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Newest Releases
Newest Winter releases are now available.

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RELEASES ON OUR OWN LABEL


Aida - Cigna / Gigli, La Scala (Berlin 1937)
Aida - Cigna debut w. Martinelli (Met 1937)
Un Ballo in Maschera Met 1940
Cosi Fan Tutte (Glyndebourne 1951)
Der Rosenkavalier (Met 1939)
Die Meistersinger REMASTER (Met 1936)
Die Walkure (Bodanzky) Met 1937
Die Meistersinger (Met 1939)
Doktor Faust (1959) / Arlecchino (1954)
Elektra (Rose Pauly) Philharmonic 1937
Fidelio (Toscanini 1944)
Gioconda, La (Met 1939)
Goetterdaemmerung Act II - Melchior(1938)
Goetterdaemmerung - Melchior (1948)
Gretchaninoff - Missa Oecumenica 1944
Idomeneo Glyndebourne Festival 1951
Jennie Tourel 1937-1961
Jurinac, Sena - Unknown Lieder
La Gioconda (Met 1939)
Lohengrin Met 1935 (Lehmann)
Lohengrin Met 1940 (Re-mastered)
Madama Butterfly / La Traviata (Albanese)
Mahler Symphony No. 8 (Salzburg 1960)
Meistersinger, Die REMASTER (Met 1936)
Meistersinger, Die (Met 1939)
Pagliacci Met 1934
Parsifal: Act I, Act III excerpts (1937/46)
Prince Igor (Lyric Opera of Chicago) 1962
Quartararo, Florence Unknown Recordings
Rigoletto – Callas (Mexico City) 1952
Romeo et Juliette - Gounod (Met 1947)
Rosenkavalier, Der (Met 1939)
Sena Jurinac - Unknown Lieder
Set Svanholm – Unknown Lieder
Simon Boccanegra Met 1939
Tannhauser Met 1936
Toscanini All Wagner Concert 1941
Toscanini - Brahms Cycle 1935
Toscanini - Fidelio (1944)
Toscanini - Lucerne Concerts (1946)
Toscanini - Missa Solemnis (1935)
Toscanini - NBC 1940/1944 Concerts
Toscanini - Philharmonic Feb./April 1936
Toscanini Philharmonic Feb./ Mar. 1936
Toscanini - Red Cross Benefit (1944)
Toscanini - Verdi Requiem (1938)
Traviata, La / Madama Butterfly (Albanese)
Tristan und Isolde (Beecham) 1937
Tristan und Isolde Act III Complete
Vinogradov - Volume 2
Walkure, Die (Bodanzky) Met 1937



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Verdi

Aida


Gina Cigna - Beniamino Gigli - Ebe Stignani - Ettore Nava - Tancredi Pasero


Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, in Berlin

Victor De Sabata, 22 June 1927


BONUS:

La Gioconda excerpts (1927,1934) and Arias sung by Gigli

Cigna - Gigli - Basiola - Pederzini; also Nicolai and Pasero


Cigna and Gigli’s best singing of these roles in a complete performance. Very good sound for the source. Act IV is a composite of 1937 & 1939 performances.



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3 CD set / $43.50

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Verdi

AIDA


Cigna Cigna - Giovanni Martinelli - Bruna Castagna - Carlo Morelli - Ezio Pinza

Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera

Ettore Panizza, 1937


GINA CIGNA MET DEBUT


This 1937 performance is justly celebrated and has been offered by other labels but never in the sonics heard in our 2012 restoration. Articles and biographies about the singers, 23 rare photos, broadcast commentary and curtain calls. Bonus: Martinelli talks about Radames and Verdi, plus little known Martinelli recordings from Aida and Act V of Faust recorded in 1926.



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3 CD set / $43.50

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Giuseppe Verdi

UN BALLO EN MASCHERA


Björling - Milanov - Svéd - Castagna - Moscona

Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera

Ettore Panizza, 1940


Our newest restoration with commentary and curtain calls.

Texts by Stephen Hastings, author of The Björling Sound. (2 CDs)


“…In this newly-restored recording Richard Caniell has done a magnificent job in recapturing the sound of the voices as projected in the opera house.”


Stephen Hastings
From the Program Notes



“My work to restore this Ballo was to enlarge the tonal values and recreate the dynamics between piano and forte, which the recording limiters flattened. Sound emerges that is comparable to commercial recordings of this era. What one hears documents beyond argument that Björling was among the greatest tenors of the previous century, and, in certain roles, the best voice ever heard in recordings. It has been a privilege for us to work on this and to share it with you as a part of the celebration of Verdi’s middle-period works.”


Richard Caniell
From the Recording Notes



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2 CD set / $29.00

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In Association with Brüder Busch Archiv

COSI FAN TUTTE


Chorus and Orchestra
of the Glyndebourne Festival
(5 July 1951)


Sena Jurinac, Richard Lewis, Marko Rothmueller, Sesto Bruscantini, Alice Howland, Isa Quensel


Conducted by Fritz Busch


New Edition in Superior Sonics


Our premiere release of this Cosi (Guild 2303) was given much critical acclaim, despite its inferior sonics, as the performance is among the most memorable on disc. Now we return with the same performance in superior sound in a restoration we made of the master held by the Busch Brother Archive in Germany and released under their authority. To hear Jurinac, Lewis and the others directed by Fritz Busch is one of the most delectable experiences one can have of this Mozart masterpiece. The booklet offers new texts on the singers and performance, an article about Mozart and Cosi and recording notes. This is one of the great performances - and shouldn't be missed on any account.


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2 CD set / $29.00

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Busoni

DOKTOR FAUST

Ambrosian Singers, London Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Richard Lewis, Heather Harper, John Cameron, Ian Wallace


Sir Adrian Boult

Royal Festival Hall, 13 November 1959


THE COMPLETE BROADCAST

and


Busoni

ARLECCHINO

Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and Orchestra

Kurt Gester, Ian Wallace, Geraint Evans, Fritz Ollendorff, Elaine Malbin, Murray Dickie


John Pritchard

July 1954


With a remarkable cast and superlative conducting by Sir Adrian Boult, this Doktor Faust is a cherishable performance preserved in good sound. Our album offers the entire broadcast with no break-offs (45 minutes more than LPO). Imposing and memorable; not to be missed.


The Glyndebourne 1954 Arlecchino is a slyly witty, marvelously sung, richly melodic, brilliantly orchestrated one act opera that many consider a masterpiece. As one music critic writes:


Arlecchino and Doktor Faust are quintessential Busoni and taken together, constitute his testament. Arlecchino is called a ‘comedy of masks’ and projects Busoni’s persona of wit, esprit and skepticism — divine sarcasm — in its briefest, most allusive manner . . . for concision and wealth of invention, Arlecchino does not suffer from comparison with Falstaff nor with the most mercurial pages of Berlioz.”


Adrian Corleonis
Fanfare


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LIBRETTOS:


Doktor Faust

Music and words by Ferruccio Busoni

Posthumous World Premiere, Dresden, 21 May 1925. Soloists were Erich Ponto, Theo Strack, and Meta Seinemeyer. Conducted by Fritz Busch. Click here to download the libretto (English translation by Edward J. Dent).


Arlecchino

Music and words by Ferruccio Busoni.

First performance 11 May 1917 in Zurich. Click here to download the libretto (English translation by Nicolai Rabaneck).



