Month: January 2011 (page 1 of 2)

New in the Recordings Collection (January 2011)

Dinah Washington… The fabulous Miss D!

cover image, AC 36777

Dinah Washington, The Fabulous Miss D! AC 36777

We recently received this fine Hip-O-Select collection that brings together in one place all of Dinah Washington’s Keynote, Decca and Mercury singles from 1943 to 1953. The book/CD package has great photos, reproductions of record labels and album covers, and detailed discographical notes for each single. The introductory essay was written by Marc Myers, who pens the Jazz Wax blog.

Find it here: Loeb Music Library AC 36777

The Rake’s Progress

cover image, CD 38218

Igor Stravinsky, The Rake's Progress. CD 38218

Just in on CD is this landmark recording from 1953, the first complete Rake’s Progress conducted by the composer. Stravinsky leads the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus and a cast including Hilde Gueden as Anne, Blanche Thebom as Baba the Turk, Eugene Conley as Tom, Mack Harrell as Nick Shadow, Martha Lipton as Mother Goose and Norman Scott as Trulove.

Find it here: Loeb Music Library CD 38218

Menotti in German

Cover image, DVD 1780

Gian Carlo Menotti, Operas. DVD 1780

We recently acquired an Arthaus DVD that contains 1960’s German-language studio recordings of Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief and The Medium. Elisabeth Höngen and Hilde Konetzni are featured in both operas, along with the Orchestra of the Vienna Volksoper. The DVD also includes an interview with stage director Otto Schenk.

Find it here: Loeb Music Library DVD 1780.

Venus Records

cover image, CD 38226

Eddie Higgins Trio, Essential Ballads Best. CD 38226

Over the past few years we’ve received a number of jazz titles on Japan’s Venus Records. This label has primarily been marketed to a Japanese audience, but is becoming more visible here in the U.S. Cambridge-born pianist Eddie Higgins, who died in the summer of 2009, was a favorite of the label’s owner and is featured on many Venus titles. A recent release culls “essential” ballads from some of those recordings.

Find it here: Loeb Music Library CD 38226.

– Peter Laurence

Newly-digitized scores: J.C. Bach and Cherubini

We’ve added a number of scores to our collection of Digital Scores and Libretti, including this set of late 18th and early 19th century operas:

Johann Christian Bach

Johann Christian Bach. Title page, Amadis des Gaules. Merritt Room Mus 627.3.604

Johann Christian Bach. Title page, Amadis des Gaules. Merritt Room Mus 627.3.604

Amadis des Gaules: tragedie lyrique de Quinault reduite en trois actes … Représentée pour la premiere fois au théatre de l’Académie royale de musique le quinze decembre 1779. Mise en musique par Jean Chretien Bach. Paris.: Sieber, [1780?].
Merritt Room Mus 627.3.604, RISM A/I, B 167

Johann Christian Bach’s only French tragédie lyrique was premiered by the Académie Royale de Musique on December 14, 1779, to virtually universal distaste. As Friedrich Melchior Grimm wrote in an issue of the Correspondance littéraire, a journal covering the cultural events of Paris,

The Amadis of Mr. Bach…appeared for the first time this Tuesday the 14th and has not fulfilled our expectations….while it’s always good enough, it’s never more, and one cannot hide that, in this work at least, the whole of the composition lacks heat and effect. The Gluckists found it had neither the originality of Gluck, nor his sublime élan; the Piccinists, that his song had neither the charm nor the variety of melody of Piccinni.1

Luigi Cherubini

Luigi Cherubini. Catalogue des Morceaux, Lodoïska. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.627.5

Luigi Cherubini. Catalogue des Morceaux, Lodoïska. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.627.5

Lodoïska : opéra en 3 actes / paroles de Filette Loraux ; musique de Cherubini ; partition de piano et chant. Paris : M. Schlesinger, [1837?].
Merritt Room Mus 637.1.627.5

The first French edition of the vocal score.

Lodoïska, which premiered at the Théâtre Feydeau on July 18, 1791, was a great success. Based on an episode from the popular novel Les amours du chevalier de Faublas, Lodoïska is notable not only for its music but also for its spectacle: the third act ends as a troop of Tatar soldiers burn the castle in which Lodoïska has been imprisoned by the villain Dourlinski.

Luigi Cherubini. Libretto, Medee. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.643.3

Luigi Cherubini. Libretto, Medee. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.643.3

Medea : Oper in drei Akten / Musik von L. Cherubini. Vollständiger Klavierauszug. Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel [1855?].
Merritt Room Mus 637.1.643.3

A vocal score, in German and French, of the opéra comique Médée, premiered at the Théâtre Feydeau, 13 March 1797. While the opera was not especially popular in France, it was given multiple German-language revivals in Berlin, Vienna, and other cities. This edition, though it dates from around 1855, does not include the recitative settings of the dialogue composed by Franz Paul Lachner for the 1855 Frankfurt production. (It may be worth noting that its extended passages of dialogue, not its subject, cause Médée to be classified as an opéra comique.)

Luigi Cherubini. Overture, Anacreon. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.602

Luigi Cherubini. Overture, Anacreon. Merritt Room Mus 637.1.602

Anacréon, ou, L’amour fugitive : opéra ballet en deux actes / par le C.R. Mendouze ; mis en musique par Chérubini. A Paris : Au magasin de musique dirigé par MMrs. Chérubini, Méhul, Kreutzer, Rode N. Isouard et Boieldieu rue de la Loi, no. 268 vis-à-vis celle Ménars ; A Lyon : chez Garnier, Place de la Comédie no. 18, [1803].
Merritt Room Mus 637.1.602, RISM A/I, CC 2028 I, 79

A full score of Cherubini’s first, and unsuccessful, opéra-ballet, premiered at the Opéra on October 4, 1803. While the opera itself is rarely performed (the first revival didn’t occur until 1971), the overture – borrowed from his cantata Amphion – remains a popular concert piece.

-Kerry Masteller

1. See Friedrich Melchior Grimm, Correspondance, littéraire, philosophique et critique par Grimm, Diderot, Raynal, Meister, etc…., (Paris, Garnier frères, 1880), 12:350.

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