Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mozart, Scotti, Berger|
Les Introuvables du Chant Mozartien: 50 Years of Mozart Singing on Records
Genres: Pop, Classical
A very good anthology
Philip S. Griffey | Bainbridge I. WA USA | 12/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While this anthology of Mozart's vocal music recorded between 1903 and 1953 is not quite as enjoyable as its Verdi & Wagner counterparts (Les Introuvables Du Chant Verdien, Les Introuvables Du Chant Wagnérien); it is perhaps more educational. With the exception of a few singers and conductors, Mozart's music was performed with slow tempi and dense orchestral textures until the 1930's - when Beecham, Busch and Bruno Walter led the way towards today's lighter, more elegant performance styles. This contrast can be seen immediately in the first two pieces from Figaro: "Se Vuol Ballare", recorded in 1928 with Stabile, is conducted at a very slow march-like tempo - robbing the piece of its vigor, wit, anger and irony, while "Non So Piu Cosa Son", recorded in 1935 with Beecham conducting Louise Helletsgruber at Glyndebourne is fast and light - perfectly capturing the callow and capricious nature of the teenage page.
One could question what was going on in the producers' selection process. Some of the French singers selected are outstanding: Geraldine Feraldy in "Voi che sapete" and the amazing 58 year old Ninon Vallin in "Dove sono"; but others appear to have been selected on grounds other than aesthetic. We have three (!!!) "Deh, vieni alla finestra" and the only "Finch'han dal vino" sung by either superannuated or pedestrian French baritones. Reynaldo Hahn may have been a friend of Proust, but if he really gave lessons in voice production, phrasing and diction, it may account for the precipitous decline in French singers after the 1930's; his amateurish "Un'aura amorosa" does not belong in this compilation
Some of the other selections are also questionable. I revere my elders as much as the next man, and I have no doubt that Sir Charles Santley was an excellent singer in his earlier years; but including his recording of "Non piu andrai" made at the age of 70 did neither the singer nor the listeners any favors. Equally, the much younger Helge Roswaenge's strained "Dalla sua pace" is a trial for all concerned.
Not including the exceptions listed above (and some not mentioned in the interest of brevity), most of the selections are both interesting and attractive - and some are wonderful. Particularly enjoyable are the above-mentioned arias with Feraldy & Vallin, along with pieces by Fritzi Jökl, Erna Berger, Elisabeth Grümmer, Ezio Pinza, John McCormack, Alexander Kipnis and Gottlob Frick.
If you are unfamiliar with historical singers , this compilation is a good introduction. Listeners with some familiarity with early recordings will still find some unusual and under-rated singers. Needless to say, the audio quality varies from archival to quite good.