Cortigiani, vil razza dannata; Green, Johnny, Orchestre; Boston Pops Orchestra. Writer: Verdi Tenor and Orchestra. Matrix number: Catalog number De Curtis; La Scala Orch. Members of La Scala Orch. The preferred version suggested by an audio engineer at Performer: Emilio de Gogorza Writer: E. Matrix number: Catalog number: 1 reviews Topics: 78rpm, Popular Music, acoustic Source: Bach; Gounod Vocal; Tenor.
An album of children songs written to learn Italian as a second language Read page for details Topics: parlar cantando, 12EDO. Tracklist: Disc 1: 1. Trio Sonata In G Major 8. Matrix number: Catalog number: 1 reviews Topics: 78rpm, Classical, acoustic Source: Matrix number: B Catalog number: B Other IDs from the record include: A favorite favorite favorite favorite favorite 1 reviews Topics: 78rpm, Orchestral, acoustic Source: Giuseppe Godono; G. Curtis; Ernesto De Curtis. Josef Alexander , Madama Butterfly.
Vissi d'arte; Schubert, Franz, Schwanengesang Song cycle. Love me forever. Love me forever; Kreisler, Fritz, King steps out. Selections; Kern, Jerome, When you're in love. Our song; Kern, Jerome, Whistling boy. Matrix number: CB Quando me'n vo; Bizet, Georges, Habanera; Verdi, Giuseppe, Trovatore Istante almen dia loco; Puccini, Giacomo, Ring des Nibelungen.
Samson et Dalila. Record 1: Johnny B. This may have been the first LP with that label. Expanded version of DPL 1 , above. Obviously, "the greatest town in the world" refers to New York City. Air Force Museum. Zhivago" - Hugo Montenegro. Put Another Nickel In Music! Program 1: Bach: Superjoy - Dr. Eh, Marie! This set is mono. Record 1: Sympony No. On the cover, Milnes is billed as "America's Leading Baritone.
Custom label see right. Emerson Jones. Special Collector's Edition. Let It Snow! DPM 1 - Listeners' Guild. Record 1: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. Fold-open cover. Blue Abkco label. This album is mono. Back of jacket notes, "A series of songs about National destinations and the National spirit of sunshine. The song list below is from the first of three cartridges.
If released on vinyl, this would be a 6-LP set. Custom grey label see right. Labels give title as It's Nice to Go Travelin'. Will I Be Seeing You. Prepared for The Smithsonian Institution. The jacket notes, "An archival reconstruction of the original production.
Air Force Museum Foundation. Record 1: Ragtime Annie - A. Part of this album is from the original Broadway run of the show "Whoopee. Custom red label see right. Concerto for Flute Op. Includes page booklet. Jacket notes, "Lederle Laboratories, developer of Loxitane Loxapine Succinate , presents you with this album Madness in Opera Volume II as a service to psychiatrists in the interest of continuing education.
Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis - Samuel H. Dudley aka S. These versions are longer than the 45s. Buzzerd's Original Savannah Band. Record 1: Lord Mr. DVL 1 e - Kellogg's Presents Prepared for the U. Bach: English Suite No. Mozart: Organ Sonata No.
DPL 1 - Vivace! A re-creation using studio recordings of the famous Aeolian Hall concert at which Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" was given its world premiere.
On the street where you live 5. I've Told Ev'ry Little Star 6. The Donkey Serenade 7. All The Things You Are 8. Lover Come Back To Me 9. Giannina Mia Earthbound This Land Do You Wonder Love In A Home A Night To Remember Seven Hills Of Rome Funiculi Funicula Song Of The Vagabonds Love Me Tonight.
Here In My Heart 3. Be My Love 4. Take My Heart 5. Because You're Mine 6. Eh Cumpari 7. Rags To Riches 8. No Other Love 9. Why Don't You Believe Me My Own True Love I Believe Hold My Hand The High And The Mighty The Story Of Tina Love Is The Tender Trap A Woman In Love Most Of All Sweet And Gentle Hot Diggity Dog Ziggity Boom Too Close For Comfort Innamorata Sweetheart You Don't Know Me 2.
