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Souvenir Of A Golden Era / Henry Lewis, Marilyn Horne, Et Al


Release Date: 03/11/2008 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001078902   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Gioachino RossiniVincenzo BelliniLudwig van BeethovenChristoph W. Gluck,   ... 
Performer:  Marilyn HorneRoberta McEwen
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande OrchestraGeneva Grand Theatre ChorusGeneva Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 22 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In case you had forgotten that Marilyn Horne was one of the 20th century's greatest singers, Decca has re-released "Souvenir of a Golden Era", recorded in 1965. This was during the period when Horne was "converting" to bel canto; she was still singing Marie in Wozzeck on stage. From an historic viewpoint, re-hearing this early, dazzling collection of arias is very informative: Horne was not quite perfect in 1965; she actually turned into a perfect artist a year or three later and remained flawless for a good 10-or-so more years. On these CDs, we hear the occasional strained high B-natural--not quite formed into a mezzo B--and miscalculations as to ornamentation (the Otello aria for one; a truly weird Semiramide for Read more another). And believe it or not, there's also an occasional pitch problem--perhaps the only documentation of such a flaw in Horne's technique! But that's the last nit I'll pick.

The 12 selections recorded here define "prima donna assoluta"--that is, a singer who can sing just about anything composed for her range, and sing it superbly. This set, whose "theme" is a tribute to two of the 19th century's greatest singers, Pauline Viardot and Maria Malibran, need not be analyzed much more carefully. Suffice it to say that an artist with a voice this size, of such richness, warmth, and depth, with so many gradations of forte and piano, such ease with fiorature along with impeccable diction and intelligent attention to the text has yet to find a true successor. "Oh ma lyre immortelle", fireworks-free, is an ideal example of "the art that conceals art". Despite Henry Lewis' at times stodgy tempos (and a too-quick one for "J'ai perdu mon Eurydice"), you should run and buy this set--it's glorious.

– Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Il barbiere di Siviglia: Una voce poco fa...Io sono dolcile by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Length: 6 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2. I Capuleti e i Montecchi: Se Romeo t'uccise un figlio by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Geneva Grand Theatre Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Italy 
Length: 7 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3. Fidelio, Op. 72: Abscheulicher!...Komm, Hoffnung by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
Length: 7 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: German 
4. Otello: Assisa a piè d'un salice by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Roberta McEwen (Soprano), Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
Length: 12 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5. Semiramide: Bel raggio lusinghier by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Geneva Grand Theatre Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
6. L'italiana in Algeri: Pensa alla patria by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Geneva Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1813; Italy 
Length: 10 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
7. Orfeo ed Euridice: Che farò senza Euridice? by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1762/1774; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: French 
8. Sapho: O ma lyre immortelle by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; France 
Length: 6 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: French 
9. Le Prophète: Ah, mon fils! by Giacomo Meyerbeer
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: French 
10. Alceste: Divinités du Styx by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1767; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: French 
11. Il trovatore: Stride la vampa! by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Length: 7 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
12. Tancredi: Di tanti palpiti by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Henry Lewis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1813; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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