Author Topic: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD  (Read 371676 times)

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Online André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #540 on: June 17, 2020, 04:34:38 AM »
Thanks for this André, possibly the last thing I need is another Nuite d’ete, but I am a sucker for them. This is not on Spotify, I found it second hand and have ordered it.

Mike

Note that the disc contains an encore, a hidden last track (not credited on the sleeve). It’s an a capella negro spiritual. Brueggergosman does that in a few of her discs. Hope you enjoy it. The disc comes with full texts and translations.

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #541 on: June 17, 2020, 09:06:20 AM »
Thanks André.

Mike
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #542 on: June 18, 2020, 07:08:11 AM »
Shirley Verrett in Opera: A compilation disc with arias from Gluck, Donizetti, Berlioz, Gounod, Massenet, Saint Saens and Verdi. Conductors Pretre, Schippers and Leinsdorf.

There is little available of her recital work and a full recital disc has been raided for this compilation. Note the title, the Berlioz music is from Romeo and Juliet and from Damnation. I ordered it because I wanted more of her and I took what I could get.

I love this voice and her commitment to what she sings. There is both mezzo and soprano music here. I am not fond of Anna Bolena and the extracts here sound fairly random. Orfeo is great, not how we hear it now, but I am happy to have it. I have her full portrayal and it is compelling and not overblown. The Berlioz is very beautiful. Gounod’s Sapho has such long phrasing, lovely. The Verdi aria from Forza is that most irritating ever piece of Verdi’s, Rataplan. What a waste of space that is. Then finally some Ballo, which is excellent.

I think that altogether the programming is odd and I hope that some more thought through discs reemerge.

Mike

I think this was Verrett's first (only?) operatic recital disc for RCA and was therefore intended as a showcase for her talents, which it does. The Forza and Ballo excerpts are taken from complete recordings and added as makeweights for the CD issue. They were not on the original LP.

Despite the arbitrary selection of arias chosen, I really like this disc. I reviewed it for my blog quite recently.

https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/shirley-verrett-in-opera/

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

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #543 on: June 18, 2020, 12:41:19 PM »
I read your review and the difference between us is that I really don’t like some of the music. I have the duets disc with Caballe, which I don’t enjoy all that much, again repertoire. It is disappointing that she was not contracted for a series of operatic recitals.

Mike
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #544 on: June 19, 2020, 12:11:51 AM »
I read your review and the difference between us is that I really don’t like some of the music. I have the duets disc with Caballe, which I don’t enjoy all that much, again repertoire. It is disappointing that she was not contracted for a series of operatic recitals.

Mike

I think it a great shame that she recorded so little, not even her Carmen or her Dalila, roles for which she was in demand the worle over.

Not your favourite repertoire, I know, but I have a live recording of her singing Elisabetta to Caballé's Maria Stuarda. She is absolutely stunning and the two singers certainly generate some heat.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 12:15:17 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 #545 on: June 19, 2020, 09:04:51 AM »


What an utterly charmng and delightful disc this, cleverly planned and beautifully executed.

With her distinctive timbre and wonderfully expressive voice, Gomez's personality fairly bursts through the speakers and she is superbly supported here by John Constable on the piano, who unerringly captures the mood of the songs. You feel as if these two artists really enjoy making music together, and indeed their association is a long one, having first appeared on disc together twenty years earlier. Gomez would have been in her early fifties when the present disc was recorded but the voice has hardly changed in the intervening years.

What we have here is a compendium of Spanish inflluenced songs by German, French and English composers, as well as songs by Spanish composers, covering a wide range of styles and eras. The programming is eminently sensible and makes for very satisfying listening.

We start with a group of sixteenth century Villancios from the courts of  Charles V and Philip II in piano arrangements by Graciano Tarragó., which encourage the kind of decoration and improvisation of the 16th century vilancico. Fuenllana's De los alamos vengo, madre is no doubt better known from Rodrigo's orchestral arrangement, but Gomez sparkles quite as much here.

From thence we turn to a group of Spanish influenced songs by Wolf and Schumann, in which Gomez captures perfectly the deep melancholy of Schumann's Tief im Herzen trag' ich Pein as well as the girlish coquettishness of Wolf's In dem Schatten meiner Locken. Spain has always provided a deep vein of inspiration for French composers, so we are next treated to a group of songs by Bizet, Ravel, Saint-Saëns and Délibes in which Gomez's sense of style is impeccable.

Next come the three Granados Tornadillas, in which we are probably more used to hearing the fuller, chestier sound of someone like Conchita Supervia. Gomez intelligently, rather than copy her style, is more languorous. I might prefer Supervia's vibrancy, but Gomez's way is just as valid.

The two Walton songs, both taken from  Façade, find Gomez pointing the Sitwell's lyrics deliciously and lead us into the final group, which Gomez calls "Seven Other Popular Songs". The first three songs are by Roberto Gerhard, who, s an exile from Franco's Spain, had relocated to Cambridge in the UK in 1942, where he lived until his death in 1970. These are his versions of folk-songs collected by his teacher, Felipe Pedrell. bittersweet souvenirs of a composer in exile. The others are by Tarrago, Rodrigo, Guridi and Obradors. Gomez is yet again is a wonderful guide through this musical journey of Spain, brilliantly capturing the mood of each song.

