Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Jussi Björling Live - Broadcast Concerts 1937-60
see end of review for listing
Jussi Björling (tenor), with accompaniments as below
Announcements included. No texts.
WEST HILL RADIO ARCHIVES WHRA 6036 [4 CDs: 75:30 + 75:52 + 78:46 + 72:51]

Experience Classicsonline


This feast for Björling collectors focuses on the series of broadcasts on American radio that did so much to popularise classical music. The Voice of Firestone, Ford Sunday Evening Hour, General Motors, and Bell Telephone Hour were some of the sponsored leaders in the field, and we also get touching examples of the tenor on home territory in The Pillbox (‘Pillerdosan’)Söder Hospital recital in 1954 as well as an open-air concert in Stockholm. I doubt that many of these off-air recitals will be that unfamiliar to admirers but to have them in such bulk as this - 4 CDs (but priced as three) lasting around five hours, and in such excellent sound, correctly pitched and very well cleaned up, will be an attractive proposition.
 
Radio was a popular way to reach the American heartland, and Björling made numerous broadcasts in the years between 1937 and 1960. The concerts didn’t much vary in outline, though perhaps in detail. An introduction would be followed by announcements - all announcements are retained here - and then some arias and ballads would follow. For the Firestone November 1945 recital, for example, we get Schubert’s An Sylvia, sung in English, Massenet’s En ferment les yeux (from Manon), Jeannie with the light brown hair and an aria from Flotow’s Martha, sung in Italian. The final track was written by the sponsor herself, Idabelle Firestone - her oft trotted out If I Could Tell You, with which the recital also began. That was the expected formula for these half hour recitals.
 
Admittedly much is expected territory. He reprises Geehl’s For You Alone twice with an especially fervent close - in 1946 and 1951 - and it was the first song he’d ever sung in English for a recording in the mid 30s. His ballad selections are tried and trusted, the names themselves redolent of a time and place - of Caruso, and McCormack, and other titans of yore. He joins with Eleanor Steber for Romberg and Verdi - Il Trovatore, though without chorus. Later we hear him from the San Francisco opera in 1949 with Licia Albanese singing O soave fanciulla. They’re not quite together, but it’s attractively done nonetheless. Fritz Reiner directs the ‘Ford Symphony Orchestra’ in the May 1946 broadcast which broadens appeal by including songs central to his Swedish repertoire, and ending with a bout of Tours’ maudlin Mother o’ mine. The Althén is especially dramatic, tinged indeed with heroism.
 
In a Standard Hour broadcast a month after the San Francisco one he reprised the Puccini but this time with his wife, Anna-Lisa. Duplication comes in the shape of Gounod’s Va! Je t’ai pardonneé… Nuit d'hyménée from Roméo et Juliette in which we have versions with his wife and another with Bidú Sayão. Possibly the most important recital in view of the repertoire is that from Carnegie Hall in 1949 which was a majorly Swedish one; James W Quillian was the pianist. He does leaven things with Tosti but otherwise it’s all-Scandinavian. The singing is predictably superb - masculine, confident, full of allure, not Italianate.
 
Some recitals are recorded better than others but none is less than good. The Bell Telephone recital of March 1948 on CD3 was excellently recorded and preserved. The Bells offer much the same in the way of repertoire - announcements punctuating ballads and lied and songs. There is a rare orchestrally accompanied Schubert Ständchen, but an even better Strauss Ständchen. Morgan’s Clorinda is heard. Jeannie reappears, so too a Victor Herbert. The amount of duplication is not really excessive, and is sometimes instructive, given his vocal partnerships enshrined here. The popular Franco-Italian repertoire is certainly central, and very briefly Russian too, in the shape of Rachmaninoff. This disc also gives us the audio track of the TV Telecast of extracts from Act I of La bohème with Tebaldi, conducted by Max Rudolf, which is very well known. This version of O soave fanciulla surpasses both others in this set.
 