See Saw 3. All The Way 4. Love Me Forever 5. Pretend You Don't See Her 6. An Affair To Remember 7. Stupid Cupid 8. There Must Be A Way 9. Return To Me Gigi Who's Sorry Now Sway Mack The Knife The Lady Is A Tramp Nice 'N' Easy I Wanna Thank You Close Your Eyes. Wheel of Fortune 2. Wish You Were Here 3. Delicado 4. You Belong to Me 5. Walkin' My Baby Back Home 6. Bermuda 7. I'll Walk Alone 8. Lover 9. Somewhere Along the Way It Takes Two to Tango Blue Tango Kiss of Fire Here in My Heart Tell Me Why Guy Is a Guy, A The Blacksmith Blues Trying I Went to Your Wedding Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Hambone At Last.
Buonasera Signorina 2. La Dolce Vita 3. Mambo Bacan 5. Guaglione 6. Colpevole 8. Mambo Italiano 9. Torna a Surriento Le mantellate Su nel cielo Guarda che luna Tu che m'hai preso il cuor Vecchio Scarpone Il cielo in una stanza La Gatta 2.
Carina 3. Tipitipitipso 5. Genevieve 6. Princess 7. Te Voglio Bene Tanto Tanto 8. E'Mezzanotte 9. Nessuno al mondo Il torrente Tutte le mamme Il nostro concerto Ba-ba-baciami piccina Sassi Grazie dei fior Luna Rossa Come Giuda Piove Ciao, Ciao Bambina Arrivederci Tracks of Disc 3 1.
Serenata a Margellina 2. E' vero 3. Estate violenta 4. Non arrossire 6. Estate 7. Ritorna, amor 8. I Sing "Amore" 9. Chella lla' Il barattolo Malinconcio Autunno Buongiorno tristezza Una zebra a pois Vola colomba Polvere di stelle Non Dimenticar T'ho voluto bene Ue Ue Ue Che Femmena Oho Aha Ciao. Blue Suede Shoes 2. Just Walking In The Rain 3. Sixteen Tons 4. Rock And Roll Waltz 5. Standing On The Corner 6.
The Great Pretender 7. Hot Diggity 8. Singing The Blues 9. The Poor People Of Paris The Wayward Wind I Almost Lost My Mind Born To Be With You Canadian Sunset Dungaree Doll The Green Door Ivory Tower Band Of Gold Lisbon Antigua That'll Be The Day 2. Bye Bye Love 3. Come Go With Me 4. Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On 5. Love Letters In The Sand 6. Keep A Knockin' 7. Moonlight Gambler 8. School Day 9. So Rare Round And Round Butterfly Gone I'm Walkin' Wake Up Little Susie Little Bitty Pretty One A White Sport Coat Raunchy Short Fat Fanny Tracks of Disc 3 1.
At The Hop 2. Great Balls Of Fire 3. Summertime Blues 4. Lollipop 6. Get A Job 7. It's All In The Game 8. Purple People Eater 9. Endless Sleep Tequila Susie Darlin' Are You Sincere Sugartime Catch A Falling Star Witch Doctor Bird Dog Rockin' Robin Tracks of Disc 4 1. My Heart Cries For You 2. Be My Love 3. Slow Poke 4. Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White 6. Cattle Call, The 7.
