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Stravinsky: Petrushka & Le Sacre du Printemps

Stravinsky: Petrushka & Le Sacre du Printemps


Stravinsky:

Petrushka

Julius Katchen (piano)

The Rite of Spring


There can be few, if any, musicians this century who have conducted as many illustrious and notorious premieres Pierre Monteux. As conductor of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes from 1911 to 1914 he led the first performances of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé (1912), Debussy’s Jeux (1913) and Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol (1914), as well as the two works recorded here.

Monteux’s Petrushka was captured on disc three times (all in the 1911 version), and his affection for the work is obvious in this 1956 recording. He brought to the score his own characteristic blend of textual fidelity, clarity and effervescence.

Even more closely associated with Monteux is Le Sacre du Printemps. As well as the riotous premiere on 29 May 1913 (just two weeks after that of Jeux), he conducted the first UK and Dutch performances, and the hugely successful Paris concert premiere in April 1914. Stravinsky described this occasion as ‘a triumph such as few composers can have known the like … the musical realisation was ideal … I came on the stage and hugged Monteux, who was a river of perspiration: it was the saltiest hug of my life.’ This was the last of Monteux’s five recordings of the piece and his only one in stereo.

“It goes without saying the Monteux’s performance is magnificent. He gharges the score with drama without ever hurrying on bullying the music. In some way the recording seems to match the performance, for it is superbly natural” Gramophone Magazine, December 1957 (Petrushka)

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Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20 (excerpts)

Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20 (excerpts)


Although Pierre Monteux was a notable exponent of both Beethoven and the modern French school, it was with the Ballets Russes that his name was linked; Further, when he was conducting French repertoire in American theatres (particularly at the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1917 to 1919), also took on the premières of Russian works, such as the first United States performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Golden Cockerel. Though associated largely with RCA and Decca, his final conducting appointment, with the London Symphony Orchestra (made in 1961 when he was 86) saw him record extensively for Philips and among these recordings was and an ample selection from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. In Monteux’s hands we are far removed from the lightweight ballet in which music would be ‘the obedient servant of the dance’, as Debussy put it, referring to Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps. This is richly performed, dramatic music-making.

“The playing is very precise and vivid, while in the more romantic pieces there is plenty of warmth.” Gramophone Magazine, March 1963

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Lisa Della Casa sings Handel & Mozart

Lisa Della Casa sings Handel & Mozart


Handel:

Tu la mia stella sei (from Giulio Cesare)

sung in German as 'Hast du mich ganz berauscht?'

Wiener Philharmoniker, Heinrich Hollreiser

V' adoro, pupille (from Giulio Cesare)

sung in German as 'Es blaut die Nacht'

Wiener Philharmoniker, Heinrich Hollreiser

Se pietà di me non senti (from Giulio Cesare)

sung in German as 'Breite aus, die gnäd’gen Hände'

Wiener Philharmoniker, Heinrich Hollreiser

Piangerò la sorte mia (from Giulio Cesare)

sung in German as 'Weine nur, klage nur'

Wiener Philharmoniker, Heinrich Hollreiser

Da tempeste il legno infranto (from Giulio Cesare)

sung in German as 'Heil und sicher kam mein Nachen'

Wiener Philharmoniker, Heinrich Hollreiser

Mozart:

Ah Fuggi il Traditor (from Don Giovanni K527)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Josef Krips

In quali eccessi ... Mi tradì quell'alma ingrate (from Don Giovanni)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Josef Krips

Crudele? Ah no, mio bene! ... Non mi dir, bell'idol mio (from Don Giovanni)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Heinrich Hollreiser

Temerari!...Come scoglio! (from Così fan tutte)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Karl Böhm

Ei parte...Per pietà (from Così fan tutte)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Karl Böhm

Porgi amor (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Erich Leinsdorf

Cosa mi narri? … Sull'aria

Roberta Peters (soprano)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Erich Leinsdorf

E Susanna non vien! … Dove sono i bei momenti (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Erich Kleiber

Ach, ich fühl's (from Die Zauberflöte, K620)

L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Victor Reinshagen

Voi che sapete (from Le nozze di Figaro)

L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Victor Reinshagen


Lisa Della Casa (soprano)

Among the legendary opera singers of the post-war era was Lisa Della Casa, one of the few internationally known musical stars produced by the little country of Switzerland, and a member of the exceptional Mozart ensemble built up by the Vienna State Opera. For opera-goers on both sides of the Atlantic, she was the first choice as the Countess in Figaro and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni but, with a voice which the Italians would class as lirico-spinto, she commanded a number of verismo roles.

