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Porgy & Bess: High Performance
William Warfield, John W. Bubbles
Porgy & Bess: High Performance
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

RCA's 1963 highlights disc brought the stars of the early-1950s revival of the work, Leontyne Price and William Warfield, together again. By this time, however, Price was well advanced on her meteoric rise to operatic star...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: William Warfield, John W. Bubbles
Title: Porgy & Bess: High Performance
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: RCA
Release Date: 3/9/1999
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical
Style: Opera & Classical Vocal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 090266331222

Synopsis

Amazon.com
RCA's 1963 highlights disc brought the stars of the early-1950s revival of the work, Leontyne Price and William Warfield, together again. By this time, however, Price was well advanced on her meteoric rise to operatic stardom and Warfield was gaining renown as a recitalist. Both are glorious here and Price's shimmering "Summertime" is worth the price of the disc. A plus is the spirited Sportin' Life of John W. Bubbles, who created the role in the original 1935 production; an old-time vaudevillian, he wrings fun and irony from his all-too-short excerpts. Henderson conducts with vigor and RCA's "High Performance" sound, when heard on a good system, is remarkable. --Dan Davis

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CD Reviews

Peerless
Charlotte Vale-Allen | CT USA | 03/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is my all-time favorite recording of Porgy & Bess. Leontyne Price quite rightly won a Grammy for her performance on this album. John Bubbles is the best Sporting Life I've ever heard; bringing to the role a mischievous energy (and a wonderful sand-papery voice) that is utterly engaging. William Warfield (the father, I believe, of comedian Marsha Warfield) is splendid as Porgy. Although this album isn't the full opera, it offers the best-known numbers; the ones we all know and love. I originally found a cassette of this recording in England, wore the tape right out and just, happily, bought the CD.
Most highly recommended."
Porgy & Bess-highlights - Leontine Price
Charlotte Vale-Allen | 04/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The beautifull voice and perfect control of Leontine Price and other singers in this cast blend into a perfect performance with the subtly directed music. This recording of main songs from the greatest American opera gives a sheer pleasure to the listener. After a recent hearing of the live opera performance given in 2002 in New York, with the orchestra playing too loud and the voices trying to be louder and struggling with control, coming home and putting on this CD was a wonderfull relief and a reward."
Gorgeous
Pitti-Sing | Titipu, Japan | 04/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the first "Porgy and Bess recording I ever heard, and though it's not complete, it is the BEST. Bess is sung definitively by Leontyne Price, and the Porgy is every bit equal to her performance. Gershwin's music for this opera is amazing. It is jazz and black culture put into operatic form, and you can't get more soulful than that. "Summertime" (my favorite song ever) of course was wonderful, and "My Man's Gone Now" is the saddest thing I have ever heard - you can listen to it over and over. "Bess, you is my Woman Now" makes me cry too, it's so sweet. The acting is convincing as could be wished. As for Sportin' Life, he is played by the creator of the role who was NOT an opera singer but rather a vaudeville star, and chosen by Gershwin himself. At first he seems rather out of place beside the rest of the cast (Leontyne Price, for goodness' sake!) but he grows on you. I once heard a bass rendition of "It Ain't Neccisarily So" that was sung very low and deep, and very straight - and although I'm aware that Sportin' Life is a tenor role, it was a very effective rendition. However, as an indiviudual, this Sportin' Life was not bad at all, and his "There's a Boat dat's Leavin' Soon for New York" was VERY good and almost seductive, I thought.

Really, you couldn't get much better for $12.00!"