Petroff sings great baritone arias: Pagliacci,
I Puritani, Rigoletto,
The Barber of Seville, Macbeth.
from the complete Rigoletto recording.
Remington Capuana recording relesed in 1955 found its equal in the 1952
recording of Aida on LXT 2735/6/7 with Renata Tebaldi, Mario del Monaco,
Ebe Stignani and Aldo Protti with Chorus and Orchestra of the Academia
di Santa Cecilia, Rome under conductor Alberto Erede
is remarkable that
made recordings of complete operas available on his Remington label.
It shows that he had a full-blooded catalog in mind. Some ready recordings
were bought. There are at least two Remington recordings which appeared
on the Allegro-Royale label as well: La Bohème
and La Traviata.
opera recordings were made in Italy except for that one Madame
Butterfly with Daniza Illitsch, Ratko Delorco, Hildegard Rössel-Majdan,
and conductor Wilhelm Loibner; the one with the unknown conductor
Hans Doehrer directing Weber's Der Freischütz with
Karl Heinz Tuttner, Karl Duffek, Dora Paludan, and Hanni Löser;
and there is the 3 LP La Bohème recording with
Daniza Illitsch, Ratko Delorco, Dutch singer Theo Baylé and
Wilhelm Loibner conducting. If they were not produced by
Marcel Prawy, it was certainly Prawy who
obtained the tapes, although on several occasions Don Gabor himself
traveled to Europe to negociate deals.
complete Cosi fan tutte with Erna Hassler, Hetty Plümacher,
Käthe Nentwig, Albert Weikenmeier, Karl Hoppe, and Joseph Dunnwald
conducting was bought from the people of the Period label.
new MUSIRAMA opera recordings were all of Italian origin but now produced
Halasz, former director of the New York City Opera Company, who,
after the conflict with the board and subsequent resignation as director,
became Recording Director of Remington Records Inc. Naturally he knew
many venues, artists and conductors. His first production was Turandot.
In several cases Robert Blake is mentioned as recording engineer.
Remington catalog started with a complete Rigoletto
released in 1952.
most of the operas, Remington supplied a libretto for one dollar
extra. The librettos were bought from various publishers. Sometimes
the name of the record company and the reference number of the
release were printed on the cover.
Orlandina Orlandini (soprano), Lidia Melani (mezzo-soprano), Gino
(baritone), Mario Frosini (bass), Edio Peruzzi (bass), Rina Benucci
(mezzo-soprano), and conductor Erasmo Ghiglia. Released in 1952.
One year after the launching of Remington Records Don Gabor has another
first announcing the complete recordings of Rigoletto and Tosca.
Warren De Motte says in his Long Playing Record Guide about the complete
Rigoletto: "Remington's forces know their way around this score.
They perform without distinction, albeit with competence and the recording
C.G. Burke compiled a Verdi discography in High Fidelity Magazine,
Vol. 1, No. 1 (Summer 1951). He starts by describing the dramatic
introduction and other elements of the story and finds the Remington
performance quite fascinating. He continues with his views on the
Remington issue, which he calls "the small item of $6.57",
describing the atmosphere:
though it be, the melodrama has a great horror whose effect
is more forceful on records than in the theatre, its action
requiring expedients deterrent to credibility and productive
of titters individuous to tragedy. This is strong, energetic
and inventive Verdi, sharper at characterization than in any
previous work, lyrical but grim, and expertly descriptive. The
astonishing opening scene, with the corrupted splendour of the
Renaissance indicated to perfection by the simplist means while
the excitement of an awful foreboding grows, is one of the most
vivid quarter-hours in theatrical music; and the last act, whose
culminating staged horror is too pat and too contrived, is just
the same convincing in the music which describes it.
Malignantly obfuscating the sober excercise of judgement is
the small item of $6.57. This and the quality of the Remington
Rigoletto himself, Ivan Petroff, argue powerfully in Remington's
favor. Everything else is in Victor's favor, despite some good
singing by Orlandini and Sarri for Remington.