3 CD set / $43.50

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Richard Strauss

ELEKTRA

Concert Version

Philharmonic Symphony Society of New York


Rose Pauly

Szánthó, Boerner, Jagel, Huehn

21 March 1937

Artur Rodzinski, conductor


AND


ALL-STRAUSS CONCERT

Don Juan - Two Lieder - Salome Final Scene

Rose Pauly

New York Philharmonic


27 February 1938

John Barbirolli, conducting


Bonus:

Rose Pauly: Lieder and operatic arias


Stunning performance by Rose Pauly in best sound ever. CD-2 offers All Strauss 1938 Concert including Don Juan, two lieder and Salome Finale (with Pauly) conducted by Barbirolli. Bonus: rare 78s of Pauly.


From Henry Fogel’s review published in FANFARE magazine's Nov/Dec 2014 issue:


“ “. . . the performance of Elektra somewhat abridged by Rodzinski is the real reason for this set. Rose Pauly . . . was a hugely successful dramatic soprano in Germany in the 1930s, but had to leave as the Nazis rose to power . . . She made very few recordings, and so we don’t think of her in the same way we think of other great dramatic sopranos of her day and the next generation—Flagstad, Leider, Lawrence, Varnay, Borkh and then Nilsson. This Elektra and the astonishing Salome final scene from a New York Philharmonic concert with Barbirolli in 1938 make clear that she is of the same caliber as any of them. . . . (Her) vocal brilliance and steely power, combined with a sufficient warmth of tone to provide vocal beauty as well as sheer volume, are part of the picture. But of equal importance is her understanding and communication of the text. . . Her rage and hatred are reflected in her tone, as is the ecstasy when she recognizes her brother. For those to whom Elektra is an important work, it would be essential to get to know this recording.


“The excerpts from the 1938 all Strauss New York Philharmonic concert are valuable too, giving us more documentation of the art of John Barbirolli. . . the accompaniments to Pauly in the two songs (Verführung and Gesang der Apollopriesterin) are sensitive, and the singing is remarkably intimate . . . Then comes the other highlight of this set: the final scene from Salome. Pauly manages to convey the sense, through vocal color and phrasing, that this girl is indeed a teenager. At the same time, she rides the orchestra with power. This is one of the great recording performances of this scene.


“The excerpts from Die Ägyptische Helena are immensely valuable. . . The conducting strikingly beautiful—not surprising since it is Fritz Busch. These four scenes, as well as the Ford Hour broadcast from Detroit of Allerseelen with Reiner, are extremely gratifying extras in this set, as is the Fidelio aria.


“Immortal Performances’s usual high production standards apply. The transfers are all infinitely superior to what has been around before of this material. The essays by Caniell himself and by London Green are illuminating, stimulating, and models of what we would hope to find in historical re-issues but almost never do. And the artwork and photographs are up to the same level. The texts and translations of the two songs are given as well.



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2 CD set / $29.00
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ARTURO TOSCANINI


FIDELIO

Chorus and Orchestra of the NBC Symphony (Broadcasts 10 and 17 December 1944)


Rose Bampton, Jan Peerce, Eleanor Steber, Nicola Moscona, Herbert Janssen, Sidor Belarsky, Joseph Laderoute


Full Spoken Dialogue

Original broadcast with commentary


Bonus: Leonore No. 2, 25 September 1945


Rose Bampton: Radio Interview


The Toscanini broadcast of Fidelio, though celebrated on many grounds was also deplored because broadcast scheduling required that the dialogue be omitted. Here at last is the ultimate edition with the dialogue restored, together with the original Abscheulicher (we replaced the bad note sung by Bampton). RCA Victor, in their release, replaced the entire aria with a later recording (sung without an audience) in its LP/CD release. Our release includes full broadcast commentary and ovations. The booklet offers texts about the singers and performance, extensive recording notes and rare photos. The bonus is a dynamic performance of the Leonore No. 2 taken from a 1944 concert that was not broadcast. The concluding bonus is an interview with Rose Bampton in which she talks about the occasion Toscanini selected her to sing Leonore.


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2 CD set / $29.00

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A TRULY REPRESENTATIVE PERFORMANCE FROM THE LATTER DAYS OF THE GOLDEN AGE AT THE MET


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LA GIOCONDA

Chorus & Orchestra of the
Metropolitan Opera

30 December 1939


Milanov, Martinelli, Castagna, Morelli, Moscona, Kaskas

Ettore Panizza, conductor


Bonus:

Never Previously Published:

Interview with Zinka Milanov, 1959


Also: Martinelli speaks of Martinelli

and

Ponchielli’s I Lituani: Finale to Act III


The 1939 Met broadcast offered some of the most memorable singing by Milanov ever recorded. This, with the plenitude of Martinelli’s Enzo recreates the opera with stirring dramatic eloquence. Offers the best sound, with commentary by Milton Cross. 3 CD set with a 40 page booklet, an article about the performance (by John Steane) and the composer (by Richard Caniell), as well as a full track-related synopsis, biographies and rare photographs. A great memento of a much revered era.


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3 CD set / $43.50

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Wagner

GOETTERDAEMMERUNG

Act II complete


Lauritz Melchior - Frida Leider - Herbert Janssen - Ludwig Weber

Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden

Wilhelm Furtwangler, 1938


The complete Act II with the most illustrious Wagnerian singers of the age conducted by Furtwängler in an electrifying realization. Very good sound, extensive booklet notes and photos. Includes as Bonus: Frida Leider sings two operatic arias, brief interview and two songs of Schumann.



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1 CD set / $14.50

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FROM THE “OPERA HOUSE OF OUR DREAMS” SERIES



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GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG

Chorus & Orchestra of the
Metropolitan Opera


MELCHIOR MEMORIAL


LAURITZ MELCHIOR - HELEN TRAUBEL

Janssen, Resnik, Harshaw
Ernster and Pechner

Various Conductors


Commentary by Milton Cross


Bonus:


Interview with Lauritz Melchior in his 80s



Click here to see back of album


A much laboured upon restoration and re-creation of Melchior’s final performance as Siegfried which occurred on 20 December 1948 at the Metropolitan Opera. Superb sound overall. This 4 CD set comes with a 56 page booklet, with articles about the performance and the composer, as well as a full track-related synopsis, biographies and rare photographs. An unforgettable memento of the final days of the Wagner Golden Age at the Met.


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4 CD set / $58.00

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Gretchaninoff

Missa Oecumenica

World Premiere


Maria Kurenko - Roland Hayes - Dorothy Cornish - Robert Collins

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Serge Koussevitzky, 26 February 1944


Never previously available in any medium. Good sound.


ALSO:

Gretchaninoff Songs

Maria Kurenko - Nina Koshetz

With the composer at the piano


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1 CD set / $14.50

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Mozart's

IDOMENEO

complete

Glyndebourne Festival 1951

Sena Jurinac - Richard Lewis - Birgit Nilsson - Leopold Simoneau


FRITZ BUSCH

In Association with Bruder Busch Archiv


Fritz Busch was a masterful conductor and his performances at Glyndebourne during 1950 and 1951 are each unforgettable events. This Idomeneo, which followed his incomparable Cosi fan Tutte, both starred Sena Jurinac. The Idomeneo performance cast her with Leopold Simoneau and Richard Lewis, while Birgit Nilsson is heard in her first appearance outside Sweden. This album offers our restoration of Idomeneo, made for the Bruder Busch Archiv in Germany, under whose authorization it is now released. With extensive program notes and rare photos, we also offer a bonus (disc premiere) of the rehearsal of a Mozart Concert Aria sung by Jurinac with Busch conducting. Heard in good sound, this is a Mozart operatic treat music lovers can't afford to miss.


