WAGNER: Die Walkure
Kirsten Flagstad (Brünhilde). Lauritz Melchior (Siegmund). Marjorie Lawrence (Sieglinde). Emanuel List (Hunding). Julius Huehu (Wotan). Karin Branzell (Fricka). Thelma Votipka (Gerjilde).. Maxine Stell,am (Prtlinde). Doris ?Doe (Waltraute). Anna Kaskas (Schwertleite). Dorothee Manski ( ()Helmwige). Helen Olheikm ( )( (Siegrune). Irra Petina ( (Grimgard). Lucielle Browning ( (Rosweise). Metropolitan Operra Orch/ERrich Leinsdorf, cond.
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 125 (3 disks in 2 two jewel boxes) TT: 3:18:15 + 10 min. extra
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CHARLES MUNCHG NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC BROADCASTS"
sSAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Olp. 78 (Eduard Nies-Berger, organ) (rec.Nov. 10, 1947). DIINDY: Symphony on a French Moiuntain Air, Op. 25 (Robert Casadesus, p[iano) (rec.Dec. 20, 1948).. MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, K. 467. (Robert Casadesus, piano) (rec. Dec. 20, 1948). BROADCAST OF DEC. 19, 1948: MOZART: Symphony No. 35 in D, K. 385 "Haffner." LISZT; Piano Concerto No. 2 in A (Robert Casadesus). CHABRIER: Bourée fantastique.
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 448 (2 disks) TT: 2:12:55
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DELIUS: Alppalachia. In a Summer Garden. Over the Hills and Far Away. Two Pieces fore Small Orchestra.
Royal Philharmonic Chorus and Orch/Sir Thomas Beecham, cond.
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 450 TT:78:44
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WAGNER: Lohengrin
Ivan Koslowski (Lohengrin). E;iosaweta Schumskaja (Elsa). Eugenia Smolenskaja (Ortyrud). Ilja Bogdanolv (Telramund). G;Troitski (König Heinrich). Juri Galkin (Heerrufer). USSR Radio Symphony Chorus and Orch/Samuil Samosud, cond.
WALHALL WLCD 0037 (3 disks)
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This performance of Die Walküre at the Met February 9, 1940 is legendary with its super-strong cast and some of the greatest Wagner singers of the century. Leinsdorf's tempi usually are brisk but he is flexible and tender where appropriate, particularly in the first act love music. Lauritz Melchior is a force of nature in this music, the definitive Siegmund, at the height of his career. It is known that the famed Danish tenor had an arrangement with Leinsdorf to show his power and strength in the cries of "Walse! Walse" in Act I. Each of these is held for about 11 seconds duration, an am amazing display of vocal power (these are considferably shorter in Melchior's famous 1935 recording conduycted by Bruno Walter), The only relatively unfamiliar name in a major role is Julius Huehn (1904-1971), an American bass-baritone who had a considerable career in Wagnerian roles. He made made his debut in 1935 and performed in several other American opera houses. He surely is an impressive Wotan, a fitting companion for his better-known fellow stars. This performance has been issued several times on CD, most recently as part of the 2013 Sony issue, a major multi-disk set of historic Wagner performances from the Met, at budget price (REVIEW).. Their transfer was from the Met original transcriptions. I don't understand the logic in Pristine's new issue. It is is taken from off-the-air acetates of the broadcast from an anonymous source. Producer Andrew Rose has worked valiantly to resurrect the audio and has achieved greater clarity for e voices. but bass often is undefined and excessive, sometimes obtrusive. . I have admired many Pristine operatic reissues in the past. This one doesn't improve on the Sony version. As usual with Pristine, there are no texts or translations, but a detailed track listing is provided.

Admirers of Charles Munch will find much pleasure in Pristine's 2-disk issue of performances with the New york Philharmonic. The first disk features recordings made for Columbia in 1947 (Saint-Saëns) and 1948 (D'Indy and Mozart), both recorded on the same day, December 20. The other disk offers a concert of December 19, 1948 in Carnegie Hall with Robert Casadesus as soloist—that concert also included the D'Indy but we do have the Mozart symphony;hony, Liszt concerto and Chabrier piece on this disk. .Incidentally, some years later, Casadesus would once again recorded the d'Indy with Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Munch would later record it with Nicole Henriot-Schweitzer and the Boston Symphony—recently reissued on Pristine (REVIEW). ). Munch was a volatile, vigorous conductor highly respected by the orchestras he worked with. All of these are outstanding performances. The Saint-Saéns symphony is imprelives although of course the mono recording cannot match the stereo spectacular sound of his 1959 RCA recording with the Boston Symphony. The performance of the Liszt concerto is magnificent showing the distinguished Frencianist to be a true virtuoso —an exciting performance indeed..There is much of interest ghere for collectors,.

Pristine's reissue of music of Delius conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham is a gem. Beecham pioneered the composer's music both in concerts and the recording studio. Here we have a major r early work, Appalachia, composed in the late 1880s when Delius was managing an orange plantation in Florida. At that time he heard many African-American farmers singing in the fields. Delius was so impressed by this he was motivated to become a composer. He incorporated much of this music in Appalachia. This is the conductor's second recording of the work (the first was dates from 1949; this newer one was tapedtape in1952. Sonically it is a fine example of well-balanced monophonic sound, even more impressive in Andrew Rose's ambient stereo remastering. Also included are other Delius favorites, In a Summer Garden, Over the Hills and Far Away, and Two Pieces for SMall Orchestra (the latter, recorded in 1956 the only true stereo original recording).. An excellent issue!.

Walhall seems to have a source for unusual recordings and they surely have provided one with this issue of Lohengrin sung in Russian recorded in a studio performance in 1949. No details are provided as to circumstances of this recording, but it is an excellent performance throughout, and the recorded sound is remarkably clear and resonant for its era. The set seems to be a tribute to the famous Russian tenor Ivan Koslovsky (1900-1993) who sings the title role in this performance. He was an acclaimed tenor at the Bolshoi Opera for almost three decades. . He was a favorite singer of Stalin, and never was allowed to leave Russia.Disk 3 in this set contains 9 tracks of recordings made at the height of his career ranging from opera arias to pop music. No texts, of course, or program notes—but it is super-budget price. What other odd items are lurking in the vaults?

R.E.B. (October 2015)