One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             




Presier Records


Rose Bampton (b. 1907)
Christoph Willibald von GLUCK (1714-1787)
Alceste - Ah, malgré moi, mon faible coeur [4:43]
Alceste - Non, ce n´est point un sacrifice[5:16]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Don Giovanni - Era gia alquanto... Or sai chi l´onore [4:51]
Don Giovanni - Non mi dir, bell´idol mio [5:02]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
La Cenerentola - Nacqui affanno... Non piu mesta [5:14]
Semiramide - Bel raggio lusinghier [4:59]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Ernani - Sorte e la notte... Ernani, involami [5:06]
Aida - Qui Radames verra!... O patria mia [5:15]
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Lohengrin - Einsam in trüben Tagen [4:41]
Tristan und Isolde - Mild und leise [5:11]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)
Tosca - Vissi d´arte [3:11]
Jules MASSENET (1842-1912)
Herodiade - Il est doux, il est bon [4:44]
Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869)
La Damnation de Faust - D´amour lardente flamme [7:34]
CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
L´enfant prodigue - L´Annee en vain chasse l´annee [4:46]
Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Atalanta - Come, beloved [3:36]
John Alden CARPENTER (1876-1951)
Gitanjali - When I bring to you colour´d toys [2:28]
Gitanjali - Light, my light [2:18]
Rose Brampton (soprano)
Victor Orchestra/Wilfred Pelletier
RCA Victor Orchestra/Wilfred Pelletier
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra/William Steinberg
Wilfred Pelletier (piano)
Charles O’Connell (piano)
rec. 1932-1946
PREISER 89675 [79:03]

The earliest sides here date from Bampton’s days as a mezzo; we know her much better, of course, as a dramatic soprano. The recordings cover a fourteen-year period and present a very reasonable portrait of her repertoire. It ranges from the early Handel recording to include the unusual Carpenter songs via the expected Verdi and Puccini.

Her Gluck is certainly dramatic though it the tone tends to harden under pressure, a recurrent limitation of her singing if these discs are a pure reflection of her performances – and there’s no reason to think they’re not. It comes across as a shrill and squally top. To compensate there is her acute and penetrating musical intelligence; she phrases with surety and understanding. Her Mozart, for example, is excellently controlled and projected but her technique is not quite tight enough to encompass the stretchier demands of Or sai chi l´onore with absolute security.

In the Italian repertoire we find that whilst she manages registral leaps with command and whilst the voice is of itself an instrument of considerable penetration and theatrical impersonation, little ineradicable faults remain. The voice isn’t quite full enough in Rossini. Her Verdi is certainly sung with conviction and allure but perhaps by the highest standards it does come across as slightly under characterised. Moving on to Vissi d’arte we find, it has to be conceded, considerable technical facility but maybe the last missing ounces of sheer frisson.

She was a pioneer of broadcast. Wagner having given the American broadcast premiere of Parsifal with Stokowski in Philadelphia in 1933. Both the performances enshrined in Preiser’s disc predate her later post 1940 studies in California with Lotte Lehmann, who guided Bampton through Wagner roles with some precision.

Her Berlioz strikes one now as a touch mechanical in its responses though the voice itself is deployed with great skill and once more, real intelligence. The early Handel disc is clean, clear and rather cool emotionally. It is of real interest to hear her in the Carpenter songs where her husband the Canadian born pianist and conductor Wilfred Pelletier accompanies her – as indeed he does on most of the sides. Here one senses a greater sense of involvement and immediacy.

Preiser’s copies are in good estate and have been sympathetically transferred. If Bampton emerges as a somewhat lesser interpreter than she might once have seemed, there’s still pleasure to be taken in hearing this agreeably wide-ranging conspectus.

Jonathan Woolf

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

(short month)

Orphic Moments

Metamorphoses Books I & II


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos





Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.