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Prima Voce Party

Hugues Cuenod, Rosa Ponselle, Richard Tauber, Miliza Korjus, Beniamino Gigli, Elisabeth Schumann, Tito Schipa, Amelita Galli-Curci, Joseph Schmidt, Nina Koshetz, Paul Robeson, Noël Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, John McCormack, Nellie Melba, Enrico Caruso, Sigrid Onegin, Alexander Kipnis, Maggie Teyte, Herbert Ernst Groh, Blanche Marchesi

Nimbus NI 7839 [71 mins]

This is a welcome reissue of a feast of singing by all the greats active c. the 1930s.

Some items are light-hearted, e.g. Elisabeth Schumann singing and whistling as Zeller's nightingale. There are many great photos, one [above R] of Gigli, Chaliapin and Tauber all together !

The admired Swiss tenor Hugues Cuénod (who was still alive and well at 105 in 2007) is to be heard in his youthful prime.

All the names you'd know (and a few others) are there, their tracks restored by the Nimbus special process, which was demonstrated at the unforgettable Prima Voce launch party at Covent Garden which I attended.

Given the uncomfortable recording process of the time,he sheer perfection of the singing on most of the tracks is something to marvel.

A hugely enjoyable re-release of a compilation disc from 1992.

Peter Grahame Woolf