An excellent recital that should be a lot better known than it is.

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

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #546 on: June 19, 2020, 08:47:27 PM »
Recently I have been looking for discs of various singers I used to see or be on platform with. Gomes is one of those singers. the Spanish Songs disc is one of the discs I picked up. I agree, delightful. She really gets into the spirit of them and as you suggest, she finds colours I am not used to with soe of them.

Mike
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #547 on: June 19, 2020, 11:13:58 PM »
Recently I have been looking for discs of various singers I used to see or be on platform with. Gomes is one of those singers. the Spanish Songs disc is one of the discs I picked up. I agree, delightful. She really gets into the spirit of them and as you suggest, she finds colours I am not used to with soe of them.

Mike

An opera producer I knew spoke rather disparagingly (and bitchily) about her having a tiny voice, but I don't remember having any trouble hearing her in the theatre, and I heard her in both small venues and large. The first time I heard her was as the Countess, and subsequently as Ilia, the Governess,Tytania and Elizabeth Zimmer in Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers. Apparently she was quite outspoken about the "international opera circus" and preferred singing in smaller theatres, otherwise I'm sure she would have been a bigger name.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online André

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #548 on: June 22, 2020, 04:52:58 AM »
The best recital of Mozart songs/lieder I’ve heard is with Gomez. It’s not just the freshness of her voice, but her utterly natural way with these delicate confections that caught my heart.


Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #549 on: June 24, 2020, 03:30:44 AM »
How nice to so unexpectedly encounter a couple of fans of Gomez. I remember her in Mozart, Figaro I think and in the Henze, about which I recall nothing. Caught her in some concerts. Never had any problems hearing her. She has a disc of German Cabaret songs which is well worth finding. My favourite disc of hers is the French Song Recital, a short disc, four of each of Bizet, Berlioz and Debussy. The pianist is John Constable. It is delightful.

From the same era:

Another French song disc I recommend is Felicity Palmer, Ravel and Faure. Recorded in 1976 she was still a soprano, again really beautiful performances. Her voice is distinctive with that slight lemon edge and little squeeze As she leans into some noted which I enjoy so much. John Constable again, except in the initial six Ravel songs which have the Nash Ensemble in attendance.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #550 on: June 24, 2020, 05:52:51 AM »
How nice to so unexpectedly encounter a couple of fans of Gomez. I remember her in Mozart, Figaro I think and in the Henze, about which I recall nothing. Caught her in some concerts. Never had any problems hearing her. She has a disc of German Cabaret songs which is well worth finding. My favourite disc of hers is the French Song Recital, a short disc, four of each of Bizet, Berlioz and Debussy. The pianist is John Constable. It is delightful.

From the same era:

Another French song disc I recommend is Felicity Palmer, Ravel and Faure. Recorded in 1976 she was still a soprano, again really beautiful performances. Her voice is distinctive with that slight lemon edge and little squeeze As she leans into some noted which I enjoy so much. John Constable again, except in the initial six Ravel songs which have the Nash Ensemble in attendance.

Mike

Weren't these two different LPs? I used to have the Ravel and  I remember the Mallarmé songs as being particularly good. The Nash Ensemble were conducted by Simon Rattle.


« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 05:56:15 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #551 on: June 24, 2020, 06:05:36 AM »
That’s right, two LPs probably amalgamated.

Mike
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #552 on: July 11, 2020, 01:02:29 AM »


It's as well to remember that Callas only approved about half of the items on this disc for release, and then only after she had been inactive for some years. The voice, particularly in the first aria, O madre dal cielo from I Lombardi is often uningratiating and there are some audible tape joins before high notes. Most of the items were recorded in 1964 and 1965, around the same time as her return to the stage, though the two later items, the arias from Il Corsaro, were recorded in 1969 and are, surprisingly, more comfortable to listen to.

That said, the artistry and immagination remain as does her command of fioriture, as well as Verdian style. Students could learn a lot about how to shape and measure the weight of a phrase.

I have reviewed this more extensively on my blog, if anyone is interested https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/verdi-arias-iii/
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #553 on: July 19, 2020, 12:41:15 AM »
Recent listening.



Dame Maggie Teyte in concert, at the age of sixty no less! Teyte, a famous Mélisande who studied the role with Debussy himself, sings extended excerpts from the opera with piano accompaniment, singing all the roles. It shouldn't work, but somehow it does. It takes her the first song in the recital (Grétry's Rose chérie) to warm up, but thereafter you would never believe this was the voice of a sixty year old woman. The disc also includes privately recorded excerpts from Strauss's Salome also with piano, from when Teyte was preparing the role for Covent Garden about fifteen years earlier, a project that unofrtunately never came to fruition. Her bright, slivery soprano might just have been the voice Strauss imagined.

She also sings Britten's Les Illuminations in a version for piano, making me wish she had recorded the orchestral version, although preferably a few years earlier. Just occasionally there is a flicker of frailty in the middle voice, although the top register remains firm and clear as a bell. The encores include a lovely performance of Hahn's popular Si mes vers avaient des ailes.



