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Souvenir of a Golden Era / Marilyn Horne


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 

Sound Samples

Il barbiere di Siviglia / Act 1: "Una voce poco fa" - "Io sono docile"
I Capuleti e i Montecchi / Act 1: "Se Romeo t'uccise un figlio..La tremenda ultrice spada"
Fidelio / Act 1: "Abscheulicher! Wo eilst du hin?"
Otello / Act 3: "Assisa a' piè d'un salice"
Tancredi / Act 1: Di tanti palpiti
Semiramide / Act 1: "Bel raggio lusinghier"
L'italiana in Algeri / Act 2: "Pronti abbiamo...Amici in ogni evento...Pensa all Patria"
Orfeo ed Euridice / Act 3: "J'ai perdu mon Eurydice"
Sapho / Act 3: "Où suis-je?...O ma lyre immortelle"
Le prophète / Act 2: "Ah, mon fils, soit béni!"
Alceste / Act 1: "Divinités du Styx"
Il Trovatore / Act 2: "Stride la vampa...Condotta ell'era in ceppi"

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Brilliant in Every Way ! July 6, 2014 By Joseph Erdeljac See All My Reviews "This recital is as fresh and exciting as when it was first issued. Marilyn Horne is a #1 vocal artist of world class standing. Her vocal abilities are exemplary and secure in every way. Not only in tone and control but range as well. The emotional content of each and every aria is obvious and so exciting to hear over and over again. This is one of those presentations that you will never cease to enjoy and be amazed with in every way." Report Abuse
 Reissue Superb July 5, 2014 By J. Craig (Shreveport, LA) See All My Reviews "Having heard Marilyn Horne live in the early 60's, I am grateful that this collection of arias, which have all been released before, are brought together in this wonderful 2-disc set. The pictures of Pauline Viardot and Maria Malibran iterate the fact that Horne not only had a beautiful and distinctive voice, but she could also act as well. Hers was the most technically correct voices ever to sing. With her, you heard each note, no matter how fast or complex the music, each note was given it's own space. Thanks to Decca/Arkhiv for making all these wonderful arias available again in one album." Report Abuse
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