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Sigmund ROMBERG (1887-1951)
Romberg Conducts Romberg, vol. 2

My Maryland: Your Land And My Land [2:58]; Silver Moon [3:28]; Mother [3:06]; Boys In Grey [4:40] The New Moon: Softly As In A Morning Sunrise [3:46]; Lover, Come Back To Me [3:21]; Stout-hearted Men [3:00]; Wanting You [3:36]; One Kiss [3:23] Viennese Nights: I Bring A Love Song [5:01]; You Will Remember Vienna [5:00]; Viennese Nights Waltzes [2:50]
May Wine: Dance, My Darlings [4:35]; Just Once Around The Clock [5:07]; Something New Is In My Heart [5:18] Sunny River: Lordy [4:23] Up In Central Park: Close As Pages In A Book [4:40]; April Snow [5:04]; The Big Back Yard [4:09]
Jean Carlton, Shirlee Emmons, Lois Hunt, Genevieve Rowe, Sopranos
Jo Cameron, Lillian Cornell, Mezzo-Sopranos
Eric Mattson, Richard Wright, Tenors
Larry Douglas, Lawrence Brooks, William Diehl, Warren Galjour, Baritones
RCA Victor Chorus
The Robert Shaw Chorale/Robert Shaw
Sigmund Romberg Orchestra/Sigmund Romberg
All tracks recorded in New York between November 1945 and October 1950 ADD
NAXOS 8.110886 [77:26]
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From 1914 until after his death, with the posthumously premiered Girl in Pink Tights (1954), the Hungarian born Sigmund Romberg was one of the shining lights of American musical theatre and light opera. Throughout his career he worked with such luminaries as Oscar Hammerstein II, George Gershwin, and Al Jolson. This collection of recordings is the second release of recordings where the great composer conducts his own works, allowing the user to hear the composerís original intent.

The selections on this album do not show only the best-known works of Sigmund Romberg, but also many pieces from his less-successful musicals. This does much to put on display the breadth of work that he was capable of producing, with the earliest work being My Maryland, first produced in 1928, and the latest being selections from the 1945 work Up In Central Park. The works display a distinct versatility, with Romberg conducting love songs, patriotic marches, blues-influenced laments, and even a collection of instrumental and vocal waltzes.

The performances are definitely recognizable as vintage recordings. The vocals would not sound out of place backing Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby, and the orchestra sounding at times right out of Tin-Pan Alley. These are such representative works of their time and place that they could be displayed as a study of the American musical as an art form in its evolution throughout the jazz age.

It is a great shame that the audio sources show such signs of degradation. The fidelity is not horrible considering the age of the recordings, but sounds muddy and cluttered in comparison to the recordings the modern listener is accustomed to. It would be nice if more work on the re-mastering had been done, as the high-end is distinctly lacking at times, and hiss is audible throughout. However, the vintage recording fan is already quite familiar with the limitations of 1940s recording technology and the effects of time on the masters, and will not find this distracting.

In short, this is a quality collection of vintage recordings by one of the most influential and enjoyable of the American musical personalities. The value of having him conduct his own works is what gives this recording a special place in the collectorís prizes. For the serious fan of the musical theatre and operetta this is highly recommended.

Patrick Gary

Sigmund ROMBERG (1887-1951) Romberg conducts Romberg Vol.1 - The Blue Paradise (1915) Auf Wiedersehen - Maytime (1917) Will You remember? - Blossom Time (1921) Blossom Time Waltzes; Tell me Daisy; Song of Love - The Student Prince (1924) Drinking Song; Deep in my Heart, Dear; Ballet; Golden Days; Serenade; Student Prince Waltzes - The Desert Song (1926) Riff Song; One Alone; Romance; Girls! Girls! Girls! (French March); Desert Song Waltzes; One Flower grows alone; Desert Song; Medley (Romance, Desert Song Waltz) - Lawrence Brooks (ten), Stuart Churchill (ten), Lillian Cornell (sop), Shirlee Emmons (mezzo sop), William Diehl (bar), Warren Galjour (ten), Lois Hunt (sop), Eric Mattson (ten), Genevieve Rowe (sop), Richard Wright (bar) RCA Victor Chorus, Robert Shaw Chorale, Orch. Conducted by Sigmund Romberg - Rec. 1944-51, RCA Victor Studios, ADD NAXOS Historical 8.110866 [74.35] [RW]

These score over the early Pearl transcriptions by giving us the chance to hear the orchestration with improved clarity. The singing is strong throughout. Ö see Full Review


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