Dungaree Doll 8. Rock and Roll Waltz, The 9. Heartbreak Hotel Banana Boat Day-O Lazy Mary Oh Lonesome Me Guess Who Makin' Love Three Bells, The Carol He'll Have To Go. If I Loved You from "Carousel" 5. What's the Use of Wond'rin' from "Carousel" 6. Kiss Me Again from "Madamoiselle Modiste" 7. Mascot of the Troop from "Madamoiselle Modiste" 8. Sweet Mystery of Life from "Naughty Marietta" 9. Italian Street Song from "Naughty Marietta" Baubles, Bangles And Beads from Kismet Stranger In Paradise from "Kismet" And This is My Beloved from "Kismet" Romance from "The Desert Song" Sabre Song from "The Desert Song" Xanadu from "The Adventures of Marco Polo" White Christmas 2.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 3. Silent Night 4. Silver Bells 5. O Little Town of Behtlehem 6. The Twelve Days of Christmas 7. The First Noel 8. Here Comes Santa Claus There Were Three Ships Away in a Manger Christmas Is Coming Jolly Old St. Nicholas Ring Those Christmas Bells Christmas Auld Lang Syne This Time of the Year Cool Yule Tracks of Disc 2 1. The Christmas Song 2. Let It Snow! Winter Wonderland 4. Jingle Bell Rock 5. I'll Be Home for Christmas 7. Mary's Boy Child 8.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 9. Deck the Halls The Skaters' Waltz The Little Drummer Boy Little Donkey The Holly and the Ivy Christmas Carousel It Came Upon a Midnight Clear Song of the Sleighbells Papa Noel O Christmas Tree Tracks of Disc 3 1.
Santa Baby 2. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree 3. Blue Christmas 4. Run Rudolph Run 5. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 6. Frosty the Snowman 8. Jingle Bells 9. My Christmas Prayer Merry, Merry Christmas, Baby Twistin' Bells The Night Before Christmas Song What Child Is This? Santa Claus Is Coming to Town Joy to the World We Wish You a Merry Christmas. But of course Fleming got a lot of flack on her singing as well.
True, she uses all kinds of allowable vocal tricks like rubato and a good trill, which are arms not all sopranos have. Well, by the third track one realizes that she is not going to use her full voice and that she will never sing out; that everything will stop at mezza-voce while in that half voice she tries hard to unveil all hidden meanings in each word, if necessary in each syllable by voice inflexions. Classical stars nowadays prefer to bring either their own maestros with them or otherwise want to be indulged by the conductor whom they honour by allowing him to have their name as well on their records.
So Andreas Delfs nicely follows Fleming but definitely was not engaged to tell her some truths and to bring some vitality to the recording sessions. That too is one of the differences with the Terfel recording. Not that everything is perfect in this record as it shows some serious vocal problems. The bass-baritone who came in second after Dmitry Hvorostovsky in the Cardiff competition in has made some far fetching decisions.
His Amsterdam outing as Scarpia was not really a success. The low and middle register are still very beautiful but the voice really makes a clearly unmusical jump which sometimes almost becomes a shout to reach an F; and, as he does it several times on this record, it is clear he has somewhat damaged his vocal means.
His Sondheim-song is particularly impressive. He too sings a lot in warm toned pianissimo but realizes that parts of some songs demand full voice. The CD offers us two duets with baritone-colleague, Simon Keenlyside, who clearly makes a bigger noise than Terfel on record at least , though the voice has nothing of the beauty and the subtlety of the Welsh singer.
Clearly I could easily have done without his part; but it is a nice reminder that Terfel, notwithstanding some vocal problems, is still a great artist. Each of these productions has been released separately on DVD; though the operas themselves are less than 70 minutes long, each DVD also features bonus material, including interviews with conductor, director, and stars.
Even at less than full price, the minute long The Miserly Knight DVD may not seem like a bargain, but for an outstanding performance of a rare repertory piece, it offers good value indeed. In the first of three short scenes, all apparently only slightly adapted from the original source material by Rachmaninov, we meet a young knight plagued by debts.
A moneylender suggests that he arrange for the murder of his father, a baron the eponymous character who hoards his fortune and keeps his profligate son on a tight budget.
