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CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Hommage à Bidú Sayão - Volume 3
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1759-1795)
Lá ci darem la mano from Don Giovanni [2:56]
With Giuseppe Valdengo (baritone)
Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901)
Tutte le feste al tempio from Rigoletto [7:03]
With Giuseppe Valdengo (baritone)
Addio del passato from La Traviata [3:57]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)
Un bel di, vedremo from Madama Butterfly [4:15]
Ambroise THOMAS (1811-1896)
Connais-tu le pays from Mignon [3:20]
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Tristesse (Sadness) arr. Marx of the Etude in E Major, Op. 10, No. 3 [4:16]
Volla Farfalletta (Little Butterfly) arr. Sandoval of the Etude in G-flat Major, Op. 25, No. 9 [1:23]
Reynaldo HAHN (1875-1947)
Si mes vers avaient des ailes [2:00]
Maman, dites moi arr. Weckerlin [2:57]
Obstination [2:03]
Senhorinha Brasiliera [1:58]
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
Selections from the “Forest of the Amazon” (1957) ¹
Cair da Tarde [4:10]; Veleiros [2:13]; Tarde Azul [4:45]; Os Indios á Procura del Moç [1:28]; Canção de Amor [4:04]
El Piropo [1:25]
Mi Ranchito [2:09]
Eres tú [2:48]
Del Cabello Más Sutil [1:40]
Engenho Novo [1:33]
Till the Sandman Comes [3:04]
Mountain Girl’s Lament [2:32]
Carry Me Back to Old Virginny [2:29]
Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948)
I Love You So from The Merry Widow [2:27]
Bidú Sayão (soprano)
Donald Voorhees conducting the Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra except Orchestra/Heitor Villa-Lobos ¹
rec. 1959 (Villa-Lobos) and 1946-54 remainder
CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD 150 [64:46]

Experience Classicsonline

A third volume of the Bidú Sayão ‘hommage’ series arrives from Cembal d’amour. Once more the rationale is the same; airchecks from the 1940s and 1950s, though this time augmented by a commercial undertaking, movements from Villa-Lobos’s 1957 composition ‘Forest of the Amazon’, directed by the composer.

The Don Giovanni and Rigoletto duets come from the same broadcast. She’s a direct, unostentatious Mozartian, vital and energising, and far outstripping her lugubrious baritone partner, Giuseppe Valdengo, as she does in the Verdi. On her own she dispatches Addio del passato from La Traviata with a considerable degree of intensity and her Butterfly aria is similarly idiomatic. The lighter milieu is certainly catered for in this disc. Tristesse (Sadness) is an arrangement by Marx of the Etude in E Major, Op. 10, No. 3 by Chopin. The emotive melancholia evoked by Sayão is here augmented by a battery of portamenti, gushes, sighs and sobs such as to melt the heart - though not necessarily the flintiest of hearts - whilst Sandoval’s arrangement of the Etude in G-flat Major, Op. 25, No. 9, as Volla Farfalletta (Little Butterfly) enters the arena of high kitsch, but note too the tongue twisting facility of the soprano and the remarkable purity and technique on display.

She is fortunately not too stentorian in Hahn’s evergreen, and spreads lightness and charm over Maman, dites moi in its arrangement by Weckerlin. Legato purity is a vital component of her singing of Obstination where her slides evoke fragility, whereas Senhorinha Brasileira is very much her – a sassy performance of a fine arrangement in a cramped recording acoustic. In these circumstances the Villa-Lobos songs make a welcome appearance. Her melismatic soaring and evocative identification with the material is hard to resist, and though the voice is now thicker than before, it retains its essential purity and precision. She was placed at something of an ‘ethereal’ distance in the balance but she is still able to project admirably. With Villa-Lobos at her side, this is a benchmark recording, albeit of extracts only, made two years after the date of composition.

The remainder of the programme embraces the bel canto liquidity and the spitfire articulation of the Sandoval and Obradors, as well as the grave simplicity of Mountain Girl’s Lament and the touching Carry Me Back to Old Virginny, in good sound for 1949.

Another hour plus of Sayão in predominantly off-air material proves, once again, diverting and enjoyable.

Jonathan Woolf










































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