Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Teresa BERGANZA, soprano
Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946)

Siete canciones populares españolas

El paño moruno, Seguidilla murciana, Asturiana, Jota, Nana, Canción, Polo [12:12]
Gerald Moore, piano
Filmed in London, 7 June 1960

Cinco canciones negras

Numbers 2-5: Punto de Habanera, Chévere, Cancíon de cuna para dormia a un negrito, Canto Negro [7:58]
Fernando OBRADORS (1912-2002)

Aquel sombrero de monte [2:24]
Con amores, la mi madre [1:49]
Coplas de Curro Dulce [1:34]
Jesús GURIDI (1886-1961)

From Seis canciones castellanas
Number 6: Mañanita de San Juan [3:37]
Number 3: Llámale con el pañuelo [2:00]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)

Die Post [2:31]
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848)

Scena e Cavatina: "Ne ornerá la bruna chioma" [5:06]
Felix Lavilla, piano
Filmed at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, 18 July 1964
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)

Non so piu cosa son [3:34]
Voi che sapete [3:23]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)

Nacqui all’affanno [6:21]
Orchestre National de la RTF/Eugen Jochum
Filmed at the Salle Pleyel, Paris, 9 April 1964
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)

Parto ma tu ben mio [5:51]
Orchestre Philharmonique da l’ORTF/Serge Baudo
Filmed at the Salle Pleyel, Paris, 2 May 1967
Bonus Tracks
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)

Geheimnis [1:40]
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone
Gerald Moore, piano
Filmed in London, 14 May 1959
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)

Zueignung [1:33]
Johann STRAUSS (1825-1899)

Nur für Natur [2:47]
Julius Patzak, tenor
Gerald Moore, piano
Filmed in London 18 June 1959
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)

Die beiden Grenadiere [3:34]
Hans Hotter, baritone
Gerald Moore, piano
Filmed in London, 27 October 1959
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)

Schlechtes Wetter [2:15]
Hugo WOLF (1860-1903)

Als ich auf dem Euphrat Schiffte [1:35]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)

Der Tod und das Mädchen [2:38]

Cäcilie [2:26]
Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Gerald Moore, piano
Filmed in London, 22 February 1962
EMI CLASSIC ARCHIVES Vol. 14 DVD 7423 4 90118 9 2 [81:49]


Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

EMI have dug into a treasure trove of film footage to produce these archival discs of some of the twentieth century’s greatest musical talent. Although uneven in quality given the age of the films and the technology available at the time, we get to glimpse a number of legendary artists either in their prime, or in the twilight of their careers, leaving us a legacy that would have otherwise drifted long ago into folklore.

Spanish soprano Teresa Berganza is the featured artist of volume fourteen, and if these documents are indicative of the series, I want to own every one of them. Opening with Falla’s famous "popular" songs, Ms. Berganza delivers spirited and charming performances, brilliantly accompanied by Gerald Moore. This film, from a series of television programmes made for the BBC, features Moore in collaboration with several of the artists with whom he often appeared in recital. The bonus tracks are also from this series.

Ms. Berganza’s singing is elegant and refined in all of the works presented here. Both in recitals with piano accompaniment and with orchestra, she has complete control over her instrument. She is quite a presence on stage. Graceful and elegant, she is every ounce of the poised and refined artist, and there is just a hint of the diva, which makes us listeners clamor for the next song.

Of particular value is the large cache of Spanish songs recorded at the Aix-en-Provence festival of 1964. Although the film quality is rather poor, the sound is acceptable, and given that these are songs that are somewhat on the fringes of the recital repertoire, one can tolerate the slightly dim images just to hear this music. One wonders if a singer could get by with programming the Montsalvatge songs given their condescending attitude towards people of color, which in 1964 might have been commonplace, but not so thirty years on.

The orchestral concert excerpts show that this is a singer for both the opera stage and the recital platform. Her Cherubino arias are charming and witty, and she handles the coloratura of Donizetti and Rossini with ease and confidence. Her Parto from La Clemenza di Tito is a tour de force of dramatic and vocal skill.

The bonus tracks are excellent vignettes of other fine artists. Only Julius Patzak, by the time of this film well past his prime, turns in a less than stellar performance. Ludwig, Hotter and Fischer-Dieskau are at the top of their game.

Subtitles in several languages provide translations as the songs progress. The booklet is choc with photos and notes by Alan Blyth are informative and entertaining. The disc also contains short and tantalizing previews of other discs in the series, assuring EMI of a chunk of my paycheck over the next few months. Recommended unconditionally.

Kevin Sutton

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