The young knight refuses, and decides to protest his case to the Duke. The second scene, a long dramatic monologue for the father, has no action whatsoever. Then, in the confrontation before the Duke, the father accuses the son of desiring his death. Not exactly a narrative arc of Puccinian drama and characterization. Undoubtedly the challenges of staging the work have contributed to its neglect. Rachmaninov would go on to write one more one-act opera, Francesca di Rimini , and along with the earlier Aleko , all three works reflect his mastery of orchestral texture and drama, and give some evidence of his melodic genius.
And yet none really quite makes a case for itself as a total success. An androgynous figure, with the skin and hair of an old man but the youthful, impish face of a youth, this figure appears briefly at the start and then throughout scene two, managing to enhance the long monologue, so brilliantly delivered by Leiferkus, without distracting from the focus on the knight.
Richard Berkeley-Steele, a fairly good Siegmund in the recent Barcelona Ring DVD set, does even better here, sounding comfortable with both the language and tessitura of the role. Viacheslav Voynarovskiy sings with appropriate unctuousness as the Moneylender, a role that in the unexpurgated original apparently veers into anti-Semitic characterization this according to a recent Gramophone review of a Chandos recording of the opera.
Vladimir Jurowski, clearly relishing both the score and his own youthful, handsome self those tresses are something else , leads the LPO in a riveting performance. Glyndebourne by reputation is seldom an easy ticket to acquire, even if one happens to be taking the summer in the UK. To have a new production from last year available on DVD is wonderful in itself, and when it is the quality of this particular one, then generosity can be said to be at the heart of this Miserly Knight.
And so it is, at the Metropolitan Opera. On Monday night, the company started up a run of Johann Strauss Jr. This production has the dialogue in English, and the singing in the original German - a smart arrangement. Rarely do you have so much fun in an opera house, as when you imbibe the Schenk "Fledermaus. The chairman of the English National Opera, Martin Smith, has quit his post following a flood of calls for his resignation.
The Royal Opera's cheerful and colourful new production of Rossini's most popular work is a copper-bottomed hit. Its principal virtue is Mark Elder's superb conducting. For wit and polish, his interpretation is on the level of Beecham's or Abbado's, though in other respects his approach is radically different from theirs. According to Katz, who teaches in the Department of Musicology at the Peabody, there is more to sound recording than just recording sound. Not just a tool for the preservation of music, the technology is a catalyst for change.
In "Capturing Sound," Katz writes a wide-ranging, informative and entertaining history of recording's profound impact on the musical life of the past century, from Edison to the Internet. Morris, a classically trained pianist, has studied Beethoven and his music for 40 years. Jim Giles [Nature. One of the extraordinary stories of the Internet age is that of Wikipedia, a free online encyclopaedia that anyone can edit.
This radical and rapidly growing publication, which includes close to 4 million entries, is now a much-used resource. But it is also controversial: if anyone can edit entries, how do users know if Wikipedia is as accurate as established sources such as Encyclopaedia Britannica?
Among those recordings is the release in February of a concert Giulini led on 2 August at the Salzburg Festspiel. According to the notes that accompany this CD, it is the last recording the conductor approved for release. Yet it is what Giulini chose for the particular concert, a rare opportunity for the conductor to lead the Vienna Philharmonic. As a highly esteemed interpreter of both Mozart and Mahler, Giulini offers strong performances of the two works. This reflects tacitly the tradition in which Giulini worked, where an earlier composer like Mozart did not have to be rediscovered through reviving older performing traditions.
In approaching a familiar work by Mozart with a relatively large orchestra, Giulini used relatively slower tempos, particularly in the outer movements. Yet tempo is only one dimension of this music. The clarity of line that emerges in the first movement is characteristic of this particular recording.
Giulini achieves this quality not only with a modest pacing, but he allows lines to end, with points of silence that help to delineate the phrasing.
He allows the slow movement Andante to linger and in doing so brings out some of the ensemble passages that the Vienna Philharmonic executes well. Within the string textures that Giulini uses well in this performance, the winds are notable for the careful and delicate timbres they create.
