Shall I Go On?
Volume XVI - 2 Party CDs of Vocal Oddities
2 CDs / $12
w/o jewel case:
w/ jewel case:
LISTEN TO EXCERPTS:
CD 1: Aida thru Otello
CD 2: Pagliacci thru Zauberflöte
01 AH, PERFIDO!
Supposedly, this is the last vocalization of Maria Callas, a recording of Beethoven's concert aria "Ah, perfido!", recorded with piano in Paris in 1976. If it's her, it's not bad… And if it's not her last, well.. it's a document.
Here's another example (see Volume XI, CD A, track 01) of Franco Corelli having a good night and easily doing things that any tenor of the past 30 years could only dream of doing. On February 20, 1968 during a performance of Aida, he sings incredible diminuendi during the second verse and at the end of "Celeste Aida". The conductor is Anton Guadagno. Is this from Philadelphia or New York?
Marisa Galvany interpolates a spectacular high Eb at the end of the Aida Triumphal Scene in Mexico City on October 8, 1972. Her Rhadames is Harry Theyard, Amneris is Lili Chookasian but the Amonasro is unknown. This outing is better than the one on Volume X, CD A, track 03.
One of Joan Sutherland's early roles was the Priestess in Aida, sung offstage. This is from a Covent Garden performance of June 10, 1953. The cast included Maria Callas, Giulietta Simionato, Kurt Baum, Jess Walters and was conducted by Sir John Barbirolli
The aria "O patria mia" challenges just about every soprano taking on the role of Aida. Is Leontyne Price the only one that did not cause worry and panic in her audience?
Montserrat Caballe sang only two Aidas at the Met, one with Robert Nagy (cover?), Marilyn Horne, Cornell MacNeil, Jerome Hines and James Morris. The second performance was cast with Placido Domingo, Mignon Dunn, Louis Quilico, Hines and Richard T. Gill. It was during this second one (March 26, 1976) that, upon arriving for the high C, Caballe must have thought "screw it" and blasted the note marked pianissimo. It sounds like a splice, but after a close inspection of the spectrograph of the sound file, it's not.
06 BLUEBERRY HILL
The many talents of the Russian Premiere Vladimir Putin emerge every day. Here he plays the tune first on the piano then sings "Blueberry Hill" during this December 13, 2010 Russian telecast.
Montserrat Caballe vibrates the Habanera from Bizet's Carmen during this 2009 concert in Basil, Switzerland. She's 77 years young.
In light of the global nightmare of the astrological remix, Elina Garanca performs the aria "The Age of Aquarius" fromt he opera Hair, a favorite work of Blanche Thebom, any Mélisande and Jonas Kaufmann, not tomention Renata Tebaldi in the late 1960s.
A short work of Arbnold Schöberg called "Herzgewächess", scored for soprano, celesta, harp, and harmonium. It's his 20th composition and he's already out there in left field. French chirper Mady Mesplé handily executes the sustained high F.
10 I WISH YOU LOVE
Bette Davis wishes us all love (except her daughter, of course) during this television appearance in July of 1977.
11 IM TIEFEN KELLER
Talk about easy low notes. Basso profundissimo Emre Koreh sings this song by Ludwig Fischer and Karl Müchler. Translated as "In a deep wine cellar", Koreh makes nothing of leaps of 14 steps (octave plus 6) down and from low B below the bass staff.
12 LITTLE MISS BRITTEN
Dudley Moore does an uncanny imvocalation of Sir Peter Pears during this May 1961 "Beyond The Fringe" concert.
13 LOVE IS WHERE YOU FIND IT
Anna Moffo shows off not only her vocal talent but her keyboard skill in "Love Is Where You Find It" during this 1967 Italian television appearance.
Helen Chutzpah (I'm not making this up you know) gives her rendition of the Act I aria and cabaletta from Lucia di Lammermoor. She's not exactly a bel canto specialist. She's also not exactly and Italian language mistress. And like Anna Netrebko, she can't care less about all those pesky little sixteenth notes in the printed score of Donizetti. But one thing for sure, she lives up to - or down to - her last name. Hers is second to track 01 on Volume VII, CD B.
Eugenia Miroshnichenko sings the Mad Scene from Lucia interpolating a high Ab at one point. One also hears phrases not heard in "normal" performances of this showpiece.
16 NATIONAL ANTHEM
Comedienne Roseanne Barr got herself into a heap 'o trouble when she sang the National Anthem at a baseball game on July 25, 1990. She later remarked that she started the performance in a key too high for her delicate voice.
17 NAUGHTY MARIETTA
An hysterical performance of the "Italian Street Song" from Victor Herbert's Naughty Marietta by Beatrice Kay. The recording dates from around 1950 and is rather munchkin-like.
Before he became a household baritone name, Piero Cappuccilli recorded the role of Antonio the gardener with a cast that included Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth Söderström, Teresa Berganza, Fernando Corena and Ernest Blanc. The conductor was Carlo Maria Giulini.
Nelson Eddy sings "O What a Beautiful Morning". I love his pronunciation of "meadow".
20 OLD MAN MOSE
Betty Hutton, age 18, sings "Old Man Mose" during a Vitaphone short of 1939.
Mario del Monaco, at age 56, proves he still had what it took on April Fool's Day, 1971 in Budapest. And, like track 05 on Volume VII, CD B, he combines the final two phrase of "Esultate!". This is the last existing recording of him singing the role, available only in excerpts.
A lesson on not covering: Cornell MacNeil sings the finale of the Prologue from Pagliacci wide open except for the highest note of Ab, which proves to be a good decision. Not only is it a huge high Ab but he sings a sustained "e" vowel while up there.
