Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

The Singers - Beverly Sills


Release Date: 10/09/2001 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 467906   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartGiacomo MeyerbeerAmbroise ThomasGustave Charpentier,   ... 
Performer:  Beverly SillsCharles WadsworthPaula Robison
Conductor:  Aldo CeccatoSir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic OrchestraRoyal Philharmonic OrchestraAmbrosian Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


I'll start with some boilerplate, just in case you're new to Decca's The Singers series. Each disc is housed in an attractive cardboard cover--goodbye and good riddance, jewel case. All have sketchy print booklets; pictures, texts, and translations are relegated to cyberspace, i.e., you need to load the discs into your computer if you want to follow the texts while you listen. All feature singers are deemed worthy of a single-disc "best of" presentation. On most of the discs, the chosen aria and song selections are--to be charitable--idiosyncratic, and some are downright hare-brained. Many of the discs also spend an inordinate amount of space on recordings made when the subject was well
Read more past his/her prime.


Not this one though. Here is Beverly Sills in all her glory--the soprano with the fastest trills in the West, America's coloratura answer to La Stupenda, a singer whose joy of singing is evident on every track, a vocal wonder whose keen dramatic sense created real characters out of twittering operatic ninnies. If you're familiar with the Donizetti Queens operas released by Universal, you'll know that she also could do regal bel canto heroines as well as anyone. Nothing from those operas is included, nor do these selections cover the full range of the art of this sadly under-recorded singer; but we do get 75 minutes of terrific singing, with an emphasis on the French romantic repertoire, much of it the flashy stuff in which she excelled. In Meyerbeer's "Robert, toi que j'aime", from Robert le diable, she gets off some marvelous downward runs, virtually a trademark with Sills, and repeated elsewhere in several other numbers. Not that her upward runs are anything less than exhilarating, as witness the coloratura in "Ô beau pays de la Touraine" from Les Huguenots, where she demonstrates the ease with which this famous extrovert could also portray plaintive maidens solely through vocal means. A further example is her heart-felt rendition of the eponymous heroine's aria, "Depuis le jour", from Charpentier's Louise.


And while Sills' quiet singing could be ravishing (again, amply demonstrated throughout this disc), it's the coloratura fireworks that bring a smile to the face and joy to the heart. French romantic opera composers must have loved creating these "special effects" since they rarely missed the opportunity to include some in their operas, and Sills must have loved doing them too, since she's so good at it. The mother of all coloratura display pieces is Adolphe Adam's Variations on the folk song "Ah! Vous dirai-je maman" where Sills' flights to the heights are breathtaking. And don't miss the belly-dance music in "À vos jeux, mes amis" from Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet, a terrific combination of great singing and sheer fun. Heartily recommended!
--Dan Davis, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: Martern aller Arten by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Aldo Ceccato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1974 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: German 
2.
Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio, K 418 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Aldo Ceccato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1783; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1974 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3.
Robert le Diable: Robert, toi que j'aime by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: French 
4.
Les Huguenots: O beau pays de la Touraine by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: French 
5.
Hamlet: A vos jeux "Mad Scene" by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 14 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection begins with Mais quelle est cette belle..." 
6.
Mignon: Je suis Titania la blonde by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This selection begins with "Oui, pour ce soir je suis reine des fées..." 
7.
Louise: Depuis le jour by Gustave Charpentier
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: French 
8.
Le toréador: Variations on "Ah! vous dirai-je maman" by Adolphe Adam
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano), Charles Wadsworth (Piano), Paula Robison (Flute)
Period: Romantic  
Written: 1849; France 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: French 
9.
Comedy of errors: Lo, here the gentle lark by Henry Bishop
Performer:  Charles Wadsworth (Piano), Beverly Sills (Soprano), Paula Robison (Flute)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819; England 
Date of Recording: 1969 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: English 
10.
Lieder aus Lotusblättern (6), Op. 19: no 2, Breit' über mein by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Aldo Ceccato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885-1888; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1964 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: German 
11.
Lieder (6), Op. 68: no 5, Amor by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano)
Conductor:  Aldo Ceccato
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1964 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: German 

Sound Samples

Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail K384: Martern Aller Arten (Act 2)
Vorrei Spiegarvi, Oh Dio K418
Robert Le Diable: Robert, Toi Que J'Aime
Les Huguentos: O Beau Pays De La Touraine (Act 2)
Hamlet: A Vos Jeux, Mes Amis, Permettez-Moi (Act 4)
Mignon: Je Suis Titania (Act 2)
Louise: Depuis Le Jour (Act 3)
Le Toreador: Ah! Vous Dirai-Je, Maman (Act 1)
Lo! Hear The Gentle Lark
Breit Uber Mein Haupt, Opus 19 No.2
Amor Opus 68 No.5

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In