Song recital at The Sembrich

Have you been to a concert somewhere in the world recently? Share your thoughts with us about the performance, the more details the better!

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jbuck919
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Song recital at The Sembrich

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 2:00 pm

I wouldn't even know about Marcella Sembrich if she had not had a home in nearby Bolton Landing which is kept as a museum with numerous programs including music performances. However, I expect that our members who are erudite in the history of performance of the US (yes, John F, that means you, and is meant as a sincere compliment) know a great deal about her.

On Wednesday July 8 I attended a song recital by Sylvia Stoner, soprano with Carol Ann Elze-Sussdorff at the piano. The program was not a duplicate of any particular Sembrich recital but was presented as typical of her programs. I was expecting a very old-fashioned program typical of that period, but the whole point was that Sembrich introduced features of art song recitals that have become standard. Drat that the only way to tell you what Ms. Stoner sang is actually to list the program, so here goes. (Last name only of composer and no texts or translations as in the actual program.)

Puer dicesti, o bocca bella Lotti
O sleep, why dost thou leave me? (Semele) Handel
Mein glaubiges Herze Bach (From canata 68. Ms. Stoner incorrectly said that the title of the aria is the text "God so loved the world..., which is actually the title of the cantata.--JB)
Das Veilchen Mozart

Lachen und Weinen Schubert
Gretchen am Spinnrade Schubert
Wie Melodien zieht es mir Brahms
Botschaft Brahms
Er der Herrlichste von allen Schumann
Er ist's Schumann

Pastorale Bizet
Allerseelen Richard Strauss
Polna Rózycka Moniuszko (Cannot find the accent over the "z" in the Windows US international character set.--JB)
Pozegnanie Polnishe tanzlied [sic] (Poulenc, arr.)
Expectancy Frank LaForge
The year's at the spring Mrs. H.H.A. Beach

Ms. Stoner has a lovely voice. The performance was adequate, marred by imperfections in the pronunciation of French, German, and Italian. (I cannot comment on the Polish.) Ms. Elze-Sussdorff proved a thoroughly admirable accompanist.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: Song recital at The Sembrich

Post by John F » Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:20 pm

Marcella Sembrich was a coloratura soprano who sang some 450 performances at the Metropolitan Opera before World War I. I'm not a great fan of her singing - her recordings don't measure up to her reputation - but am impressed that at her farewell performance she not only sang acts from three operas but also accompanied her singing of four encores. Sembrich's papers are at the Performing Arts Library.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: Song recital at The Sembrich

Post by lennygoran » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:16 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I wouldn't even know about Marcella Sembrich if she had not had a home in nearby Bolton Landing which is kept as a museum with numerous programs including music performances.
We went and enjoyed that museum about 5 years ago-loved the location. Regards, Len

Lance
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Re: Song recital at The Sembrich

Post by Lance » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:56 pm

I have been to Sembrich's house near Bolton Landing two or three times. [Boldt Castle was also visited that many times, too.] There are many artifacts therein. I recall a rather strange "host" of the house who is probably deceased by now. It's definitely worth going to see this place, which is filled with much Sembrich memorabilia. I am not terribly enamoured with Sembrich's recordings, but she had a glorious career. One question: did the accompanist use Sembrich's Steinway grand piano, or is that just a part of the house holdings now?
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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jbuck919
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Re: Song recital at The Sembrich

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:55 pm

Lance wrote: One question: did the accompanist use Sembrich's Steinway grand piano, or is that just a part of the house holdings now? [/b][/color]
Let me just say that it would have had to be maintained by a technician of your caliber for 80 or whatever years to look and sound the way it did, so I assume it is new.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: Song recital at The Sembrich

Post by lennygoran » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:35 am

Lance wrote:I have been to Sembrich's house near Bolton Landing two or three times.
Sue and I went once and we enjoyed the tour someone gave us-also we enjoyed walking around the island-some lovely views. Regards, Len

""The Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum at Bolton Landing on the shore of Lake George (New York) commemorates the internationally known Polish soprano Marcella Sembrich (1858–1935), whose favourite composers included Vincenzo Bellini and Gaetano Donizetti. In addition to her career in Europe, Sembrich had more than 450 performances at the New York Metropolitan Opera. Her lakeside summer mansion was opened as a museum in 1937 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places."

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