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Hommage A Bidu Sayao


Release Date: 10/27/2009 
Label:  Cembal D'amour   Catalog #: 144   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartGioachino RossiniGiacomo PucciniAntonio Carlos Gomes,   ... 
Performer:  Bidu Sayao
Conductor:  Donald VoorheesGaetano MerolaJoseph StopakPaul Breisach,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour OrchestraSan Francisco Opera OrchestraNBC Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A fine start to the Sayão series: variety and allure, well transferred.

The inaugural disc in this Bidú Sayão series spans the years 1940 to 1953. It takes in standard operatic fare - arias from The Marriage of Figaro, William Tell, La Bohème and Romeo and Juliet - adds material both light and traditional, includes some possibly unexpected repertoire, and takes us to a satisfying seventy-five minute duration in well prepared transfers. The performances derive from a variety of sources. Collectors will note the name Donald Voorhees and correctly draw the conclusion that we’re talking of the Bell Telephone Hour broadcasts. There are however a number of things from The Standard Hour, with the
Read more San Francisco Opera Orchestra directed by Gaetano Merola. The Voice of Firestone broadcasts are also represented as well as a single track with the Armed Forces Orchestra and Howard Barlow. So this is a heterogeneous collection that avoids the commercial recordings that the lyric soprano made; though it’s my impression that she left behind all too few of those.

The disc has certainly been artfully programmed. The spicy fanfare with which it opens, retained from the vaults of the Bell Telephone ‘Encore’, was a kind of retrospective look back at the series of broadcasts and so is not contemporary with the tracks that follow. Voi che sapete derives from 1947 and is full of her tremendous charm and communicative spirit. The Rossini-Puccini sequence from San Francisco follows. It shows the coloratura fire of her Romanza from William Tell, her tonal shading, and commanding theatrical instincts. It also shows she was a first rate Puccini singer. All four arias were recorded on 10 December 1947.

It’s good though in this context to be reminded of her vivacity in other less travelled areas of the repertoire. Gomes’s Come serenamente il mar from the opera O Éscravo for instance opens out the sphere of reference nicely. Her Gounod is full of a similar charm - that word again - but it’s one predicated on a rock solid technique, a focused coloratura and excellent intonation. Such technical flourish can be best appreciated in Delibes’s Les filles de Cadiz which offers a panache-filled three and a half minutes, replete with bravura. The Swan is a rather unusual piece for her and she sounds unusually stentorian here with a little untidiness at the end. But we have a passionate and sweeping brace of Villa-Lobos songs to get more to the heart of her. Listen to the marvellously calibrated rubati in Lundú da Marqueza de Santos.

Her songs in English offer flashes of smile and sentiment, her accent stretching and elongating vowels with delicious results. Her cuckoo is ‘cukuuu’ in the Lehmann song, her Last Rose of Summer eminently sweet. She also takes on an odd one in the shape of Vene’s The History of Rats, about which I haven’t been able to find much. It’s not as good a song as it is a title. Turn Ye To Me is rather statuesque, it’s true, but the bracing Bernstein songs show up to date ears for 1946.

This is a fine start to the Sayão series. It has variety, and allure, and has been well transferred.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Voi che sapete che cosa è amor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
2. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Giunse alfin il momento...Deh vieni, non tardar by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
3. Guillaume Tell: Sombre forêt by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gaetano Merola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Length: 5 Minutes 55 Secs. 
4. La Bohème: Si, mi chiamano Mimì by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gaetano Merola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 12 Secs. 
5. La Bohème: Addio, senza rancor by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gaetano Merola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
6. La Bohème: Oh! come é bello e morbido by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gaetano Merola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Length: 1 Minutes 48 Secs. 
7. O Éscravo: Romanza: Come serenamente il mar by Antonio Carlos Gomes
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Joseph Stopak
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Length: 5 Minutes 7 Secs. 
8. Roméo et Juliette: Je veux vivre dans le rêve "Waltz Song" by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Paul Breisach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
9. Les Filles de Cadiz "Chanson Espagnole" by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
10. Songs (4), Op. 2: no 2, Enslaved by the rose, the nightingale by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
11. Carnival of the animals: no 13, The swan by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
12. Lundú da Marqueza de Santos by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; Brazil 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
13. Modinhas e cançoes, Album 1, W 365: no 6, Nhapopê by Heitor Villa-Lobos
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; Brazil 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
14. La Golondrina by N. Serradell Sevilla
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Length: 2 Minutes 58 Secs. 
15. The Cuckoo by Liza Lehmann
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
16. The Last Rose of Summer by Cary Ratcliff
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Howard Barlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Voice of Firestone Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
17. Hey Diddle Diddle by Traditional
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 25 Secs. 
18. When I have sung my songs by Ernest Charles
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
19. The History of Rats by Vene
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
20. Turn Ye to Me by Traditional
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Howard Barlow
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Armed Forces
Written: Scotland 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
21. I Hate Music by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
22. I Just Found Out Today by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
23. Long, long ago by Anselm Bayly
Performer:  Bidu Sayao (Soprano)
Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: England 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 

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