Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Tristan und Isolde Covent Garden 1937


Flagstad and Melchior on stage in Act 1 of Tristan
In the summers of 1936 and 1937 EMI engineers made numerous recordings of live performances at Covent Garden using twin turntables so as to capture complete operas. Very little of what was recorded was issued commercially at the time, though some of it has subsequently appeared either on LP or on CD. The very last recordings made were two complete recordings of Tristan und Isolde conducted by Thomas Beecham on June 18th and June 22nd as Technical Tests 6547 and 6548. The subsequent history of these recordings is complex and it seems likely that neither now exist complete. In 1992 when EMI themselves issued a CD of a Beecham Tristan from 1937 it became apparent that they no longer had a complete copy of the original discs since more than half of what they issued came from the Reiner recording from 1936. Yet there have been several issues of a ‘complete’ Beecham Tristan from 1937, most recently on various small ‘pirate’ labels all of which have disappointing over-processed sound, and clearly a complete Beecham Tristan can be compiled from the surviving elements of the two performances. One possible explanation for the lack of a ‘proper’ remastering by a skilled engineer is that the two performances used different Kurwenals and Branganes, another is that the original discs (beyond what EMI have) quite probably no longer survive and working from an inferior LP source could be discouraging. Personally I would still like someone to have a go! 
This is what seems to survive:
Act 1 – 68 minutes from June 18th performance, final 6 minutes from June 22nd performance. The transition from one performance to the other is skilfully done and this edit exists on all issues of act 1 suggesting it was done by EMI engineers back in 1937 perhaps to compensate for a broken or damaged disc. The only way to tell is that the Kurwenal for the final five minutes is Schoffler not Janssen. I have split the files by date but if you want to hear a musically complete act 1 then just play the 22nd June act end after the 18th June file.
Act 2 – both the 18th and 22nd June recordings of act 2 are complete – the 18th is taken from the EMI masters that still exist.
Act 3 – first 10 minutes from the June 18th performance, from the EMI masters, and a complete recording from June 22nd.
For this upload of the two incomplete performances I have used the EMI master transfers where they exist, the others come from LP issues that, to my ears at least, sound better than currently available CD issues that vary between the muffled and the ‘frying pan’. The LPs have quieter and cleaner surfaces than the CD issues and while not as quiet as the EMI masters and rough around the edges at times they are more than listenable to. I have uploaded them as flac files rather than as mp3 in this instance.
As to the performances, I think these perhaps capture Flagstad and Melchior at their finest. Beecham seems to get more out of these singers than either Reiner (his tempi are certainly quicker), or Bodansky (who conducted the contemporary Met performances). Rarely has the music been sung better and I don’t think the two principals have ever been so well matched.

Conductor Thomas Beecham
June 18th and 22nd 1937
Orchestra - London Philharmonic Orchestra
Chorus - Covent Garden

Tristan - Lauritz Melchior
Isolde - Kirsten Flagstad
Brangaene - Margarete Klose (18th) / Karin Branzell (22nd)
Marke - Sven Nilsson
Kurwenal - Herbert Janssen (18th) / Paul Schoffler (22nd)
Melot - Booth Hitchin
Hirt - Octave Dua
Steuerman - Leslie Horsman
Stimme eines jungen Seemanns - Parry Jones

https://rapidshare.com/files/1111977871/22JuneAct3.flac

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tristan und Isolde Covent Garden 1951

 Here is the final quarter of an hour of Tristan from Kirsten Flagstad's last live broadcast of the opera, in London in 1951. The complete opera was broadcast but it does not seem to have survived. All that now exists are the last fifteen minutes, featuring the famous liebestod, and Flagstad's power and command of the role are clear for all to see. She would, of course, return to London to record the entire opera for EMI in the summer of 1952, but here we have a glimpse of the full splendour of her performance on the stage, after 4 hours of singing.  The sound is bit crackly, being an aircheck of the radio broadcast, but clear enough. 

 



https://rapidshare.com/files/106685213/1951Tristan.mp3

Tristan und Isolde - 29 May 1951



Covent Garden Opera Company
Venue: Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London


Conductor Clemens Krauss


Cast
Young Seaman
Edgar Evans
Isolde
Kirsten Flagstad
Brangäne
Constance Shacklock
Kurwenal
Sigurd Bjorling
Tristan
Set Svanholm
Melot
Geraint Evans
King Mark
Norman Walker
Shepherd
David Tree
Steersman
Rhydderch Davies
Sailors, Knights, Courtiers, Servants
The Covent Garden Opera Chorus

The Covent Garden Orchestra   

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Madama Butterfly Metropolitan Opera 1947

James Melton as Pinkerton
Metropolitan Opera House
December 13, 1947 Matinee Broadcast


MADAMA BUTTERFLY

Cio-Cio-San.............Licia Albanese
Pinkerton...............James Melton
Suzuki..................Thelma Altman
Sharpless...............John Brownlee
Goro....................Alessio De Paolis
Bonze...................Melchiorre Luise
Yamadori................George Cehanovsky
Kate Pinkerton..........Irene Jordan
Commissioner............John Baker

Conductor...............Giuseppe Antonicelli


This was the standard cast for Madama Butterfly at the Met, Albanese, Melton and Brownlee appeared in the broadcasts of this opera in 1946 and 1950, and both Albanese and Brownlee appeared in other broadcasts as well. James Melton was perhaps best known in the 1930s as a radio star but he moved successfully into opera in the 1940s performing at the Met between 1942 and 1950 in roles such as Alfredo, Tamino, Don Ottavio, Edgardo and Wilhelm Meister in Mignon. It was as Pinkerton that he made the greatest impression however, and as the picture illustrates, his looks certainly helped.
The recording is taken from a noisy aircheck and has side breaks and missing music but a large part of the opera was preserved. 
https://rapidshare.com/files/389971878/1947Butterfly.zip

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Carmen Metropolitan Opera 1948


Metropolitan Opera House
February 7, 1948 Matinee Broadcast


CARMEN

Carmen..................Risë Stevens
Don José................Ramon Vinay
Micaela.................Nadine Conner
Escamillo...............Martial Singher
Frasquita...............Thelma Votipka
Mercédès................Lucielle Browning
Remendado...............Alessio De Paolis
Dancaïre................George Cehanovsky
Zuniga..................Philip Kinsman
Moralès.................Clifford Harvuot
Dance...................Aida Alvarez
Dance...................Leon Varkas