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2 CD set / $29.00

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JENNIE TOUREL

Unknown and Little Known Performances

1937-1961


— PREMIERE RELEASE —

Thomas - Mahler - Bizet - Bellini - Rossini


Standard Hour Concerts

Saint-Saëns - Tchaikovksy - Stradella - Rossini - Berlioz


Chausson : Poème de L’Amour et de la Mer, Op. 19


Haydn: Arianna a Naxos


Berlioz: La Mort de Cléopâtre


As Peter Davis wrote of Jennie Tourel in his book American Opera Singers (when considering her debut as Mignon): “. . . her vibrant voice, with its familiar, intriguing tang and pungency already securely in place, takes all the soprano options with stunning results. And in every measure, there is the distinctive, musical and interpretive intelligence that discerning audiences would soon learn to treasure.”


Davis, then a young man, attending a recital Tourel gave in a Boston Concert Hall during the fifties, told his readers that Tourel sang “a program of art songs and arias employing an extraordinary range of vocal colors and expressive dynamics, illuminating every emotion from Gretchen’s heartbreak to Périchole’s tipsy joie de vivre.”


From Henry Fogel’s article written for our booklet:


“Bizet, Rossini, Mahler, Chausson, Bellini, Haydn, Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Offenbach, Stradella. The list of singers who would be comfortable in such a broad range of musical and dramatic styles is a very small list indeed. By “comfortable” I don’t mean just singing the notes. What I am talking about is conveying the appropriate musical style – everything from phrase-shaping to color and weight of voice and dynamic range – for each of those composers. One singer who easily passes that test is Jennie Tourel.


“The opportunity in this set to hear Tourel in such a wide range of material gives the listener a chance to re-assess her, and, frankly, brings a new appreciation of her artistry and her natural vocal strengths.”


3 CD set / $43.50

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INTRODUCING OUR FAMOUS VOICES FROM THE PAST SERIES


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SENA JURINAC

UNKNOWN LIEDER RECORDINGS

1944-1951


Greig, Respighi, Wagner, Schubert, Mendelssohn, R. Strauss, Marx, Reger


Also


R. Strauss Four Last Songs

Radio Copenhagen / Fritz Busch

1951 (Never before published)



OPERATIC ARIAS AND DUETS

1949-1952

Gasparone - Fledermaus - Nozze - Carmen - Bohème
Madame Butterfly - Bartered Bride - Otello - Manon


One of the great voices of the latter half of the past century. Jurinac is heard in previously unknown recordings of lieder, recorded between 1945 and 1951. The second CD is composed of arias and duets from famous operas. Includes an article about Sena Jurinac by Tully Potter, “The Early Prime of Sena Jurinac: A Personal View”. First in a new series.


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CLICK HERE for German texts and translations of most of the Unknown Leider (Sena Jurinac) on CD 1.


2 CD set / $29.00

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Wagner

LOHENGRIN


Melchior - Lehmann - Schorr - Lawrence - List

Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera 1935

Artur Bodanzky, 1935


In Honor of the Wagner Bicentennial


This historic performance is heard in our 2013 restoration in superior sound to all previously released CD albums by various labels, though it still is afflicted with the compressed 1935 transmission characteristics. Our restoration is taken from the original transcription, with broadcast commentary and curtain calls, and offers a booklet containing extensive articles about the performance, singers, and composer, together with rare photos. Truly, the ultimate edition.


From Henry Fogel’s review, Fanfare Nov/Dec 2013:


"This is another stunning restoration of historic material by Richard Caniell and Immortal Performances . . . He has worked on it over many years.


"Lehmann's voice is positively thrilling throughout . . . a performance of nobility and humanity . . . conveyed here in a wholly convincing manner, and with unfailingly glorious tone production and phrasing. Marjorie Lawrence is a splendid Ortrud. . . . Schorr's voice shows a few signs of wear . . . but the flaws are minor when compared with the depth of his characterization and deep musicality of his singing, and the variety of inflection and color he brings to Telramund. . . . Assessing Melchior's performance, this is the very best of those that have survived.


"A direct comparison of this (album) with the Myto and the Melodram releases of the same performance demonstrate the superiority of the Immortal Performances release. . . The set also includes Milton Cross’s commentary and curtain calls.


"The filler includes the end of the first act of Die Walküre, from their “Dream Ring” (with Melchior and Lehmann) . . . that is as good as it gets. . . and then five Schumann duets . . . English texts are provided . . . with singing that is as beautiful as you would expect it to be from Melchior and Lehmann.”



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3 CD set / $43.50

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Wagner

Lohengrin


Lauritz Melchior, Elisabeth Rethberg

Kerstin Thorborg - Julius Huehn - Emanuel List - Leonard Warren


Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera

Erich Leinsdorf, 1940


From new sources with commentary.

The Original Broadcast


Perhaps the best sounding example of this music drama as heard during the latter days of the Golden Age of Wagner at the Met, this broadcast offers the finest Lohengrin of the century, Lauritz Melchior, heard with Elisabeth Rethberg, who give an electrifying performance as Elsa. The searing intensity of her singing in the Bridal Chamber scene won’t soon be forgotten.


We finally located a first transfer of the original broadcast transcriptions, which includes the commentary by Milton Cross and curtain calls. The superiority we heard over our previous Guild release (2004), included noiseless full-toned sonics delivering considerable clarity and impact. This led us to release this broadcast anew. We can say with certainty, this is the ultimate edition.


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3 CD set / $43.50

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MAHLER SYMPHONY NO. 8

Symphony of a Thousand

Mimi Coertse - Hilde Zadek - Ina Maliniuk Lucrezia West - Giuseppe Zampiere - Herman Prey - Otto Edelmann


Conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos


Vienna State Opera Chorus

Singverein Gesellshaft der Musikfreuke, Vienna


Vienna Boys Choir - Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra


Salzburg Festival 1960


One of the great performances of Mahler’s monumental work in an edition that soars in sonic splendor over all the previous editions we have auditioned. This offering retains the four-language commentary from the Salzburg Festival recreating the historic occasion when Mahler’s greatest work was broadcast throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Africa, the US, Canada and South America. The bonus offers the andante movement from Mahler’s Sixth Symphony and the final movement of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony also conducted by Mitropoulos. The booklet offers texts about the performance, the composer and the work together with extensive recording notes. This really is the ultimate edition.


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2 CD set / $29.00

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Wagner

Die Meistersinger


Friedrich Schorr - Elisabeth Rethberg - René Maison- Karin Branzell - Eduard Habich


Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera

Artur Bodanzky, 22 February 1936


Our 2013 restoration of this famed broadcast now offers good sound for this era and source. Includes commentary and curtain calls, extensive notes and rare photos; one of the truly great performances!


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3 CD set / $43.50

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DIE MEISTERSINGER

Chorus & Orchestra of the
Metropolitan Opera
(2 December 1939)


Schorr, Kullman, Jessner, Branzell, Laufkoetter / Leinsdorf


Friedrich Schorr’s famed performance as Hans Sachs and Charles Kullman’s justly famed Walther (which he first sang under Toscanini’s direction at Salzburg in 1936) is recorded in splendid sound, perhaps the best of all Met preservations in the 1930s and ­­1940s. Irene Jessner emerges as a surprisingly memorable Eva, with singing occasionally reminiscent of Tiana Lemnitz and, in Act III, Rethberg. List, Karin Branzell, Herbert Janssen and Karl Laufkoetter complete the cast. The young Leinsdorf directs an animated, propulsive and ultimately triumphant performance in which the Met chorus covers itself with glory. The overall effect is immensely inspiring, so much so that the broadcast (with complete commentary and curtain calls) seems representative of the entire era. A 52-page booklet, lavish with photos, offers texts about the work, the performances, and the composer, biographies and extensive recording notes.


