Author Topic: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD  (Read 224110 times)

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #460 on: September 07, 2019, 02:30:15 AM »
French did not come naturally to Callas (she has an accent in interviews and there are a couple of diction blots in her Carmen), but in her two EMI recitals she has worked on words and music in such a way that you’d never guess she’s not a native. Irreplaceable artistry.

Interestingly Callas was Legge's first choice for the Beecham Carmen, but she refused, saying her French was not yet good enough to sing a complete role. I love De Los Angeles, but I do think her Carmen is all too ladylike (you just can't imagine her ever pulling a knife on a fellow worker) and I often wonder what a Callas/Beecham Carmen would have been like.

I'd like to hear that Vanzo disc. He was a much underrated (and under-recorded) artist.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #461 on: September 07, 2019, 09:05:06 AM »
One of the problems with Vanzo’s discography is that it’s often hard to figure what’s what in terms of dates and provenance. Small, cheapo labels pick up stuff from commercial recital discs, radio recitals, integral sets, private performances and the like and fail to give these useful indications. Since Vanzo was much in demand in France he recorded some items many times over.

In the 1950s it was quite common for an operatic soloist to give mini concerts in a casino (Deauville, Monte Carlo, Vichy etc), record a 30 minute program on the radio, pair with another singer in a Salle Favart concert, record a whole opera for radio broadcast, do it commercially with different singers/conductors, etc. Vanzo recital discs usually cull from various sources to assemble a program. It’s almost a detective work to identify the recorded items properly.

Online André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #462 on: September 07, 2019, 09:36:48 AM »
Here’s a YT clip of Vanzo’s A te o cara. Listen to the way the high C# blooms in the head voice. I get a brain freeze every time I hear it. BTW Vanzo is the only tenor to sing it softly, all others I’ve heard attack it ff. I couldn’t find any source that showed dynamic marks here.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6L7m0JUJ_oo
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 03:04:17 PM by André »

Online André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #463 on: September 08, 2019, 10:37:28 AM »


La Gencer in what she does best (Donizetti heroines) is a wonder to behold. Her Com’è bello from Lucrezia Borgia is simply divine. Caballé went one step further in cultivating those breathtaking pianissimo high notes, but Gencer integrates them more meaningfully in the musical line.

In the Verdi arias one notes greater emotional agitation in an attempt to raise the drama to a higher temperature. In doing so she sacrifices some of the bel canto fabric that Verdi never tore in the first place (a common mistake). Her Forza Leonora is immensely distraught at the sight of a piece of bread. This is a bit over the top. Vocally she triumphs over the aria’s hurdles, the pianissimo high note on invan la pace and the venomous attack on MalediZione !, where too often one hears some generic ‘Ahhhh!!’.

Performances are from 1956 under Gavazzeni and 1974 under Basile. It is not clear if they are from recitals or from complete performances (this is a cdr copied by a friend, so no notes). Any info on that?

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #464 on: September 08, 2019, 11:15:48 AM »
Here’s a YT clip of Vanzo’s A te o cara. Listen to the way the high C# blooms in the head voice. I get a brain feeeze every time I hear it. BTW Vanzo is the only tenor to sing it softly, all others I’ve heard attack it ff. I couldn’t find any source that showed dynamic marks here.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6L7m0JUJ_oo


I've finally listened to this clip. Wonderful - and I think those soft head notes are probably much closer to what Bellini might have expected in his day.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #465 on: September 08, 2019, 03:22:15 PM »
I've finally listened to this clip. Wonderful - and I think those soft head notes are probably much closer to what Bellini might have expected in his day.

Rubini created the roles of Elvino (Sonnambula) and Arturo, so I would think that Bellini expected a tenore di grazia voice. The Wiki entry seems to confirm this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenore_di_grazia.

Vanzo is the real ticket here. It seems plain crazy that he would be the only tenor to sing the aria in the correct way. YT has a « A te o cara C# contest » that includes about 20 takes on that note, all taken ff. Vanzo is not included in it... ???

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RWOpbB1E-6E

It takes some fortitude - and a double scotch - to go through it all  >:D.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #466 on: September 09, 2019, 10:53:23 PM »


Essential listening, I'd venture to suggest, even for those who already have the Philips Originals box set I reviewed a few months ago. Here we have the whole of Baker's 1977 Beethoven and Schubert recital, of which three items appear on the Philips box, coupled to the Mozart items from her 1974 Mozart and Haydn recital, none of which do.

