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Leontyne Price - The Prima Donna Collection


Release Date: 07/23/2008 
Label:  Rca Victor Gold Seal Catalog #: 61236   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Henry PurcellWolfgang Amadeus MozartGiuseppe VerdiGiacomo Meyerbeer,   ... 
Performer:  Leontyne Price
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 4 Hours 36 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews



LEONTYNE PRICE— THE PRIMA DONNA COLLECTION Leontyne Price (sop); Various accompaniments RCA 61236 (4 CDs: 276:29 Text and Translation)


Arias by BARBER, BELLINI, BIZET, BOITO, BRITTEN, CHARPENTIER, CILEA, DEBUSSY, DVO?ÁK, FLOTOW, GIORDANO, GLUCK, HANDEL, KORNGOLD, LEONCAVALLO, MASCAGNI, MASSENET, MENOTTI, MEYERBEER, MOZART, OFFENBACH, POULENC, PUCCINI, PURCELL, J. STRAUSS II, VERDI, WAGNER, WEBER, ZANDONAI
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This B-to-Z assemblage from 1992 brought Price’s complete “Prima Donna” albums together with many recordings of arias and scenas from operas she never performed, such as Elizabeth’s “Soliloquy and prayer” from Britten’s Gloriana , for example, or the aria of another Elizabeth, “Dich, teure Halle,” from Wagner’s Tannhäuser . Though Price retired from the stage in 1985, she taught master classes at Juilliard and continued to sing recitals from time to time, giving her last in 1997. The recordings here were all made between 1965 and 1979 and catch her at her peak. And at her peak, she was one classy singer.


Such a sense resides first of all in the sound of a voice: it must be literally attractive in itself. Listening to Rusalka’s “Song to the Moon” from Dvo?ák’s opera of that name, say, or to Meleagre’s aria, “Care selve,” from Handel’s Atalanta , one is taken by the sheer beauty of it, a sound that floated high pianissimos with dead-accurate pitch, without the slightest strain. When that beauty combined with well-focused power, as in Donna Anna’s call for revenge in Mozart’s Don Giovanni , “Or sai chi l’onore,” it was a spine-tingling experience for me. Add to that the fact that Price was a most intelligent singer, whose words and stage character counted for a great deal, and we are in the presence of someone who understood what musical theater was all about. Writers on music are supposed to resist using the word “thrilling,” but I can think of no other, objective, word. If you are not ravished by this sound, you are probably deaf.


We rightly associate Leontyne Price with the great roles in Verdi and Puccini, and the core of her repertoire—perhaps of that of most lyric sopranos—was Italian Romantic opera. As near as I can tell, apart from Carmen and a go at The Prioress in Poulenc’s Les dialogues des Carmélites , she did not sing much French opera, and only Strauss’s Ariadne from the German repertoire. An interesting aspect of this collection, therefore, is to discover her forays into other operas, many not much known at all in the United States at the time: Dvo?ák’s Rusalka , Korngold’s Die tote Stadt , Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini , Weber’s Oberon , Britten’s Gloriana , and still others.


Price fans will already have this collection. For those who have never heard this wonderful singer, it will make a generous introduction to a great artist. It is good to note that it has been re-released by arkivmusic.com.


FANFARE: Alan Swanson
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Works on This Recording

1.
Dido and Aeneas, Z 626: Thy hand, Belinda...When I am laid in earth by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1689; England 
Language: English 
2.
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: E Susanna non vien...Dove sono by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
3.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Or sai chi l'onore by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins "Don Ottavio, son morta!" 
4.
Idomeneo, K 366: D'Oreste, d'Ajace by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Munich, Germany 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins "O smania! O Furie!" 
5.
La traviata: Addio del passato by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins "Teneste la promessa..." 
6.
Otello: Piangea cantando "Willow Song" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins "Era più calmo?" 
7.
Macbeth: La luce langue by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Composition written: Italy (1847).
Composition revised: Italy (1865). 
8.
Macbeth: Una macchia è qui tuttora "Sleepwalking Scene" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847/1865; Italy 
Language: Italian 
9.
I lombardi: O madre, dal cielo soccorri al mio pianto by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Italy 
Language: Italian 
10.
Simon Boccanegra: Come in quest' ora bruna by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; Italy 
Language: Italian 
11.
Rigoletto: Caro nome by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins "Gualtier Maldé..." 
12.
L'Africaine: Sur mes genoux by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Germany 
Language: French 
13.
Manon: Adieu, notre petite table by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection begins "Allons, il le faut..." 
14.
Thaïs: Dis-moi que je suis belle by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection begins "Ah! je suis seule..." 
15.
Adriana Lecouvreur: Io son l'umile ancella by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins "Ecco, respiro appena..." 
16.
Adriana Lecouvreur: Poveri fiori by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Language: Italian 
17.
Louise: Depuis le jour by Gustave Charpentier
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; France 
Language: French 
18.
Turandot: In questa reggia by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
Language: Italian 
19.
Suor Angelica: Senza mamma, o bimbo, tu sei morto by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Language: Italian 
20.
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Language: Italian 
21.
Die tote Stadt, Op. 12: Glück, das mir verblieb "Mariettalied" by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
22.
Vanessa, Op. 32: He has come, he has come! by Samuel Barber
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; USA 
Language: English 
23.
Atalanta, HWV 35: Care selve by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1736; London, England 
Language: Italian 
24.
Tannhäuser: Dich, teure Halle by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845/1861; Germany 
Language: German 
25.
Die Walküre: Du bist der Lenz by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Language: German 
26.
Tristan und Isolde: Mild und leise "Liebestod" by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Germany 
Language: German 
27.
Mefistofele: L'altra notte in fondo al mare by Arrigo Boito
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Italy 
Language: Italian 
28.
Rusalka, Op. 114/B 203: O moon high up "Song to the moon" by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Bohemia 
Language: Czech 
29.
L'enfant prodigue: Azaël! Azaël! Pourquoi m'as tu quittée? by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1884/1908; France 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection begins "L'année eb vaub chasse l'année..." 
30.
Andrea Chénier: La mamma morta by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Language: Italian 
31.
Francesca da Rimini: Paolo, datemi pace! by Riccardo Zandonai
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Turin, Italy 
Language: Italian 
32.
Amelia Goes to the Ball: While I waste these precious hours by Gian Carlo Menotti
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; USA 
Language: English 
33.
Alceste: Divinités du Styx by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1767; Vienna, Austria 
Language: French 
34.
Martha: Letzte Rose "The last rose of summer" by Friedrich von Flotow
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
35.
La Périchole: Tu n'es pas beau by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868/1874; Paris, France 
Language: French 
36.
Die Fledermaus: Klänge der Heimat "Czardas" by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Vienna, Austria 
37.
Carmen: Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante "Micaëla's Aria" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Language: French 
38.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Voi lo sapete, o Mamma by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Italy 
Language: Italian 
39.
Dialogues des carmélites: Mes filles, voila s'achève by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953-1956; France 
Language: English 
40.
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: D'amour, l'ardente flamme by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; France 
Language: French 
41.
I Pagliacci: Stridono lassù by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins "Qual fiamma avea nel guardo!" 
42.
Norma: Casta diva by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins "Sedizïose voci..." 
43.
Gloriana, Op. 53: O God, my king, sole ruler of the world by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; England 
Language: English 
44.
Der Freischütz, J 277: Leise, leise fromme Weise by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817-1821; Dresden, Germany 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection begins "Wie nahte mir der Schlummer..." 
45.
Oberon, J 306: Ozean! du Ungeheuer by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Leontyne Price (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825-1826; Dresden, Germany 
Language: German 

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