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3 CD set / $43.50

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Leoncavallo

PAGLIACCI

Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera


Martinelli, Tibbett, Mario, Cehanvosky, Tedesco


10 March 1934

Vincenzo Bellezza, conductor


and


PAGLIACCI

  Recitar! (Martinelli) Vitaphone 1927

Final scene Chicago Opera, 1940

Martinelli, Zaplicki / Abravanel


IL TROVATORE

Met 15 February 1936

Act II, Sc. 1; Act IV portion; Act IV, sc. 2 complete

Martinelli, Rethberg, Bonelli, Meisle / Papi


Bonus: Interview with Martinelli and Albanese


GOOD SOUND FOR THIS ERA


From Henry Fogel’s review published in FANFARE magazine's Nov/Dec 2014 issue:


“I have only been familiar with this 1934 Met Pagliacci on a dismal Walhall transfer, and found I could never get through it. What we have here is miraculous. . . . Caniell has cleaned up the material superbly — fixing pitch inconsistencies, bringing out real color from the voices, and reversing serious dynamic compression.


“There is another Martinelli Pagliacci, from 1936, but with Bonelli instead of Tibbett, and yet another from 1941 with Tibbett. But Martinelli surpasses himself here in 1934; this is the one to hear. . . the sound has plenty of ring, and he knew the style as almost no one else did. His sense of how to shape the music was innate and deeply held within him, and his willingness to give everything he had in performance made his appearances real events. . . This is a truly great performance, one that merits the over-used word “unique.”. . . I found myself swept up from his entrance to the opera’s conclusion.


“Tibbett is the other major asset of this performance. His is a richly sung and highly dramatic Tonio. Not only the Prologue, but the duet with Nedda is a true highlight.


“This is a performance of rare dramatic fire and with musical thrills galore, lovingly and brilliantly restored. If you care at all about Pagliacci and/or the verismo operatic tradition, you must know this performance, and only in this transfer.


“The other Pagliacci excerpts are valuable (the restoration of the 1927 Vitaphone recording shows us the younger Martinelli and reproduces the voice with remarkable color). . . The Trovatore excerpts (one scene is not from the Met but from a 1927 Vitaphone recording) are further illustration of Martinelli’s skill, and his ability to sing lyrically when the music requires. Rethberg and Bonelli are excellent. . . the restoration is as good as it gets. The 18-minute interview with Martinelli and Albanese . . . is a wonderful additional bonus. As usual, the notes and photos that accompany the discs are all one could ask for.”



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2 CD set / $29.00
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NEVER BEFORE AVAILABLE

PARSIFAL

Act I complete

Teatro Colon 1946


Torsten Ralf, Emanuel List, Herbert Janssen, Rose Bampton, Jorge Danton


Conducted by Erich Klieber


Also: Parsifal

Act I: Prelude and Transformation Scene to the end of the act

Act III: Good Friday Scene to the end of the act


Covent Garden 1937 / Vienna 1949


Torsten Ralf, Ludwig Weber, Herbert Janssen, Robert Easton


Conducted by Fritz Reiner / Rudolf Moralt


Also Parsifal: Rare 78 rpm discs


The album opens with a disc premiere of a 1946 Teatro Colón performance of Act I (complete) with Torsten Ralf, Emanuel List, Herbert Janssen and Rose Bampton conducted by Erich Kleiber in somewhat cramped sonics. Thereafter, in great sound, ensues a Parsifal from Covent Garden 1937. This includes the Prelude, the Transformation Scene through to the end of Act I; Act III: The Good Friday Scene to the end of Act III. Gurnemanz is marvelously sung by Ludwig Weber, Torsten Ralf is Parsifal and Herbert Janssen’s much-celebrated performance as Amfortas communicates the reasons why he was so revered in this role. The bonus recordings offer rare 78s from Parsifal. The booklet offers extensive texts about the work, the composer and the singers together with rare pictorials and extensive recording notes. We believe this to be an edition that will be much cherished by connoisseurs of vocal art.


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3 CD set / $43.50
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Borodin

PRINCE IGOR

Completed by Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov

Lyric Opera of Chicago


Boris Christoff – Igor Gorin

Consuelo Rubio, David Poleri, others

Rudolf Nureyev & Sonia Arova in the Polovtsian Dances

12 October 1962

Oskar Danon, conductor


Bonus


IGOR GORIN

Arie Antiche and Radio Interview


Gala performance included Nureyev in the Polovtsian Dances. Good sound, broadcast commentary; rare photos. Bonus: Interview w/Igor Gorin who sings Arie Antiche


From Henry Fogel’s review published in FANFARE magazine's Nov/Dec 2014 issue:


“ The principal value of this important release is Gorin’s Igor, a towering achievement vocally and dramatically. His rich, resonant, firmly focused voice is based on an extremely sound technique, and he sings with presence and character. Those who really love this opera should know this performance, which is as richly characterized and beautifully sung as any.


“In addition to Gorin, this performance boasts Boris Christoff in the dual roles of Galitsky and Konchak . . . In his excellent notes, producer Richard Caniell notes that Christoff is not in quite as firm voice as he was on his earlier EMI Boris Gudonov recording. That may be true, but he sounds pretty good to me here, and with much firmer tones than he shows on the later EMI set.


“There is one more highlight in Prince Igor, and that is the tenor David Poleri’s sensitive and lovely singing here. This version of Vladimir’s Cavatina can stand with some of the finest.


“So the monumental presence of Christoff and the rich Prince of Gorin are the reasons for serious collectors to explore this set. That is especially true because of the added bonus of a 1961 studio recording originally on the Golden Crest label called Arie antiche, with Gorin accompanied very nicely by pianist Willard Straight. . . . A brief interview rounds out the Gorin material here.


“As usual, Immortal Performances’s production standards are top of the line. The notes are both informative and interesting . . . overall this is a natural sounding early 1960s monaural radio broadcast, and for this kind of material the sound is really terrific.”



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FLORENCE QUARTARARO

Unknown Recordings - Arias - Duets


The Complete Collection


”The greatest singer of whom you’ve never heard.”

Henry fogel, WMFT radio


Here are all the privately recorded songs, arias and duets from Madame Quartararo’s collection, one third of which was published by us on Guild label in 2003 to widespread acclaim. Now, following repeated requests we publish the remainder of the recordings we hold (2 CDs) together with a free third CD re-offering the recordings we previously released on CD. The album was the subject of a radio program in August 2013 on WFMT in Chicago. The host of that program also wrote the notes for our album.


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Verdi

RIGOLETTO


Piaro Campolonghi - Maria Callas - Giuseppe Di Stefano

Opera Nacional, Mexico City

Humberto Mugnai, 1952


THE CALLAS LEGACY


Our 2012 restoration of this important performance offers vivid sound with considerable clarity and immediacy, revealing a shining loveliness to Callas’ voice previously absent due to a loss of overtones and the wrong pitch of numerous available albums. Includes two extensive articles about Callas. The broadcast transcriptions, with commentary in Spanish, offer natural tone, brightness and punch in the sonics. Please Note: A few performance failures marred this broadcast. These mishaps have been corrected in this restoration. Full details are to be found in the album booklet.


From Henry Fogel's review, Fanfare Nov./Dec. 2012:


"Callas’s remarkable Gilda is this Mexico City performance from the beginning of her career, which imparts a special value to this release. . . especially when they learn that the sound is significantly superior to all prior versions . . . Even Myto’s, which was the best CD version, is easily surpassed by Richard Caniell’s efforts for his Immortal Performances label."


