LABELS: Music & Arts
PERFORMER: Various accompanists
CATALOGUE NO: CD-815 ADD stereo/mono
Lehmann’s voice was, and still is, relatively familiar; but what about Petrograd-born Kyra Vayne, a fine but virtually unknown soprano who has lived in London since 1924? She broadcast here during the war and her vibrant, well-focused and above all feminine voice has great appeal. Postwar, pianist Walter Gieseking was most closely associated, at least in Britain, with Debussy, but a German wartime Emperor Concerto (recorded in genuine stereo) combines poise and athleticism, albeit pitted by anti-aircraft fire during the cadenza.
Some years earlier, Willem Mengelberg had encouraged a collaboration between the New York Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras. Selected fruits of that auspicious merger are thrillingly audible on Biddulph’s generous album; they are central to Mengelberg’s much-underrated RCA legacy, whereas Serge Koussevitzky’s (with the Boston Symphony) has earned greater acclaim.