My intention with this month’s five-part series has been to only include works that had not been commercially recorded nor are available on YouTube by the chosen soprano or mezzo. I’m making a slight exception however with Baker’s no-holds-barred Haydn. She did record Arianna a Naxos with piano but not in the orchestral version included here. Her Haydn also makes a nice pairing with Bartoli’s rare Monteverdi Arianna!

One wouldn’t normally connect Fink with Wagner, and her Wesendonck is unusually interesting as it’s accompanied by Sir Roger Norrington leading a period-instrument orchestra. The Fink originally included applause after each song but I’ve deleted those interruptions. Garanca’s ravishing rare early 18th century Porpora conducted by Riccardo Muti, on the other hand, is definitely un-HIP, unlike her early encounter with Hasse, a video I especially enjoy.

The irresistible Berberian performed Pierrot Lunaire in English—for a French Radio broadcast.

I may have overlooked one, but I couldn’t find any mention of a commercial recording by Norman of “Ah! Perfido” nor another live version beyond this fiery 1980 broadcast from Salzburg with Claudio Abbado. The strained top might explain its omission from her discography but this performance’s epic grandeur makes it special nonetheless.

Haydn: Arianna a Naxos

Janet Baker
San Francisco Symphony
Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
14 January 1977


Monteverdi: Lamento d’Arianna (Lasciatemi morire)

Cecilia Bartoli
Berliner Philharmoniker (a continuo section drawn from it)
31 May 1995

In-house recording

Wagner: Wesendonck-Lieder (orch. F. Mottl)

Bernarda Fink
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Conductor: Sir Roger Norrington
Musikfest Bremen
27 September 2001


Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire (in English)

Cathy Berberian
Ensemble Ars Nova
Conductor: Marius Constant
Radio France, Paris
17 April 1972


Porpora: Salve Regina

Elina Garanca
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Conductor: Riccardo Muti
Herkulessaal der Residenz, Munich
January 2011


Beethoven: Ah! Perfido

Jessye Norman
Vienna Philharmonic
Conductor: Claudio Abbado
Salzburg Festival
3 August 1980


All six works can be downloaded by clicking on the icon of a cloud with an arrow pointing downward on the audio player above and the resulting mp3 files will appear in your download directory. Come back next Tuesday for just two further diva treats.