Details like these emerge in the final movement Allegro assai , which is taken at a modest pace. Inflections of modality are clearly apparent in this recording, in which Giulini brings out sonorities that may be passed over when the movement is taken at faster tempos than those found in this dignified performance. His soloists were the mezzo soprano Brigitte Fassbaender and the tenor Francisco Araiza, two fine singers who bring wonderful technique and facility to this demanding work.
Araiza offers some fine performances of the three pieces for tenor and orchestra. As demanding as each can be, his makes maintains a fluid tone that conveys a sense of ease and comfort with the music. Fassbaender was at the height of her career for this performance, with a wonderful control of the various nuances required for expressing this piece effectively. Her voice moves well within the orchestral accompaniment, which is Giulini has shaped well. Fassbaender maintains the intensity of this piece well, and the silence at its end is tribute to her command of the audience.
Some problems arise in the orchestra, though, when the tempo increases, and while the performers recover, it mars the result. Nevertheless Fassbaender never seems to lose her vocal composure in bringing the song to its conclusion. The opening chimes resonate deeply to suggest to a break between the world of the first five songs and their counterpart in this single extended movement for voice and orchestra.
The spacious tempos that Giulini chose for this performance create some extraordinarily moving passages that other conductors do not always achieve.
From the start, Fassbaender is in good form as she shapes the vocal line with Giulini working well with her. All in all, the sound on this release is not as vibrant as can occur with studio recordings, and is reminiscent of some fine radio broadcasts.
The voices benefit from the microphone placement, and while the orchestral sound is never blurred, at times the balance is off. Yet the existence of some gaffs in the orchestra show what can happen in live performances, even with such exceptional performers.
Nevertheless, it is a fine souvenir of Giulini at the Salzburg Festspiel that captures both Fassbaender and Araiza at a fine time in their careers. While Das Lied von der Erde lends itself well to studio recordings, this is a memorable live performance. The rest of this disk consists of music Franz Schubert wrote for various projects for the stage that never were very successful.
I guess for each of us there are is a masterpiece or two that we just cannot find it in ourselves to love, and I have long resisted this one because of the text. I had wondered why great artists kept performing and recording it, until, in listening to this aria with the care that a review requires, I realized, of course, that it is really wonderful music.
Ameling and Baldwin perform all of these songs with their characteristic high standard of musicianship and technical achievement. Conscience required me to at least try to evaluate the audio quality of these discs, which are Hybrid Super Audio Compact Discs, playable either on standard CD players or on multiple channel equipment with which I was, frankly, unfamiliar.
Needless to say, it was heaven while it lasted. Not being a true audiophile, I am not expert enough to say where these discs fit in the spectrum of high-quality audio, or even, to tell the truth, to say for sure whether the discs succeed at what they set out to do. Did I feel like I was in the space where the performances were taking place? I did notice that, when a track began, rather than hearing dead silence before the music started, I could hear a bit of the noise from the original analog recording.
I would hesitate to call it distortion without knowing for sure and had no one at hand to ask about it. It would not sound the way I had heard it, of course, but it would be an option. At the other end of the spectrum, I needed to do some serious multi-tasking while preparing both to celebrate the holidays and to write this review, so I downloaded the lieder tracks onto my Palm Zire to rehear as MP3 tracks through ear buds. Then, if you are fortunate enough to find a moment when you can have the sound system to yourself, treat yourself to this music.
Either way, you will rise from your chair renewed. The liner notes include information about the recording process itself and notes about the songs and arias in English, German, and French, as well as texts and English translations of the works.
For those who, like me, have some or all of these tracks on vinyl and might be trying to figure out which CDs might replace which LPs, the Arias disc includes all of Philips LP Mozart Opera and Concert Arias and the pieces from Philips Schubert on Stage in which Elly Ameling performs solo. The first act takes place in an Alsatian village where the father of Salomea 20 and Friederike Brion 17 is a vicar.