For a singer of her eminence, Lisa Della Casa made relatively few records. Central to her discography were the three Mozart–Da Ponte operas, recorded in Vienna in 1955 for the composer’s bicentenary the following year with three of the most eminent Mozart conductors of the time – Karl Böhm (Così fan tutte), Erich Kleiber (Le nozze di Figaro) and Josef Krips (Don Giovanni); all three recordings have become benchmarks for these works and all three are highlighted in this collection. As was often the custom when she was recording, the arias from Handel’s Giulio Cesare are sung in German.

The 1949 recordings (Cherubino’s aria sung in German) are released on Decca CD for the first time.

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Great Tenor Arias: Volume 2

Great Tenor Arias: Volume 2


Boito:

Dai campi, dai prati (Mefistofele)

Giunto sul passo estremo (from Mefistofele)

Cilea:

È la solita storia 'Lamento di Federico' (from L'Arlesiana)

Giordano, U:

Amor ti vieta (from Fedora)

Come un bel dì di maggio (from Andrea Chénier)

Come un bel dì di maggio (from Andrea Chénier)

Amor ti vieta (from Fedora)

Mascagni:

Se Franz dicesse il vero ... Ah! ritrovarla nella sua capanna (from Lodoletta)

Ponchielli:

Cielo e mar! (from La Gioconda)

Puccini:

Che gelida manina (from La Bohème)

Recondita armonia (from Tosca)

E lucevan le stelle (from Tosca)

Non piangere, Liù! (from Turandot)

Nessun dorma (from Turandot)

E lucevan le stelle (from Tosca)

Donna non vidi mai (from Manon Lescaut)

Firenze è come un albero fiorito (from Gianni Schicchi)

Verdi:

O tu che in seno agli angeli (from La Forza del Destino)

Dal labbro il canto estasiato vola (from Falstaff)

Oh! fede negar potessi (from Luisa Miller)

Ah sì ben mio (from Il trovatore)

Di quella pira (from Il trovatore)


Giuseppe Campora, Flaviano Labo, Gianni Poggi

During the 1950s, 60s and 70s Decca recorded several LPs of recitals by both well- and lesser-known opera singers of its day. This collection of famous opera arias, issued across two volumes, includes several of the singers known, in the main, to connoisseurs. The present volume features three singers represented by their 1950s recital discs: Flaviano Labo (1927–1991) – physically slight, but vocally a force to be reckoned with; Giuseppe Campora (1923–2004), who had a particular affinity with Puccini, which even informed his singing of music by the other composers on this recital; and Gianni Poggi (1921–1989), who was seen at the grat hope of Italian tenors in the 1940s, his intelligent phrasing allied to a brilliant voice and stunning high notes. Although previously issued on CD all the recordings have been carefully remastered for this release.

“… the dark timbre and sheer prowess of [this] new voice. Both are impressive, individual and coarsely exciting” Gramophone Magazine, March 1957 (Labo)

“Campora is a tasteful, musical singer … patently artistic intentions” Gramophone Magazine, July 1956

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Great Tenor Arias: Volume 1

Great Tenor Arias: Volume 1


Bellini:

Svanir le voci! (from Norma)

Giordano, U:

Un dì, all' azzurro spazio (from Andrea Chénier)

Si, fui soldato (from Andrea Chénier)

Come un bel dì di maggio (from Andrea Chénier)

Amor ti vieta (from Fedora)

Mascagni:

Mamma, quel vino (from Cavalleria Rusticana)

Puccini:

Recondita armonia (from Tosca)

Addio, fiorito asil (from Madama Butterfly)

Ch'ella mi creda libero e lontano (from La Fanciulla del West)