Dutch baritone Tomas De Vries interpolates a high A during the Nedda/Silvio duet with soprano Deborah Lynn-Cole during this August 4, 2004 performance. It happens in the second repeat of their "Tutto scordiam"s.
The original Mélisande, Maggie Teyte, sings the acapulco folk song sung at the beginning of Act III from her accompanist's opera, Pelléas et Mélisande.
04 POOR BUTTERFLY
Al Jolson and Oscar Levant intone a song during the Kraft Music Hall show in 1947. It quotes Puccini using the leitmotiv heard just before the Pinkerton line "Viene la sera".
ASAP, pick up the phone and call Il Bambino Protettivo Revisiona! A modern day Denis Gonet (see Volume II, CDB, track 03), 14-year-old Jacopo Menconi gnarls his way through "Summertime" during this Italian television appearance. Could his young throat be closed any tighter?
Luciano Pavarotti wasn't the household name he became when he participated in performances of I puritani with the Philadelphia Grand Opera, particularly on January 18, 1972. The cast included Beverly Sills in her first essay of Elvira, Louis Quilico and Paul Plishka with Anton Guadagno. The word "stentorian" does not sufficiently describe Pavarotti's high C# above high C during this second verse of "A te o cara".
From the same performance, an excerpt from the duet "Vieni fra queste brachia", hear Pavarotti laserize a high Eb and later with his colleague, Beverly Sills. What she must have thought when she first heard him sing this...
From the same performance, Pavarotti delivers a stellar high Db during the duet "Credeasi Misera".
Chris Merritt mellifluously makes his mark during this second verse of "A te o cara" in Chicago on October 23, 1991.
From the same performance, Chris Merritt zings a high Db twice during the duet "Credeasi Misera" but the high C ain't so high.
11 ROCKA E AL ROLLA
Steve Allen presents the world premiere of the new opera La Rocka e la Rolla by the prolific and VERY popular composer, Elviso Presleyo. The interpreters are Rise Stevens and Jan Peerce.
During this Bell Telephone Hour television show, a rolled "r" seems to be an afterthought (happening at 00:37) of Joan Sutherland while singing the recitative to "Come per me serene".
13 STAR TREK
At the 2005 Emmy Awards alongside William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Frederica von Stade (alien) sings a most memorable performance of the Star Trek Vocalise, originally scored under the title "Where No Man Has Gone Before". If only.
14 TERRA DI SORRISI
What? You haven't called Il Bambino Protettivo Revisiona yet? Please, for the love of Dio, do so as it might be too late to save the 14-year-old life of JacopoMenconi, especially after hearing him squeeze out "Tu che mi hai presto il cor" from Lehar's La Terra di Sorrisi. (
Please… please… arrest the handlers of JacopoMenconi: I beg of you, call CPS and have them transfer your call to Il Bambino Protettivo Revisiona. He must be stopped from "singing" "E lucevan le stelle".
Anna Moffo experiences a most pregnant pause after the jump in St. Petersburg, FL in March of 1977 during this performance of Tosca. The tricky pickup is too much for those fine St. Petersburg instrumentalists, in spite of being conducted by Frances Ford Coppola's daddy, Anton. The alive-then-dead Cavaradossi is sung by Ruben Dominguez.
What a sweet little concert performance of the sweet drinking song from La traviata with the sweet young tenor forgetting some words and the mostly female gowned-up chorus singing their sweet brief line.
Then the Violetta comes in. All is shambles for the ending.
Renata Tebaldi shrieks a wonderful hackle as she begins "Sempre libber" during this Buenos Aires performance of La traviata on August 24, 1951. Before Fritz Wunderlich, there was Giuseppe Campora interpolating what should have been a high C during Alfredo's offstage response, but he convinced the evening's diva to transpose her aria down a whole step (I'm kidding: Tebaldi never sang the aria in key throughout her career.
Marina Poplavskaya decides to sing a line down an octave near the end of "Sempre libber" during this New York performance of January 12, 2011. Apparently there's a new concession at this house: sing and don't sing any way you want in any octave. The offstage Alfredo is Matthew Polenzani.
Andrzej Dobber lets out a sadistic laugh during his Act II duet with Marina Poplavskaya during the same above performance. One question: Why?!?
Listen to the second verse of an encored "Di provenza" by Manuel Ausensi during this 1961 Mexico City performance of La traviata. After the Alfredo of Giuseppe di Stefano runs off, Ausensi takes the alternate upward transposition from Bb to Db, thus giving him the opportunity to sing a high Ab.
What do Fiorenza Cossotto, Deborah Voigt and Natalia de Andrade have in common? They can't stop. Here the mezzo shakes her version of "Stride la vampa" from Il trovatore.
Have you no compassion? Jacopo Menconi sings "Nessun dorma" (cutting the repeat of the title because it's too low for this dramattichinetta tenoretto). You're letting this 14-year-old emerge into adulthood, growing up with a destroyed larynx.
24 WIZARD OF OZ
Judy Garland's last recording, singing (of course) "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" live, in London, in 1969. The entire cabaret concert was recorded by her then husband, Mickey Deans, with a hand-held battery-operated tape recorder, using a single microphone. She died almost three months later.
A 7-year-old Chinese boy sings the Queen of the Night's rage aria from Die Zauberflöte.
Christina McCauley, Miss Georgia 2010 in rehearsal for the so-called loosely-termed """talent""" portion of the 2011 Miss America Pageant, singing the Queen of the Night's rage aria from Die Zauberflöte and appropriately located in Las Vegas. Blessedly, there's a time limit on how long the audience must suffer so two-thirds of the aria is cut.
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