The prize of this CD is Dame Janet's superb rendering of Sesto's arias from La Clemenza di Tito. Not only is it a technical tour de force, the rapid triplet figures at the end of Parto, parto tossed off with breathtaking ease, but the range of expression is extraordinary and personal. I have never heard another singer differentiate so much between the repeated cries of Guardami!; in the first she pleads almost angrily, but in the second her tone changes completely, becoming meltingly beseeching, as if Sesto realises he has gone too far. Furthermore she has the ability to get to the emotional core of the music without ever disrupting its Classical style. Pure genius.

Elsewhere she is in enviable form in a programme that ranges wide, including rarities like Beethoven's No, non turbati and arias from Schubert's Lazarus and Alfonso und Estrella. Leppard's accompaniments, whether conducting the English Chamber Orchestra or on the piano or harpsichord are discreet rather than revelatory, perhaps happy, with such a patrician artist, to let his soloist take the lead.

The recordings, originally made for Philips in quadrophonic sound, are here issued in SACD, though I was listening in simple stereo. They are wonderfully clear and lucid.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #467 on: September 19, 2019, 01:04:56 AM »


As well as for DG, Wunderlich recorded extensively for EMI and this 6 disc set, now on Warner, has very little overlap with the DG set I reviewed earlier. Indeed it is amazing how much Wunderlich recorded in his relatively short career. Most of these EMI recordings were all made in the years 1959 to 1962. The exceptions are the excerpts from Klemperer's Das Lied von der Erde, which was recorded in 1964. Some have doubted Wunderlich's ability to ride the Mahlerian orchestra, suggesting that he might have had some studio assistance. Well we now have two live recordings of the work (under Krips and Keilberth, both with Fischer-Dieskau singing the lower songs) to refute that. Whether large or not, the voice had a fine ring to it and its heady beauty remained unimpaired whether at piano or forte. I think there is a discernible increase in its carrying power between 1959 and 1964, and I have no doubt he would have gone on to sing certain Wagner roles - Lohengrin and Walter von Stolzing at least.

So what do we have here? Well disc 1 starts of somewhat surprisingly with early German fifteenth century songs, then progresses through Bach, Handel (a sublime Ombra mai fu), Mozart arias from Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Die Zauberflöte  (Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön slightly more diffident here than it is on the later Böhm recording), and excerpts from Lortzing's Zar und Zimmermann and Der Wildschütz which rather outstayed their welcome for me. It finishes with excerpts from Nicolai's Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, including his glorious version of Horch, die Lerche singt im Hain.

Discs 2 and 3 are mostly operetta, with the addition of ecerpts from Flotow's Martha and Cornelius's Der Barbier von Bagdad. Wunderlich's infectious joy in the act of singing made him ideal for operetta and though there is admittedly rather a lot of it here, he makes no concessions to the music; like Schwarzkopf and Gedda, he can make the music sound much better than it is.

However, for me the jewels of the set, with a couple of exceptions noted above, are all to be found on discs 4 and 5. Though all sung in German, we get some ideal performances of excerpts from Italian, French, Czech and Russian opera. Disc 4 starts with the Act I duet for Donna Anna and Don Ottavio (with Elisabeth Grümmer no less), in which he is both aristocratic and ardent, with a touch of the heroic often missing from singers of Don Ottavio. Wunderlich's Mozartian credentials are further strengthened by the inclusion of both Don Ottavio's arias and Ferando's Un aura amorosa from Cosí fan tutte. Nemorino, the Duke and Alfredo's arias are all treated to his golden tone and winning manner, his liquid legato hardly impeded by the fact that he is singing in German rather than Italian. There are more extended excerpts from La Bohème and Madama Butterfly, in which he is an ardent Rodolfo and Pinkerton (a glorious top C in Che gelida manina), whilst disc 5 gives us some lovely excerpts from French operas (Boieldieu's La Dame Blanche, Thomas's Mignon and Massenet's Manon and wonderful Smetana (The Bartered Bride). Best of all perhaps is his plaintive singing of Lensky's Kuda, kuda, but he is also superb as Hermann in The Queen of Spades.