Conductor...............Wilfred Pelletier


Risë Stevens dominated the role of Carmen at the Met like no other soprano before her. The opera was broadcast twelve times between 1947 and 1960 and Stevens took the title role in eleven of those. Her dusky mezzo was ideally suited to the role of Carmen, and in the early 1950s she filmed some extracts for American television. This particular broadcast is almost complete, only missing the second half of act 4. The sound is average at best, being recorded off air, but it does give a good sense of what Stevens was like when heard live. Among the rest of the cast Vinay sang many heavy tenor roles (including Otello, Siegmund and Tristan) in the late '40s and early '50s and is a solid Don Jose. French baritone Martial Singher made a name for himself in the popular French operas at the Met, particularly as Valentin in Faust and the villans in Hoffmann. 

https://rapidshare.com/files/4169925870/1948Carmen.zip

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Gotterdammerung Buenos Aires 1948

Götterdämmerung 

Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires 3 September 1948

Conductor Erich Kleiber

Brünnhilde - Kirsten Flagstad

Siegfried - Set Svanholm

Hagen - Ludwig Weber

Waltraute - Lydia Kinderman

Woglinde - Mafalda Rinaldi

Wellgunde - María Cherry

Floßhilde - Zaira Negroni


This can best be described as 'bleeding chunks' of Gotterdammerung. About an hour of this performance has been preserved, but the recording is patchy. We have extracts of the Dawn Duet, but often Svanholm is cut out; parts of the end of act 1; only three minutes of the vassal scene in act 2; parts of the opening of act 3; parts of Siegfried's death; but a complete immolation scene. Clearly whoever recorded it concentrated on Kirsten Flagstad who was gradually reappearing on the international stage after spending WWII in German-occupied Norway. Still unwelcome in America, in 1948 Flagstad appeared in some major European houses including Covent Garden, as well as singing both Brunnhilde and Tristan in Buenos Aires. This recording is important as it documents her first live immolation recording since the 1937 Covent Garden performances under Furtwangler. A few months before this trip she had recorded it for EMI of course, and that is widely available. In 1950 her complete ring would be recorded at La Scala under Furtwangler.

https://rapidshare.com/files/936214392/1948Gotterdammerung.mp3

Friday, 28 October 2011

Aida, Metropolitan Opera 1949

Ljuba Welitsch
Just under an hour of this Aida is posted here, concentrating on the artistry of the Bulgarian soprano Ljuba Welitsch. Welitsch had made her met debut a few days before this broadcast as Salome, creating an overnight sensation in New York. Her strong powerful voice and excellent acting made a significant impression, and while reviews of her Aida were not quite so positive, with some thinking her fiery nature less suited to the character of Aida, this recording shows her to have a real command of the part. The extracts clearly focus on her, with others only featuring when she does. A complete broadcast of the opera with Welistch and Vinay exists from the following season.

Metropolitan Opera House
February 19, 1949 Matinee Broadcast


AIDA
Giuseppe Verdi--Antonio Ghislanzoni

Aida....................Ljuba Welitsch
Radamès.................Frederick Jagel
Amneris.................Margaret Harshaw
Amonasro................Frank Guarrera
Ramfis..................Jerome Hines
King....................Philip Kinsman
Messenger...............Paul Franke
Priestess...............Thelma Votipka
Dance...................Lorraine Ammerman
Dance...................Barbara Hausler
Dance...................Audrey Keane
Dance...................Elissa Minet
Dance...................Leon Varkas

Conductor...............Emil Cooper

https://rapidshare.com/files/3951712808/1949Aida.mp3

Carmen Metropolitan Opera 1938

Metropolitan Opera House
March 19, 1938 Matinee Broadcast


CARMEN  

Carmen..................Bruna Castagna
Don José................René Maison
Micaela.................Susanne Fisher
Escamillo...............John Brownlee
Frasquita...............Thelma Votipka
Mercédès................Helen Olheim
Remendado...............Giordano Paltrinieri
Dancaïre................George Cehanovsky
Zuniga..................Norman Cordon
Moralès.................Wilfred Engelman

Conductor...............Gennaro Papi


Bruna Castagna as Carmen
About 25 minutes of extracts from Acts 1 and 2 exist from this broadcast, apparently recorded off-air for Norman Cordon. They capture something of the Carmen of Italian Mezzo Bruna Castagna. Castanga was perhaps the leading mezzo at the Met between 1934 and 1945, singing all the major leading roles (Carmen, Dalilah and Amneris) as well as the key supporting roles in operas such as Norma, Ballo in Maschera and Trovatore. I don't think any other live recordings exist of her as Carmen, and one contemporary review described her Carmen as "potentially charming. She has both temperament and artistic tact. She has a remarkable voice, sensuously beautiful, voluptuous, richly expressive: and last night she made it serve again and again the purposes of the music and the play. She is already a better Carmen than Miss Ponselle; and, if she takes herself in hand and passes the pastry shops with a stonily averted face, she may easily become irresistible."




https://rapidshare.com/files/4097306837/1938Carmen.mp3

Friday, 7 October 2011

Walkure Act 2, San Francisco 1936

Reiner, Melchior and Flagstad backstage at the War Memorial Opera House during this performance
 The San Francisco Opera achieved something remarkable with this broadcast, as it is the only recording to feature two of the greatest sopranos of age, Flagstad and Lehmann, on the same stage. Despite them signing many times together, this was only time microphones captured Lehmann's justifiably famous Sieglinde alongside Flagstad's unparalleled Brunnhilde. When the cast is augmented by the likes of Melchior and Schorr, respectively the world's best Siegmund and Wotan, it was truly a memorable night.  Although cuts were used in performance, the NBC also annoyingly cut off the last minute or so to make way for the next scheduled programme. You can hear the music continuing behind the announcer and one can't help wondering why they didn't cut some of the announcements at the start and have more music, but we have to live with it.


Wagner: Die Walküre
San Francisco Opera
Friday, November 13 1936

Conductor, Fritz Reiner

Brünnhilde Kirsten Flagstad
Sieglinde Lotte Lehmann
Fricka Kathryn Meisle
Siegmund Lauritz Melchior
Wotan Friedrich Schorr
https://rapidshare.com/files/374889232/1936WalkureSFAct2.mp3

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Manon Metropolitan Opera 1936

This is part of a Gala performance to mark the retirement of Spanish soprano Lucretia Bori who had sung more than 600 performances at the Met since 1910. This was her last performance in New York, but she would sing one last Mimi in Baltimore on tour a few days later. The Gala featured Bori in extracts from Traviata and Manon, Rethberg and Pinza in Forza, Flagstad and Melchior in Walkure, and Ponselle and Martinelli Trovatore. Sadly only the very last extract, Act 3 Sc 2 of Manon was broadcast, but the speeches from the stage were also broadcast, so there is about 40 minutes in total. The sound is not bad for the time.


Metropolitan Opera House
March 29, 1936 

Broadcast 10.30-11.15pm on WJZ New York


BORI FAREWELL GALA

Manon: Act III, Scene 2

Manon...................Lucrezia Bori
Des Grieux..............Richard Crooks
Count des Grieux........Léon Rothier

Conductor...............Louis Hasselmans


https://rapidshare.com/files/1570894558/1936ManonAct3.mp3

Account of Farewell Gala of Lucrezia Bori; presentations March 29, 1936 in The Sun, unsigned.

At the end of the program there was prolonged and enthusiastic cheering for Miss Bori and then the curtain was raised with the entire board of directors of the opera association and the company gathered on the stage. Then the ceremony began.

Among those who extolled Miss Bori's contribution to the Metropolitan Opera in addresses were Frederic Potts Moore, representing the board of directors; Edward Johnson for the company; Mrs. Vincent Astor, who spoke for the board and for friends, and Mrs. August Belmont for the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

A tribute to Miss Bori printed on the program and signed by Paul D. Cravath, president of the board, and Edward Ziegler, secretary, reviewed the singer's long association with the company and spoke of the personal sacrifices she has made and the labor she has given to the opera to help it through its financial reverses and the last few years. It concluded with the following paragraph:

"The board of directors hail with joy Miss. Bori's announcement that, while she is retiring as an artist, she will retain her membership on the board of directors, and continue her active interest in the causes of opera at the Metropolitan. Were it not for the continued association with Miss Bori that is thus vouchsafed to them, the directors feel that much of the pleasure and satisfaction from their association with the Metropolitan would be lost."

The program also contained the following tribute written by Edward Johnson, who is the general manager of the company:

"To Lucrezia Bori - as a friend, most understanding: as a woman, adorable; as a colleague, ideal; as an artist, irreplaceable."

Among the gifts presented to her were a diamond brooch that had been made in 1866 for the Empress Eugénie of France, the gift of her colleagues on the board and a large group of friends. The presentation was made by Mrs. Astor.

There was also a visiting card in gold, the gift of the assistant directors; a silver coffee urn from the chorus; a vase filled with roses, from the stage hands; many gifts from the singers and orchestra, and two parchments, one signed by the board and another signed by the administrative staff.

Earlier in the evening Miss Bori had distributed many gifts to singers and others in the company.

With her arms full of flowers, and evidently deeply touched by the tributes, Miss Bori said that "my heart is in such a turmoil that I do not know how to express the varied emotions I am feeling." when she made her reply.

She then thanked the board, the company and her friends for the ceremony and the gifts.

"I am supremely happy, supremely grateful, and yet supremely sad. Au revoir." she said in conclusion.

It was emphasized that Miss Bori will continue her active work on the board of directors, of which she remains a member.

"I know how to keep myself busy," she declared in an interview. "After all, I am 48 years old. I have been in the theater long enough. Now I shall travel, perhaps sing a little in concert and on the radio. I have also begun to model in clay."

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Tannhauser Metropolitan Opera 1935

Richard Bonelli
About an hour and a half of this performance survives, 35 mins of act 2, and about 52 mins of act 3. It's an unusual cast for this opera at the Met. Melchior of course sang this opera plenty of times and can be heard in complete broadcasts from 1936, 1941, 1942 and 1948 (1941 has the best sound). The other main principals rarely sang this opera at the Met: this was the last of Muller's eight performances as Elisabeth, Manski sang Venus only eleven times and Bonelli sang Wolfram just 4 times. Bonelli was best known for his mainstream Italiam and French roles, so this recording adds a different dimension to his discography. The sound is moderate at best, being an aircheck recorded on fairly primitive equipment.

Metropolitan Opera House
January 12, 1935 Matinee Broadcast


TANNHÄUSER {280}

Tannhäuser..............Lauritz Melchior
Elisabeth...............Maria Müller
Wolfram.................Richard Bonelli
Venus...................Dorothee Manski
Hermann.................Ludwig Hofmann
Walther.................Hans Clemens
Heinrich................Giordano Paltrinieri
Biterolf................Arnold Gabor
Reinmar.................James Wolfe
Shepherd................Lillian Clark
Dance...................Jessie Rogge
Dance...................Beatrice Covell
Dance...................Helen Sumholz

Conductor...............Artur Bodanzky

https://rapidshare.com/files/3094863855/1935TannhauserAct2.mp3
https://rapidshare.com/files/1105068619/1935TannhauserAct3.mp3

Friday, 2 September 2011

Le Nozze di Figaro, Metropolitan Opera 1947


Hjördis Schymberg
This performance is notable for two reasons. It was the last broadcast of Figaro to feature the great Ezio Pinza in the title role, and indeed Pinza would feature in just one more Met broadcast, Don Giovanni in December 1947. The other reason this broadcast is worth hearing is for the Susanna of Swedish soprano Hjördis Schymberg. Schymberg sang just four performances at the Met, two Figaros and two Rigolettos in the Spring of 1947. She is perhaps most famous as the partner of Jussi Bjorling at the Stockholm Royal Opera and complete recordings of them in Traviata and Romeo et Juliette exist. Schymberg died in 2008 at the venerable age of 99. About an hour of this performance exists, from an aircheck in fair to middling sound. Act 1 does best, with about 40 minutes, Act two has the rest. 








Metropolitan Opera House
March 15, 1947 Matinee Broadcast


LE NOZZE DI FIGARO {98}

Figaro..................Ezio Pinza
Susanna.................Hjördis Schymberg [Last performance]
Count Almaviva..........John Brownlee
Countess Almaviva.......Eleanor Steber
Cherubino...............Jarmila Novotna
Dr. Bartolo.............Salvatore Baccaloni
Marcellina..............Hertha Glaz
Don Basilio.............Alessio De Paolis
Antonio.................Lorenzo Alvary
Barbarina...............Mimi Benzell
Don Curzio..............John Garris
Peasant.................Thelma Altman
Peasant.................Maxine Stellman
Dance...................Julia Barashkova
Dance...................Lola Michel
Dance...................William Sarazen
Dance...................Josef Carmassi

Conductor...............Fritz Busch

https://rapidshare.com/files/3363119124/1947Figaro.mp3

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Carmen Metropolitan Opera Feb 1936

In response to a request, here is about an hour of extracts from the first ever Met broadcast of Carmen in February 1936. Although regular matinee broadcasts had started in 1931 it took nearly five years for Carmen to make the schedule. Clearly it was a popular choice, because the opera was broadcast twice more that season, in March and May 1936, and twice more the following season, in January and April 1937. Acts one and two fair better than acts three and four, but it is opportunity to hear Rosa Ponselle in her signature role. The 1937 broadcasts offer better sound, if you want to hear Ponselle in the complete opera. Also notable is Charles Kullman as Don Jose, and this is the only preservation to pair him with Ponselle. Later broadcasts with Gladys Swarthout and Lily Djanel in the 1940s preserve Kullman's complete Don Jose.



Metropolitan Opera House
February 1, 1936 Matinee Broadcast


CARMEN {333}

Carmen..................Rosa Ponselle
Don José................Charles Kullman
Micaela.................Susanne Fisher
Escamillo...............Ezio Pinza
Frasquita...............Thelma Votipka
Mercédès................Helen Olheim
Remendado...............Marek Windheim
Dancaïre................Angelo Badà
Zuniga..................Louis D'Angelo
Moralès.................George Cehanovsky
Dance...................Ruthanna Boris
Dance...................Betty Eisner
Dance...................Madeline Leweck
Dance...................Anatol Vilzak

Conductor...............Louis Hasselmans


https://rapidshare.com/files/959512340/1936Carmen_.mp3

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Falstaff Chicago 1941

John Charles Thomas


Here is a rare chance to hear the famous American baritone, John Charles Thomas, as Falstaff. Thomas was best known for his concert work and for his popular recordings, but he also performed on the operatic stage. Met broadcasts have preserved him Barber of Seville, Traviata, Aida and Faust but not in this role. Just under half an hour of the last act of this broadcast from Chicago has survived, and the sound is pretty good for the period.

Broadcast by WGN (AM) and W59C (FM) Chicago, 10-11pm & WOR New York, 11.15-11.45pm (WOR is probably the source here, though the opening announcement shows that this is a later rebroadcast)


Falstaff, part of last act (27 mins)
November 24, 1941
Falstaff – John Charles Thomas
Mistress Ford – Dusolini Gianini
Nanetta – Virginia Haskins
Mistress Page – Herta Glaz
Ford – Hugh Thompson
Fenton – Felix Knight
c.Laszlo Halasz

https://rapidshare.com/files/447834714/1941FalstaffChicago.mp3

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Tosca Metropolitan 1947

The half hour of extracts from Tosca posted here provide a very rare opportunity to hear the Greek soprano Elen Dosia (1915-2002). Dosia made a name for herself singing French opera in Europe, particularly Massenet, but her career at the Met cannot be described as a success. She sang two performances of Tosca (including this one), one performance of Manon (also in 1947), and two performances of Pelleas et Melisande in 1949. She retired in 1952, while still in her 30s, and her recorded legacy is small. She made a few commercial recordings in the 1930s and early 1940s, and there is a radio recording of Thais from Paris in 1944. These extracts from Tosca appear to be the only example of her live on stage and give us the two duets with Cavaradossi in Acts 1 and 3, but no Vissi D'arte in act 2.


Dosia as Tosca
Metropolitan Opera House
November 15, 1947 Matinee Broadcast


TOSCA
Puccini-Illica/Giacosa

Tosca...................Elen Dosia [Debut]
Cavaradossi.............Jan Peerce
Scarpia.................Frank Valentino
Sacristan...............Melchiorre Luise
Spoletta................Alessio De Paolis
Angelotti...............Lorenzo Alvary
Sciarrone...............George Cehanovsky
Shepherd................Irene Jordan
Jailer..................Lawrence Davidson [Debut]

https://rapidshare.com/files/2499553782/1947Tosca.mp3

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Die Frau ohne Schatten San Francisco 1960

The American premiere of Strauss's Die Frau Ohne Schatten occured in San Francisco in 1959 with a fairly unknown cast. The following year the opera was performed again but this time with a high quality international cast, led by Leonie Rysanek who had already recorded the role for Decca, and who would 'own' the role of the Empress in Vienna and later the Met for the next twenty years.  Danish tenor, Ticho Parly, made a name for himself in taxing roles during the 1960s including Tristan and Siegfried, and this is the only recording I know of him in this role. The performance was not broadcast but extracts were recorded in house, amounting to about 35 minutes each from acts 1 and 2, and a nearly complete act 3.

Ticho Parly



RICHARD STRAUSS

DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN

San Francisco Opera
24 September 1960

Kaiser Ticho Parly
Kaiserin Leonie Rysanek
Barak Paul Schoeffler
Farberin Marianne Schech
Nurse Irene Dalis
Spirit Messenger Robert Anderson
One Eyed Brother Richard Wentworth
One Armed Brother Lorenzo Alvary
Hunchbacked Brother Raymond Manton
Falcon's voice Frances McCann
Apparition of a youth Gilbert Russell
Voice from above Virginia Starr
Guardian of the hearth Mary Costa
Voices of the unborn Mary Costa
France McCann
Janis Martin
Margot Blum
Katherine Hilgenberg
Servants Virginia Starr
Frances McCann
Margo Blum
Nightwatchmen Donald Drain
James Standard
Ned Romero

Conductor Leopold Ludwig
https://rapidshare.com/files/3091045967/1960FrauSF.zip

Friday, 1 July 2011

Der Rosenkavalier Covent Garden 1952

Here is most of Act 3 of Der Rosenkavalier performed in English at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1952. It features the great Australian soprano Sylvia Fisher who was an important part of the Covent Garden roster in the 1950s and 1960s but whose recorded legacy is rather thin. She sang many of the lighter Wagnerian soprano roles, including Elsa and Sieglinde, only occasionally appearing as Isolde and Brunnhilde. The Marshallin was a mainstay of her repertoire, and in this BBC broadcast we can hear why she was so famous in the role. The British Library retain a copy of the entire broadcast but I have not heard it.

Sylvia Fisher




Richard Strauss
Der Rosenkavalier
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, January 3, 1952

Marschallin - Sylvia Fisher
Octavian - Constance Shacklock
Sophie - Ruth Guldbaek
Baron Ochs - Howell Glynne
Valzacchi - Parry Jones
Annina - Jean Watson
Faninal - Ronald Lewis
Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
c. Erich Kleiber



https://rapidshare.com/files/4197083003/1952RosenkavalierAct3.mp3

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Rigoletto Metropolitan Opera 1940

This is a rare, perhaps even unique, example of a non-Saturday-matinee broadcast from the Met. This was a special Tuesday night broadcast in aid of the 'Free Milk Fund' and was not even broadcast on the usual New York radio station, WJZ (760AM), instead featuring on WINS (1180AM). Although the opera was broadcast complete only 8 minutes apparently survive but they document the Rigoletto of Italian baritone Giuseppe De Luca, even though he was in his 60s by 1940. De Luca sang this role about 100 times at the Met and started out with Caruso as the Duke. Very few live recordings exist with De Luca, so it is nice to have these fragments.


De Luca as Rigoletto



Metropolitan Opera House
March 12, 1940 Broadcast


RIGOLETTO {234}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Rigoletto...............Giuseppe De Luca
Gilda...................Lily Pons
Duke of Mantua..........Charles Kullman
Maddalena...............Anna Kaskas
Sparafucile.............Virgilio Lazzari
Monterone...............Norman Cordon
Borsa...................Giordano Paltrinieri
Marullo.................George Cehanovsky
Count Ceprano...........Wilfred Engelman
Countess Ceprano........Maxine Stellman
Giovanna................Thelma Votipka
Page....................Edith Herlick

Conductor...............Gennaro Papi


https://rapidshare.com/files/2117917877/1940Rigoletto.mp3

Friday, 24 June 2011

Siegfried Teatro Colon 1938


Max Lorenz as Siegfried

 Here's another performance from the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires conducted by Erich Kleiber. This upload is of the first act of Siegfried with Max Lorenz in the title role. Lorenz was the leading European heldentenor of the 1930s and 1940s, dominating at Bayreuth, Berlin and Vienna. This recording shows why Lorenz was so highly regarded, far more than some of his 1950s recordings when his voice had lost some of its potency. Some portions of act 2 of this performance also apparently exist, but I don't have them. The sound is more than reasonable for 1938.

 

Wagner - Siegfried Act 1

Conductor Erich Kleiber 

Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires) October 4, 1938

Siegfried - Max Lorenz

Mime - Erich Witte

Wanderer - Herbert Janssen

https://rapidshare.com/files/2194627663/1938SiegfriedAct1.mp3

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Die Meistersinger, Teatro Colon, 1949





In response to a request for some of Erich Kleiber's performances from the Teatro Colon here is just over 30 mins of Meistersinger from 1949. The extracts consist of the Overture plus some extracts from act 3. It is perhaps most notable for being the earliest example of Hans Hotter singing Sachs. In Suthaus the performance has a heavyweight Walther  and in Weber a truly great Pogner. The sound is not too bad for the era.




https://rapidshare.com/files/2087542600/1949Meistersinger.mp3

Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires
 Sept 2 1949
c. Erich Kleiber.



INTERPRETE CUERDA PAPEL  
Hotter, Hans (barítono) Hans Sachs 
Weber, Ludwig (bajo) Pogner 
Bandini, Alvaro (tenor) Vogelgesang 
Feller, Carlos (bajo) Nachtigall 
Kunz, Erich (bajo) Beckmesser 
Mattiello, Angel (barítono) Kothner 



 
Savorini, Mario (tenor) Zorn 
Tavini, Virgilio (tenor) Eisslinger 
Giusti, Carlos (tenor) Moser 


 
Matthaeis, Duilio de (barítono) Ortel 
Barbieri, Héctor (barítono) Schwarz 
Gagliardo, Tulio (bajo) Foltz 
Suthaus, Ludwig (tenor) Walther 
Dermota, Anton (tenor) David 



 
Hoerner, Germaine (soprano) Eva 
Hoengen, Elizabeth (mezzo) Magdalene 




Feller, Carlos (bajo) Sereno



Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Samson et Dalila Metropolitan Opera 1941

Rise Stevens as Dalila

Risë Stevens recently celebrated her 98th birthday so I thought it would be fitting to post one of her most famous roles, Dalila in Samson et Dalila. This 1941 aircheck is missing the first ten minutes or so of act 1 and can be noisy at times, but since the opera was not broadcast very much it is a rare document.

Metropolitan Opera House
December 13, 1941 Matinee Broadcast


SAMSON ET DALILA

Samson..................René Maison
Dalila..................Risë Stevens
High Priest.............Leonard Warren
Abimélech...............Norman Cordon
Old Hebrew..............Nicola Moscona
Philistine..............John Dudley
Philistine..............Arthur Kent
Messenger...............Emery Darcy
Dance...................Ruthanna Boris
Dance...................Monna Montes
Dance...................Michael Arshansky
Dance...................Alexis Dolinoff
Dance...................Alexis Kosloff
Dance...................Leon Varkas

Conductor...............Wilfred Pelletier

https://rapidshare.com/files/4161198084/1941SamsonAct1.mp3
https://rapidshare.com/files/2113296903/1941SamsonAct2.mp3
https://rapidshare.com/files/3379828794/1941SamsonAct3.mp3

Friday, 27 May 2011

Lucia di Lammermoor Metropolitan Opera 1945

Patrice Munsel

American soprano Patrice Munsel holds the record for the youngest professional to appear at the Met, being just 17 on her debut in 1943. At the time of this broadcast, her first as Lucia, Munsel was not yet 20 and she recently celebrated her 85th birthday. All that seems to survive of this broadcast is about an hour, the end of act 1 and a complete act 2, probably from an AFRS relay during the war.

Metropolitan Opera House
January 6, 1945 Matinee Broadcast


LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR {206}

Lucia...................Patrice Munsel
Edgardo.................Jan Peerce
Enrico..................Leonard Warren
Raimondo................Nicola Moscona
Normanno................Lodovico Oliviero
Alisa...................Thelma Votipka
Arturo..................Richard Manning

Conductor...............Cesare Sodero



https://rapidshare.com/files/1589812478/1945Lucia.mp3

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Die Meistersinger Metropolitan 1945

 This broadcast is the most complete example we have of Herbert Janssen as Hans Sachs. Perhaps best known for the lighter Wagnerian baritone roles (Kurwenal, Telramund etc), Janssen moved into the heavier roles of Sachs and Wotan towards the end of his career. Most of his Sachs is preserved here since the missing parts of the opera - the first 30 minutes of act 1 and the final 8 minutes of act 3 - are  not crucial to his role. The broadcast started at 2pm, half an hour after the performance since it seems that the maximum amount of airtime WJZ was willing to give to opera on a Saturday afternoon was four hours (2-6pm). This policy of course affected Wagnerian operas the most and perhaps it was for this reason that there was no broadcast of Parsifal between 1938 and 1952 and no complete broadcast of Gotterdammerung between 1936 and 1951. Long operas such as Tristan and Walkure, both of which were broadcast regularly during the 1940s, were heavily cut. The original discs are in the New York Public Library and it is not clear if the final eight minutes are preserved or not but sadly they are not included here.


Herbert Janssen


Metropolitan Opera House
February 10, 1945 Matinee Broadcast (Partial)


DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG

Hans Sachs..............Herbert Janssen
Eva.....................Eleanor Steber
Walther von Stolzing....Charles Kullman
Magdalene...............Kerstin Thorborg
David...................John Garris
Beckmesser..............Gerhard Pechner
Pogner..................Emanuel List
Kothner.................Mack Harrell
Vogelgesang.............Morton Bowe
Nachtigall..............Hugh Thompson
Ortel...................Osie Hawkins
Zorn....................Richard Manning
Moser...................Lodovico Oliviero
Eisslinger..............Karl Laufkötter
Foltz...................Lorenzo Alvary
Schwarz.................John Gurney
Night Watchman..........Louis D'Angelo

Conductor...............George Szell

[Note: The opera began at 1:30 and the broadcast at 2:00.]

https://rapidshare.com/files/891184674/1945MeistersingerAct1.mp3
https://rapidshare.com/files/2114280556/1945MeistersingerAct2.mp3
https://rapidshare.com/files/610072/1945MeistersingerAct3.mp3

Monday, 9 May 2011

Tristan und Isolde Metropolitan December 1943

Melchior and Traubel on stage in Tristan in 1944

 After Flagstad left America in 1941 to return to Norway she never sang with Melchior again, despite them being the most famous pairing in Wagnerian opera at the time. Indeed, they never even met again. Flagstad's replacement in the major Wagner roles was St Louis born Helen Traubel. She would appear in seven Tristan broadcasts with Melchior between 1943 and 1949. The earliest was in February 1943, and this upload is the second one, in December 1943. As with all the posts in this blog, this preservation is not complete, missing Act 1 in this instance. The recording comes from a Brazilian relay, and contains some of the original Brazilian commentary. Latin American countries had a separate feed from the Metropolitan Opera, and are the source for many excellent preservations from the 1940s. Interesting, this is the only time this cast broadcast Tristan in this particular combination, even though many of them were veterans in their roles.

Metropolitan Opera House
December 11, 1943 Matinee Broadcast


TRISTAN UND ISOLDE {301}

Tristan.................Lauritz Melchior
Isolde..................Helen Traubel
Kurwenal................Herbert Janssen
Brangäne................Kerstin Thorborg
King Marke..............Norman Cordon
Melot...................Emery Darcy
Sailor's Voice..........John Garris
Shepherd................John Garris
Steersman...............John Gurney

Conductor...............Thomas Beecham


https://rapidshare.com/files/461539149/1943TristanAct2.mp3
https://rapidshare.com/files/461539150/1943TristanAct3.mp3

Friday, 29 April 2011

Manon Lescaut La Scala 1946

La Scala, badly damaged in August 1943
As per another request, here is act 3 of Manon Lescaut, performed at the re-opening of La Scala after the war in 1946. Toscanini returned to La Scala, where he had first conducted in the 1880s, re-connecting with his homeland after spending the war in the USA. The opera house had been badly damaged in August 1943, but three years later it was restored to its former glory.

La Scala on May 11, 1946
Giacomo Puccini:
Manon Lescaut (Act 3)
May 11, 1946.

Manon Lescaut… Mafalda Favero
Des Grieux…Giovanni Malipiero
Lescaut…Mariano Stabile
Un Lampionaio...Giuseppe Nessi
Il comandante...Carlo Forti

Orchestra and chorus of La Scala
Arturo Toscanini, conductor


https://rapidshare.com/files/459731696/1946LescautAct3.mp3

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Don Giovanni Metropolitan Opera 1935

Rosa Ponselle in 1936
In response to a request here is Ponselle's 1935 Don Giovanni broadcast. Only six of Ponselle's live broadcasts exist, her 1935 Traviata,  four Carmens (two in 1936 [one incomplete] and two in 1937), and this incomplete Don Giovanni. Ponselle, perhaps America's most famous soprano, only performed in Don Giovanni 15 times at the Met and this is her very last performance in the role of Donna Anna. The cast was excellent for the time, Pinza featured in eight met broadcasts as the Don between 1932 and 1947 and this was the third and final Don Ottavio broadcast for the stylish Tito Schipa. While incomplete, there is a lot of material here, more than an hour of act 1 and 45 minutes of act 2. The sound is not good, but worth it for the historical interest I think. Sometimes this recording has been attributed to the previous year since an identical cast broadcast the opera on January 20th 1934. However the 12" aluminium discs used to record the opera off the radio were apparently only manufactured in 1935 which makes it much more likely that the recording dates from that year and not 1934.

Metropolitan Opera House
February 9, 1935 Matinee Broadcast


DON GIOVANNI

Don Giovanni............Ezio Pinza
Donna Anna..............Rosa Ponselle
Don Ottavio.............Tito Schipa
Donna Elvira............Maria Müller
Leporello...............Virgilio Lazzari
Zerlina.................Editha Fleischer
Masetto.................Louis D'Angelo
Commendatore............Emanuel List

Conductor...............Ettore Panizza

https://rapidshare.com/files/459554627/1935DG.zip

Monday, 25 April 2011

Official Requests Thread

It occurs to me that some of you might have requests for uploads on this blog. If you do, please make them here.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Der Rosenkavalier San Francisco 1945

Lehmann as the Marschallin


The Marschallin was one of Lotte Lehmann's most famous roles, along with Sieglinde perhaps. A large part of the opera was recorded commercially by HMV in 1933 (widely available on Naxos and other labels) with Lehmann, Schumann and Olszewska, and two live Met broadcasts with Lehmann exist from 1938 and 1939. Lehmann retired from the Met in February 1945 singing this as her final role, but appeared with the San Francisco Opera in both 1945 and 1946 in six more performances of Rosenkavalier. In 1945 only Act 3 was broadcast, but in 1946 the entire performance of Oct 8 was broadcast. Sadly, nothing from this last broadcast has ever emerged and this recording seems to be the last one we have of Lehmann in opera though she would continue to give concerts until 1951. 