"The Inn scene with Sparafucile, Maddalena, and Gilda was a wreck in the original. . . [something] one cannot live with on repeated hearing in recorded form. . . [Caniell] replaced it with the same music from the EMI . . . and explains openly what he did in his superb notes . . . he has pulled it off brilliantly, getting the EMI sound to match the Mexico recording extremely well. He includes the Inn Scene material from the original as a bonus track, if anyone wishes to hear the mess."


"Caniell’s notes about this performance, and about his approach to restoration, are a model of what kind of material should accompany historic reissues but rarely does."



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Gounod

ROMEO ET JULIETTE


Chorus and Orchestra of the
Metropolitan Opera (1 February 1947)


Jussi Bjoerling, Bidu Sayao, John Brownlee, Nicola Moscona, Mimi Benzell


Conducted by Emil Cooper


Bonus: Romeo e Giulietta

Act II complete

La Scala 1934

Beniamino Gigli and Mafalda Favero


This justly celebrated performance, which presents Bjoerling and Sayão at the height of their vocal and dramatic capacities, has been well circulated through numerous releases including the Met’s own edition, offered for $125, but none of them come near the sonics of our edition. The album includes the broadcast commentary and offers a booklet lavish with photos and texts devoted to the singers, performance, composer and work as well as biographies and recording notes. As a bonus a premiere release of the complete performance of Act II of Romeo which was broadcast from La Scala in 1934 with Gigli and Mafalda Favero in sound superior to what has been previous made available (in excerpted form) by EMI and others. Hearing Bjoerling and Gigli in the same music presents a fascinating contrast in great singing and style.


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Richard Strauss

DER ROSENKAVALIER


Lotte Lehmann

Risë Stevens - Marita Farell - Emanuel List - Friedrich Schorr - others

Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera

Artur Bodanzky, 1939



Though the source remains an A.M. radio recording, our 2012 restoration offers better sound than previously available, together with with some commentary and 2 interviews with Lotte Lehmann, as well as 34 rare photographs of the stage performance, articles about the singers and biographies. The bonus offers historic recordings from Der Rosenkavalier (1928-29).


From Henry Fogel’s review, Fanfare May/June 2013:


"Richard Caniell’s restoration of this 1939 broadcast surpasses all previous issues in quality, even including the Met’s own lavishly produced (and lavishly priced) LP set. The sound is fuller, the voices truer and more natural, the sonic grit minimized to a degree I would not have thought possible . . . The sound is now listenable to anyone with an ear attuned to “historic” recordings, in a way that it never has been.


"So why can you not be without this? Primarily, but not solely, Lotte Lehmann in one of her greatest roles, caught in terrific voice and in a real performance. . . . Her Marschallin is one of the truly great operatic characterizations, worthy of mention with Chaliapin’s Boris and Caruso’s Canio, and to have it in this form is to have a treasure. In addition we get the young Risë Stevens’s deftly characterized and beautifully sung Octavian, a relatively unknown Sophie in Marita Farell, but one who sings with the pure silver tone this music wants.


"This is a hugely important release to anyone who cares about this opera; even if you have the performance in an earlier incarnation, replacement is urgently recommended."



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SET SVANHOLM

Unknown Lieder Recitals

1949 & 1952


Schubert - Brahms - R. Strauss - Rangström - Grieg- Sibelius -Wagner

Scenes from Tristan und Isolde (1950) and Die Meistersinger (1949, 1956)


Svanholm, famed in Wagnerian roles, is presented here in two little known lieder recitals, U.S. (1949) and Vienna (1952), providing new insights into his vocal art. A new release in our Famous Voices of the Past series.


From Raymond Beegle's review, Fanfare May/June 2012:


"Although Set Svanholm is several years younger than Karl Erb, they represent the same Zeitgeist, comprised in part, of simplicity and directness, as well as a deep connection with nature and the human heart. One finds a kindred clarity, brilliance, and beauty of sound, a helden quality . . . . "


"Svet Svanholm’s two recitals presented on this disc are very compelling, and at times magical. There are moments approaching perfection, as in the Library of Congress performance of Dein blaues Aug although one encounters throughout both performances chronic technical difficulties . . . The purity and sincerity of Svanholm’s delivery carries the day . . . No one today sings the songs of Schubert and Brahms with the depth and guilelessness he possessed, though many are more polished. "



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Verdi

SIMON BOCCANEGRA


Tibbett - Rethberg - Martinelli - Pinza – Warren

Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera

Ettore Panizza, 1939


In Honor of the Verdi Bicentennial


This renowned performance has been repeatedly released on CD by many labels, all being clones of the Met set. This means highly compressed, lifeless sound with a metallic resonance. Our 2013 restoration offers the best sonics ever available with considerable vocal presence, natural tone and dimensionalization of the ensembles so as to recreate in dynamic values, one of the most exciting and truly great performances of the late 1930s.


From Henry Fogel’s review, Fanfare Nov/Dec 2013:


"Until now, this 1939 Met broadcast could only be recommended to collectors who had a wide tolerance for “historic” sound. What Richard Caniell of Immortal Performances has done here is close to miraculous. . . . The dynamic range has been extended, removing the effects of electronic compression. (Surface) noise has been removed without removing color from the voices; and the whole jumps out of the speakers as the incredible performance that it is.


"Tibbett is gigantic as Boccanegra. . . this is one of the great operatic portrayals ever, period . . . the same can be said about Pinza. Beauty of tone, nobility of expression, strength and eloquence, it is all there. Rethberg perhaps gains the most from Caniell’s remastering. . . her voice glows with a warmth that previous editions of this performance managed to minimize. Martinelli's feeling for the style is complete, he has power, and he also has the ability to moderate his voice and sing softly . . . There are moments that are truly thrilling, alongside moments where one wishes for more tonal beauty . . . . But the greatness of the artist is always present when Martinelli sings.


"Immortal Performances’s usual stunning production standards are present. The booklet contains intelligent, thoughtful notes on the performance and the artists, wonderful rare old photos, and insightful comments on the opera itself. Real Verdi lovers . . . would be quite foolish to pass this one up. It provides operatic thrills that frankly none of the studio recordings can duplicate, not even the best of them."



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Wagner

TANNHÄUSER

Melchior, Flagstad, Thorborg, Tibbett, others


Metropolitan Opera

18 January 1936

Artur Bodanzky, conductor


Also:


TANNHÄUSER

Act III Complete

Melchior, Müller, Janssen, Jost-Arden

Chorus and Orchestra of the Bayreuth Theater

Karl Elmendorff and other conductors


A recreation of the 1930/1931 Bayreuth performances restoring all the music cut in the Columbia recording. See more details at the bottom of the review section for this release


Best sound over all other editions. Includes articles about the composer, the work, singers & performance.


From Henry Fogel’s review published in FANFARE magazine's Nov/Dec 2014 issue:


“To have in one performance, even if it existed only in our dreams, Melchior, Flagstad, Thorborg, Tibbett, and List is to have as close to a Wagnerian ideal as there is. . . .The key to any performance of Tannhäuser is the tenor in the title role, and it is doubtful that there was ever a better one than Melchior. Seven Met broadcasts exist in some form featuring the great Dane, most having been released on multiple labels . . . Of those, I am familiar with 1941 (on Arkadia CDs), 1942 (Music & Arts), 1944 (Gebhardt), and 1948 (Myto). In all cases the transfers are not very good, exhibiting pitch problems, muffled sound leading to colorless voices, and dynamic compression.


“For this transfer . . . Caniell has gotten a far superior, more natural, orchestral and vocal sound from the material than is even heard on some of the other labels’ later performances. What we have here sounds like the voices we know from later studio recordings, caught in the heat of performance.


