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Lisa Della Casa in Recital

March 5, 2016

That Richard Strauss loved and understood the soprano voice is an inescapable fact. He was married to soprano, Pauline de Ahna and thus had a living laboratory for his song-writing. Even after Pauline had retired from the stage, he continued to favour sopranos in his operas and other vocal compositions. And sopranos repaid him with […]

Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake (highlights)

March 5, 2016

Although Pierre Monteux was a notable exponent of both Beethoven and the modern French school, it was with the Ballets Russes that his name was linked. Further, when he was conducting French repertoire in American theatres (particularly at the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1917 to 1919), he also took on the premières of […]

Lisa Della Casa sings Handel & Mozart

March 5, 2016

Among the legendary opera singers of the post-war era was Lisa Della Casa, one of the few internationally known musical stars produced by the little country of Switzerland and a member of the exceptional Mozart ensemble built up by the Vienna State Opera. For opera-goers on both sides of the Atlantic, she was the first […]

Hilde Gueden sings Mozart

March 5, 2016

Gifted with great beauty and a natural stage presence, Hilde Gueden was unfailingly easy on the ear as well as the eye. With her creamy tone and ability to spin the silvery upper-register sonority needed for her Strauss roles, she was a natural successor to Elisabeth Schumann, Lotte Schöne and Adele Kern. Fortunately for posterity, […]

Great Tenor Arias: Vol. II

March 5, 2016

During the 1950s, 60s and 70s Decca recorded several LPs of recitals by both well and lesser-known opera singers of the day. This collection of famous opera arias, issued across two volumes, includes several of the singers known, in the main, to connoisseurs. The present volume features three singers represented by their 1950s recital discs: […]

Great Tenor Arias: Vol. I

March 5, 2016

During the 1950s, 60s and 70s Decca recorded several LPs of recitals by both well and lesser-known opera singers of the day. This collection of famous opera arias, issued across two volumes, includes several of the singers known, in the main, to connoisseurs. The present volume features Bruno Prevedi , with his baritonal timbre; Gianni […]

Stravinsky: Petruskha; The Rite of Spring

March 5, 2016

There can be few, if any, musicians this century who have conducted as many illustrious and notorious premieres as Pierre Monteux. As conductor of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes from 1911 to 1914, he led the first performances of Ravel’s ‘Daphnis et Chloé ‘(1912), Debussy’s ‘Jeux’ (1913) and Stravinsky’s ‘Le Rossignol’ (1914), as well as the two works […]

Richard Strauss: Lieder

March 5, 2016

Richard Strauss came of age as a song composer in his late teens with his lushly upholstered Op. 10, set to poems by the obscure nineteenth-century versifier, Hermann von Gilm. In 1887, he started to give lessons to a promising young soprano, Pauline de Ahna, daughter of a retired general (and woe betide anyone who […]