The last disc concenrates on Lieder; Schubert, Wolf, some glorious Strauss which might just have reconciled the composer to the sound of the tenor voice, and of course his headily free singing of the tenor songs from Das Lied von der Erde. It finishes off with a song cycle by his friend Fritz Neumeyer, which unfortunately rather outstays its welcome. No matter, these are wonderful reminders of a gorgeous tenor voice that shot through the operatic firmament only to be silenced too soon.

It remains to be said that the orchestral contrubutions are fine and it is good to also encounter the voices of Aneliese Rothenberger, Lisa Otto, Pilar Lorengar, Rudolf Schock, Hermann Prey and Gottlob Frick in some of the duets and emsembles.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #468 on: September 27, 2019, 01:45:16 AM »


This issue passed me by when it was first released in 2010, but what a treasure it is. Always a pleasure to hear Wunderlich's glorious tenor, here we have the added frisson of hearing him live in the opera house.

His Tamino is well known from the Böhm recording. These excerpts are taken from a 1964 Munich performance, where he is joined by Anneliese Rothenberger as Pamina and Karl-Christian Kohn as Sarastro under the baton of Fritz Reiger. As on the Böhm recording, he is an ardently lyrical but also heroic Tamino and remains my touchstone for the role. Don Ottavio's two arias from a performance of Don Giovanni, conducted by Karajan in 1963 are also superb and Ottavio emerges as a more positive character than he often does, benefiting from Wunderlich's golden tone, his superb breath control and ease of movement. As in the Jochum recording he is also an ideal Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail.

The excerpts from Il Barbiere di Siviglia, with Hermann Prey as Figaro, are unfortunately sung in German, but the language does not impede Wunderlich's superb legato, nor the warmth of his tone, and we get to hear his wonderfully light touch in comedy and his ability to interact with a colleague.

For me, though, the Strauss items are the biggest eye opener. I feel sure that, had Strauss heard them, it would have reconciled him to the sound of the tenor voice. The duet for the Italian Singers in Capriccio (with Lucia Popp, no less) has probably never sounded more gloriously, well, italianate, so beautiful that it elicits a spontaneous round of applause from the Vienna audience. The same could be said for his singing of Di rigori armato from Der Rosenkavalier, which is sung with gorgeous burnished tone. I doubt any Italian tenor could sing it better. So too, in the excerpts from Daphne and Die schweigsame Frau his liquid legato stays in tact, however tough the going. Suddenly Strauss's often ungrateful writing for the tenor voice makes sense. Did Wunderlich ever make an ugly sound? Somehow I doubt it. Truly he was a prince among tenors.

\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Moonfish

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #469 on: September 29, 2019, 10:23:00 PM »


This is a superb compendium of recordings taken from live concerts given by Callas between 1949 and 1959. It is being offered as a FREE download (yes, you read that right, free) from Divina Records, so surely there can be no reason not to snap it up while you still can. The sound, while hardly state of the art, is not bad for the period, all of the performances having been taken from radio broadcasts. Taken from BJR LPs, transfers are up to Divina’s usual high standards and the download comes with an excellent pdf of the booklet which accompanied the original release.

.....

How lucky we are to have these wonderful live performances preserved in sound, and how grateful we are to Divina Records for offering them to us free of charge. Nobody need hesitate.

 https://www.divinarecords.com/bjr143/bjr143.html

Thanks so much for posting and sharing these gems, Tsaraslondon.  Wonderful (but I expect nothing less from the legendary Callas)!
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #470 on: October 01, 2019, 12:05:33 AM »


These are all live performances of material Baker recorded in the studio (twice in the case of Les Nuits d'Eté) so one might wonder if they are really essential listening.

Well, though Baker was a superb recording artist, who never really made a bad record, she was also a great communicator and collaborator and these performances, all with different conductors from the studio ones, bring with them the added frisson that comes with a live event, and the sound, though not as clear as in her studio performances, is more than acceptable.

It starts with a 1975 performance of Chausson's almost Wagnerian Poème del'amour et de la mer, which she recorded two years later under André Previn. This one has, somehwat suprisingly you might think, Evgeni Svetlanov at the helm, who takes great care over dynamics and shapes the work beautifully. Baker's range of expression, her concenration, her breath control and command of the long line are exemplary, filling its pages with rapt expression. A marvelous performance.