Another enterprising disc from Dawn Upshaw, who seems to have disappeared from the scene now. The centrepiece is Earl Kim's Where grief slumbers written in 1982 for voice, harp and string orchestra, but here presented in a 1990 arrangement for voice, double string quartet and harp, and Upshaw is an ideal interpreter. She is equally at home in the rest of the programme; Falla's Psyché, Ravel's Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, Stravinsky's Two poems of Konstantin Bel'mont and Three Japanese Lyrics and Delage's Quatre poèmes hindous, though here I slightly prefer the warmer tones of Dame Janet Baker. Nevertheless a thoroughly absorbing disc.

As with so many of these Nonsuch discs, documentation is slight, and, though we are vouchsafed lyrics and translations, a little more information about the provenance of these songs, especially the less famous Kim cycle, would have been much appreciated.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #554 on: August 10, 2020, 11:17:45 PM »


Renée Fleming was at her peak when this recital was recorded and this is, without doubt, one of her most successful records. The programme is a varied one too, with familiar items like Gershwin's Summertime and Bernstein's Glitter and be gay rubbing shoulders with items from more rarely performed works like Hermann's Wuthering Heights and Floyd's Susannah. The inclusion of Anne's No word from Tom from Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress rather stretches the subtitle American Opera Arias a bit, but is possibly justified as Auden, Kallman and Stravinsky were all resident in the US at the time of its composition.

The disc opens with a short extract from Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights, which was written in 1943 but never staged in Herrmann's lifetime. In fact it was only premiered in 1982 by Portland Opera, but with the ending changed to one Julius Rudel had proposed several years earlier. It wasn't performed in full until 2011, by Minnesota Opera. I have dreamt, lusciously sung here by Fleming, woud suggest the opera might be worth further investigation.

The excerpts from Douglas Moore's The Ballad of Baby Doe and Menotti's The Medium are both lovely in every way, but the Gershwin items from Porgy and Bess suffer from a lack of spontaneity. Fleming introduces all sorts of jazzy slides and glottal attacks which simply sound affected. Leontyne Price sings this music much more simply and allows the music to blossom on its own.

The considerable difficulties of Bernstein's Glitter and be gay are tossed off with ease and here she captures the irony in the piece marvellously. It's a piece that, unsurprisingly, many opera singers have added to their repertoire but few of them challenge the original interpreter, Broadway star Barbara Cook, who created the role and whose diction is a good deal more clear. To be honest, the only "operatic" version I've heard that does is Dawn Upshaw's, but Fleming's is certainly amongst the best.

Next we have two pieces from Carlisle Floyd's Susannah, which brought back happy memories of seeing Fleming in the role at the Met shortly after she recorded these exceprts. She is at her considerable best here, flooding the gratefully lyrical lines with gorgeous tone, but also capturing the character's longing for adventure in the first, her loneliness in the second.

Finally we have a reminiscence of her Anne Trulove, which she sang at the Aspen Music Festival in 1987 and a taster of her Blanche Dubois in Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, which she premiered soon after making this recording. She has a richer voice than most Annes, but negotiates its complexities with ease and her Blanche is simply hors concours. The aria I want magic was an obvious high spot when she sang the role in London with the LSO, but I rather wish they had also included the final aria, I can smell the sea air, which had a huge effect on me each time I heard it whilst waiting in the wings to make my entrance as the doctor. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.

Sandwiched between the Stravinsky and the Previnwe have Vanessa's passionate Act I aria from Barber's opera, which left me wondering why nobody had thought to revive the opera with Fleming in the title role. It would have suited her perfectly.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #555 on: August 10, 2020, 11:48:32 PM »
Great write-up and I agree, one of her best discs. For me the hit is the aria from Baby Doe, poignant and luscious all at once. I will now look for the ‘I can small the sea air.’ Off to spoti^y.

M
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #556 on: August 11, 2020, 12:33:48 AM »
Here you go. https://youtu.be/GADdPQ02mLo

Admittedly there are echoes of Korngold and Strauss, but I don't care. It's really beautiful.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline knight66

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #557 on: August 12, 2020, 01:40:38 PM »
Thanks, I found it on Sooti^y. Her words are not clear on this recording. I will listen to more of the full piece.


Mike
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Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #558 on: August 13, 2020, 01:34:24 AM »
The inclusion of Anne's No word from Tom from Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress rather stretches the subtitle American Opera Arias a bit, but is possibly justified as Auden, Kallman and Stravinsky were all resident in the US at the time of its composition.



No merely residents, they were all American citizens. I do love that album.
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Favorite vocal recitals on CD or DVD
« Reply #559 on: August 13, 2020, 03:58:00 AM »
No merely residents, they were all American citizens. I do love that album.

I stand corrected. Of course Callas had American citizenshup too, having been born in New York in 1923. That said,  she relinquished her American citizenship in the early 1960s in order to take up her Greek citizenship. She always considered herself Greek anyway and never lived in the US again after leaving for Italy in 1947.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas