Legendary Voices

Author: 
Guest

Legendary Voices

  • (La) Sonnambula, ~, Ah! non giunge
  • (Lo) Schiavo, ~, L'importuna insistenza
  • (Lo) Schiavo, ~, Quando nascesti tu
  • Tosca, Vissi d'arte
  • Mademoiselle Modiste, Kiss me again
  • Mignon, ~, Elle ne croyait pas
  • Rigoletto, ~, Povero Rigoletto!
  • Rigoletto, ~, Cortigiani, vil razza dannata
  • Rigoletto, ~, Miei signori, perdono
  • Aida, ~, Ritorna vincitor!
  • Aida, ~, L'insana parola
  • Cavalleria rusticana, Mamma, quel vino è generoso.
  • Ernani, ~, Infelice! E tuo credevi
  • (Die) Zauberflöte, '(The) Magic Flute', In diesen heil'gen Hallen
  • Erlkönig
  • Myrthen, No. 7, Die Lotosblume (wds. Heine)
  • (Der) Ring des Nibelungen: Part 2, '(Die) Walküre', Du bist der Lenz
  • Tristan und Isolde, Mild und leise (Liebestod)
  • (La) Gioconda, Cielo e mar!
  • (Der) Bettelstudent, `(The) Beggar Student', Ich hab' kein Geld, bin vogelfrei
  • (L')Arlesiana, '(The) Girl from Arles', ~, Come due tizzi accesi
  • Eugene Onegin, Faint echo of my youth (Kuda, kuda, kuda vi udalils aria)

Nigel Douglas's book Legendary Voices (Deutsch: 1992) gives engagingly appreciative accounts of 14 favourite singers, coupling a biographical sketch, and sometimes personal reminiscences, with a survey of their recordings. As far as I have seen, it received favourable reviews, including one by myself (November 1991, page 14) and now, lucky man, he has had it illustrated in the best possible way with a well-chosen anthology on CD.
The aim has appeared to be quite simply to provide an attractive and representative example in each instance, rather than to follow specific comments in the book. For instance, the most recent of the chosen singers is Fritz Wunderlich and the book has comments on many of his records, but not on the recording of Lensky's aria, which is heard here. With Tetrazzini, the Sonnambula aria, ''Ah, non giunge'', is indeed mentioned in the book but in the context of a well-pointed comparison with the other aria ''Ah! non credea mirarti'' (she is ''enough of an actress to cavort through her expression of bliss with a totally different sheen on the voice''). To support the point, the disc would have needed to give both arias. But then, the writer's main intention with both the book and the record has been to ''infect a few people with the bug of enthusiasm'', and, thus infected, they can then go and look into Tetrazzini's recorded legacy more thoroughly for themselves.
The transfers are representative examples of the Nimbus method: they have a generous bloom, are often startlingly vivid, and derive from immaculate originals. Most of the items are well known, but some will perhaps come as a pleasant surprise—the choice of the wide-ranging solo from L'Arlesiana to represent Gobbi, for example, and the inclusion of Ponselle's item from Victor Herbert's Mademoiselle Modiste, which is enchanting if you have the patience to sit through the tra-la-la-ing and wait for the waltz.'

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019