Baker's recording of Les Nuits d'Eté with Barbirolli, recorded in 1967 is justly famous and has hardly been out of the catalogue. She recorded it again under Richard Hickox in 1990, but by this time her voice was beginning to show signs of wear (more noticeable in a recording than when I heard them perform the work together in concert at around the same time) and the second recording has never enjoyed the acclaim of the first. This performance under Giulini was taped at the Royal Festival Hall a month after the Chausson and it is good to hear how Baker's interpretation changed depending on whom she was singing with. Giulini's speeds are expansive (Le spectre de la rose at 8'29" must be one of the slowest on disc) and would tax most singers beyond their limits, but here they never flag and Baker luxuriates in the extra room she is given to make her interpretive points. As in the Chausson, her breath control is astonishing and the range of expression wide. My notes are peppered with words like searing, delicate, passionate abandon, yearning. Though it doesn't entirely supplant the Barbirolli in my affections, it is nonetheless a performance I would never want to be without.

The earliest performance here is a 1963 recording of the Song of the Wood Dove from Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, a work she recorded five years later under Janos Ferencsik. Baker was not yet 30 when she gave this performance and, superbly supported by Norman Del Mar, her singing is urgently free and impassioned, even better than that on the Ferencsik.

Essential listening then? Absolutely and unequivocally, yes.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 10:08:58 PM by Tsaraslondon »
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Offline Biffo

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #471 on: October 01, 2019, 01:41:11 AM »


These are all live performances of material Baker recorded in the studio (twice in the case of Les Nuits d'Eté, so one might wonder if they are really essential listening.

Well, though Baker was a superb recording artist, who never really made a bad record, she was also a great communicator and collaborator and these performances, all with different conductors from the studio ones, bring with them the added frisson that comes with a live event, and the sound, though not as clear as in her studio performances, is more than acceptable.

It starts with a 1975 performance of Chausson's almost Wagnerian Poème del'amour et de la mer, which she recorded two years later under André Previn. This one has, somehwat suprisingly you might think, Evgeni Svetlanov at the helm, who takes great care over dynamics and shapes the work beautifully. Baker's range of expression, her concenration, her breath control and command of the long line are exemplary, filling its pages with rapt expression. A marvelous performance.

Baker's recording of Les Nuits d'Eté with Barbirolli, recorded in 1967 is justly famous and has hardly been out of the catalogue. She recorded it again under Richard Hickox in 1990, but by this time her voice was beginning to show signs of wear (more noticeable in a recording than when I heard them perform the work together in concert at around the same time) and the second recording has never enjoyed the acclaim of the first. This performance under Giulini was taped at the Royal Festival Hall a month after the Chausson and it is good to hear how Baker's interpretation changed depending on whom she was singing with. Giulini's speeds are expansive (Le spectre de la rose at 8'29" must be one of the slowest on disc) and would tax most singers beyond their limits, but here they never flag and Baker luxuriates in the extra room she is given to make her interpretive points. As in the Chausson, her breath control is astonishing and the range of expression wide. My notes are peppered with words like searing, delicate, passionate abandon, yearning. Though it doesn't entirely supplant the Barbirolli in my affections, it is nonetheless a performance I would never want to be without.

The earliest performance here is a 1963 recording of the Song of the Wood Dove from Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, a work she recorded five years later under Janos Ferencsik. Baker was not yet 30 when she gave this performance and, superbly supported by Norman Del Mar, her singing is urgently free and impassioned, even better than that on the Ferencsik.

Essential listening then? Absolutely and unequivocally, yes.

This is an album I have considered buying several times over the years and your persuasive advocacy has made me think again. Then again, I have the Previn/Chausson and it is not a key work for me. I was at the Giulini concert and the Berlioz was indeed 'expansive', Schubert's Great C major even more so. On reflection I will stick with Barbirolli. I am not too fussed about acquiring another 'Wood Dove', even from Dame Janet.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #472 on: October 01, 2019, 11:16:41 AM »
I don't listen to that many vocal recitals and not sure if this counts. Ian Partridge is my favourite vocalist:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #473 on: October 01, 2019, 11:12:26 PM »
I don't listen to that many vocal recitals and not sure if this counts. Ian Partridge is my favourite vocalist:


Excellent performances. I especially like Warlock's The Curlew. An absolutely haunting work and I think this is its best performance on disc.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #474 on: October 02, 2019, 09:13:14 PM »
Excellent performances. I especially like Warlock's The Curlew. An absolutely haunting work and I think this is its best performance on disc.
Totally agree - especially in this performance.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #475 on: October 08, 2019, 09:55:29 AM »


What a treasure trove of great singing this is! Indeed four well filled discs of absolutely amazing singing.

