Sorry about the long break from new posts. My summer’s travels didn’t leave much time for working on recordings this time, but I DO have quite a few new items from my friend Mike Gartz’ superb collection, and this is the first of them. As always, thanks to Mike for granting access to his collection, his enthusiasm for exploring the many rare nooks and crannies of recorded history, and his sage advice on the matters of optimal reproduction of vintage 78s and Lps!
I must admit I didn’t know any of Ginette Doyen’s work until recently, when the superb blog, Quartier des Archives featured three of her early 1950’s Westminster recordings (see here). So when I saw her complete recording of the Mendelssohn Songs without Words in Mike’s collection I jumped at the chance to dub these recordings! A beautiful tone, elastic phrasing, and economy of means characterize this essential version (and the first complete set) of these works. Add to that a rare ability to effortlessly highlight melodic lines through voicing (without ever poking or punching), and a never failing feeling of the gracefulness of the style, and you have something that really should not be missed! While lacking the uniquely potent individualism of Ignaz Friedman’s essential 78 rpm set, Doyen holds her own against the rest of the competition.
For the first time, I’ve used a 24 bit/88.2 khz method of audio capture, and I’m offering a 24/88.2 Flac version, which some have requested. I’m not an expert in these technical matters, but have been advised that 88.2 khz works better when one converts back to 44.1 khz for cd-friendly versions, but I’m curious to hear feedback on this issue. In any case, I’m impressed with how much more this method captures of the nuances of recordings played back on high quality equipment.
Mendelssohn: Songs without Words (Complete)
Westminster WL 5192, 5246, 5279
Ginette Doyen, Piano
Note: The “standard” Flac (16 bit) version, although presented in 49 consecutive tracks, will fit on 2 cdrs. Also note that the back cover listings for Vol. 1 on the original lp has a completely incorrect track listing, listing 22 tracks. In fact side 1 has tracks 1-7, and side 2 has nos. 8-15.