COMPOSERS: Bizet,et al.,Farley,Grieg,Sandoval,Spontini
PERFORMER: Rosa Ponselle (soprano), etc
CATALOGUE NO: 52012-2 ADD mono
ROSA PONSELLE (1897-1981) thought that broadcast recordings captured her voice more accurately than commercial ones, and Marston has issued its first volume of her Chesterfield Hour broadcasts from 1934-6.
However, these recordings are less than enticing: the condition of source material varies widely, and the spoken introductions to each selection (rarely by Ponselle herself) are lamentably corny.
There’s a perplexing range of repertoire, including everything from ‘O divina Afrodite’ (from Pizzetti’s Fedra) to ‘The Big Brown Bear’. And while Ponselle is beyond doubt a great singer in the right repertoire, her imperious vehemence bludgeons the charm out of light-hearted material.