The earliest items in the set date from 1937. There’s a snippet of a greeting from Stockholm, in English, anticipating his broadcast and imminent American tour (it lasts all of 28 seconds). The General Motors Concert of December 1937 brings with it Puccini, Meyerbeer, Gounod and Verdi - standard Franco-Italian fare, in other words. There’s an unpublished 78 take of Godard’s Jocelyn - a bit anomalous in the circumstances but well worth having. And there’s also The Pillbox concert from Stockholm in 1954 which is making its first appearance on commercial CD, and the Open Day Concert from Stockholm from 1954, in which, piano accompanied, we can appreciate his Wagner and Adam as well as Nordqvist and his favoured Peterson-Berger. Much here in these four CDs is valuable, and much is ancillary to the recorded legacy, but if I was to direct anyone to the most important recordings, it would undoubtedly be to this final disc.  
 
I commend WHRA for its conspicuously fine restorative work, making listening to these broadcasts recitals a pleasure, and never a critical chore. The value of such a set rather depends on one’s view of its utility. Much is known from commercial discs; sometimes these broadcasts offer fierier interpretations, sometimes not. But despite the duplications and the announcements - I rather like them but they can be skipped - this packed set, with its splendid booklet, is a valuable resource indeed.
 
Jonathan Woolf  

Track listing
Voice of Firestone, 19 November 1945, with announcements
Idabelle FIRESTONE
If I Could Tell You [1:23]
Franz SCHUBERT
An Sylvia (sung in English) [2:48]
Jules MASSENET
Manon; Instant charmant…En ferment les yeux [3:44]
Stephen FOSTER
Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair [3:26]
Friedrich von FLOTOW
Martha - Ach, so fromm (sung in Italian) [3;42]
Idabelle FIRESTONE
In My Garden [1:20]
Voice of Firestone, 21 January 1946, with announcements
Idabelle FIRESTONE
If I Could Tell You [1:18]
Sigmund ROMBERG
Maytime - Will You Remember [3:25]
Henry GEEHL
For You Alone [1:56]
Giuseppe VERDI
Il Trovatore - Quel suon…Ah! Che la morte ognora with Eleanor Steber (soprano) [5:08]
Voice of Firestone, 25 March 1946, with announcements
Idabelle FIRESTONE
If I Could Tell You [1:19]
Edvard GRIEG
Jeg elsker dig [2:48]
Benjamin GODARD
Jocelyn - Cachés dand cet asile (sung in English) [4:14]
Guy d’HARDELOT
Because [2:31]
Victor HERBERT
Princess Pat - Neapolitan Love Song [4:12]
Idabelle FIRESTONE
In My Garden [1:33]
Firestone Orchestra/Harold Barlow
Ford Sunday Evening Hour, 12 May 1946
Charles GOUNOD
Faust - Salut! Demure chaste et pure [6:00]
Wilhelm PETERSON-BERGER
Jungfrun under lind [2:43]
Ragnar ALTHÉN
Land, du välsignade [2:45]
TOURS
Mother of Mine [2:32]
Ford Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner
Standard Hour Broadcast 23 October 1949
Giacomo PUCCINI
Che gelida manina (from La Bohème) [5:32]
O soave fanciulla (from La Bohème) with Anna-Lisa Björling (soprano) [4:09]
Jules MASSENET
Je suis seul, seul enfin... Ah fuyez douce image (from Manon) [4:52]
Charles GOUNOD
Orchestral Introduction - Roméo et Juliette [1:46]
Va! Je t’ai pardonneé… Nuit d'hyménée from Roméo et Juliette with Anna-Lisa Björling (soprano) [8:51]
Standard Hour Broadcast 30 September 1951
Amilcare PONCHIELLI
Cielo e mar! from La Gioconda [5:19]
Paolo TOSTI
L’alba separa della luce l’ombra [2:44]
Giacomo PUCCINI
E lucevan la stele [3:18]
GOUNOD
Orchestral Introduction - Roméo et Juliette [1:47]
Va! Je t’ai pardonneé… Nuit d'hyménée from Roméo et Juliette with Bidú Sayão (soprano) [9:03]
San Francisco Opera Orchestra/Gaetano Merola
Sweden in Music Programme, Carnegie Hall, 11 April 1949
