Grace Bumbry 80th Birthday Set from DGG

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Lance
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Grace Bumbry 80th Birthday Set from DGG

Post by Lance » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:44 pm

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DGG 482 7626, 8 CDs, 1 DVD

GRACE BUMBRY, mezzo-soprano
"The Black Venus"



Disc: 1
Handel, Israell in Egypt (Christensen, Bischoff, Bumbry, Blackburn, Watts, Wood, Utah Symphony, Abravanel, conductor) [First release on CD, originally Westminster stereo]
Disc: 2
Handel, Israell in Egypt (Christensen, Bischoff, Bumbry, Blackburn, Watts, Wood, Utah Symphony, Abravanel) [First release on CD, originally Westminster stereo]
Disc: 3
Handel, Judas Maccabaeus (Arroyo, Bumbry, McCollum, Sorensen, Watts, Utah
Symphony, Abravanel, conductor) [Original Westminster stereo, new remaster]
Disc: 4
Handel, Judas Maccabaeus (Arroyo, Bumbry, McCollum, Sorensen, Watts, Utah
Symphony, Abravanel) [Original Westminster stereo, new master]
Disc: 5
Arias by Gluck, Mascagni, Bizet, Gounod, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky, de Falla, Verdi with conductors Maazel, Boult, Kulka, Solti w/Tebaldi
Disc: 6
Arias by Verdi, Wagner w/Sawallisch, Lowlein, conductors; Brahms Lieder with Erik Werba and Sebastian Peschko, pianists
Disc: 7
Lieder by Schubert, Brahms, Liszt, Wolf with Erik Werba and Sebastian Peschko, pianists
Disc: 8
"With Love" - popular songs arranged by pianist Andrew White w/Dionne Warwick in one track
DVD
Bizet: Carmen (complete) w/VPO, von Karajan, conductor; includes Jon Vickers, Mirella Freni, Justino Diaz and others

This release commemorates Grace Bumbry's 80th birthday, which occurred on January 4th, 2017. Her principal teacher was the celebrated Lotte Lehmann who also advised Bumbry to go to Salzburg and study at the Mozarteum. Hard to believe she's already 80. I remember when Bumbry first emerged on the scene in the 1960s. I was a young one at that time. Another indication that time marches on and we are all getting older whether we like it or not. The nicely-put-together set contains an excellent booklet and story
about the celebrated singer. All-in-all is a wonderful celebration of all her facets in the world of the voice ... opera, lieder, oratorio, crossover.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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maestrob
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Re: Grace Bumbry 80th Birthday Set from DGG

Post by maestrob » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:25 pm

Wonderful! I have so many memories of Grace Bumbry! I studied her recording of Carmen when I was in school as it was the first to include all the spoken dialog, and then saw her in Philadelphia as Carmen. She went on to attempt Verdi's Abigaille (Nabucco) at NYCO (remember all those silent high notes?), then went back to being a successful mezzo, IIRC. Her Don Carlo was magnificent (as Eboli). I'll be glad to have this set: I haven't heard the Handel records for decades, with Shirley Verett (they shared the same voice teacher.).

Memories, memories........

John F
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Re: Grace Bumbry 80th Birthday Set from DGG

Post by John F » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:53 am

Grace Bumbry's breakthrough came at the 1961 Bayrreuth Festival when Wieland Wagner cast her as Venus in his production of "Tannhäuser." The first black singer at the Festival, she was often referred to as the Black Venus, hence the title of the DG set.

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WW said he didn't cast her because of her race, which caused a scandal in Germany where Hitler's racial laws were still a living memory. Bumbry was chosen because of her voice and her singing; she remained nearly immobile throughout the Venusberg scene and the finale, an icon or symbol rather than a dramatic character. But then, WW's style at the time called for a minimum of movement and gesture from the singer-actors, so when they did move it had impact.

Philips recorded "Tannhäuser" at Bayreuth that year, and the recording - also with Wolfgang Windgassen, Anja Silja, Eberhard Wächter, and Josef Greindl, Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting - is one of the most exciting performances of the opera that I've heard. It is not included in the DG set, though maybe the Wagner excerpt in CD6 is taken from it; the title is therefore something of a misnomer.

As I type this, the new forum software has put a smiley face in the upper right corner of the text box, unasked for and serving no purpose. It doesn't show in Preview or when I post. Also, as I type, often words are broken arbitrarily at the end of the line, though again, this doesn't show in Preview or when posted. Weird.
Last edited by John F on Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
John Francis

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Re: Grace Bumbry 80th Birthday Set from DGG

Post by lennygoran » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:44 am

We saw bumbry several times and thought she was great-have to check my records when we return from florida. I too noticed that smiley and kept trying to delete it-finally I figured I`d just send the message with the smiley and the words separated incorrectly-fortunately the message then came together the right way. Len

Lance
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Re: Grace Bumbry 80th Birthday Set from DGG

Post by Lance » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:57 am

Yes, the smiley on the right side of this box gives us a little something extra. I talked to Rick about including it. I, too, notice that when typing, the words split strangely on the box in which we type but all the text comes out properly when actually posted. 🎶😱 Just a little something extra on CMG! No fees for users! 😃
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

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