(...) The subsidiary singers for Remington are less than impressive;
the orchestra is smaller and less expert to a degree that permits
pretty culpable vagaries from wind-players. The direction is
less symphonic; there are some background noises: there is microphone
tumult now and then, particularly on Side 5. And yet the complete
impression is of a lively projection of the music. The sound
is clear and solid in a wide range of cycles and dynamics, and
the even superficial hissis easily overcome with very little
musical loss by use of a noise suppressor. This is certainly
more admirable sound than that of the old Columbia Traviata
(SL 103. R.A.B.), and Verdi's tragedy certainly emerges
with its horrible vitality fairly intact, since the recorded
crudities are only occasional. If the Victor version did not
exist we should be grateful for this one; and many people with
$6.57 are going to be grateful anyway." - G.C. Burke,
High Fidelity, 1951
printing of the libretto was done for REMINGTON RECORDS by Publisher
G. Ricordi & Co., New York 20 N.Y.
Vassilka Petrova, Eddy Ruhl, Pierre Campolonghi, Duilio Baronti, Melchiorre
Luise. Orchestra of the Maggio Fiorentino and Chorus of the Teatro
Communale and conductor Emilio Tierri.
Remington announced in Schwann Long Playing Record Catalog of December
1951 the complete recordings of Puccini's Tosca and Verdi's
Rigoletto that became available on LP for the first time.
La Tosca with Bianca Scacciati - Alessandro Granda - Enrico
Molinari - Salvatore Baccaloni - Aristide Baracchi - Tomano Cortellino
- Emilio Venturini Scala Milan Chorus and Orchestra conducted by Cav
Lorenzo Molajoli, recorded in the shellac era in 1929, became available
on Columbia's Entrée label much later, in December 1953.
The Remington Set of Tosca is already listed in The Long Playing
Record Catalog of December 1951. In the same edition a Westminster
advertisement announces "Another Westminster First! The only
complete recording of Puccini's... Tosca". However that complete
Westminster Set is not yet listed.
statement, that the complete recording of Verdi's Rigoletto is also
a first on LP, is not right. There was already a 3 x 12" record
Set available on Victor, since the catalog edition of October 1950,
with Leonard Warren, Erna Berger, Jan Peerce, Nan Merriman, Italo
Tajo, and Renato Cellini conducting the RCA Victor Orchestra (Victor
LM 6101). Westminster could have been right only if the RCA recording
had several cuts. In any case, the messages in these advertisments
show that the competition was fierce and that one company did not
check carefully what the other was doing.
This recording was listed in the 1952 Remington catalog but did not
appear in the catalog issued by Remington in 1953, though the Set
is evaluated by Warren Demotte in his 1955
Long Playing Record Guide and receives the following criticism:
poor performance and unbalanced recording do not even have a relatively
low price as compensation, for the opera is on three records against
the two of any other company's issue, with the exception of Westminster.-
Westminster recording - Argeo Quadri conducting - was the most expensive
on the market. Winner was of course the Maria Callas/De Sabata Set
on Angel / His Master´s Voice.
Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana
Vassilka Petrova, Eddy Ruhl, Ivan Petroff, Rina Benucci, Lidia Malani.
Orchestra of the Maggio Fiorentino and Chorus of the Teatro Communale
and conductor Erasmo Ghiglia. Released in May 1952.
been collecting opera recordings for over thirty years, since
my mid-teens. Even at the risk of compromising sound quality,
there was always something compelling about the ambiance of
particular older recordings, and I'm not just referring to
the historical 78's, both acoustical and electric, in the
archives, but to the early mono LP recordings as well.
long play record came into being during the summer of 1948,
introduced by Columbia (although there have been some versions
of 33 1/3 rpm since before 1930, actually introduced by Victor,
nothing was commercially feasible for the recording industry
market until after the second World War, due to economics
or otherwise). RCA Victor was a little slow to jump back on
the bandwagon, introducing, instead, 45 rpm records on small
disks and not conceding to LP's until a year later, so that
in 1949 and early 1950 Columbia predominated with complete
opera sets. However, right at the same time, other record
companies in the immediate era sprang up with generally low-budget
offerings on their labels. By 1951 all major American record
companies and a lot of long-obscure and defunct ones had opera
sets on LP. Some examples:
- Columbia, Parlophone and Pathé in Europe;
Entré - an American budget label reissuing Columbia's
complete opera sets from the days of early electric 78's,
RCA Victor - His Master's Voice in Britain and Europe
with their Historical Series, also re-releasing their earliest
electrical complete opera sets; later they also owned Camden,
an offshoot of RCA in the United States;
Cetra - from Italy, known as Cetra-Soria in the United
States due to distributor;
American Decca - licensing the Deutsche Grammophon
London Records - Decca in Great Britain;
Urania - with many recordings made in Germany.
