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Subject: Re: Clarification of my Tebaldi - Manon Lescaut comment
From: Don <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Don <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 19 Nov 2016 07:38:15 -0700
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I would say Mitropoulos was committed to opera more than most conductors at
the time.  He was the principal conductor at the Met from 1954 to 1960
although they did not use that title at the time.  He also conducted dozens
of opera performances in Italy for many years.  If you look in the Met's
archive you will see many recorded broadcasts.  He did not record many but
his Wozzeck recording for Columbia was, I imagine, the first recording of
that opera, at least the first recording I had of it.  One of his last
recordings was of La Forza with Stella, Bastiannini and di Stefano.  I saw
him conduct many performances at the Met, one of which was the first
performance of Vanessa.   He even wrote an opera, Sister Beatrice.  I
remember a performance an exciting performance of Un Ballo with Marian
Andersen, Merrill, Peters, Milanov, and Peerce.  It was probably more
exciting for the debut of Andersen than the rest of the cast, although
there were no slouches in that cast.  Those were the days.  I was pretty
young at the time and was so impressed with  how the Met moved from that
opening scene which quickly changed to the ballroom scene with all those
chandeliers.  How easily I was impressed with those(at the time) amazing to
me scene changes until the Met moved into the new house with its
technological upgrades.  I remember a wonderful performance of Boris with
Jerome Hines and Charles Kullman, in English, of course.  He conducted the
Callas Toscas in 1956 as well.  As I remember, he always conducted from
memory in the performances I saw at the Met as well as those with the NY
Philharmonic.
dond

On Sat, Nov 19, 2016 at 7:04 AM, Max Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Vesna, I think it was a matter of who they (Decca) could get.  Also, the
> early 50's wasn't that brilliant a time for conductors of Italian opera.
> Toscanini and de Sabata were winding up their careers, Cantelli focused
> more on symphonic rep, Giulini was getting his footing and all were safely
> tied up by EMI or RCA.  Mitropoulos was with Columbia, who didn't use him
> for opera (and who didn't have a serious commitment to opera, in any
> case).  Serafin was exclusive with EMI until the second half of the
> decade.  Erede seemed a respectable choice given his Met involvement at the
> time.
>
> As soon as Decca could even moderately upgrade (Molinari-Pradelli,
> Gavazzeni, Capuana and then Serafin became available), they pretty much
> dumped Erede like a hot potato.  So did the Met, and Erede continued to
> have a long career as a "2nd tier" house conductor in places like
> Düsseldorf.
>
> In the early 50s, Decca's strength was in its Vienna branch: the Ks -
> Kleiber, Krauss, Keilberth, Krips, Knappertsbusch (not Karajan until 1959)
> and Böhm and then Solti.
>
> Max Paley
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
> > On Nov 19, 2016, at 05:20, Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >> On Sat, Nov 19, 2016 at 1:46 AM, Max Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>
> >> Decca was still a "scrappy" company then, looking to acquire names that
> >> would compete with the impressive EMI and RCA rosters.  Aside from
> Tebaldi,
> >> they were stronger on the German/Viennese side (particularly for
> >> conductors) than on the Italian side.  Di Stefano seemed like a catch.
> >>
> >
> > The choice of Erede, a dull conductor, is still a mystery to me. His
> > routine conducting often mars many of the Tebaldi's studio recordings
> from
> > the early to mid-50s, when her voice was most glorious.
> >
> > Vesna
> >
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