“Melchior was as good as it gets in this fiendishly (difficult) role, retaining freshness of voice throughout the opera and characterizing the music with more specificity and dramatic meaning than he is usually credited with. The sound itself is glorious, his ability to sing an even, gentle legato and then to let his voice peal forth with glorious power without ever losing richness of tone is unique to him among Heldentenors. Captured here in his prime, he gives a performance to treasure.


“This is the only recording Tibbett left of a complete German role . . . and if there has ever been a Wolfram with a richer or more beautiful timbre I have not encountered him. He, like Melchior, is capable of a seamless legato, and his singing of the Hymn to the Evening Star has far more of a face to it than his studio recording.


“Flagstad too contradicts the clichés about her glorious voice being married to a too stolid temperament. She sings with variety of color and dynamic shadings, and inflects with specificity in a way that brings Elisabeth vividly to life. And indeed that voice is something of a miracle of nature in its glow and evenness from top to bottom.


“The principal issue in this Tannhäuser is Margaret Halstead’s Venus, a completely unacceptable singer in the company of Melchior, Flagstad, Tibbett, and List. She was apparently a last-minute substitute for Gertrude Wettergren. Caniell has substituted Kerstin Thorborg from a 1941 Met broadcast . . . The insertions are extremely natural and smooth, sonically and musically, and one is not jarred. For those who wonder about the justification for this kind of technical wizardry, Caniell has inserted after the conclusion of the first act some excerpts of Halstead’s performance. It is fairly gruesome singing, with intonation problems and a hollowness of sound that is really hard on the ear. What is particularly impressive is that instead of just lifting Thorborg/Melchior from 1941, because he wanted to keep Melchior from 1936 (where Thorborg wasn’t present) he had to keep switching between the two performances when they sang sequentially. That one cannot hear it is an impressive achievement. ”


“Thorborg’s rich vocal colors and sensitive shaping of Venus’s music more than justifies Caniell’s decision to bring her in from 1941 to remove the disastrous Halstead. None of the insertions are audible, and if we weren’t told . . . we would never realize that this was not a single performance.


“The individual bonus recordings speak for themselves—all are famous among collectors, and all have been restored lovingly and beautifully. . . As is normal for Immortal Performances, there are excellent notes about the opera itself, the singers involved, and the history of the recording as well as insights into the thought processes of Caniell in putting this together. ”



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ARTURO TOSCANINI


NBC Symphony Orchestra

All Wagner Benefit Concert


Lauritz Melchior - Helen Traubel

Carnegie Hall - 22 February 1941

Lohengrin - Tannhäuser - Die Walküre

Götterdämmerung


Bonus: Rienzi Overture, The Flying Dutchman Overture (with rehearsal segment), Tannhäuser Prelude to Act III (Original full length version)

Three discs for the price of two


Remastered from a new source with a substantial improvement in sonics over our previous Guild Music release. Plus: two rehearsal portions from Die Walküre. Bonus: Overture to Rienzi, Flying Dutchman rehearsal & broadcast, Tannhäuser Prelude Act III


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ARTURO TOSCANINI


BRAHMS CYCLE 1935

Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York


Concerts of 24 February, 17 March, 31 March, 7 April


Derived from private recordings that have preserved four of the six concerts that were broadcast, our restoration offers Heifetz in the Violin Concerto and Horowitz in the First Piano Concerto, among many other works. On-pitch transfers with best sound. Another valuable addition to our Toscanini Legacy series.


From Colin Clarke’s review published in FANFARE magazine's Nov/Dec 2014 issue:


“As a window into Toscanini’s fire-hot Brahms, this can hardly be bettered. . . . There is more impetuosity in the orchestral contributions to the Heifetz account of the violin concerto, which acts as an indispensable complement to that violinist’s Boston and Chicago commercial accounts. The warmth, both orchestrally and from the solo, comes through the intervening years. The violin (sound) is excellently preserved here. . . .


“Matching the high level of soloist for the violin concerto is Vladimir Horowitz for the First Piano Concerto. . . sonic problems here are particularly intrusive . . . yet, on the other side of the coin, the gossamer strings of the central slow movement serve surprisingly well . . . If the soloist and conductor are (famously perhaps) not ideally matched, there is plenty of fire from both in the finale. . . . this remains a stimulating and unmissable performance.


“Toscanini followers will need no prompting to purchase this set. The sterling work at Immortal Performances continues.”



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LUCERNE CONCERTS

La Scala Orchestra


BEETHOVEN - WAGNER - R. STRAUSS

TOSCANINI

5, 7 July 1946


The 7th of July Concert, published complete for the first time, is in excellent sound. This album also includes a performance of Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration, professionally recorded at the Festival. (It is erroneously stated in our booklet material that this Death and Transfiguration is a world premiere – we have since learned this is not the case.) The bonus offers two performances: Smetana’s The Moldau and Strauss’ Don Juan from the 1949 Venice Music Festival in less good sonics. Booklet text concerning the performances, recording notes and photos, combine to present a vivid aural portrait of Toscanini’s first European performances after the war.


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RARE RECORDINGS FROM THE NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC SERIES


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ARTURO TOSCANINI

Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra
of New York

28 April 1935


MISSA SOLEMNIS


Martinelli, Rethberg, Telva, Pinza


Chorus of the Schola Cantorum


Bonus:

1935 Met Simon Boccanegra

Act I, Scene 1 complete

Rethberg, Martinelli, Pinza, Tibbett



Harvey Sachs , in his famed book about Toscanini, writes of the three Philharmonic performances of the music that they were:


“ . . . of breathtaking depth and majesty; they are
relaxed and flexible yet precise and fluent”


This important performance, previously published in exceedingly poor, off-pitch sound, is here offered in a sonically restored edition. The booklet text is by John Steane, the article about the composer and the Missa is by Richard Caniell, as are the extensive Recording Notes. The bonus offers the complete Act I, Scene 1 of Simon Boccanegra, Met 1935, a conjunction suggested by Mr. Steane as an interesting contrast in hearing two performances by Martinelli, Rethberg and Pinza in the same year. The album also offers two short interviews with Rethberg and Martinelli about their experience with Toscanini, together with photos of the singers in both broadcasts making this an album to treasure.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: COMPLETELY REMASTERED DISCS

The 1935 Missa Solemnis conducted by Toscanini means the world to our Sound Engineer, Richard Caniell, and he has spent untellable hours, weeks, from month to month over the past three years on it. Now, after we released it and it’s been reviewed and purchased by many music lovers, he nonetheless kept returning to it, hoping to yet improve its sonics. Recently he achieved a significant break-through in sound improvement – in clarity, in tone, in the divisions between the choral voices and the orchestra, and in more natural sound (which was greatly injured by the private recording and AM transmission). We now offer this re-mastered version and we will provide the remastered discs free of charge with any order you make of other albums, or, strictly for the cost of postage to mail the discs to you. (Contact us.)

(Click here to read the full details.)


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ARTURO TOSCANINI


NBC Symphony Orchestra

Two Complete Concerts


20 April 1940 Concert

Elgar: Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Op. 47

Mozart: Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter” in C Major, K. 551

Dvorak: Scherzo Capriccioso, Op. 66

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition


9 April 1944 Concert

Wagner: Parsifal Prelude and Good Friday Spell

Mendelssohn: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor, Op. 64

Jascha Heifetz, violin


Bonus: Rehearsals for the 20 April 1940 Concert


Very good sound, includes a free third CD of rehearsal portions of the four works heard on 20 April 1940. The 9 April 1944 Wagner has improved sound and the Mendelssohn Violin concerto (Heifetz) is on pitch.