And of course there was Remington and the other Gabor
labels Plymouth and Merit.
Towards the 1960's, even more labels came out, Mercury, Angel/EMI,
Nonesuch, Turnabout (part of the Everest-Cetra conglomerate
in later years), Capitol, Seraphim, Victrola (these last three
were budget Victor lines, the last label also featuring recordings
of historical interest), Richmond (budget London).
only two Remington opera sets I own were both recorded in
1951: Cavalleria Rusticana and Tosca. What they
have in common, besides their year of release, are the principal
singers: Edward Ruhl and Vassilka Petrova.
Despite accusations of "second rate" orchestration,
the Cavalleria Rusticana, especially, is performed
with such heart that it seems an unfair shot to call it second
rate. If some of the singing leaves much to be desired by
its principals - all of the singing as far as Petrova is concerned
- the chorus is acceptable and there's a certain verve and
brio in the orchestra, however crudely emitted in the rendition
on discs pressed from inferior material.
Edward Ruhl's voice has a muffled, bottled quality
to it, but I've certainly heard worse tenors, many of them
big names. A listener can relax with Ruhl's average performance
and not find any particular glaring fault with it, but Vassillka
Petrova's presence in this recording goes beyond her being
no doubt an inexpensive hire. She sounds like a bad Zinka
Milanov, and Milanov, who never had a particularly beautiful
voice, was painful to listen to when she was well past her
prime, in the late 1950's; every listener wonders why RCA
Victor couldn't pair the eminent Jussi Bjorling with a better
Tosca in the 1957 studio recording.
Petrova was referred to as a camp artifact in Paul Gruber's
The Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera (W.W.
Norton & Company, New York 1992), and any listener can
understand why. Glamorous photos of an obviously attractive
young woman on the covers of both opera albums only give rise
to the "What! Was she only chosen for her looks?"
speculation. If Petrova can squawk her way through a painfully
strident "Voi lo sapate, O Mamma," and the "Tu
Qui, Santuzza" confrontation duet with Ruhl's Turridu,
her Easter Hymn is a trial to listen to.
the "a" off Petrova and replace the "v"
with "ff" and there's a listenable Alfio by baritone
Ivan Petroff. Somehow this version of Cavalleria manages
to not only go forward, but keep a listener's attention as
far as interest in the performance which has "Touring
company level" as Warren DeMotte calls this set
in his 1955 Long Playing Record Guide. Yet it still has more
soul, personality, and feeling to it than any post-1980 digital
CD production, where jet-setting performers record in different
studios and the recordings are anonymously mixed by engineers.
the Remington "Tosca" Ruhl gets by acceptably,
but the orchestration is a little less forceful. Campolonghi's
Scarpia is as good as many on the major studio releases; he
acquits himself very well in this performance: menacing, firm-toned,
and robust. The recording is worth his voice alone. If he's
not Leonard Warren or Ettore Bastiannini, it's still a better
listen than Tito Gobbi's, who was marvelous to watch in films
and a great master at characterization, but still left a little
to be desired in always keeping entirely in tune - or having
a particularly attractive voice.
a gutsy, coarse, verismo Santuzza is acceptable on
Cavelleria Rusticana, so that a lot of the squillante can
be excused for dramatic effect, on Tosca it is indefensible.
Tosca, after all, is supposed to be an operatic performer.
Gutsy isn't even a factor in Petrova's singing. There is no
bottom to her voice; her lower register fades out, unsupported,
as badly as her high notes. In several instances, most notably
when she is heard singing off-stage "performing for the
Queen", while Scarpia plots in his office, she entirely
misses her ascent, so that it comes out a strangled, truncated
bark. This has been referred to as The Tosca From Hell, a
party item, and other epithets by snickering cultists, and
there's no denying it. Because of the languor and apparent
disinterest in the orchestra's playing, one eagerly waits
for this Tosca to end, after getting through the aghast hearing
of Scarpia's murder, which is not to be missed - the faded-sounding
struggle to regain breath control, the incapacity to even
spew a hair-raising "Quest' il bacio di Tosca!"
which every soprano on her outs can manage to muster.
wouldn't miss owning these Remington recordings for the world.
