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Eileen Farrell - Puccini Arias / Rudolf, Columbia SO


Release Date: 08/01/2006 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 78763   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Giacomo PucciniChristoph W. GluckLudwig van BeethovenCarl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Eileen Farrell
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In recent years, Sony has reissued a few of its many recordings featuring Eileen Farrell. This collection draws on recordings made in 1958 and 1959 that wear their age lightly. The re-mastering presents them with vitality and warmth.

The 12 Puccini arias included give ample scope for Farrell to exhibit her many qualities. “O mio babbino caro” announces a voice that is not in itself small of scale, yet it can handle finely drawn lines with some sensitivity. “Quando me’n vo” reveals Musetta to be the “tart with a heart” she should be. Farrell and Max Rudolf pull out the stops for the big tune, as well they might; the approach is a feature of this disc. The more reflective character of “Sì, mi chiamano Mimì” suits
Read more Farrell’s voice better, however, and the evenness of her vocal control is notable. So is the sheer range of color she finds to enrich her interpretations: “Donde lieta usci” is velvet-smooth; “Chi il bel sogno” makes up for actual youthfulness by projecting much of the emotion behind the words. And with what ease she floats the high line! Tosca, the arch prima donna, is a role about as far from Eileen Farrell as it is possible to imagine, but her reading of “Vissi d’arte” nonetheless carries the conviction of a singer who took her art seriously.

Nice as these performances are, there is a certain sameness about them: the tempo changes little from item to item and the Columbia orchestra play so richly that Farrell’s voice sounds as if it rests upon the most luxurious of comforters. It is good, however, that Farrell does shade where she can to alter the scale of her interpretations, as illustrated by “In quelle trine morbide” and “Tu che di gel sei cinta.” Farrell’s chief attraction, though, is the honeyed tone she pours out so freely.

Urgency finally makes an appearance with the brief snatch of accompanied recitative before “Un bel di vedremo.” Turandot’s “In questa reggia” sounds at first to be almost too leisurely, but Farrell makes the reflective element of the aria seem effective, even if Rudolf does not crank up the tempo as much or as fast as he should. When under pressure, Farrell sounds at a slight distance, whereas intimate passages have the voice placed noticeably forward. A slight pity that Calaf’s replies are absent—how the sparks might have flown, had the recording not used the “concert” adaptation of the music.

The other arias “in the grand tradition” included here help to round out the picture one gets of Farrell’s art. Gluck’s Alceste was the work in which she first appeared at the Met in 1960; here, her singing carries legato fluency and conviction in every bar. Brian Kellow’s affectionate notes recall Farrell remarking that the voice break was “a bunch of bull” (she was lucky, many singers will tell you), and that for her “Fach was nothing but a four-letter word.” The Beethoven items, particularly “Abscheulicher,” illustrate the first remark. Agathe’s arias from Der Freischütz, given with tenderness, reinforce how at home she could sound in German repertoire. It may not be the most individual arias recital around, but it is an enjoyable one.

FANFARE: Evan Dickerson
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Works on This Recording

1.
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1959 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2.
La Bohème: Quando m'en vo' soletta "Musetta's Waltz" by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1959 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3.
La Bohème: Si, mi chiamano Mimì by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1959 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York 
Length: 4 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
4.
La Bohème: Donde lieta uscì by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1959 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5.
La Rondine: Ch'il bel sogno di Doretta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1959 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
6.
Tosca: Non la sospiri la nostra casetta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1959 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
7.
Tosca: Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1959 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
8.
Madama Butterfly: Spira sul mar [Entrance of Butterfly] by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1959 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York 
Length: 2 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
9.
Madama Butterfly: Un bel dì vedremo by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1959 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York 
Length: 4 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
10.
Manon Lescaut: In quelle trine morbide by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1959 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
11.
Turandot: Tu, che di gel sei cinta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1959 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
12.
Turandot: In questa reggia by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1959 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York 
Length: 5 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
13.
Alceste: Grands Dieux! du destin qui m'accable by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1767; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC 
Length: 4 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC (02/06/1959 - 05/13/1959) 
14.
Ah, Perfido!, Op. 65 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795-1796; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/02/1958 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC 
Length: 12 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
15.
Fidelio, Op. 72: Abscheulicher!...Komm, Hoffnung by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC 
Length: 6 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC (02/06/1959 - 05/13/1959) 
16.
Der Freischütz, J 277: Leise, leise fromme Weise by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817-1821; Dresden, Germany 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC 
Length: 8 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC (02/06/1959 - 05/13/1959) 
17.
Der Freischütz, J 277: Und ob die Wolke by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Eileen Farrell (Soprano)
Conductor:  Max Rudolf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817-1821; Dresden, Germany 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC (02/06/1959 - 05/13/1959) 

Sound Samples

O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi
Quando me'n vo' soletta per la via from La bohème (Musetta's Waltz Song)
Sì, mi chiamano Mimì from La bohème
Donde lieta usci from La bohème
Chi il bel sogno di Doretta from La rondine
Non la sospiri from Tosca
Vissi d'arte from Tosca
Spira sul mare from Madame Butterfly
Un bel di vedremo from Madama Butterfly
In quelle trine morbide from Manon Lescaut
Tu che di gel sei cinta from Turandot
In questa reggia from Turandot
Grands dieux! du destin, qui m'accable from Alceste
Ah perfido!, Op. 65
Abscheulicher, wo eilst du hin? from Fidelio
Leise, leise from Der Freischütz
Cavatina: Und ob die Wolke from Der Freischütz

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