From David Canfield’s review published in FANFARE magazine's Nov/Dec 2014 issue:


“This set is recommended highly, and not only to Toscanini enthusiasts who will particularly welcome its issuance, but to all aficionados of great conducting and historical musical documents.


“The sound is rich and full, and rather astonishing for the technology of the era, given its presence and vitality.


“The Elgar Introduction and Allegro that opens the concert is a vibrant reading, with the solo string quartet of the NBC orchestra playing with almost a Heifetz-like intensity. . . Toscanini extracts every ounce of passion from his forces in this dynamic performance.


“Toscanini reduced the size of his string section for the following “Jupiter” Symphony of Mozart to maintain proper balance between the sections. . . . Every line herein is clearly delineated and every woodwind interjection clearly audible in Toscanini’s meticulous balancing. [My] colleague [Mortimer] Frank is quoted in the program notes as preferring this performance of the “Jupiter” to the two later Toscanini readings captured on tape, calling this performance ‘free from excessive haste, texturally transparent, and remarkably flexible in rhythm.’ “


[The estimate of Pictures of an Exhibition (Orchestrated by Ravel) is given considerable length in this review, so you are referred to the complete text. Other aspects of the album connected to the 9 April 1944 concert and the Bonus disc of rehearsal excerpts are also set forth in the complete text of this lengthy assessment.]



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ARTURO TOSCANINI


Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York

Two Complete Concerts


2 February 1936 Concert - Carnegie Hall

Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 2

Brahms: Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major

­­Robert Casadesus, pf


Beethoven: Coriolan Overture

Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major


Bonus: Beethoven – Triple Concerto (1942)


Complete Concert 19 April 1936

All Debussy


Le Martyre de Sai­nt-Sébastien: Le Cour d’Lys

Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune

Nuages - Fêtes - Ibéria


La Damoiselle Élue

(Bidú Sayão - Rose Bampton)

Women’s Chorus of the Schola Cantorum


La Mer


Four discs for the price of three


This private off-the-air recording of a memorable concert in Toscanini’s last year with the Philharmonic has been very extensively worked upon to correct many pitch variances, minimize surface noise, fill in turnover gaps, and improve the dynamics that were compressed by the radio broadcast limiters. While in better sound than some home-recorded discs, the surface noise can rather high in some places, and while these don’t offer sonics of modern recordings, they are all we have and are, thus, a treasurable part of our cultural legacy.


The bonus Beethoven Triple Concerto, though noisy, has remarkable presence and focus of sound, hugely improved over the gravely over-filtered Naxos version that we endured with their re-engineering of our restoration, now released in this album with much relief.


The All Debussy concert offers somewhat better tone and dimension than what has been previously available, with many pitch problems corrected, and dynamics expanded to compensate the poor microphone placement and radio limiters of the time. The magazine Musical America devoted an entire page to this concert, its reviewer (Oscar Thompson) writing that “. . . as a program, this was the outstanding novelty of the orchestral year,” one which was “among the most distinctive of Toscanini’s American achievements . . . in finish, balance of parts and beauty of tone, Toscanini’s orchestral performance could scarcely have been surpassed.”


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ARTURO TOSCANINI

PHILHARMONIC-SYMPHONY OF
NEW YORK


COMPLETE CONCERT: 1 March 1936

Weber - Verdi - Debussy

Goldmark - Wagner

with Dusolina Giannini, soprano

Milton Cross, commentator


and


COMPLETE CONCERT: 23 February 1936

Beethoven: First Symphony

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27

Rudolf Serkin, pf (American Debut)


Bach: Toccata and Fugue - Orchestrated by Sir Henry Wood

(with full broadcast commentary)


The legacy of private recordings made of the New York Philharmonic broadcasts of the 1935 and 1936 seasons when they were directed by Toscanini have had little circulation and those which have been reproduced have been in appallingly bad sound (with gaps every 15 minutes while the private recordist changed discs). The reasons for this dismal state of affair is set forth in this album but there is a bright side: our discovery of the first generation copy of the original lacquers. These provide superior sonics and, while the lacquers are sporadically noisy, a rich experience of the two concerts is now possible. There are no gaps and broadcast commentary is included for both performances. The booklet offers extensive texts about the performances and includes detailed recording notes. This is the first in a planned series of Toscanini New York Philharmonic restorations we will be releasing, albums that we believe will justly be considered the ultimate editions.


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RED CROSS BENEFIT CONCERT

New York Philharmonic and NBC Symphony Orchestras

Leonard Warren, Zinka Milanov, Jan Peerce, Nan Merriman, Nicola Moscona


600 Voice Chorus

WAGNER - VERDI - SOUSA

TOSCANINI

Madison Square Garden - 25 May 1944


Of all the many wartime benefit concerts conducted by Toscanini, this one, performed in the old Madison Square Garden before an audience of over 19,000 music lovers, was the most stupendous. For this occasion the New York Philharmonic and the NBC Symphony were fused into one orchestra of over 200 musicians. With a chorus of 600 voices, and with famed soloists from the Metropolitan Opera, this is a concert of historic importance. Superb sound; extensive program notes. The bonus presents the VE Day broadcast in which Toscanini conducted the Beethoven Fifth Symphony


This immense concert offers, among other memorable performances, what may be the most electrifying, deeply moving performances of the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde ever conducted by the Maestro. For those who revere these artists, musicians and conductor, this is the ultimate, never to be forgotten, memento of an unparalleled musical event.


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FROM TOSCANINI'S PERSONAL COLLECTION


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ARTURO TOSCANINI

NBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

4 March 1938


VERDI REQUIEM


Milanov, Kullman, Castagna, Moscona, Westminster Choir


Benefit Concert - Carnegie Hall


Bonus:

All-Verdi NBC Concert, 31 January 1943

Peerce, Della Chiesa, Moscona / chorus


Two Complete Concerts


“Of the six recordings of Toscanini’s performances of the Verdi Requiem known to me, the 1938 NBC performance seems to me in many ways the most beautiful and most remarkable of them all.”

Harvey Sachs


One of Toscanini's most memorable achievements with this great work, never broadcast in the U.S., in good sound. Perhaps Milanov's greatest singing of this music. This virtually unknown performance with the NBC Symphony, from Toscanini's personal collection, was passed down from Toscanini to Richard Gardner, his sound engineer, who in turn gave it to our archivist and sound engineer, Richard Caniell. A stupendous performance! Bonus: All Verdi NBC Concert, 31 January 1943 with Peerce, Della Chiesa, Moscona and chorus. The concert includes music from Forza del Destino, Nabucco, Traviata, Otello and the first U.S. performances of Hymn of the Nations in an electrifying performance. Much of this program has not been previously released.


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Verdi

La Traviata

Puccini

Madama Butterfly

Albanese Centenary - Double Album

4 discs for the price of 3


La Traviata

Licia Albanese - Charles Kullman - Lawrence Tibbett


Chorus and Orchestra of Metropolitan Opera

Cesare Sodero, 5 December, 1942


BONUS:

Albanese singing in excerpts from La Wally, Andrea Chénier, and Otello


Madama Butterfly

Licia Albanese - Armand Tokatyan - John Brownlee - Lucielle Browning


Chorus and Orchestra of Metropolitan Opera

Gennaro Papi, 5 January 1941


BONUS:

Albanese singing in excerpts from Otello, Pagliacci, Faust,, and Carmen


Albanese’s first Met performances of these roles in good sound. Certain portions of the 1942 broadcast (Traviata) augmented by passages from 1944. Albanese’s youthful voice is a complete delight.


