Episode 49. Eileen Farrell (Crossover Classics V)

Episode 49. Eileen Farrell: Queen of Crossover (Crossover Classics V)

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The American dramatic soprano Eileen Farrell (1920–2002) was one of the finest and most versatile singers the United States has ever produced. Her singing career lasted more than fifty years, and this episode covers the entire chronological range of that career, from her early work as a radio singer in the 1940s to her final pop albums in the 1990s. While the episode focuses on her crossover work (and includes work by, among others, Harold Arlen, Jule Styne, Alec Wilder, George Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, as heard on two of her lesser-known pop albums with Percy Faith and the late André Previn), we also sample her opera and concert work, with examples from Verdi and Wagner, to Debussy and Charpentier, to Barber and Menotti. A late reunion with her frequent collaborator Leonard Bernstein caps the episode. In all her singing Farrell combines ease of delivery and a relaxed, insouciant response to the words and music with a vocal and interpretive precision that inevitably strikes a bullseye. Bow down to the Queen of Crossover, nay, the Queen of Song!

RECORDINGS HEARD IN THIS EPISODE

Eileen Farrell and Luther Henderson

Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart: My Funny Valentine (Babes in Arms). Luther Henderson and His Orchestra [1961 studio recording]

Leonard Bernstein and Eileen Farrell

Richard Wagner: Du bist der Lenz (Die Walküre). Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic. [live performance 23 May 1968]

Helen Traubel

Robert Katscher, Buddy DeSylva: When Day Is Done. Helen Traubel; Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Milton Rogers [1957 studio recording]

Eileen Farrell and Percy Faith

Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II: Hello, Young Lovers (The King and I). Percy Faith and His Orchestra [1961 studio recording]

André Kostelanetz and his wife Lily Pons

Victor Herbert, Henry Blossom: Kiss Me Again (Mlle. Modiste). André Kostelanetz and His Orchestra [radio broadcast ca. 1943]

Robert Farnon (1917-2005)

Peter DeRose (after Maurice Ravel); Mitchell Parish: The Lamp Is Low. Arranged and conducted by Robert Farnon [1993 studio recording]

Claude Debussy: Beau soir. George Trovillo, piano [1960 studio recording]

Harold Arlen (L) and Johnny Mercer

Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer: Out of this World. Percy Faith and His Orchestra [1961 studio recording]

Diahann Carroll, who starred in the original production of House of Flowers,
photographed by Carl Van Vechten, New York, 1954

Harold Arlen, Truman Capote: A Sleepin’ Bee (House of Flowers). Arranged, conducted, and played by André Previn [1962 studio recording]

Truman Capote and his dog, 1950

Harold Arlen, Truman Capote: I Never Has Seen Snow (House of Flowers). Percy Faith and His Orchestra [1961 studio recording]

Eileen Farrell and Arthur Fiedler

Edvard Grieg: Solveig’s Song (Peer Gynt). Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra [1957 studio recording]

Donald Voorhees (1903-1989)

Gustave Charpentier: Depuis le jour (Louise). Donald Voorhees, Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra [radio broadcast 28 June 1953]

Samuel Barber, James Agee: Knoxville: Summer of 1915 [original version for full orchestra]. Bernard Herrmann, CBS Symphony Orchestra [radio broadcast 19 June 1949]

Gian Carlo Menotti: To this we’ve come (The Consul). Thomas Schippers, The Philharmonia Orchestra [1958 studio recording]

Renato Cellini (1912-1967)

Giuseppe Verdi: La vergine degli angeli (La forza del destino). Renato Cellini, Orchestra and Chorus of the New Orleans Opera [live performance 16 November 1963]

Traditional Irish, arr. Frederick B. Weatherly: Danny Boy. Charles Lichter, Columbia Concert Orchestra [1946 studio recording]

Judy Holliday (1921-1965), for whom Bells Are Ringing was written,
in a still from the 1960 film version of the musical

Jule Styne, Betty Comden, Adolph Green: The Party’s Over (Bells Are Ringing). Percy Faith and His Orchestra [1961 studio recording]

The Gershwin Brothers, George (1898-1937) and Ira (1896-1983)

George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin: But Not for Me (Girl Crazy). Arranged, conducted, and played by André Previn [1962 studio recording]

Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and Lorenz Hart (1895-1943)

Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart: Where or When (Babes in Arms). Percy Faith and His Orchestra [1961 studio recording]

André Previn, Dory Langdon Previn: Where, I Wonder. Arranged, conducted, and played by André Previn [1962 studio recording]

Dory Langdon Previn

André Previn, Dory Langdon Previn: The Faraway Part of Town (Pepe). Percy Faith and His Orchestra [1961 studio recording]

William Engvick (1914-2012) and Alec Wilder (1907-1980)

Alec Wilder, William Engvick: Everywhere I Look. Arranged, conducted, and played by André Previn [1962 studio recording]

Alec Wilder, Loonis McGlohon: ’s Gonna Be a Cold, Cold Day. Loonis McGlohan, piano; Joe Wilder, trumpet; Terry Peoples, bass; Greg Hyslop, guitar; Bill Stowe, drums [1989 studio recording]

Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart: Spring Is Here (I Married an Angel). Arranged, conducted, and played by André Previn [1962 studio recording]

Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green: Some Other Time (On the Town). Leonard Bernstein, piano [live performance, AMFAR Benefit, Public Theater (New York) 7 December 1986]

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