Goethe and Friederike are clearly in love and at the end of the act he first kisses her. The second act takes place in Strasbourg a few months later. She and Goethe once more declare their love and he intends to marry her and leave for Weimar where the Grand-Duke has offered him a splendid position. Weyland convinces Friederike to give up her dreams and she starts to flirt outrageously with Lenz. In the short third act Goethe and the Grand-Duke pass through Sesenheim eight years later.
There are of course some deviations from historical reality. The first act corresponds with the real situation but in the second act operetta and opera are looking around the corner. In reality Goethe had more or less tired of Friederike whom he found utterly charming in her village but somewhat unsophisticated in his Strasbourg surroundings.
But in the meantime he had written some of his best poems. Friederike sacrificing herself is pure musical theatre convention as Goethe in reality only left for Weimar 4 years later. She would never marry and lived after the death of her parents with her sister Salomea and Weyland. She died in , 59 years of age and a short time after Goethe had published his warm-hearted memories of her. Due to the European war at the time, she escaped attention but shortly afterwards people started to come and visit her grave on a pilgrimage.
Official Germany had never liked the many operas composed on themes by Goethe. In the seventies, Friederike gradually disappeared from the repertoire as did most operettas; a real loss as it is a masterpiece. For the moment there are some selections available and one complete recording on EMI with Austrian actually Italian, as Italy was allowed to conquer a piece of purely Austrian land tenor Adolf Dallapozza and Texas soprano Helen Donath as Goethe and Friederike.
The recording is a very good one. That is not to say it is perfect as there are three flaws in it. There is no second couple that takes care of our comic relief and has some pop melodies to sing in contrast to the more operatic fare of the tenor and soprano.
Still there is almost an embarrassment of melodic ideas in the score. Then the theatre Goethe makes his appearance as by that time the original public was probably already clamouring for Richard Tauber.
Every educated German knew by heart the famous rendition of Franz Schubert. It is no co-incidence that this second aria for Tauber was picked up for recording by other tenors as well. The third act has a short solo for Friederike, a lovely duet between Lenz and Salomea and a few sentences by Goethe. George Hall [The Guardian, 20 December ]. It's not often one has the chance to hear a new work by Bach, but the centrepiece of this programme by the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists under John Eliot Gardiner was the UK premiere of a much-heralded recent discovery.
In May, researcher Michael Maul came across a short unknown aria in the composer's hand in a Weimar archive. It sets a poem celebrating the 52nd birthday in of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Bach's then employer. The text alludes to the Duke's motto, "All things with God, and naught without him," which forms the title of the piece. Cut down from the original 12 stanzas to a more manageable three, this minor work nevertheless proved a charmer; melodically graceful and expertly crafted.
Soprano Elin Manahan Thomas sang it with flawless tone and perfect diction. One of the many unsolicited press releases that I received this month reassured me that although their client's concert had the word "Christmas" in its title, the event itself was completely devoid of religious content and therefore suitable for the entire family.
This missive was quickly filed where it belonged,but piqued my thirst for a good, old-fashioned Christmas concert combining the sacred and the festive. On Sunday night, at the Metropolitan Museum, that particular itch was scratched. The city of Wroclaw has had several names in its 1,year existence and the current one helps disguise its past.
When the borders of Poland were shifted westwards at the Potsdam Conference in the German city of Breslau ceased to exist.
Much was already gone, thanks to Hitler and the Red Army. As a final gesture, the city was entirely repopulated.
What was left of its German population was expelled, and residents of the Polish city of Lvov, which ended up in Ukraine, were ordered to move to Wroclaw.
Echo is the musical gift that keeps on giving, sometimes longer than you wish it did. We get a lot of echo this time of year. Christmas music belongs in churches, and the big ones are bighearted enough to make sure we hear a single performance not once but a number of times in quick succession.
In the space of a second, light moves , miles. In the meantime, sound has limped about, say, 1, feet. Think of fireworks in the distance. We see them; the sound arrives later. Creating music indoors is like throwing a number of balls around a four-sided handball court and waiting for them to come back to you.
If the balls are of different sizes and thrown at different speeds, your ears, so to speak, will have their hands full. Anthony Holden [The Guardian, 18 December ]. The year ended with English National Opera back in turmoil, as the abrupt departure of its artistic director and chief executive, Sean Doran, led to calls for that of its chairman, Martin Smith. As it prepares for further strife over sur-titles above opera in English, amid huge financial problems and staff muttering, the company's future must now be declared uncertain.
No wonder, then, that Siegfried Wagner first decided on a career in architecture. Had he stuck with that resolve, he would likely have gotten a lot more professional respect than he did as a composer. It is rather closer in spirit to the work of his teacher Humperdinck, though perhaps less melodically inspired.
It concerns the resistance of the Wends a slavic tribe that lived in Prussia to forced Christianization at the hands of the Poles. Ellida had once been unfaithful to Radomar, and, as the story progresses, the Polish general Jaroslav blackmails her into betraying Radomar once again, both sexually, and by revealing the plans for the secret coronation. But in the end, in a page out of the Wagner family playbook, she sacrifices her life to redeem her love. Overall, Christianity is presented as triumphant, as the traditionalist Wends are portrayed as lying schemers, who perpetuate belief in their gods through trickery.
The noble Radomar and his love Ellida stand between the two camps. This is especially unfortunate, as I could find no evidence that the libretto is available elsewhere—at least in translation. Both sets share the wonderful soprano Dagmar Schellenberger, who here sings the role of Ellida.
I was not familiar with most of the other singers, such as tenor Thorsten Scharnke as the Radomar and baritone Adam Kruzel as Jaroslav. All aquit themselves satisfactorily. Some 15 years ago I produced a TV-show for Flanders and the Netherlands on the decline of Italian singing and I asked a mutual friend who knew Tebaldi and Olivero very well to ask for their cooperation. Both ladies agreed to receive me a few weeks before shooting would start but my friend warned me that making an exact appointment would be difficult as Tebaldi was not one to be pinpointed on a date.
So I started calling the great prima-donna and of course got her assistant Tina who kindly asked me to phone back tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, next week etc. At last we agreed I should come to Italy and try from there and Tina was sure La Signora would receive me. So I went because by that time I was sure this would not be a journey for nothing as I had also placed a call to La Olivero. I had stated my business to her assistant and within a minute Olivero herself took the call, looked at her agenda and gave me a date and an hour at her apartment.
On the exact date and hour I arrived and she herself opened the door. She offered a drink and as she was a little really only a little shaky I wanted to pour out myself a cup of tea. Yes, I finally succeeded in meeting Tebaldi as well.
Now to the record. That would have been short value but they could re-issue as well her only solo LP-album with songs of Faith and Devotion from Still not all of these many recordings were produced in excellent conditions and sometimes the sound picture is not a thing of beauty. Now what can be said of the actual singing that has not been already said so many times before? Olivero is something of an acquired taste and she succeeds with means that could be called limited.
The voice was not big but immensely well projected. It has an obtrusive vibrato, somewhat more in the pre- than in the post-war-recordings. A score is not a sacrosanct object to revere but a means to construe a character and, if for that aim note values have to be lengthened or shortened, so be it. Everything is so exaggerated, so blown up that once more camp becomes pure art.
During my re-listening for the n-th time to these recordings I especially concentrated on the difference between her and her recordings and there is almost none. The only difference seems to be in the style where the sobs are more obtrusive, preparing the ground for her triumphs of the late fifties and sixties. And by the way, in her big Traviata scene she is assisted by a nice tenor whose name is never mentioned on any re-issue.
He is the completely forgotten Muzio Giovagnoli. But a DVD has appeared with the central characters of the czar, czarina, and the Mad Monk, in an opera that premiered at almost exactly the same time as the Dratell work.
