Second Box set in the series. A 10-CD set!
EMI Classics is proud to announce a very special release called The Record of Singing, devoted to the art of singing on record over the past century. This set of 20 CDs is divided into two boxes of 10 discs: the first goes from the earliest vocal recordings in 1899 up to 1952, when the era of the 78 rpm shellac record effectively ended; the second covers the period 1953 to 2007 from the introduction of the vinyl LP record to the digital era and the CD.
The recordings in the first part are all taken from the original four volumes of The Record of Singing, issued by EMI on LP between 1977 and 1989, and those in the second part have all been specially selected for this project. Details of recording dates, venues, producers and engineers are given where known, and the first part also includes the original 78 rpm matrix and catalogue numbers. Also, all the transfers of tracks from the original Record of Singing albums have been newly re-processed at Abbey Road to improve the sound even further using the latest audio restoration technology.
The first part retains the same broad headings used in the four Record of Singing sets such as ‘The Old School’, ‘English-Speaking Singers’, ‘The Emergence of Verismo’, etc, and the second part is divided mainly into broad periods of around 20 years, and then the singers are grouped by voice type in roughly chronological order.
The set begins with recordings of enormous historical importance that preserve the art of a number of singers from the so-called ‘golden age’ at the end of the 19th century whose careers largely predated the beginning of sound recording: these include Adelina Patti, Lilli Lehmann, Sir Charles Santley, Victor Maurel, Édouard de Reske and Francesco Tamagno. Then comes a generation of stars whose careers ran parallel to the development of the gramophone, foremost among them being Enrico Caruso and Dame Nellie Melba. The selection of artists includes all the great names of the past whose records were found in the collections of all discerning music lovers: Beniamino Gigli, Amelita Galli-Curci, Luisa Tetrazzini, Giovanni Martinelli, Tito Schipa, Jussi Björling, Lotte Lehmann, Lauritz Melchior and literally hundreds of others.
The second part ushers in a new golden age of major stars like Maria Callas, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Victoria de los Angeles, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Nicolai Gedda and Boris Christoff and then goes on to the following generations of big names such as Franco Corelli, Placido Domingo, José Carreras, Montserrat Caballé, Mirella Freni and several hundred more, coming right up to the stars of today like Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, Rolando Villazón, Natalie Dessay and many others.
In general, each of the selected singers appears only once, so this set represents a selective overview of singing on record from 1899 to 2007 and is not intended as an exhaustive or comprehensive study of the subject, which would require many more CDs than the 20 presented here. But it does allow the listener to compare and evaluate the voices and singing styles of the whole of the 20th century, as well as to marvel at the development of sound recording from the primitive sounds of the earliest shellac discs through subsequent developments such as the introduction of electrical recording in 1925, the arrival of tape recording in 1949 and the introduction of stereo in 1955, right up to the sophisticated refinement of today’s digital technology.
Price: $49.49On Sale