R. Strauss - DER ROSENKAVALIER, ACT III
San Francisco, October 18, 1945

Lotte Lehmann - Marschallin
Risë Steven -Octavian
Nadine Conner - Sophie
Lorenzo Alvary - Baron Ochs
Walter Olitzki - Faninal
Mack Harrell - Police Commissioner
John Garris - Landlord
Herta Glaz - Annina
Alessio de Paolis - Valzacchi

c. George Sebastian

https://rapidshare.com/files/458994229/1945RosenkavalierAct3.mp3

Friday, 22 April 2011

Walkure Metropolitan Opera, December 1937

In many respects this is a rare, if not unique recording. It is rare because Flagstad usually sang Brunnhilde in Die Walkure, not Sieglinde.  Sieglinde was her debut role at the Met in 1935, and Flagstad recorded Act 1 in stereo with Solti in 1956, but she only sang the role ten times in New York, and only two live broadcasts of her in the role exist, this one and her debut. Neither are complete. This particular performance is unique in that it is the only recorded example of Flagstad and Melchior as the twins in Die Walkure. Melchior, perhaps the most famous of all Siegmunds, was frequently paired with Lotte Lehmann with whom he recorded Act 1 under Bruno Walter in 1935, but rarely with Flagstad perhaps because opera house managers usually rated her voice as more suited to the goddess rather than the wife. 
It is sad that only 7 minutes of act 1 exist, and a substantial part of that is the prelude. Act 2 is complete, apart from acetate breaks every five minutes or so. Neither act 1 nor Act 2 have good sound. Act 3 is in far better sound and without the acetate breaks. Heard to excellent effect is Marjorie Lawrence, the Australian heldensoprano as Brunnhilde, and Schorr as Wotan. Indeed the cast would be hard to beat in any list of the greatest casts of this opera.

Metropolitan Opera House
December 18, 1937 Matinee Broadcast


DIE WALKÜRE {290}
Wagner-Wagner

Brünnhilde..............Marjorie Lawrence
Siegmund................Lauritz Melchior
Sieglinde...............Kirsten Flagstad
Wotan...................Friedrich Schorr
Fricka..................Kerstin Thorborg
Hunding.................Ludwig Hofmann
Gerhilde................Thelma Votipka
Grimgerde...............Irra Petina
Helmwige................Dorothee Manski
Ortlinde................Irene Jessner
Rossweisse..............Lucielle Browning
Schwertleite............Anna Kaskas
Siegrune................Helen Olheim
Waltraute...............Doris Doe

Conductor...............Artur Bodanzky
https://rapidshare.com/files/458220043/1937Walkure.zip

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Le Nozze di Figaro, Montevideo 1936

Teatro Solis in Montevideo

About 30 minutes of this performance exists. The opera was being staged at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aries in August 1936 (performances on Aug 7, 9, 20 & 23). In the middle of the run the entire cast and orchestra moved across the River Plate to Montevideo in neighbouring Uruguay for one performance, which was partly recorded.
It gives us a rare chance to hear Tiana Lemnitz live on stage. The German soprano was Pamina in Beecham's complete recording of the Magic Flute and captured as Octavian in Rosenkavalier in Buenos Aires (also in 1936).
German soprano, Tiana Lemnitz



Le Nozze di Figaro
August 18, 1936, Teatro Solís, Montevideo

  Count Almaviva: Martial Singher
  Countess Almaviva: Tiana Lemnitz
  Susanna: Editha Fleischer
  Figaro: Fernando Autori
  Cherubino: Amelita Conte
  Marzelline: Irra Petina
  Don Basilio: Hans Fleischer
  Don Bartolo: Eugenio Sdanovsky
  Don Curzio: Luis Santoro
Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Colon,
c. Emil Cooper

https://rapidshare.com/files/458190782/1936Nozzeextracts.mp3

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Aida, Chicago 1940

Rose Bampton (1907-2007) as Aida
About 20 minutes of this Aida have survived, principally the end of act 3 and the end of act 4. These two acts were the only ones broadcast by WGN (Chicago 9.30-11pm) with a relay to WOR (New York 11.15pm-12.30am). This the only recording we have of Bampton and Martinelli together in Aida, though both performed and broadcast the opera from the Met but always with different partners. The sound is often very noisy, but there are some occasional good parts.

Aida
Chicago Civic Opera, December 9, 1940

Aida - Rose Bampton
Radames - Giovanni Martinelli
Amonasro - Carlo Morelli
Amneris - Elza Zebranska
c. Paul Breisach
http://rapidshare.com/files/447834713/1940AidaChicago.mp3

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Bayreuth extracts 1934

Frida Leider as Brunnhilde

Pre-war Bayreuth recordings are relatively rare, and thus these short extracts are very important. For one thing they preserve part of Frida Leider's Brunnhilde, live on stage at the place where she was perhaps most famous. This is also one of the earliest live recordings with Max Lorenz, the pre-eminent heldentenor at Bayreuth in the 1930s and 40s. The Gotterdammerung extract was part of a newsreel film of a rehearsal, the Walkure was part of a live performance but only 8 minutes exist.

Gotterdammerung July 1934
Dawn Duet, rehearsal recorded on film
Frida Leider - Brunnhilde
Max Lorenz - Siegfried
c. Karl Elmendorff
http://rapidshare.com/files/453869899/1934Gotterdammerung.mp3

Die Walkure Aug 6, 1934
Act 3 extracts
Frida Leider - Brunnhilde
Maria Muller - Sieglinde
Rudolf Bocklemann - Wotan
c. Karl Elmendorff
http://rapidshare.com/files/453869900/1934Walkure1.mp3
http://rapidshare.com/files/453869901/1934Walkure2.mp3

Thursday, 17 March 2011

La Boheme New York 1935

Giuseppe De Luca

These extracts from La Boheme give us a rare chance to hear the famous Giuseppe De Luca on stage. De Luca sang a lot with Caruso in New York between 1915 and 1920 and the pair frequently recorded together. Only two complete Met broadcasts exist with De Luca, Romeo et Juliette (1935) and Boheme (1940) and both are from the end of his career. This was Rethberg's only Met broadcast as Mimi, and for a soprano perhaps best known for her dramatic roles (especially Wagner) this again demonstrates what a versatile singer she was. The extracts are most of Act 1 plus a complete Act 3.