The layout pretty much makes sense too. Disc one is given over to Der fliegende Holländer and Die Meisteringer von Nürnberg, disc two to Tannhäuser and Lohengrin, disc three to Tristan und Isolde, Parsifal, Das Rheingold and Die Walküre and disc four to more from Die Walküre, plus Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. No texts and translations, but detailed information on the recordings and biographical notes on all the singers.

With a few exceptions (Birgit Nilsson and Hans Hotter in Wie aus der Ferne from Der fliegende Holländer recorded in 1957, Lotte Lehmann singing Euch Lüften from Lohengrin in 1948) all these Wagnerian excerpts were recorded in a relatively short period of time between 1927 and 1942; a mere fifteen years, with the majority taken from the 1930s. It rather puts paid to the lie that, when comparing singers of today to those of the past, people are drawing from a much greater time period. How many singers active between 2004 and today can compare with the illustrious voices we hear on these discs?

Only Marta Fuchs, singing Senta's ballad in 1940 gave me limited pleasure, especially when set next to ELisabeth Rethberg's 1930 account which follows. There are some famous names here of course, like Frida Leider, Kirsten Flagstad, Lauritz Melchior, Friedrich Schorr, Alexander Kipnis, Meta Seinemeyer and Elisabeth Rethberg, but some of the less well known names are still startlingly good, for instance Florence Easton and Walter Widdop gloriously ringing and firm toned as Brünnhlide and Siegfried in the Prelude from Götterämmerung. The warm voiced Marjorie Lawrence's career was mostly confined to France and it is in French that she sings a wonderfully malevolent Ortrud, with Martial Singher as Telramund. Though she also sang other mezzo roles, like Brangäne, she is a superb Brünnhilde in both Die Walküre and Götterdämmerung, again in French, singing with rich, beautiful, unforced splendour throughout her range. Her Immolation scene is quite one of the best I have heard.

There are other fine examples of Wagner in the vernacular. Again in French we have Arthur Endrèze as the Dutchman, Georges Thill and Germaine Martinelli as Walther and Eva and Germaine Lubin as Brünnhilde, and in Italian we have Aureliano Pertile (Lohengrin's Nun sei bedankt) and Hina Spani (Elsa's Euch Lüften).

There are some well known names among the conductors too, like Leopold Ludwig, Albert Coates, Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Thomas Beecham, Eugène Bigot, Rudolf Moralt and Leo Blech etc and indeed there is hardly a track that doesn't have some interest.

Only the 1957 Holländer duet is in good stereo sound (Nilsson's top notes bursting forth from the speakers like laser beams) but few allowances need to be made for the recorded sound, and one's ears quickly adust.

Anyone with an interest in Wagner and/or singing needs to have this set in their collection. Both as a historic document and a source of great listening pleasure, it is absolutely essential.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 10:00:20 AM by Tsaraslondon »
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #476 on: October 11, 2019, 08:45:03 AM »




Ljuba Welitsch, for the short time her star was in the ascendant, was undoubtedly a star, glamorous both of voice and personality. Renowned the world over for her Salome, a role in which Strauss himself had coached her, she was also known for her Tosca and Donna Anna. Unfortunately she had developed nodules by 1953 and thereafter, though she didn't retire completely, confined herself to character roles, like the Duenna in the Schwarzkopf/Karajan recording of Der Rosenkavalier.

This two disc set showcases her Salome, Donna Anna and Tosca, as well as Johann Strauss (the Czardas from Die Fledermaus and  Saffi's Gypsy Song from Der Zigeunerbaron).  The rest is devoted to Lieder and songs by Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Darogmizhsky, Mussorgsky, Marx, Mahler and Strauss, all with piano accompaniment, even the Vier letzte Lieder.

Whilst we get a good impression of the glamour and the silvery purity on high, the recordings do also rather show up her limitations. Best of the items is the 1949 recording of the Final Scene from Salome under Reiner, though, even here, I prefer the earlier performance she made under Lovro von Matacic in 1946, which, to my mind, has a greater degree of specificity. There is just the suspicion here that she had sung the role too many times; there is a touch of sloppiness in the delivery, which is complelely absent from the earlier recording.