The DVD captures an intense, riveting evening of dramatic musical theater and a performance by Matti Salminen in the lead role that manages to capture all the seedy charisma and ecstatic lechery of this fascinating figure. Like the best opera composers, Rautavaara sees to it that all the major roles get their time in the limelight.
Jyrki Anttila Felix and Gabriel Suovanen Dimitri both exude proper amounts of elegant sleaze as lovers who see Irina as a ticket to power, and Rasputin as the greatest threat to their ambition.
In three acts, the opera runs about 2 and half hours, so with two intermissions probably required, it would be a substantial, and probably expensive, proposition to stage. But this original production has much to recommend it, as smoothly moving walls slide into formulations to quickly signify shifting locations, and the lighting and costuming are of consistently high standards.
Hannu Lindholm designed the production and Vilppu Kiljunen directed. The production of new operas seems to be increasing, which, while healthy by most any measure, also means that some good works can be swept away by the next tide of newer works. Opera houses the world over would do very well to check out this Ondine release and realize that here is a new opera of potent drama and searing musicality, and if Matti Salminen is available, what more could be wanted?
Anyone without the patience — formidable, indeed — to await that development should acquire this Ondine DVD soon. THIS year was not for those with a nervous disposition, particularly if you like opera. Indeed, the tide of names washing in and out of the Scottish classical scene was enough to make even those used to arts-world shenanigans feel a little sea-sick. A few winners of the Cardiff Singer of the World competition have shot to stardom, but most have built their careers more steadily - including the Swedish mezzo Katarina Karneus, who took home the trophy a decade ago.
This recital was one of Radio 3's lunchtime series, broadcast live, in which one often finds the more interesting up-and-coming singers in the Wigmore Hall's calendar.
In the case of a singer as accomplished as Karneus, currently making an impression as ENO's Xerxes, it is perhaps a surprise that she hasn't already become more of an evening fixture at this venue. At the same time, there was a feeling of restraint, even nervousness, to her performance that made one wonder if, at the moment, she might feel more at home on the operatic stage.
In a Metropolitan Opera House studio jumbled with tapes and inch lacquer discs one day last week, nine of the most famous high C's ever sung shot out from the throat of Luciano Pavarotti. Neil Armfield is the producer, and the set design is by Brian Thomson. It is an hydraulic platform, which in Cardiff occupied the whole stage, but at the Coliseum leaves a lot of surrounding space unused, and induces less claustrophobia in the audience, though it could well, in its restless heaving, cause motion sickness.
A star was born. David McVicar's enormously enjoyable production of Handel's showpiece set in an imperial imagerie d'Epinal version of Egypt was distinguished by the British debut of the beautiful young Australian soprano Danielle de Niese. Not only did her voice easily surpass the rigorous requirements of the role of Cleopatra, but she gave, in Kenneth Tynan's term, a high-definition performance - sexy, witty, compelling - at a level rarely seen on an opera stage.
Praise God, it's being revived next summer, when a DVD will also appear. Because of a slump in ticket sales, Met general manager Joseph Volpe wants to cut operating expenses for the company's current fiscal year by 5 percent. It's been some time since Schoenberg's scowling mien or Boulez's hard gaze represented the face of new music. Yet even they fall short of warm and fuzzy.
Rian Evans [The Guardian, 16 December ]. Not everyone who came to Cardiff last weekend was searching for Oasis. A couple of thousand were making the pilgrimage to see Bryn Terfel - and for them Christmas arrived early. Wherever Joyce DiDonato makes a debut she creeps in at the back door and leaves by the front. It was billed as the chance to hear the doyen of British conductors in musical harmony with his new partner: classical music's glamour couple Simon Rattle and mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena, in concert with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
But anybody wanting to sample the musical chemistry between these two icons of the classical scene would have been disappointed.7" Single on 45cat: Mario Lanza - The Loveliest Night Of The Year (The Great Caruso) / La Donna È Mobile (Rigoletto - Act IV) (Woman Is Fickle) - RCA Victor Red Seal - Canada -