August SÖDERMAN:
Trollsjön [5:16]
Hugo ALFVÉN
Skogen sover, Op. 28 No. 6
Emil SJÖGREN
I drömmen du är mig nära
Anders Johan Ture RANGSTRÖM
Tristans död
Paolo TOSTI
L'alba separa dalla luce l'ombra
Wilhelm PETERSON-BERGER
Jungfrun under lind [2:59]
James W. Quillian (piano)
Bell Telephone Hour, 15 March 1948
Ruggiero LEONCAVALLO
Mattinata [2:06]
Sergei RACHMANINOFF
Siren (sung in English) [[1:37]
Orlando MORGAN
Clorinda [1:30]
Jules MASSENET
Manon; Je suis seul!...Ah! fuyez, douce image [4:38]
Bell Telephone Hour, 4 April 1949
Franz SCHUBERT
Ständchen [4:11]
Victor HERBERT
Princess Pat - Neapolitan Love Song [3:40]
Pietro MASCAGNI
Cavalleria rusticana - Addio alla madre [3:52]
Bell Telephone Hour, 7 November 1949
Franz SCHUBERT
Ständchen [2:12]
Stephen FOSTER
Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair [3:20]
Giacomo PUCCINI
Che gelida manina (from La Bohème) [5:06]
Bell Telephone Hour, 23 October 1950
Giacomo MEYERBEER
L’africaine - Pays merveilleux…O paradis! (sung in Italian) [3:03]
Sergei RACHMANINOFF
V molchan’I nochi taynoy (sung in English) [2:33]
Richard STRAUSS
Zueignung [1:50]
Umberto GIORDANO
Andrea Chénier - Come un bel dì di Maggio [2:57]
Bell Telephone Hour, 8 January 1951
Jules MASSENET
Manon; Instant charmant…En ferment les yeux [3:34]
PETERSON-BERGER
Jungfrun under lind [2:35]
Henry GEEHL
For You Alone [2:04]
Giacomo PUCCINI
Manon Lescaut - Donna non vidi mai [2:46]
Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra/Donald Voorhees
Producer’s Showcase NBC TV Broadcast ‘Festival of Music’ - 30 January 1956 - audio of telecast
Giacomo PUCCINI
La Bohème - excerpts from Act 1 [15:27]
with Renata Tebaldi (soprano)
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra/Max Rudolf
General Motors Concert - ‘Opera Night’ 5 December 1937
Giacomo PUCCINI
Tosca - Recondita armonia [2:50]
Giacomo MEYERBEER
L’africaine - Pays merveilleux…O paradis! (sung in Italian) [3:28]
Giuseppe VERDI
La forza del destino - Solenne in quest’ora [4:02]
With Donald Dickson (baritone)
Charles GOUNOD
Faust - Quittons ce lieu sombre…Ange spurs [2:35]
With Grace Moore (soprano)
General Motors Symphony Orchestra/Erno Rapee
Bell Telephone Hour Broadcast, 12 March 1951
Ruggiero LEONCAVALLO
Pagliacci - Recitar!...Vesti la giubba [2:53]
Giuseppe VERDI
Aïda - Se quel guerrier…Celeste Aïda [4:33]
Charles GLOVER
The Rose of Tralee [3:24]
Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra/Donald Voorhees
Benjamin GODARD
Jocelyn - Cachés dans cet asile (sung in English) [2:59]
Stockholm Concert Association Orchestra/Nils Grevillius, rec. 11 August 1949; unpublished 78 matrix
The Pillbox (‘Pillerdosan’) Programme No.27, The Söder Hospital, 20 December 1954
Richard WAGNER
Lohengrin - In fernen Land (sung in Swedish) [5:20]
Wilhelm PETERSON-BERGER
När jag för mig själv I mörka skogen gär [2:44]
Gustav NORDQVIST
Till havs [2:42]
Adolphe ADAM
Cantique de Noël (sung in Swedish) [4:54]
TCO Day, Stockholm, Skansen Open Air Concert, 25 May 1952
August SÖDERMAN:
Trollsjön [5:39]
Ragnar ALTHÉN
Land, du välsignade [3:12]
Carl MILLÖCKER
Der Bettelstudent - Ich hab’ kein Geld, bin vogelfrei (sung in Swedish) [2:03]
With Harry Ebert (piano)
Gothenburg Concert Hall Radio Braodcast, 5 August 1960
Hugo ALFVÉN
Jag längtar dig [2:18]
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY
Eugene Onegin - Kuda, kuda (sung in Swedish) [6:40]
Richard WAGNER
Lohengrin - In fernen Land (sung in Swedish) [5:40]
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Nils Grevillius

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






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.