Episode 72. Igor Gorin (Great Baritones II)

Episode 72. Igor Gorin (Great Baritones II)



I recently rediscovered the great Ukranian-American baritone Igor Gorin (1904-1982) and was bowled over by the sheer beauty of his voice. In fact, I am tempted to call his the most beautiful baritone voice I have ever heard. His is a fascinating life story, beginning in pre-Soviet Ukraine and moving back and forth from Vienna to the United States until finally, with forged documents, he emigrated to the US and became a naturalized citizen. Through a series of happy circumstances, he became one of the top US radio stars of the 1930s and 1940s and eventually appeared as well on early television broadcasts. A career in regional opera resulted, including starring roles at Lyric Opera of Chicago and one single appearance at the Metropolitan Opera at the age of 59. This episode features live, radio, and studio performances by Gorin in opera, operetta, Broadway, and folk and art songs over a period of nearly 40 years, including a live late career performances of Ernest Bloch’s Avodath Hakodesh, in which he returned to his cantorial roots. If you do not (or do) already know this artist, you are in for a treat.

A bonus episode on Igor Gorin for my Patreon subscribers includes complete performances of two constrasting song cycles by Modest Mussorgsky, The Nursery and the Songs and Dances of Death.


All selections feature Igor Gorin.

Maximilian Pilzer (1890 – 1958)

Russian Folk Song: Очи чёрные [Dark Eyes]. Orchestra conducted by Maximilian Pilzer [1946]

Gorin in a still from a Voice of Firestone kinescope from the 1950s (as below).

Ruggero Leoncavallo: Un nido di memorie (Pagliacci). Orchestra conducted by Wilfred Pelletier [1938]

Ruggero Leoncavallo: E voi, piuttosto (Pagliacci). Orchestra conducted by Donald Voorhees [1955]

Howard Barlow (1892-1972)

Idabelle Firestone, Madeleine Marshall: If I Could Tell You. Howard Barlow conducting the Firestone Orchestra [Voice of Firestone 22 February 1946]

Irving Berlin: What’ll I Do; Always [radio broadcast 1937]

Mischa Spoliansky (1898-1985)

Mischa Spoliansky, Frank Eyton: Tell Me Tonight [Heute Nacht oder nie]. Howard Barlow conducting the Firestone Orchestra [Voice of Firestone ca. 1946]

Wilfrid Pelletier (1896 – 1982)

Gioacchino Rossini: Largo al factotum (Il barbiere di Siviglia). Orchestra conducted by Wilfrid Pelletier [1938]

Spanish Folk Song, arr. Joaquín Nin: El vito. Adolf Baller, piano [1939]

Nathaniel Shilkret (1889 – 1982)

Caucasian Folk Song: Caucasian Melody. Orchestra conducted by Nathaniel Shilkret [1937]

Caucasian Folk Song, arr. Nicolai Bolin: Kasbek. Orchestra conducted by Nathaniel Shilkret [1937]

Vincent Youmans (1898 – 1946)

Vincent Youmans, Edward Heyman: Through the Years (Through the Years). Victor Orchestra conducted by Maximilian Pilzer [1946]

Stella Roman (1904 – 1992)

Fritz Kreisler, Victor Jacobi: You Are Free (Apple Blossoms). Stella Roman; Firestone Orchestra conducted by Howard Barlow [Voice of Firestone 22 April 1946]

William G. James, Richard Baylis: Bush Silence (Six Australian Bush Songs, No. 2). Henry Penn, pianist [Adelaide Town Hall Recital, 24 October 1959]

Francis Poulenc, Anonymous text: La belle jeunesse (Chansons gaillairdes, No. 7). Henry Penn, pianist [Adelaide Town Hall Recital 24 October 1959]

Alessandro Scarlatti: Son tutto duolo. Henry Penn, pianist [Adelaide Town Hall Recital 24 October 1959]

Antonio Vivaldi: Di due rai languir costante. Willard Straight, pianist [1961]

Igor Gorin and Colette Boky in a still from the film version of Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives Of Windsor, 1965

Antonio Sarti: Lungi dal caro bene (Giulio Sabino). Unidentified pianist [1976]

Giuseppe Verdi: Dagli immortali vertici (Attila). Orchestra conducted by Bruno Reibold [1941]

Gaetano Donizetti: Se ancor m’è dato a stringerti (Maria di Rohan). Unidentified pianist [1966]

Modest Mussorgsky: All is quiet in the camp (Khovanshchina). Orchestra conducted by Charles O’Connell [1942]

Modest Mussorgsky: Reverie of the Young Peasant (The Fair at Sorotchinsky). Max Rabinowitsch, pianist [1939]

Modest Mussorgsky: Где ты, звездочка? [Where art thou, little star?]. Max Rabinowitsch, pianist [1939]

Ernest Bloch: Tzur Yisroel (Avodath Hakodesh). Siegfried Landau conducting the Brooklyn Philharmonia Choral Society and Orchestra [Brooklyn 15 February 1964]

Johann Sebastian Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147). Orchestra conducted by Carmen Dragon [1955]

Carmen Dragon (1914 – 1984)

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