Search - Giacomo Puccini, Stanton-Burleigh, Jules Massenet :: Complete Gramophone Company Recordings, Vol. 3

Complete Gramophone Company Recordings, Vol. 3
Giacomo Puccini, Stanton-Burleigh, Jules Massenet
Complete Gramophone Company Recordings, Vol. 3
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
 

      
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Buried treasure?
John Austin | Kangaroo Ground, Australia | 08/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There was a time when collectors prized their single sided Melba records as though they were the crown jewels. If any such collectors are still alive, the prospect of acquiring 23 Melba recordings, including 12 that were never issued during Melba's lifetime, on one budget-priced CD, might induce more excitement than is healthy for a veteran collector. Found here are all the recordings Melba made on the eastern side of the Atlantic from 1908 to 1913. Joining Melba to participate in a trio from "Faust" and the quartet from "Rigoletto" is John McCormack (reportedly severely tongue-lashed by Melba for not arriving at the recording session on time). Heard here also in famed violinist Jan Kubelik, father of conductor Rapheal Kubelik. Accepting that these are 90 year old recordings, and accepting that Melba's voice was never well caught by the acoustic recording process, modern listeners might still be able to discern a phenomenal voice here, sure in pitch and quality throughout a wide range. The best opportunity of discerning it occurs during a "distance test" track. While Melba practises some of the roulades and ravings of Ophelia's mad scene from Thomas' "Hamlet", she is placed a varying distances from the acoustic horn so that the ideal placing can be found and fewer matrixes wasted."