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The Edison Legacy Vol. 1

Various
Release Date: 02/12/2008 
Label:  Marston   Catalog #: 52042  
Composer:  Giuseppe VerdiGiacomo PucciniPietro MascagniGeorge Frideric Handel,   ... 
Performer:  Lucrezia BoriMarcella CraftEmmy DestinnDinh Gilly,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The historic vocal market enriched tremendously.

Here we have, in essence, 36 unpublished, or very rare, Edison discs made between 1910 and 1920. The vast majority in fact were never issued and these performances all derive from the collection held by the archive in the Edison National Historic Site. It’s another Marston treasure trove in other words. You will find several well known names but there are also a number of artists of whom this is the only known example of their recorded singing.

I think it’s well known even to those collectors of 78s who may not regularly have encountered Edisons, that the recorded sound achieved by his process was advanced. The evidence here for that assertion is
Read more plentiful. Even the 1910 recordings are no trial to hear, unless of course you are allergic from the start to the idea of 78s, in which case I suspect you won’t have got this far in the review.

Examples of otherwise unheard singers, heard here in priceless performances are the most important component of this two CD set. Marcella Craft, Indianapolis-born, is heard in this single unpublished Edison side. Italo Cristali, the Italian tenor from Piacenza, made only one side for Columbia and these Edisons. The important Genoa-born mezzo Luisa Garibaldi, who sang in the 1908 Italian premiere of Charpentier’s Louise, conducted by Toscanini, is here. Her Edisons were all rejected for publication. Here we can hear her and Cristali together in a duet from Cavalleria Rusticana, a performance recorded in late 1910 in London. Of other singers some are represented on other labels, though they can be few and obscure. Oreste Benedetti for instance made one Edison that was published - but one only - and that La Boh è me duet with tenor Aristodemo Giorgini is now augmented by a duet with Paola Koralek in La Gioconda. This Budapest-born soprano made some recordings for Pathé in 1912 but none of her Edisons were issued - until now.

Fortunately Edison’s technically advanced systems ensured that twelve inch masters could contain an unprecedented - for the time - six minutes (and plus) in length. Thus we can hear such as È strano…Ah, fors’ è lui…Follie!…Sempre libera from La Traviata which lasts nearly seven minutes; it’s sung by Lucrezia Bori in memorable sound for the time, her brilliant coloratura an especial adornment; all five of her sides are splendid reclamations. Destinn is captured in one solo aria and in one duet with Dinh Gilly, in which the baritone sounds to have been standing several feet behind her. Garibaldi, mentioned earlier, is fine though Cristali has a fast vibrato and is a touch nasal. Big names follow; Heim, Hempel, Jaume, Labia - and you’ll note that the 36 tracks are arranged alphabetically by artist. Jaume’s Meyerbeer aria is not the subtlest. Lucette Korsoff’s Manon Lescaut - the one by Auber - is something of an anomaly, as it was briefly issued on an Edison ten inch, but withdrawn soon after.

Emmi Leisner sings Meyerbeer and Gluck - the inevitable Che faro - with metrical freedom. As with the Korsoff, Umberto Macnez’s O Lola was issued very briefly - the recording coincided with his London debut, so Edison’s talent scouts were clearly quick off the mark. His career petered out; one wonders why. It’s especially good to have souvenirs of that charming and important soprano Carmen Melis, who did record quite heavily for Edison in any case but the two additional unpublished sides here merely cement one’s admiration for her. Less so the rather immobile contralto Rosa Olitzka, whose recordings I find rather statuesque. Marie Rappold was a big seller for Edison - and her discs with violinist Albert Spalding are still fairly commonly found on record dealers’ lists. Her Carmen and Tosca arias were recorded in Paris in 1910. Valuable also to hear Domenico Viglione-Borghese, the baritone who in the same year that he recorded this aria from Un Ballo in Maschera had given the Italian premiere (he played Jack Rance) of La fanciulla del West. Two powerful American sopranos end the set; Edyth Walker, a soprano and mezzo, and Carolina White.

