Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

The Art of Yolanda Marcoulescou-Stern (soprano) Volume 2
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1828)

Lindi di Chamonix - Ah tardai troppo
La Figlia Del Regimento – Deciso e dunque
Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868)

William Tell – Selva opaca
Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1970)

5 Liriche >
E se un giorno tornasse >
Gianluca TOCCHI (1901-?)

Suite; Canti di strapaese >

In riva al fiume
Gian Francesco MALIPIERO (1882-1973)

Cinq melodies >

Chanson Morave
Les yeux couleur du temps

Three Songs >

Stornellata marinara
Vecchia chitarra
Edward MACDOWELL (1860-1908)

Geistliches Wiegenlied
Charles IVES (1874-1954)

Weil’ auf mir
Ich grolle nicht
Die alte Mutter
John Alden CARPENTER (1876-1951)

Il pleure dans mon Coeur

Qu’en avez-vous fait? #
Virgil THOMSON (1896–1989)

Le berceau de Gertrude Stein
Charles T GRIFFES (1884-1920)

Auf geheimen Waldespfade (Schiflied)
Gian Carlo MENOTTI (b 1911)

Canti Della Lontananza
Paul BOWLES (1910-1999)

Cancioncilla Sevillana
Media Luna
Balada Amarilla
Murio al Amanecer

The Bestiary – Six Riddles +

Psalm XXIII +
Joaquin RODRIGO (1901 – 1999)

Two Songs

Verde, verderol +
Pajaro del agua +
Virgilio MORTARI (1902- 1993)

Canzone (Vocalise) +
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)

Dein blaues Auge
Immer leider wird mein Schlummer
Wir wandelten
Der Frühling
Das Mädchen spricht
Die Mainacht
Vergebliches Ständchen
Wie Melodien zieht es mir
Bei dir sind meine Gedanken
Schön war, das ich dir weihte
Spanisches Lied
Meine Liebe ist grün
Treue liebe
O liebliche Wangren
Der Jäger
Von ewiger Liebe
Yolanda Marcoulescou-Stern (soprano)
Jeffrey Peterson (piano) unless otherwise noted
Dalton Baldwin (piano) >
John Downey (piano) #
Robert Goodberg (flute) +
Recorded c1970s with the exception of the Opera Excerpts, pre 1968
GASPARO GG3-1005 [3 CDs 192.24]


purchase through CCNow

As with Volume I of this series, to which I would refer readers, this set demonstrates the consistently superior talents of Rumanian soprano Yolanda Marcoulescou-Stern. As before we open with some examples of the Bucharest-recorded operatic selections and as before we hear a voice that is small, clear, pure and intensely flexible. No heaviness or excessive vibrato attends to it, though it loses little in fervour or power. In this kind of repertoire – unlike the essentially Francophile repertoire of Volume I – we are deep into coloratura territory, to which demands she responds with technical excellence – light, agile in Linda’s Aria, no forcing of her tone in the Rossini and real flexibility and strength at the top of her compass in Maria’s Deciso è dunque and with some flourish at the end as well.

As before the bulk of the set is devoted to art song; whereas before French now the emphasis is very much on the Italian and American schools and Brahms. There is no diminution of tonal or musical value in this set and no lesser identification with or exploration of the repertoire either. Her Respighi is commendably glinting and allusive – slight strain in Par l’étreinte from the Five Liriche maybe – and her Tocchi full of nuance and romantic melismas. The pleading lines of Stornello and the perky ebullience of In riva al fiume are captivating. Amongst the Italian settings the most consistently surprising and thoughtful are those by Malipiero and she responds acutely to the more elliptical element enshrined within for example Les yeux couleur du temps. Which is not to say that the forceful or almost impudent settings are beyond her because, as L’archet clearly shows, this is not so, nor when it comes to the harmonically much simpler Cimara settings is she anything other than lyrically generous.

When Yolanda Marcoulescou-Stern escaped from Rumania she went to Wisconsin to take a tenured position at the University and teach a generation of students there. Her tribute to her adopted homeland in the form of these American settings reveals another facet of her musical armoury. Not all these settings are especially challenging or memorable and many still show undue subservience to European models but all are worth considering. MacDowell’s are fresh air German settings and the Ives early works, Brahmsian (Ich grolle nicht is very Brahmsian) and ripely romantic. Carpenter is rather more involving and interesting in his settings; elliptical with subtle word setting, sparse and sometimes of an impressionist cast these are settings singers should cultivate. The other settings range from the contemporary Downey – tough and exploratory – through Virgil Thomson’s accustomed whimsicalities to Paul Bowles’ splendidly inventive, rhythmically acute, colourful settings of Italian poetry. Draganski’s settings are teasing and playful, Berlinski’s single one solemn and Rodrigo properly jocular.

She is accompanied by Jeffrey Peterson in her Brahms recordings. The selection is well chosen to reflect her many strengths of expression and vocal clarity. Highlights include an especially vibrant Vergebliches Ständchen, a confident O liebliche Wangren and a thoroughly convincing Von ewiger Liebe. All her accompanists prove powerfully supportive – Dalton Baldwin noticeably so in this respect – and as before full texts and biographical details are provided. If my preference is for the earlier volume it’s because the repertoire is more consistently elevated – but Volume 2 has things that are as rare if not more so. She sings splendidly, whichever volume you consider (why not consider both?).

Jonathan Woolf

The entire Gasparo Catalogue may now be purchased through MusicWeb


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