Episode 36. Glamour

Episode 36. Glamour (I Put a Spell on You)

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Diahann Carroll

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “glamour” as “magic; enchantment; spell” and “a magical or fictitious beauty attaching to any person or object; a delusive or alluring charm.” Further down in the entry are “charm; attractiveness; physical allure,” certainly the definition we most closely associate with the term. And yet, it’s fascinating to examine the concept of glamour from its spellbinding origins. In the first of my episodes on Glamour, I examine many singers both from the spell-binding sense of the term and the sense of vocal and personal allure. Among others, I examine such varied singers as Alice Faye, Eleanor Steber, Annie Lennox, Carol Neblett, Betty Carter, Diahann Carroll, Teresa Żylis-Gara, Liane Augustin, Dorothy Kirsten, Florence Quartararo, Hana Janků, Helen Traubel, Hilde Güden, Kiri Te Kanawa, Leontyne Price, Lisa Kirk, Lotte Lehmann, Anna Moffo, Maria Nemeth, Montserrat Caballé, Rosa Ponselle, Zarah Leander, and The Incomparable Hildegarde with an eye to what makes their work glamourous in all senses of the term. And the gentlemen are by no means excluded: I spend particular time on the seductive and dulcet tenor tones of Fritz Wunderlich, José Carreras, Karl Friedrich, and Miguel Fleta.

RECORDINGS HEARD IN THIS EPISODE

Jalacy “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins: I Put a Spell on You. Annie Lennox (from her Nostalgia album)

Hercule Gilles de Fontenailles, Jeanne Dortzal [Jeanne-Françoise Thomasset]: À l’aimé. Rosa Ponselle; Rosario Bourdon

Richard Strauss: Frühling (Vier letzte Lieder). Teresa Żylis-Gara, Zubin Mehta, Los Angeles Philharmonic [live, November 1977]

Jules Massenet: Dis-moi que je suis belle (Thaïs). Carol Neblett, Knut Andersson, New Orleans Opera Association Orchestra [live, 1973]

Ned Rorem, Orlando Gibbons: The Silver Swan. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [live from the White House, 8 October 1978]

Landon Ronald, Harold Simpson: Prelude (A Cycle of Life). Florence Quartararo [live radio broadcast, 1945]

James Bland: Carry Me Back to Old Virginny. Eleanor Steber [live Voice of Firestone telecast, 1952]

Bernard Herrmann: Aria from “Salammbo” (Citizen Kane). Kiri Te Kanawa; Charles Gerhardt, National Philharmonic Orchestra

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Ich ging zu ihm (Das Wunder der Heliane). Lotte Lehmann; Manfred Gurlitt, Berlin Staatsopernorchester

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Glück, das mir verblieb (Die tote Stadt). Maria Nemeth

Giuseppe Verdi: D’amor sull’ali rosee (Il trovatore). Hana Janků; Jan Štych, Brno State Theatre Opera Orchestra

Giacomo Puccini: Chi il bel sogno di Doretta (La rondine). Montserrat Caballé; Charles Mackerras, London Symphony Orchestra

Victor Herbert: Italian Street Song (Naughty Marietta). Anna Moffo; Lehman Engel, RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra

Franz Lehár: Schön wie die blaue Sommernacht (Giuditta). Hilde Güden, Karl Friedrich; Wilhelm Loibner, Wiener Staatsopernorchester

Vincenzo Bellini: A te, o cara (I Puritani). Miguel Fleta

Giuseppe Verdi: Le mie letizie infondere (I Lombardi). José Carreras; Roberto Benzi, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Hans Moltkau: Niemals lass ich dich allein. Fritz Wunderlich; Willi Stech, Das kleine Rundfunkorchester des SWF

George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin: Do Do Do (Oh, Kay!). Dorothy Kirsten; Percy Faith & His Orchestra and Chorus

Kurt Weill, Maxwell Anderson: September Song (Knickerbocker Holiday). Helen Traubel; Milton Rogers

Mack Gordon, Harry Revel: There’s a Lull in My Life. Alice Faye; Cy Feuer

Cesare Andrea Bixio: Karleken är ny varje dag [Parlami d’amore, Mariù] (Gli uomini, che mascalzoni). Zarah Leander; Arne Hulphers Fenixorkester

Robert Stolz, Robert Gilbert: Tränen fallen im Herbst einer Liebe. Liane [Augustin]; Robert Stolz, Das große Wiener Rundfunkorchester 

Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart: My Funny Valentine (Babes in Arms). Lisa Kirk

Noël Coward: I’ll See You Again (Bitter Sweet). Hildegarde; Ray Sinatra

Harold Arlen, Truman Capote: A Sleepin’ Bee (House of Flowers). Diahann Carroll; Ralph Burns & His Orchestra

Karl Suessdorf, John Blackburn: Moonlight in Vermont. Betty Carter; Ray Bryant, Weldell Marshall, Jo Jones

Muddy Waters, Bumble Bee Slim: Honey Bee. Cassandra Wilson; Brandon Ross, Jeffrey Hanes, Harlin Riley, Calvin Jones (from her Glamoured album)

Dave Stewart, Annie Lennox: There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart). Eurythmics, Stevie Wonder (from their Be Yourself Tonight album)

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