Cher Public

A pretty girl is like a melody

On this day in 1933, the first singing telegram was delivered (to Rudy Vallée, actually.)

Born on this day in 1906 bass Gottlob Frick

Born on this day in 1914 tenor Kenneth Neate

Happy 74th birthday conductor Riccardo Muti

Born on this day in 1958 tenor Deon van der Walt

  • DellaCasaFan

    On his official Facebook page, Jonas Kaufmann warns us about the upcoming Decca album of his Puccini arias “The Age of Puccini” as deceitful (basically, old wine in a new bottle), issued without his approval.
    http://www.deccaclassics.com/us/cat/4788746
    “Dear Friends,
    “Please don’t let yourselves be deceived by the Decca release „Jonas Kaufmann – The Age of Puccini“. This compilation contains only 3 Puccini arias – my recordings of „Che gelida manina“ and „E lucevan le stelle“ from 2007 and a scene from „La Rondine“, that I recorded with Renée Fleming in 2008 for the Verismo album. The remaining 18 tracks are essentially my old recording “Verismo Arias” from 2010. Therefore familiar recordings- in new packaging. I was not consulted in its making, this was done without my knowledge and approval.
    The “real” Puccini album which I recorded with Antonio Pappano in Rome in Autumn last year is titled “Nessun dorma” and will be released on Sony in the middle of September. It exclusively contains arias and scenes from Puccini’s operas including highlights from “Manon Lescaut”, “La Bohème”, “Tosca”, “La Fanciulla del West” and “Turandot”.”
    Jonas Kaufmann”

    • Lohengrin

      DECCA seems to be a dubious company!

    • Milly Grazie

      Methinks the Tenor doth protest too much! Decca, like ALL “dubious” or “clever” major labels, who want to capitalize on their investment, ensure, by contract, that it can “cannibalise” (which means re-use and re-issue) material they record and pay for (handsomely in this case am sure!).

      • nachEule

        Already the media is reporting Kaufmann is “warning fans not to buy the Decca cd.” Nowhere in his Facebook statement does it say anything like that. I took this to be an effort to make sure younger and less well-informed fans didn’t mistake the Decca disc for the Sony effort, and buy re-packaged music they already owned. A perfect use of social media, to get info to the demographic that might need it most.

        • LT

          ” I was not consulted in its making, this was done without my knowledge and approval.”

          This doesn’t sound like “Yaay, new album! Buy it now, pretty please!!”

          He has a contract with Sony and most likely won’t get any money from this release.

          • armerjacquino

            Yep, agreed. He’s warning people off as much as he can without awakening the lawyers. See also ‘don’t be deceived’ which is another phrase you won’t find in the ‘Yaay, new album!’ scrapbook.

            • ML

              Seems like it could awaken the lawyers, if Universal chose to get nasty.

          • Big Finn

            Most likely he has a royalty deal with Decca, and any repackaging and release of older recorded material would bring him royalties, too.

            • LT

              I don’t know about royalties. In pop music it’s usually the writers that get the royalties which is why singers always get their names on the credits. I don’t know how it is in the classical music area.

            • Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin

              Yikes. You need to learn the basics about royalties! First, the recording artist gets paid a royalty for every record sold by the record company, usually in perpetuity. This is usually a percentage of the suggested retail list price of the album or sound-carrying device. In addition to this, the record company must pay the writer(s)/publishers of any musical selection covered by copyright a separate royalty. When a composition in copyright is recorded, this is called a mechanical royalty, and the rate is, in the USA, set by the government. When a composition is performed live, a royalty is paid to a collection agency such as ASCAP or BMI by the venue or promoter of the event. When a recording is used in a film, the recording artist gets paid, usually a one-time only flat fee, and the writer(s)/publisher gets paid another fee, PLUS in America the musicians’ union (the AF of M) gets paid what is called a reuse fee, in which all the musicians who performed in the recording get paid as if they were making a new recording specifically for the film. This is why so many film soundtracks use orchestras in, for instance, the Czech Republic – the American union fees are simply too high.

            • LT

              I don’t really *need* to, but thanks anyway.

        • nachEule

          Oh, yes agreed absolutely; his language shows irritation and I’m sure you’re right, LT, no $ for him from Decca, with no legal recourse in this situation, I assume.
          My little quibble is with the way the Facebook statement is being generally reported: IMO making sure fans know the diff between the two discs is an appropriate response (if mildly agitated, at least in its English version) and hardly “declaring war on Decca” to quote a strident headline.
          Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if people buy the Decca re-pack, as long as they don’t NOT buy the Sony cd as a result, which seems unlikely given the tone of most of the comments of his page’s 89k facebook fans.

        • Calling Norman Lebrecht “the media” is like calling Donald Trump “front runner for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.”

          • manou

            Some people call him “the mediocre”.

          • ML

            Interesting comparison.

    • DeepSouthSenior

      I am disappointed, disturbed, and downcast by this entire discussion of Kaufmann and his “Don’t you dare buy this!” comments (or something to that effect). The very thought that a performer might put financial considerations above Sheer Love for Great Art is shocking, just shocking. Every great artist, especially a singer, knows that he or she is God’s gift to the world and would gladly spend an entire career making great music for free, any time, anywhere. Ars gratia artis, and all that.

      • armerjacquino

        Firstly: how do you expect all these people working for free to be able to eat?

        Secondly: I don’t see what’s so greedy about saying ‘this CD is a ripoff, don’t buy it’. Seems pretty public-spirited to me. He’s doing himself out of royalty payments in order to save his fans unnecessary expense.

        • armerjacquino

          Unless you were joking, in which case… scarily accurate.

          • manou

            It seems obvious that DeepSouthSenior has a DeepTongueInCheek.

            • armerjacquino

              You do hear people say it though, that’s the scary bit.

        • nachEule

          Yes, armerjacquino, exactly what I was trying to say above (albeit less succinctly): he was trying to save fans from disappointment/unecessary expense and catching flak for it in “the media”. Especially since he’ll get royalties anyway. What’s a tenor to do? Social media can be such a bitch.

      • DellaCasaFan

        I think the second paragraph in Kaufmann’s comments points to what really upsets him, perhaps more than possible royalties issues. Decca has decided to compete against his new Puccini album on Sony by almost simultaneously issuing his old recordings with them as his own “rival” Puccini album. Had they issued their Puccini album with another artist, I’d say it’s all fair competition. Instead, what they’ve decided to do looks pretty nasty to me.

  • JohninSeattle

    Buon compleanno, Maestro!

  • Feldmarschallin

    I have decided last minute to go to Salzburg tomorrow for Die Eroberung von Mexiko. Anyone else there?

  • Feldmarschallin

    http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/musik/wagner-in-bayreuth-tristan-und-isolde-premiere-gelungen-a-1045368.html

    Evelyn Herlitzius als perfekte Isolde

    Evelyn Herlitzius ließ von den Unwägbarkeiten in der Premiere nichts spüren. Sie sang ihre Isolde mit strahlenden Präzision, Inbrunst und Feeling bis zum Schluss, was ihr am Ende fast mehr Premieren-Applaus als Stephen Goulds Tristan einbrachte. Und Gould hatte seinen Tristan so souverän beherrscht an diesem Abend, wie es bei dieser mörderisch schweren Partie über die gesamte Distanz eben nur möglich ist. Volle Punktzahl.