She makes an appreciable Tosca, and something of her stage personality comes across here, but, I hear little of Callas's detail or Price's or Tebaldi's vocal opulence. A tendency to be careless of note values is even more evident in the Donna Anna excerpts, where we also become aware of an unwillingness to vary the volume or colour of her singing. John Steane had similar misgivings in his book The Grand Tradition.

Quote
It is hard to think of a voice with a brighter shine to it, or of a singer with greater energy and more sense of joy in that sheer act of producing these glorious sounds. Even here, however, one notes that subtlety is hardly in question; there is little of the lithe seductiveness which Schwarzkopf and Güden bring to the [Fledermaus] Czardas, for instance. And this limits much of her best work, even the Salome in which she made such an exciting impression on her audiences.

These limitations are even more evident in the songs with piano, and, though there is still much to enjoy in disc one, I found much of disc two something of a trial to listen to, the voice just too bright and unrelentingly mezza voce. The Strauss Vier letzte Lieder can work with piano, as witness a recording by Barbara Bonney, but here I just longed for the greater subtlety and range of expression of Schwarzkopf or Popp, of Norman or Fleming. The Mahler had me thinking of the shattering Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in the piano accompanied version, and the Schubert and Schumann songs hardly begin to challenge versions by a range of different sopranos from Welitsch's time onwards.

If I were to choose but one representation of Welitsch's art, it would absolutely be the 1949 live recording from the Met of Salome under Reiner, but, for a recital I'd go for EMI's old LP and CD transfer of the 1946 Salome Final Scene, which also has on it a glorious version of Tatyana's Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin. This two disc set is, I'm afraid, a mite disappointing.
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Offline Moonfish

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #477 on: October 11, 2019, 08:52:09 PM »
I presume you are referring to the Guild release?



Did you by any chance hear this recording?



And out of curiosity - What are your thoughts and experience with Nimbus recordings? E.g.

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #478 on: October 12, 2019, 12:19:48 AM »
I presume you are referring to the Guild release?



Did you by any chance hear this recording?



And out of curiosity - What are your thoughts and experience with Nimbus recordings? E.g.



I have the Salome on an old Melodram issue. It's coupled with excerpts from a 1950 Aida with Ramon Vinay and a 1951 Don Giovanni under Reiner with Eugene Conley.



The 1952 performance has Hotter as Jokanaan, but Welitsch is not in such fresh, easy voice. The probems are beginning to show, I think.

I have some of the Nimbus issues, though not the Welitsch one. Some people find the method they used makes for more comfortable listening but somehow distances the singer from the listener. I have both a Naxos Historical and a Nimbus Ponselle release and I think I prefer the Naxos.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 01:28:37 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #479 on: October 30, 2019, 02:41:40 PM »


This compilation mixes excerpts from complete studio recordings with performances taken from concerts featuring Bjørling with piano accompaniment. They cover a period from 1951 to 1958, just a couple of years before he died at the age of 51. The date of 1959 given for the duet from Tosca is surely wrong, as it was first issued in 1957. Bjørling sounds terrific by the way, but Milanov is decidedly over the hill and sounds more like Cavaradossi's mother to me. I don't much care for her in the Aida duet either to be honest, but she is a singer I've never really got on with.

Milanov crops up in the duet from Cavalleria Rusticana as well, and, though it was recorded five years earlier, she still sounds old and, well, blowsy. Bjørling is terrific though, both vocally and dramatically, as he is in the excerpts from the 1952 recording of Il Trovatore, tossing off the free, ringing top Cs in Di quella pira without a hint of strain.

His ardent Des Grieux from the Puccini opera is sampled from the Perlea recording with Licia Albanese, one of his best recorded performances. It is set alongside a performance of the Dream from the Massenet opera, this time in concert with piano, which displays his beautiful mezza voce. Also from this concert is a performance of Don Ottavio's Il mio tesoro, which is somewhat too muscular in approach and a little short breathed when compared to versions by John McCormack and Fritz Wunderlich. This is the only item that gave me limited pleasure. The final piece is also from a piano accompanied concert , though a later date (1958) is given. The audience go wild for it, but it doesn't begin to compare to his poetic, but thrilling 1944  account. I also wonder why BMG didn't opt for the version from the complete recording with Nilsson and Tebaldi.

Not quite as satisfying as the two EMI discs taken from 78s, which I reviewed a few months ago, but an enjoyable selection nonetheless.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas