Episode 129. Leontyne Price in Concert

Episode 129. Leontyne Price in Concert [Black History Month 2022]



The great Leontyne Price, soprano par excellence and beacon to a world that desperately needed (and still needs) her, turned 95 this week. In celebration of her birthday, I chose to offer a less well-known and celebrated aspect of her artistry: Leontyne Price as an interpreter of art song, mélodie, and Lieder. The selections, both live and studio recordings, range over the course of her more than 40-year career, and include selections by Howard Swanson, as well as Samuel Barber and Lee Hoiby, both of whom crafted music with her specific voice in mind. Also included are melodies by Francis Poulenc, Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, and Claude Debussy; art songs by Respighi and Rachmaninov; Lieder by Wolf, Schubert, Schumann, and Richard Strauss; followed by a pair of spirituals arranged by Margaret Bonds. And, because this is Leontyne Price singing in concert, we must conclude, as she always did, with a performance of “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. I also relate several brief stories which relate how I, in my youth, fell under the power of the voice of Leontyne Price. Fond birthday greetings to this extraordinary artist and woman! Long Live the Queen!


Robert Schumann, Friedrich Rückert: Widmung (Myrthen, Op. 25/1). Leontyne Price, David Garvey [1971]

Igor Stravinsky: Pastorale. Leontyne Price, David Stimer [New York 07.XI.1951]

Samuel Barber, Anonymous text translated Howard Mumford Jones: The Crucifixion (Hermit Songs, Op. 29/5). Leontyne Price, Samuel Barber [world premiere, Library of Congress 30.X.1953]

John La Montaine, text from Song of Solomon: O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock (Songs of the Rose of Sharon). Leontyne Price, Howard Mitchell, National Symphony [Washington DC 31.V.1956]

Howard Swanson, Langston Hughes: Night Song. Leontyne Price, David Garvey. [White House Recital 09.X.1978]

Lee Hoiby, Emily Dickinson: Wild Nights. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [Carnegie Hall 26.I.1991]

Francis Poulenc, Paul Éluard: Tu vois le feu du soir (Miroirs brûlants, FP98/1). Leontyne Price, Samuel Barber [Library of Congress 30.X.53]

Gabriel Fauré, Armand Silvestre: Notre amour, Op. 23/2. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [1959]

Claude Debussy, Charles Baudelaire: Le jet d’eau (Cinq poèmes de Charles Baudelaire, L.70-3). Leontyne Price, David Garvey [Salzburg 08.VIII.1981]

Franz Liszt, Victor Hugo: Oh! quand je dors, S.282. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [Minneapolis 08.I.1985]

Hector Berlioz, Théophile Gautier: Absence (Les Nuits d’été, Op. 7/4). Leontyne Price, Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony Orchestra [1964]

Samuel Barber, James Agee: Excerpt from Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op. 24. Leontyne Price, Thomas Schippers, New York Philharmonic [Carnegie Hall 15.XI.1959]

Ottorino Respighi, Ada Negri: Notte. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [Salzburg 28.VII.1975]

Serge Rachmaninov, Lev Mei (after Victor Hugo): Они отвечали [They Answered], Op. 21/4. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [Salzburg 08.VIII.1981]

Hugo Wolf, Eduard Mörike: Der Gärtner (Mörike-Lieder, No. 17). Leontyne Price, David Garvey [1959]

Franz Schubert, Ludwig Rellstab: Liebesbotschaft, D.957/1. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [1979]

Franz Schubert, Matthäus von Collin: Nacht und Träume, D. 827. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [1979]

Franz Schubert, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Mignons Lied II [So laßt mich scheinen], D. 877. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [1979]

Robert Schumann, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Mignon [Kennst du das Land] (Liederalbum für die Jugend, Op. 79/28), Leontyne Price, David Garvey [1971]

Robert Schumann, Friedrich Rückert: Schöne Wiege meiner Leiden (Liederkreis, Op. 24/5). Leontyne Price, David Garvey [1971]

Richard Strauss, Adolf Friedrich von Schack: Breit’ über mein Haupt, Op. 19/2. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [1979]

Richard Strauss, Clemens Brentano: Als mir dein Lied erklang (Brentano-Lieder, Op. 68/4). Leontyne Price, David Garvey [1979]

Richard Strauss, Richard Dehmel: Befreit, Op. 39/4. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [1979]

Traditonal Spiritual, arr. Margaret Bonds: Lord, I Just Can’t Keep from Cryin’. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [Carnegie Recital 28.II.1965]

Traditional Spiritual, arr. Margaret Bonds: This Little Light of Mine. Leontyne Price, David Garvey [Salzburg 02.VIII.1977]

George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Du Bose Heyward: Summertime (Porgy and Bess). Leontyne Price, David Garvey [White House Recital 09.X.1978]

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