Barber Historic Performances 1938-53

A young Leontyne Price in glorious voice, and Barber’s no slouch, either

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Samuel Barber, Felix Mendelssohn, Francis Poulenc, Traditional, Henri(-Pierre) Sauguet, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Gabriel Fauré, Robert Schumann

Genre:

Vocal

Label: Bridge

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Mono
ADD

Catalogue Number: BRIDGE9156

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Nuvoletta Leontyne Price
Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber Composer
(12) Lieder Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber
Felix Mendelssohn Composer
(3) Métamorphoses Leontyne Price
Samuel Barber
Francis Poulenc Composer
Ce doux petit visage Leontyne Price
Francis Poulenc Composer
Samuel Barber
(4) Songs Samuel Barber
Leontyne Price
Samuel Barber Composer
Old woman, old woman, will you go a-shearing? Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber
Traditional Composer
Main dominée par le coeur Leontyne Price
Francis Poulenc Composer
Samuel Barber
Chi ti ci fa venir Traditional Composer
Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber
(La) Voyante Samuel Barber
Leontyne Price
Henri(-Pierre) Sauguet Composer
(21) Neue Lieder-Melodien nebst einer Cantate Samuel Barber
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Composer
Samuel Barber
(Der) Jüngling an der Quelle Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber
Franz Schubert Composer
(7) Lieder Samuel Barber
Johannes Brahms Composer
Samuel Barber
Zu dir zieht's mi hin Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber
Traditional Composer
O brother Greene, O come to me Traditional Composer
Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber
(3) Songs Leontyne Price
Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber Composer
(10) Hermit Songs Samuel Barber Composer
Samuel Barber
Leontyne Price
Miroirs brûlants Francis Poulenc Composer
Samuel Barber
Leontyne Price
(3) Songs Gabriel Fauré Composer
Samuel Barber
Leontyne Price
Miroirs brûlants Samuel Barber
Leontyne Price
Francis Poulenc Composer
Liederkreis Samuel Barber
Robert Schumann Composer
Samuel Barber
Batti, batti Traditional Composer
Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber
(4) Lieder Samuel Barber
Johannes Brahms Composer
Samuel Barber
O waly waly Traditional Composer
Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber
(3) Songs Leontyne Price
Samuel Barber Composer
Samuel Barber
Leontyne Price was on the threshold of her international career when she and Samuel Barber gave this, their first recital together, in Washington in October 1953. The main item was the world première of Barber’s Hermit Songs, based on Celtic texts from the 8th-12th centuries. The cycle, and the four other Barber songs, have been issued before (RCA, 8/94), but the other tracks are new to the catalogue.

The audience are obviously uncertain about the nature of song-cycles, and applaud after each item. This is distracting, but Price’s pristine voice (she was 26), combined with Barber’s sensitive accompaniment, make the songs flow with the mystery and humour that the poems demand. They made a studio recording of the cycle the following year (CBS, nla), but there is an added excitement about hearing this first performance.

Price recorded all but one of the Poulenc mélodies later with David Garvey (RCA, 5/93), but Sauguet’s cycle La Voyante is an addition to her discography. The verses about reading the cards and astral predictions, are by Nostradamus and Mme Lenormand, the Empress Josephine’s favourite fortune-teller. The original version was for soloist and chamber orchestra, which Price had already performed in New York, and the songs suit her soaring soprano. Although the voice sometimes overwhelms the microphone, the sound is excellent for a 51-year-old live event.

The 12 songs recorded by Barber, accompanying himself, in 1938 are quite a surprise. He had a beautiful voice, a sort of American Pierre Bernac. The sound here is variable, but there is more than just curiosity value.The two Tuscan folk songs are especially charming.

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