Non piangere, Liù! (from Turandot)

Nessun dorma (from Turandot)

Recondita armonia (from Tosca)

E lucevan le stelle (from Tosca)

Ch'ella mi creda libero e lontano (from La Fanciulla del West)

Verdi:

Ah sì ben mio (from Il trovatore)

La vita è inferno … O tu che in seno (from La Forza del Destino)

O inferno!...Sento avvampar nell'anima (from Simon Boccanegra)

Di quella pira (from Il trovatore)


Gianni Raimondi, Gino Penno, Bruno Prevedi

During the 1950s, 60s and 70s Decca recorded several LPs of recitals by both well- and lesser-known opera singers of its day. This collection of famous opera arias, issued across two volumes, includes several of the singers known, in the main, to connoisseurs. The present volume features Bruno Prevedi , with his baritonal timbre; Gianni Raimondi, of whose voice Luciano Pavarotti once said that he had spent hours studying Raimondi’s technique in the hope of emulating it; and Gino Penno, who, with a splendid voice of considerable power and expressiveness enjoyed only a short but memorable operatic career in the 1950s. Although previously issued on CD all the recordings have been carefully remastered for this release.

“there’s a real heroic ring […] in such pieces as Gabriel’s aria from Simon Boccanegra” Gramophone Magazine, June 1954 (Penno)

“Mr. Prevedi will give satisfaction” Gramophone Magazine, October 1964

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Hilde Gueden sings Mozart

Hilde Gueden sings Mozart


Mozart:

Non so più cosa son, cosa faccio (from Le nozze di Figaro)

London Symphony Orchestra, Josef Krips

Deh vieni, non tardar (from Le nozze di Figaro)

London Symphony Orchestra, Josef Krips

Batti, batti, o bel Masetto (from Don Giovanni)

London Symphony Orchestra, Josef Krips

Vedrai, carino (from Don Giovanni)

London Symphony Orchestra, Josef Krips

In uomini, in soldati (from Così fan tutte)

London Symphony Orchestra, Josef Krips

Una donna a quindici anni (from Così fan tutte)

London Symphony Orchestra, Josef Krips

Exsultate, jubilate, K165

Wiener Philharmoniker, Alberto Erede

L'amerò, sarò costante (from Il re pastore)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Alberto Erede

Ach, ich fühl's (from Die Zauberflöte, K620)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Alberto Erede

Venite, inginocchiatevi (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Alberto Erede

Giunse alfin il momento... Deh, vieni, non tardar… (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Clemens Krauss

Se il padre perdei (from Idomeneo)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Clemens Krauss

Non più, tutto ascoltai - Non temer, amato bene, K490

Wiener Philharmoniker, Clemens Krauss

Voi che sapete (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Clemens Krauss

Cosa mi narri? … Sull'aria

with Lisa Della Casa (soprano)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Erich Kleiber


Hilde Gueden (soprano)

Gifted with great beauty and a natural stage presence, Hilde Gueden was unfailingly easy on the ear as well as the eye. With her creamy tone and ability to spin the silvery upper-register sonority needed for her Strauss roles, she was a natural successor to Elisabeth Schumann, Lotte Schöne and Adele Kern. Fortunately for posterity, she recorded prolifically and in the LP era she worked mainly for Decca, taking part in many opera and operetta sets.

Most of the Mozart arias here were among Gueden’s first studio recordings. The first two were set down on her initial visit to London in 1947, with the LSO under Josef Krips, and four more were made two years later with the same accompanists. All were intended for 78rpm release and four came out in that form; but two, overtaken by the arrival of 33rpm LPs, were not released until the CD era.

These Mozart portraits establish some of Gueden’s best qualities, the creamy tone, even from top to bottom, the rhythmic poise and the mercurial, sometimes cheeky personality. The late 1940s and 1950s in Vienna seem like a golden age of Mozart singing, and Hilde Gueden played her part in it.

“Voi che sapete” and “Deh vieni” are both given excellent performances, the latter with its recitative “Giunse alfin” and here Gueden is on her home ground […] the recording is really excellent” Gramophone Magazine, June 1952

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