I intend to collect more - to be taken back into the world
of nearly 60 years ago, the dawn of long-play records, the
struggle for often even less than steady footing in the market
by obscure and bargain/budget record companies, compels and
enchants the listener, harkening back to an era that will
never be resurrected. - Laura Homonnay-Demilio (member
of the Advisory Board of the Jussi Björling Society USA)
by Curt John Witt
Verdi: La Traviata (The Wayward)
Violetta: Rosetta Noli; Alfredo: Giuseppe Campora; Germont: Carlo
Tagliabue; Flora: Giulia Olini; Annina: Giulia Olini; Gastone: Cesare
Masini Sperti; Baron Douphol: Ottavio Serpo; Marchese D'Obigny: Edo
Ferretti; Dottore Grenvil: Dario Caselli; Chorus and Orchestra of
the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Umberto Berrettoni conducting. This
recording was also issued by Don Gabor on his Plymouth label with
Remington 3 LP Set was released in April 1952 and was reviewed in
the Summer 1952 edition of High Fidelity Magazine in an article by
C.G. Burke, The LP records of Giuseppe Verdi. (In that
issue the author reviewed also Remington's Rigoletto.)
was dictator of the operatic world when Traviata was
written, but the first performance of the most lyrical and easily
enjoyable of his operas was a fiasco. It was a bad performance;
but it is hard to understand how any audience could have resisted
the superb alternations of gayety and tenderness that make a
slick and unconvincing libretto into a convincing and touching
drama, barely frayed after ninety-nine years, and stagewise
more plausible as its epoch fades into the colored mists of
a retrospectively romantic past.
After a nod to Columbia for her pioneering effort on LP, and
the observations that the Remington price of $6.57 is of no
significance here, we may dismiss with a few rather unkind words
their editions in favor of the one that relaly counts. The Columbia
is a dull recording of a so-so performance, with a heavy, tubby
bass and lusterless treble. What seems to be some pretty good
singing on the Remington is terribly burlesqued on discs of
fantastically maimed sound which compose a curiosity of recording
and as such may be gleefully sought by collectors. Her Rigoletto
shows that Remington can produce satisfactory engineering, but
the Traviata hardly seems credible even while it is tin-canning
forth its sorry message. It is a pitty that the Remington surfaces
have been so much improved for these disca; a powerful surface
noise would be welcome to cover the sound intentionally recorded.
- G.C. Burke, High Fidelity, Summer Edition, 1952
Hinton, Jr. had this to say in High Fidelity Magazine, January-February
newest complete opera release from Remington is by far that
company's best effort in the feld so far. Technically it is
quite good - ever so much better than the earlier Rigoletto.
As a performance, too, it is quite reputable. The orchestra
is good, the conductor competent, and the cast all perfectly
acceptable in their roles. Francis Schimenti, whose Violetta
receives top billing on the album cover, is an American girl
now singing in Italy, Shew displays a bright, easily-projected
voice and a good deal of facility, and although she seldom probes
very far beneath the emotional surface she always sings with
good style and complete technical command. The same might be
said of Arrigo Polo, the Alfredo. Walter Mona Chesi, the Germont,
makes his points amphatically and intelligently, and the comprimarios
are all acceptable. Neither the singers before the microphones
nor luigi Ricci before the orchestra have any gret revelations
to make; but they present La Traviata cleanly and honestly,
and it is, after all, a goods core. In presenting a performance
of this quality at so low a price Remington is performing much
the same function as the New York City Opera performs in giving
performances of comparable quality at a $3 top - it isn't the
Metropolitan, but it costs only half as much. - James Hinton
were two complete Traviatas availble when G.C. Burke's review
was published. But soon there were three available - the Columbia
(SL 103), and the set on RCA Victor (LM 6003 with Toscanini conducting)
and even a fourth, because Burke's criticism obviously did incite
Don Gabor to buy another recording of La Traviata which was
released half a year later, November, 1952, on R-199-98/3.
reason for the second Remington was also the meager sound recording
of R-199-77/3. Had the tonal balance been better then the appreciation
would have increased, no doubt. Yet both Remington editions were available
until the Fall of 1953. After that the newer complete set was the
only Remington Traviata listed. Notwithstanding the critic's view,
many opera listeners may have enjoyed the efforts of Berrettoni with
his cast and the Rome Theatre Orchestra and Chorus when the tone controls
on the amplifier would have been adjusted.
complete recording of La Boème conducted by Wilhelm Loibner
on three discs in a box. Remington R-199-80.
Puccini: La Boheme
Daniza Illitsch, Ratko Delorco (also spelled Ratco Delorco), Hildegarde
Rössel-Majdan, Ruthilde Boesch, Theo Baylé, Marion Rus,
Georg Oeggl, and Emil Siegerth. Austrian Symphony and Chorus, Wilhelm
Delorco debuted at the Zagreb State Opera in 1945.
Illitsch from Yugoslavia debuted with the Berlin State Opera and
then joined the Vienna State Opera.
Baylé distiguisged himself in 1951 with the New York City
cover of the recording with vocal highlights of the recording
of La Boème on Remington R-199-104
High Fidelity of December, 1958, David Johnson reviewed operas
by Puccini. About the editions of La Bohème on the cheap labels
Allegro-Royale and Remington he wrote:
"The Allegro-Royale is a decent, inexpensive version. The
orchestral playing is quite as good as that of most of the competing
versions, and the engineering is excellent when the inferior
vinyl surfaces allow it to be. The veteran Lauri-Volpi can no
longer manage notes above the staff without shrill effort, but
his singing gives ample evidence of former glory. The American
soprano Frances Schimenti has a great deal of style (much of
it rather homespun), but she rivals Lauri-Volpi for shrillness
in her upper register. There is no libretto. Columbia's San
Carlo Boheme is the newest and possibly the worst in the offing,
characterized by a poorly recorded chorus, a razor-voiced Musetta,
a Mimi who refuses to cough (in its way an admirable assertion
of independence), an easy going conductor leading a sloppy orchestra,
and-in addition-Gianni Poggi.
Finally, there is Remington. Remington offers the only German
recording of Bohème. That is, the singers are singing
Italian, but it might as well be German. Electronically, the
recording is a punishment to the ears. The two principals, Ratko
Delorco and Daniza llitsch are experienced vocalists and not
entirely to be dismissed, but the engineers don't give them
a chance." - David Johnson, High Fidelity, December,
in High Fidelity of December, 1958 wrote about Madame Butterfly:
"The Remington version, valiantly bringin up the rear,
has one thing only to recommend it: the singing of Hilde Rössl-Majdan's
Puccini: Madame Butterfly
Daniza Illitsch, Ratko Delorco, Hildegarde Rössel-Majdan, August
Jaresch, Jovan Gligor, Emil Siegerth. Austrian Symphony and Chorus,
Verdi: La Traviata
Frances Schimenti, Arrigo Pola, Pierro Passerotti, Virgilio Stocco,
Loretta di Lelio, Walter Mona Chesi, Anna Marcangeli, Carlo Platania,
Opera Rome, Luigi Ricci conducting. Chorus master in Giuseppe Conca.
The Allegro-Royale reference number is 1544/1545.
Remington issue of La Bohème conducted by Luigi Ricci.
the Allegro-Royale disc with highlights from La Bohème
with the same cast as on the Remington issue.
Puccini: La Bohème
Frances Schimenti, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, Mafalda Micheluzzi, Giovanni
Ciavola, Victor Tatozzi, Enzo Tita, Pierro Pazerotti, Teatro dell´opera
Roma, Luigi Ricci, conductor. The same recording was released on 3
discs on the Plymouth label, reference P-42-3.
details of the singers and the conductors were always scarce and more
often not available. The Allegro Royale release with highlights of
La Boheme gives the follwing briographical information:
young American lyric soprano, debuted (...) with the Cincinnati
Opera Company as Micaela in Carmen. Immediately thereafter she
was engaged by the San Francisco Opera Company where she sang
a variety of major lyric parts. Her New York debut was effected
at Carnegie Hall, where she appeared as Violetta in Traviata,
Mimi in Bohème and Marguerita in Faust with the New York
Philharmonic Orchestra. An engagement with the San Francisco
Opera Company followed with over 20 performances at 8 different
roles, starting with Boris Godounoff with Ezio Pinza in the
little part. Miss Schimenti then went to Rome, where she was
heard in Teatro dell'Opera as Mimi and Violetta. Today she is
recognized as the possession of one of the finest soprano voices
in the world. - (from Allegro-Royale liner notes)
has been known as one of the world's foremost tenors since his
debut at the Teatro Contanzi in Rome in 1915. Lauri-Volpi came
to the Metropolitan in the 1922 season and in the ensuing decade
sang a total of 39 major parts in over 500 performances. Since
his return to Europe he has appeared with colossal success in
all major opera houses. Today at 63 years of age, he is still
known as the foremost tenor of Europe and is singing regularly
at La Scala and other major European opera houses. At right
image of Giacomo Lauri Volpi taken from Cetra 45 RPM 7"
- (from Allegro-Royale liner notes)
reason for buying another, complete recording of La Bohème
and making it available next to the Wilhelm Loibner set, is difficult
to assess. Which of the two recorded performances was the better option?
Or was his decision led by the names of the performers? Warren
Demotte writes in the Long Playing Record Guide:
Remington's recordings aspires to be any better than touring-company
average, and each of them takes three records to any other company's
two. - Warren Demotte (1955)
Weber: Der Freischütz
Karl Heinz Tuttner, Karl Duffek, Dora Paludan, Hanni Löser, Alfons
Kral, Kurt Wehofschütz, Austrian State Symphony, Hans Doehrer
libretto was translated into English by Ellen A. Lebow. Bernard
Lebow wrote the program notes for this edition. The cover was
designed by Alex Steinweiss.
Mozart: Cosi fan tutte
Hassler (soprano), Hetty Plümacher (contralto), Käthe Nentwig
(soprano), Albert Weikenmeier (tenor), Karl Hoppe (baritone) and Joseph
Dunnwald conducting the Stuttgart Tonstudio Orchestra.
performance of Cosi fan tutte was listed in Schwann of July
1952 as a release on the Period label, reference PLP 555.
In Great Britain this recording was first published on the Nixa
label with the same reference in December 1952. Period 555 was the
first complete Cosi fan tutte available on LP in the US. Half a year
later, in December 1952, Columbia presented the 1952 Metropolitan
Opera production conducted by Fritz Stiedry which was sung
by Eleanor Steber and Richard Tucker on SL-122. Apparently
Columbia made haste to release the recording. The three record set
of Period as well as the Columbia were expensive. The Period set did
not sell too well because of the competition of the more familiar
and better MET production. Not long after the Columbia set was available,
it was announced that Don Gabor would buy the Period performance made
in Stuttgart. Gabor bought the plates from which the Remington discs
were pressed. In the January 1953 edition of Schwann Long Playing
Record Catalog both the Period 555 and the Remington R-199-117/3
box sets are listed. This could be a mistake made by the publisher.
However it is plausible that this was a condition in the agreement
as Period still had a number of copies in stock.
The Nixa set from Great Britain was reviewed by Alec Robertson,
music editor of The Gramophone (December 1952 issue):
is a good average performance of Cosi fan tutte, with plenty
of spirit but not much sense of style. One has only to compare
the numbers recorded by the Glyndebourne cast (...) to see the
artistic deficiencies of the present set. I should except Hetty
Plumacher from this criticism : her voice is of lovely quality
and she has a keener perception of the style required than her
companions. Erna Hassler has some good moments but her shrill
top notes prejudice the success of her two arias and in general
she is at her best in the concerted numbers. Karl Hoppe and
Franz Kelch are adequate and Käthe Nentwig is a lively
Despina. I did not care much for Albert Weikenmeier's voice,
which is that of the typical German tenor, and he is most acceptable
when tingeing softly.(...) The orchestral playing lacks distinction
and is not helped by peculiarly dry recording. (...) It is fair
to say, I think, that this issue would have been much more acceptable
had greater care been taken over the engineering, a matter which
is all the more urgent where there is little action but a continuous
succession of static numbers requiring intimacy, sensitivity
and variety of sound." - Alec Robertson, The Gramophone,
Gertrude Grob-Prandl, Antonio Sprùzzola-Zola, Norman Scott,
Renata Ferrari-Ongaro, Angelo Mercuriali, Mariano Caruso, and Marcello
Rossi. Franco Capuana was conducting the 'Teatro la Fenice'
(Venice Opera Company). Recorded in the summer of 1953 under the supervision
of Laszlo Halasz.
James Hinton Jr. of High Fidelity Magazine wrote:
main thing in favor of the Remington Turandot set are modern
engineering and good orchestral performance at an attractively
low price - and, oddly, extremely good casting in the minor
roles of Ping, Pang and Pong. Otherwise it is flawed. On paper,
Gertrud Grob Prandl (...) looks like an asset. In actuality
she is disappointing.(...) Antonio Spruzzola Zola, is nobody
in particular (...). Norman Scott sings a very fine Timur. (...)
The Remington is a hodgepodge of the good, disappointing, and
practically incompetent. Still, it is well recorded, and it
is cheap, and it is Turandot. - James Hinton Jr.,
David Johnson wrote in High Fidelity's issue of December 1958:
Remington dates from 1953. Its sound is better than might be
supposed, although there is an amplitude of pre-Űcho and noisy
surfaces. The orchestra of Venice's La Fenice is a fine one,
not to be condescended to, and the excellent chorus sounds almost
as big as the 120 on Angel. The Liu has a touching little voice,
very much like a boy soprano's; her first aria is an example
of how much can be accomplished with the simplest, most direct
expressive means. But the commedia dell'arte court officials
are, one and for all, far inferior to Angel's; Norman Scott's
Timur is bottom-heavy; and the German Turandot makes her appearance
on Side 4 singing, in a wobbling nasal voice "In kvesta redcha."
Side 4 is as far as I got. - David Johnson,
High Fidelity. December, 1958
Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana
Teresa Apolei, Pina Geri, Antonio Spruzzola Zola, Piero Campolonghi,
Letizia Del Col and the 'Teatro la Fenice' conducted by
This set replaced the earlier recording of conductor Erasmo Ghiglia
with Vassilka Petrova, Edward Ruhl, Ivan Petrov and Benucci.
Mary Curtis, Oralia Dominguez, Umberto Borso, Ettore Bastianini, Norman
Scott, Enzo Feliciati (on label and box wrongly spelled as Felicitati),
and Uberto Scaglioni. Franco Capuana conducting Orchestra and
Chorus of the 'Teatro la Fenice'. Released in 1955.
Slezak who maintains The Collector's Vault and did a program on the
Remington "Aida", was researching information on this recording.
He found that Umberto Borso added the role of Radamesto to his repetoire
on Feb. 25, 1954. This means that the Remington recording was probably
made before his actual stage assumption of the role.
This is in accordance with the mention in Billboard magazine of July
1953 were it says that Laszlo Halasz was in Venice to make opera recordings
for Remington. So the recording was made in the summer of that year.
1955 Dutch opera critic Leo Riemens reviewed this recording
and compared it to the Decca LXT 2735-37 from 1952 in Dutch monthly
record magazine "Luister...". He concluded that the Remington
AIDA was as good as the Decca (London) recording:
"Surprising is how the voices, with this "Musirama"
hi-fi recording system, remain separated. In Verdi's most complicated
ensemble every voice can be followed individually."
best conductor and recording. Decca the best Aida and sound
direction. Remington the best Amneris and Amonasro. Decca a
somewhat better Radames. Both equally good basses. Even without
considering the price categories a real surprising result."-
Leo Riemens in "Luister...", February, 1955.
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
R-199-200/3 - Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti) with Orchestra
and Chorus of "Teatro La Fenice" (Venice Theater, Italy).
Renata Ferrari Ongaro (Lucia); Giacinto Prandelli (Edgardo); Filippo
Philip Maero (Enrico); Norman Scott (Raimondo); Tosca Da Lio (Alisa);
Uberto Scaglione (Normano); Luigi Pontiggia (Arturo). The conductor
long time I presumed that the complete recording of Lucia di Lammermoor
performed by the Teatro la Fenice on Remington R-199-200/3 was conducted
by Jonel Perlea. This record set was never encountered by me. However
Schwann Long Playing Record Catalog Artist Listing 1956 lists
this recording as being conducted by Laszlo Halasz.
A Bruil - Page first published December 18, 2008
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