Leontyne Price’s A Program of Song

Inside the National Recording Registry

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mississippi in the 1920s produced some of our country’s greatest blues artists. It also produced one of our greatest operatic singers, soprano Leontyne Price. The bar she set for singers has remained high. “When I was a student I used to travel on the subway between Queens and Julliard,” remembers Renée Fleming, “literally invoking Heaven to give me her high C. And unfortunately it never worked.”

While Price is associated with the great Verdi roles, her debut recording in 1959 focused on a different vocal tradition, lieder — poems set to music. A Program of Song contains works by Richard Strauss, Gabriel Fauré, Hugo Wolf, and Francis Poulenc. “The art of the song recital has to some degree been marginalized,” Fleming says. “I think that’s a great tragedy. The combination of music and poetry in a concert setting that’s much more intimate than opera, for me, is absolute magic. And she could do both. Very few singers historically have been able to go back and forth.”

Price’s A Program of Song was inducted into the National Recording Registry in 2013.

    Music Playlist
  1. Strauss: Allerseelen
    Artist: Leontyne Price
    Album: A Program of Song
    Label: RCA
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. Wolf: Der Gärtner
    Artist: Leontyne Price
    Album: A Program of Song
    Label: Sony
    Purchase: Amazon
  3. Fauré: Clair De Lune, Op. 46, No. 2
    Artist: Leontyne Price
    Album: A Program of Song
    Label: Sony
    Purchase: Amazon
  4. Il trovatore, Act IV: D'amor Sull'ali Rosee
    Artist: Leontyne Price, Fausto Cleva & Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    Album: Verdi: Il trovatore
    Label: Metropolitan Opera
    Purchase: Amazon
  5. Poulenc: Miroirs Brulants - Je Nommerai Ton Front
    Artist: Leontyne Price
    Album: A Program of Song
    Label: Sony
    Purchase: Amazon
  6. Strauss (R): Schlagende Herzen, Op. 29/2
    Artist: Leontyne Price
    Album: A Program of Song
    Label: Sony
    Purchase: Amazon
  7. Fauré: Mandoline, Op. 58/1
    Artist: Leontyne Price
    Album: A Program of Song
    Label: Sony
    Purchase: Amazon
  8. Faure: Claire de lune
    Artist: Leontyne Price
    Album: A Program of Song
    Label: RCA
    Purchase: Amazon

Guests:

F. Paul Driscoll, Renée Fleming and Daniel Guss

Contributors:

Ben Manilla and Devon Strolovitch

Comments [2]

Jiri Vlach

When I heard Leontyne Price singing end of Verdi's aria in today's broadcast, tears got in my eyes. And that you provide a complete playlist of all music used, that's what I call an excellent service.

Dec. 14 2013 11:55 PM
Anita K.

Beautiful! No one better!

Dec. 13 2013 06:41 PM

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