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Wagner

TRISTAN UND ISOLDE

Covent Garden

Royal Opera, London Philharmonic

Melchior, Flagstad, Klose, Janssen, Nilsson, others

Acts I and II, 18 June 1937

Act III with Branzell and Schöffler, 22 June 1937


Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor


Bonus:

TRISTAN UND ISOLDE

Act Two Complete, 22 June 1937

Covent Garden


Melchior, Flagstad, Nilsson, Schöffler, Branzell

Sir Thomas Beecham conducting


THE CORONATION SEASON


One of the most important releases in our history, this unforgettable performance in a new restoration: best sound ever, extensive notes and rare photos. Includes long missing Act I  finale from 18 June 1937. Bonus: extra Act II from 22 June 1937. Steane talks about the Covent Garden 1937 season; Beecham conducts Vaughan-Williams’ Flourish for the Coronation, London Philharmonic and Chorus 1937 premiere on disc. The ultimate edition!


From Henry Fogel’s review published in FANFARE magazine's Nov/Dec 2014 issue:


“ . . . an utterly remarkable performance of Tristan und Isolde available now in a version that so completely supersedes all prior versions as to render them irrelevant. Richard Caniell has given his usual attention to detail, removing hiss, grit and noise to the extent possible but without destroying the color of the voices and the orchestra. . . If you told me I could take only one to that mythical desert island, I would choose this one.


“Flagstad is often accused of being matronly, stolid, lacking in passion. To be sure, there are performances of hers that merit at least some of that criticism, though for me it always pales when set against the sheer glory of the voice itself. But this performance, perhaps inspired by Beecham, shows Flagstad not only at her vocal best, but responsive to text and to dramatic moment. She is girlish, she is impassioned, she is anguished, she is furious, she is tender; she is, in short, a complete Isolde. In no prior releases of this performance did her voice glow and shine the way it does in Immortal Performances’s transfer. The rich beauty of her top notes comes through with remarkable impact.


“Melchior too benefits from the sonic improvements of this edition . . . This is the Tristan of one’s dreams, combining urgency, vocal beauty, and a very musical way of putting forth a phrase.


“The other prime beneficiary of the superb sonic restoration here is Beecham, or rather Beecham and the orchestra. No other edition of this performance offers this degree of richness and variety of orchestral color, this dynamic range, and in particular this beauty of string tone. . . What we have here is one of the greatest performances of that opera ever to be captured in recorded form, finally transferred in a way that respects the quality of the music-making and brings it all vividly to life.


“Richard Caniell also gives us extensive and thoughtful notes that are way beyond what we get in most releases, either by the major record companies or certainly those specializing in historic material. . . And one must also note the wonderful photographs included in the two accompanying booklets.


“There are many labels, major companies and small independent producers, that make historic material available. None does it with the consistently high standards of Immortal Performances. Those of us who believe that the history of the art form of opera must be well documented, for our own enjoyment and for future generations, owe this company an enormous debt of gratitude.”


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4 CDs for the price of 3 / $43.50

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Wagner

Tristan und Isolde

ACT III COMPLETE


Lauritz Melchior, Göta Ljungberg, Herbert Janssen
Ivar Andresen, Genia Guszalewicz, Peter Klein


Celebrating Tristan performances
in which these singers appeared together.


A seamless fusion of broadcast and 78 rpm recordings.


This is a memento of occasions in which Melchior and Ljungberg sang together in the 1930s at the Met and Covent Garden, in performances which included Janssen and Andresen. A powerful and utterly haunting performance in excellent sound for this era. The booklet offers rare photographs of the singers in their roles, biographies, a track-related synopsis and an extensive article about the memorable qualities which these voices brought to Wagner’s tragedy. The bonus recording is an excerpt from Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, Act II, Gut’n Abend, Meister, sung by Ljungberg and Friedrich Schorr (conducted by Lawrence Collingwood, London Philharmonic, 1931)



1 CD set / $14.50



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THE RUSSIAN LEGACY

VINOGRADOV


Premiere


Arias, Duets and Songs


Volume II - New Discoveries


Volume II - New Discoveries We first issued a 4-disc album devoted to the singing of Georgi Vinogradov (Guild Historical 2250-3) which drew critical raves and which won Best Vocal Album 2004 from a jury of eleven famed music critics convened by Classical Record Collector magazine. Since then many inquiries have been received as to whether any other recordings existed of this extraordinary tenor. Our answer to this is this second volume which offers all the discs we had, which were omitted from the first album, or those since located. Here is a lyric tenor voice that possesses those singular attributes that make his singing unforgettable and worthy of standing in the ranks of the truly great, such as Schipa, Gigli and a very few others.



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Wagner

DIE WALKÜRE

Vocal Ensemble and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera


Melchior, Flagstad, Lawrence, Schorr, Thorborg, others

18 December 1937

Artur Bodanzky, conductor (and others)


Bonus


DIE WALKÜRE

Act I, Scene 3

Marjorie Lawrence - Lauritz Melchior

Erich Leinsdorf, 1940


A reconstruction of the 1937 broadcast in which Flagstad sings Sieglinde, drawn from private recordings, with some Act I passages in not very good sonics, the balance in good sound for the era. With Milton Cross commentary and curtain calls. Extensive booklet notes and rare photos.


From Henry Fogel’s review published in FANFARE magazine's Nov/Dec 2014 issue:


“Given the almost knee-jerk reaction to Flagstad among critics as “matronly,” many will be surprised at the femininity of her Sieglinde. Her voice positively glows, and she and Melchior are a thrilling pair . . . It is true that Flagstad lacks the ability or willingness to inflect with the kind of specificity that was a Lehmann specialty. But this Sieglinde makes her impact through, as Caniell himself puts it, floods of glorious tone.


“(The booklet’s annotator) Dewey Faulkner points out the thrilling singing she does in the opening war cries, and in so much else of her singing. She had both the low and high notes required by the role, a voice of glowing beauty, and a keen dramatic sense as well. Her Brünnhilde is somewhat more human and more vulnerable than many we have encountered, and it is a complex and convincing portrayal.


“Schorr was the Wotan of his day for a reason, and it is demonstrated here by both his ability to characterize with tone color and his ability to sing the music both beautifully and forcefully at the same time. The interchanges between Schorr and Lawrence never feel like merely great Wagnerian singing, but actually engage us as real music drama.


“The sound after the first act gets progressively better, and in much of Acts II and III is actually quite good, and far superior to any prior versions. The voices and the orchestra really come to life in this transfer . . . While the base for the performance is the December 18, 1937 Met broadcast of Die Walküre [which had the “dream” cast of Melchior, Flagstad, Lawrence, Schorr, List, and Thorborg], producer Richard Caniell had to make replacements from other performances, mostly from the Met in 1935, 1940, and 1946 . . . relying on portions of the December 18, 1937 broadcast recorded by a collector who focused only on Flagstad in the second and third acts. . . three quarters of what we hear is conducted by Bodanzky, and the remainder by Leinsdorf (1940 Met) or Paul Breisach (1946 Met).


“The bonus excerpts from the 1940 Met broadcast with Lawrence as Sieglinde and Melchior as Siegmund, and Leinsdorf conducting, is a perfect extra. Immortal Performances includes some commentary by Milton Cross, which of course re-creates the atmosphere of the way so many of us heard these broadcasts . . . The usual lavish booklet, with superb essays and photographs, accompanies the discs.”



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3 CD set / $43.50
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For further information about the great vocal artists offered in our CD releases, including articles, discographies and photos, see The Record Collector at:
www.therecordcollector.org.
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