marvellous as Telramund in the 1943 Met performance of Wagner's Lohengrin.The glory is Bjorling's Riccardo,the embodment of youthful ardour.Bjorling EMI Classics references opera arias Vol 1.

Sleeve 4.RIGOLETTO: (LIVE,recorded December 29th 1945). Warren,Bidu Sayao,Jussi Bjorling cond Sodero.He made his Met conducting Met Debut in 1942 and was on the staff for 5 years.Brazilian soprano studied with Jean De Rezeke.She made her Met debut singing Manon in 1937.Her Gilda shows off the warmth of her singing and the portrayal of a vulnerable girl.The part Rigoletto shows off Warren's voice in all its fierce beauty,sensitivity and blazing top notes.Bjorling in radiant voice.The Gramophone 2009 states"that it is a superb performance".Bidu Sayao masterworks Hertiage vocal series CD.

Sleeve 5.FALSTAFF:(LIVE,February 26,1949)Warren,Resnik,Valdengo,Elmo,Albanese,Di Stefano,Lipton cond Reiner,whose mentor was Hungarian Nikisch,who was the only role model for Furtwangler.Who also inspired fellow Hungarians, Szell,Solti, Dorati,and Frenchman Monteux and Swiss Ansermet.A speedy rendition and probably one of the best operas in this set. All the cast are at one with one another.It was considered an extraordinary ensemble led by Warren in the role of Falstaff,with what we would call a dream team. Olin Downes called "Warren the Worthy Center of this performances. he made Falstaff a human and appealing character". This opera had a great impact in the 1948-1949 season.

Sleeve 6.SIMON BOCCANEGRA:(LIVE,January 28,1950)Warren Astrid Varnay, Tucker, cond Fritz Stiedry, a one time assistant at the Vienna Court opera to Gustav Mahler,who had fled Germany in 1933 and reached USA in 1937.Varnay is known as a great Brunnhilde in the Ring;hear her in Keilberth's 1955 Bayreuth Ring Cycle and the 1953 Krauss Bayreuth Ring Cycle.It is a suprise to hear her in an Italian opera,she is quite good.Tucker's singing in this opera must be the finest of his entire career.He was a Met artist for 30 years.

Sleeve 7.LA FOZRA del DESTINO:(LIVE-recorded November 29th,1952).Milanov,Tucker,Warren,Cond Fritz Stiedry."By the end of the First act,the audience was subjugated by the magnificent singing,above all Zinka Milanov".This is the opera that Warren collapsed and died in March 4th 1960 while singing in this opera.However,I cannot understand why the producer did not use the 1943 recording of this opera. The 2009 Gramophone raves about it."There has never been quite so electrifying a Forza as Walter's vital,brilliantly excuted reading. The revelation of the performance is the Leonora of Stella Roman,an underrated soprano brought to the Met in 1941,who yields few points to such notable interpreters of the part as Ponselle,Milanov and Tebaldi. Pinza and Tibbett make up the main roles of the cast."

Sleeve 8. MACBETH:(LIVE- recorded February 21.1959)Warren, Rysanek,,Bergonzi,Hines,Cond Leinsdorf.Rysanek's Lady Macbeth is beautifully vocalized and yet very dramatic. Warren gives one of his greatest and most impressive performances. Bergonzi is a lyrical Macduff and Hines a noble Banquo. There is plenty of drive in Leinsdorf conducting.

Sleeve 9. NABUCCO:(LIVE-recorded December 3,1960). MacNeil,Rysanek,Siepi,Fernandi, Elias cond Schippers.He was American and died in 1977 at the age of 47. The cast is good except Rysanek who was exceptionally fine in Macbeth.She seems to have vocal problems and only comes right at the end of the opera.A pity.

Sleeve 10. AIDA: (LIVE-recorded February 25 1967) Price,Bergonzi,Bumbury,Merrill,Hines. Cond Schippers. All I can say it is a dream team. With Price and Bumbury at their peak what more can you ask for. Here is another Aida for collectors of old recordings. Recorded Milan 1928or 1929?.Pertile, Dusolina Giannini, Irene Minghini-Cattaneo, Orch Del Teatro Alla Scala di Milano,cond Carlo Sabajno. Giannini was born in Philadelpia of Italian parents. In 1929 seven years before her debut at the Met she was chosen to sing in this Aida.Steane writes that she is very good indeed.Pertile was a favourite of Toscanini,vastly admired by Serafin.The two Cds are on Phonographe.Cedar restoration.I hope you enjoy this set as much as I did.

REFERENCES:Blyth,A.(Ed) Opera on record.1979.Hutchinson of Australia. Christiansen,R. Prima Donna,A history.1995.Pimlico. Gruber,P. The Met Guide to recorded Opera.1993.Thames and Hudson. The Gramophone classical music guide 2009.Haymarket. Lebrecht,N.The Maestro Myth.1997.Pocket books. Steane,J.B.The Grand Tradition 1900-1970.1974.Duckworth.
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