The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes
|NON-OPERATIC VOCAL SELECTIONS [Includes RealAudio Selections]|
Johann Strauss, Jr.: Voci di primavera (Voices of Spring) excerpt: cadenza
Marcella Sembrich (s)
March 30 or 31, 1900
[Mapleson's announcement: "...March the thirt..."; note on container: "Mad. Sembrich, end of Strauss Primavera 1900"; Glackens 86: "1900"; since Mapleson only acquired his machine on March 17 of that year, the last two days of the month are indicated.]
At the matinee performance of Il Barbiere di Siviglia on March 31, 1900, Sembrich interpolated Johann Strauss's Voci di primavera (Voices of Spring) into the lesson scene, and this may have suggested her choice of the cadenza from this waltz to sing into Mapleson's horn on that day or the day before. Curiously, an orchestral cadence can be heard far in the distance after Sembrich finishes (and in the same key!), but since the cadenza is sung without the customary flute echoes (and because the singer is obviously very close to the horn), this can hardly represent an actual rehearsal, let alone a performance. The selection is pitched in B-flat, the usual key for this waltz (and the key in which Sembrich's commercial recordings also pitch comfortably).
Luigi Arditi: Parla Vals excerpt: Final portion Marcella Sembrich (s)
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--Phillippe Flon January 30, 1903
[On the cylinder (Glackens 15), this follows the first excerpt from the Fille du Régiment performance of January 30, 1903. Early in the Mapleson project, it was suggested that Sembrich might have interpolated Parla into the lesson scene of Fille at that performance, but in Recorded Sound 83 a more conservative assignment was made, to a Sunday-evening concert on February 9, 1902, despite the fact that the sound quality was far superior to other 1902 Mapleson cylinders. At the time, the actual program of that concert was not known--the old Metropolitan Opera Annals merely listed "Songs (selected)" by Sembrich; Jean Uppman has now established that Parla was not on that program.Subsequently, Louis Snyder kindly furnished us reviews from his extensive Sembrich files, which indicate that she regularly sang the Parla Vals as an interpolation at the end of the opera.
In support of this, the speed of the first Fille excerpt and the Parla conclusion match--and, as John Stratton noted, so does the speed of a brief recording of Parla 's opening measures found at the beginning of the first excerpt from the January 31, 1903 Aida (Side 5/Band 5), the remainder evidently shaved off to make room for the Aida. This was very suggestive, and in the original layout for this set we considered combining the two