In addition to all this Marston’s transfers are customarily state of the art, and their booklet has mini-biographies and finely reproduced photographs of each artist under discussion. Once again the historic vocal market has been enriched tremendously.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
La traviata: Ah, fors' è lui...Sempre libera by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Lucrezia Bori (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1910 
Venue:  London, England 
2.
Rigoletto: Caro nome by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Lucrezia Bori (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Date of Recording: 4/9/1913 
Venue:  New York City 
3.
Manon Lescaut: In quelle trine morbide by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Lucrezia Bori (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1910 
Venue:  London, England 
4.
Tosca: Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Lucrezia Bori (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1911 
Venue:  London, England 
5.
Madama Butterfly: Un bel dì vedremo by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Lucrezia Bori (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1910 
Venue:  London, England 
6.
La traviata: Addio del passato by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Marcella Craft (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 6/5/1918 
Venue:  New York City 
7.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Voi lo sapete, o Mamma by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Emmy Destinn (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/15/1911 
Venue:  New York City 
8.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Oh! Il Signore vi manda by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Emmy Destinn (Soprano), Dinh Gilly (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Date of Recording: 12/15/1911 
Venue:  New York City 
9.
Ernani: O de' verd' anni miei by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Edoardo Faticanti (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1910 
Venue:  London, England 
10.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Tu qui, Santuzza? by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Luisa Garibaldi (Mezzo Soprano), Italo Cristali (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1910 
Venue:  London, England 
11.
Rigoletto: Caro nome by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Melitta Heim (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1911 
Venue:  London, England 
Language: German 
12.
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, HWV 55: Sweet bird, that shun'st the noise of folly by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Frieda Hempel (Soprano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1740; London, England 
Date of Recording: 5/28/1920 
Venue:  New York City 
13.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Am stillen Herd by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Heinrich Hensel (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Germany 
Date of Recording: 3/1911 
Venue:  London, England 
14.
L'Africaine: O paradis sorti de l'onde by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Valentin Jaume (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Germany 
Date of Recording: 6/1914 
Venue:  London, England 
15.
La Gioconda: Ora posso morir by Amilcare Ponchielli
Performer:  Paola Koralek (Soprano), Oreste Benedetti (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1911 
Venue:  London, England 
16.
Manon Lescaut: C'est l'histoire amoureuse by Daniel-François Auber
Performer:  Lucette Korsoff (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; France 
Date of Recording: 1910 
Venue:  London, England 
17.
Mireille: O légère hirondelle "Waltz Song" by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Lucette Korsoff (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1864; France 
Date of Recording: 7/1914 
Venue:  London, England 
18.
Les Huguenots: Tu l'as dit by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Valentin Jaume (Tenor), Maria Labia (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836; Germany 
Date of Recording: 5/1914 
Venue:  London, England 
Language: Italian 
19.
Orfeo ed Euridice: Che farò senza Euridice? by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Emmi Leisner (Alto)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1762/1774; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1914 
Venue:  London, England 
20.
Le Prophète: Qui je suis…Je suis, hélas! by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Emmi Leisner (Alto)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1914 
Venue:  London, England 
Language: German 
21.
Mignon: Connais-tu le pays? by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Emmi Leisner (Alto)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; France 
Date of Recording: 1914 
Venue:  London, England 
Language: German 
22.
Cavalleria Rusticana: O Lola, ch'ai di latti la cammisa by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Umberto Macnez (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1910 
Venue:  London, England 
23.
L'Amico Fritz: Ed anche Beppe amò...O amore, o bella luce by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Umberto Macnez (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1910 
Venue:  London, England 
24.
Don Carlos: O don fatale by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Margaret Matzenauer (Mezzo Soprano)
Date of Recording: 2/25/1915 
Venue:  New York City 
25.
Adriana Lecouvreur: Io son l'umile ancella by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Carmen Melis (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Date of Recording: 3/21/1913 
Venue:  New York City 
26.
Io son' l'amore by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Performer:  Carmen Melis (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 9/1913 
Venue:  London, England 
27.
Les Huguenots: Noble seigneur...Une dame noble et sage by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Rosa Olitzka (Alto)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 1228/1915 
Venue:  New York City 
28.
Carmen: Les tringles des sistres tintaient "Gypsy Song" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Rosa Olitzka (Alto)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1/10/1916 
Venue:  New York City 
Language: Italian 
29.
Carmen: Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante "Micaëla's Aria" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Marie Rappold (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 7/10/1910 
30.
Tosca: Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Marie Rappold (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Date of Recording: 7/1910 
Venue:  Paris, France 
31.
Un ballo in maschera: Eri tu che m'acchiave quell' anima by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Domenico Viglione-Borghese (Bass Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Italy 
Date of Recording: 6/1911 
Venue:  London, England 
32.
Lohengrin: In fernem Land by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Fritz Vogelstrom (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1910 
Venue:  London, England 
33.
Die Walküre: Ho-jo-to-ho! by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Edyth Walker (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Date of Recording: circa 1/1911 
Venue:  London, England 
34.
La Gioconda: Suicidio! by Amilcare Ponchielli
Performer:  Carolina White (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Italy 
Date of Recording: 7/19/1910 
Venue:  Paris, France 
35.
Andrea Chénier: La mamma morta by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Carolina White (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 7/20/1910 
Venue:  Paris, France 
36.
La Wally: Ebben?... Ne andrò lontana by Alfredo Catalani
Performer:  Carolina White (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
Date of Recording: 7/22/1910 
Venue:  Paris, France 

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