Metropolitan Opera House
March 23, 1935 Matinee Broadcast


LA BOHÈME {308}

Mimì....................Elisabeth Rethberg
Rodolfo.................Frederick Jagel
Musetta.................Nina Morgana [Last performance]
Marcello................Giuseppe De Luca
Schaunard...............Millo Picco
Colline.................Ezio Pinza
Benoit..................Paolo Ananian
Alcindoro...............Pompilio Malatesta
Parpignol...............Max Altglass
Sergeant................Carlo Coscia

Conductor...............Vincenzo Bellezza

http://rapidshare.com/files/452966232/1935BohemeAct1.mp3 

http://rapidshare.com/files/452966233/1935BohemeAct3.mp3

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Ballo in Maschera San Francisco 1940

Bjorling and Rethberg as Riccardo and Amelia

This short extract from Act 3 (performed and announced, modern performances usually call this act 2) showcases Swedish tenor Jussi Bjorling and German soprano Elisabeth Rethberg. Bjorling can be heard in complete performances of Ballo from the Met (1940) and New Orleans (1950) but this is, by a few weeks, his earliest documented Riccardo. Rethberg sang Amelia frequently (but not at the Met) yet no other recording exists of her in the role. There are some problems with the sound, a few dropouts here and there and some pitch wavering, but most of it is very good. Commentary is included before and after the extract, and after the duet.

Elisabeth Rethberg


Ballo In Maschera – Verdi
San Francisco War Memorial Opera House October 23, 1940
Broadcast WJZ New York, 12.30-12.57am (Oct 24th).

Jussi Bjorling - Riccardo
Elisabeth Rethberg - Amelia
Richard Bonnelli – Renato
Lorenzo Alvary  - Sam
Robert Sellon - Tom

San Francisco Opera Orchestra c.Gennaro Papi
http://rapidshare.com/files/452786679/1940BalloAct3.mp3

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Parsifal Covent Garden 1951

Flagstad as Kundry

Kundry was not a role that Flagstad performed anywhere near as often as Isolde or any of the Brunnhildes, but it was in her repertoire from 1935 to the early 1950s. There are not many chances to hear her in the role, a 1938 Met broadcast with generally poor sound, a commercial recording of the Act 2 duet with Melchior from 1939, and this aircheck from Covent Garden in 1951. The performance doesn't seem to exist complete (though the entire opera was broadcast by the BBC), and we only have the last hour or so from act 1 and a complete act 2. This however preserves most of Kundry's part. If nothing else it shows that Flagstad was still more than capable of delivering a very impressive performance well into her late 50s. The rest of the cast is drawn from some of the best British and continental Wagnerians of the 1950s.



Wager - Parsifal - 16 June 1951
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London
Conductor             Karl Rankl
Chorus Master Douglas Robinson
Leader             Thomas Matthews

Cast
Gurnemanz                         Ludwig Weber
Second Knight             Rhydderch Davies
Second Esquire             Monica Sinclair
First Esquire                         Adele Leigh
First Knight                         Thorsteinn Hannesson
Kundry                         Kirsten Flagstad
Amfortas                         Sigurd Bjorling
Third Esquire             William McAlpine
Fourth Esquire             John Cameron
Parsifal                         Franz Lechleitner
Titurel                         Michael Langdon
Klingsor                         Otakar Kraus
Flower Maidens            Adele Leigh, Patricia Howard, Leonne Mills, Audrey Bowman, Blanche Turner, Barbara Howitt
The Covent Garden Orchestra & Chorus
Students of Enfield Road Secondary School
http://rapidshare.com/files/452147493/1951ParsifalAct1.mp3
http://rapidshare.com/files/452147497/1951ParsifalAct2.mp3
 

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Tristan und Isolde, Los Angeles 1937

Flagstad and Melchior in Tristan



 Here is an alternative version of Act 2 of Tristan to compare with yesterday's upload. This also has Kirsten Flagstad as Isolde, this time partnered by the famous Danish heldentenor Lauritz Melchior and the pair were perhaps the hottest ticket in opera between 1935 and 1941. The sound is not great, being an aircheck, and there are cuts, but there is still a great deal of enjoyment to be had from this performance with a cast that was perhaps unequalled at the time (or perhaps since).


Tristan und Isolde (Act 2 only)
Monday, November 15 1937
San Francisco Opera at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles
Lauritz Melchior - Tristan
Kirsten Flagstad - Isolde
Kathryn Meisle - Brangane
Emanuel List - King Mark
Julius Huehn - Kurvenal
George Cehanovsky - Melot

Conductor Fritz Reiner
http://rapidshare.com/files/451737149/1937TristanAct2SFO.mp3

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Tristan und Isolde, Carnegie Hall, 1939

Carnegie Hall, New York

This one off concert performance of Act 2 of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde was organised at the request of Kirsten Flagstad. Stage performances usually cut significant parts of Tristan and the cuts in Act 2 included parts of the love duet. According to the announcement this was the first time the complete Act 2 had been heard on American radio. Those wishing to hear Flagstad in the complete opera can chose from a number of live performances (with cuts) from the Met, Covent Garden, or the Colon. Alternatively there is the famous uncut studio recording with Furtwangler.

http://rapidshare.com/files/451640685/1939TristanAct2.mp3

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde Act II (complete)
Carnegie Hall - 16 April 1939 - John Barbirolli (c)


Isolde    Kirsten Flagstad
Tristan    Eyvind Laholm
Brangäne    Enid Szantho
Kurwenal / Melot    Daniel Harris
König Marke    John Gurney 

Monday, 7 March 2011

Tosca San Francisco 1932

The War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco

Muzio as Tosca
The opening of the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco was marked by a special broadcast of the first act of Tosca. The hour long program featured a 15-minute introductory commentary describing the new opera house, and was broadcast coast to coast, 8.30pm PST, 11.30pm EST. It is most notable for a unique chance to hear the famous Italian soprano Claudia Muzio live on stage.

Muzio died at the age of just 47 in 1936 and did not record any commercial discs between 1925 and 1934. This live recording catches her in her prime, and is a fascinating historical document, despite the sound limitations.



War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco
October 15, 1932

Puccini  - Tosca - Act I
Floria Tosca - Claudia Muzio
Mario Cavaradossi - Dino Borgioli
Il barone Scarpia - Alfredo Gandolfi
Il Sagristano - Louis D' Angelo
Cesare Angelotti - Marsden Argall
Spoletta - Marek Windheim

Conductor Gaetano Merola
Orchestra - San Francisco Opera
Chorus - San Francisco Opera


http://rapidshare.com/files/451387474/1932ToscaAct1.mp3