Florence Easton CD cover

Florence Easton: Absolute Soprano



Florence Easton (1882-1955) claims a place of honor in the annals of opera. Few sopranos have sung a wider range of repertoire. Only a handful can match her uncompromising musicianship. None surpasses her ability to learn a role and perform it within hours. And yet, although colleagues and critics alike esteemed her artistry, few today rank Easton among the vocal elite. Perhaps she was a singer's singer: a consummate professional who one could count on for a faultless performance and yet, remains forgotten. This two-CD set, with notes by Robert Baxter, pays tribute to an indispensable hero of the Met whose artistry deserves remembering.


Track Listing

CD 1 (76:25)
1.LA FORZA DEL DESTINO: Pace, pace, mio Dio (Verdi)4:46
  Ca. 1918; (1414) Aeolian-Vocalion 54017 
2.MIGNON: Connais-tu le pays? (Thomas)3:22
  October 1922; (8825) Brunswick 15030 
3.FAUST: Il était un roi de Thulé (Gounod)3:25
  October 1922; (8827) Brunswick 15030 
4.FAUST: Ah! Je ris de me voir {Jewel Song} (Gounod)2:23
  May 1921; (5547) Brunswick 10037 
5.CARMEN: L'amour est un oiseau rebelle {Habanera} (Bizet)3:28
  January 1922; (7274) Brunswick 15000 
6.CARMEN: Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante {Micaëla's Aria} (Bizet)4:12
  January 1922; (X7275) Brunswick 50012 
7.HÉRODIADE: Celui dont la parole... Il est doux, il est bon (Massenet)5:06
  Ca. 1918; (1383) Aeolian-Vocalion 54014 
8.IL PAGLIACCI: Cual fiamma avea nel guardo! {Ballatella} (Leoncavallo)4:23
  March 1922; (X7651) Brunswick 50012 
9.LA BOHÈME: O soave fanciulla (Puccini)3:27
  with Giulio Crimi, tenor 
  Ca. 1918; (1851) Aeolian-Vocalion 50004 
10.LA BOHÈME: Addio... Donde lieta usci (Puccini)3:24
  December 1921; (6949) Brunswick 15000 
11.TOSCA: Vissi d'arte (Puccini)3:08
  May 1921; (5506) Brunswick 10044 
12.MADAMA BUTTERFLY: Un bel dì, vedremo (Puccini)3:48
  May 1921; (X5505) Brunswick 30013 
13.MADAMA BUTTERFLY: Con onor muore (Puccini)2:17
  Ca. 1918; (1215) Aeolian-Vocalion 30018 
14.GIANNI SCHICCHI: O mio babbino caro (Puccini)2:27
  Ca. 1918; (1381) Aeolian-Vocalion 30025 
15.SADKO: Thy heathen gems are rich beyond all measure {Song of India} (Rimsky-Korsakov)3:25
  February 1922; (7466) Brunswick 15020 
16.THE SNOW MAIDEN: Said the thunder to the cloud {Song of the Shepherd Lehl} (Rimsky-Korsakov)3:22
  February 1922; (7432) Brunswick 15020 
17.El céfiro (Mexican folk song)3:07
  December 1922; (9369) Brunswick 15038 
18.Pregúntales a las estrellas (Mexican folk song)3:16
  December 1922; (9367) Brunswick 15038 
19.Still wie die Nacht (Böhm)3:30
  October 1922; (8830) Brunswick 15054 
20.Three green bonnets (d'Hardelot)3:21
  Ca. 1918; (Matrix Unknown) Aeolian-Vocalion 30002 
21.Sing me to sleep (Greene)3:20
  13 June 1924; (13323) Brunswick 15086 
22.Over the hills (Logan)3:19
  12 June 1924; (13308) Brunswick 15076 
CD 2 (78:04)
1.LOHENGRIN: Einsam in trüben Tagen {Elsa's Dream} (Wagner)4:40
  24 October 1928; (N524) unpublished Edison  
2.TANNHÄUSER: Allmächt'ge Jungfrau {Elisabeth's Prayer} (Wagner)4:58
  24 October 1928; (N525) unpublished Edison 
3.LA TRAVIATA: Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo (Verdi)4:03
  with Mario Chamlee, tenor 
  8 October 1928; (XE28459) Brunswick 50157 
4.HÉRODIADE: Il est doux, il est bon (Massenet)4:42
  10 October 1928; (N495) unpublished Edison 
5.CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA: Voi lo sapete (Mascagni)3:39
  3 October 1928; (N478) unpublished Edison 
6.LA BOHÈME: Sì, mi chiamano Mimì (Puccini)4:43
  3 October 1928; (N479) unpublished Edison 
7.MADAMA BUTTERFLY: Un bel dì, vedremo (Puccini)4:30
  10 October 1928; (N496) unpublished Edison 
8.MLLE. MODISTE: Kiss me again (Herbert)3:24
  21 September 1928; (E 28413) Brunswick 15193 
9.ROSE MARIE: Indian love call (Friml)3:32
  21 September 1928; (E 28412) Brunswick 15193 
10.My laddie (Thayer) 2:31
  1933; (OB 5562-1) Victor 1705 
11.My mother bids me bind my hair (Haydn) 3:31
  1933; (OB 5557-1) Victor 1705 
12.Songs my mother taught me (Dvorak, no. 4 of Op. 55; "Gypsy Melodies") 2:15
  1933; (OB 5558-1) IRCC 174 
13.Ich bin eine Harfe (Wolff) 3:14
  1933; (OB 5559-1) Victor 1712 
14.Alle Dinge haben Sprache (Wolff) 2:55
  1933; (OB 5560-2) Victor 1712 
15.Hat dich die Liebe berührt (Marx) 2:31
  1933; (OB 5561-1) IRCC 174 

Excerpts from Juilliard School of Music recital, 13 July 1939:

16.Già il sole dal Gange (A. Scarlatti)1:50
  IRCC 166 
17.Lungi dal caro bene (Secchi)2:19
  IRCC 166 
18.Der Nussbaum (Schumann)2:35
  IRCC 211 
19.Widmung (Schumann)2:07
  IRCC 211 
20.Auf dem Kirchhofe (Brahms)2:33
  IRCC 211 
21.Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht (Brahms)2:51
  IRCC 213 
22.Ich schwebe (R. Strauss)1:36
  IRCC 212 
23.Du meines Herzens Krönelein (R. Strauss)2:26
  IRCC 212 

Private studio recording 10 February 1940, New York:

24.THE LEGEND OF SAINT ELIZABETH: No peace to us is given (Liszt)4:26
  IRCC 166 

CD 1:
Languages: Italian [1,8-14]; French [2-7]; English [15-16, 20-22]; Spanish [17-18]; German [19]
Accompaniment: Tracks 1-20, and 22 accompanied by Orchestra; Violin, Frederic Fradkin [21]


CD 2:
Languages: German [1-2, 13-15, 18-23]; Italian [3, 5-7, 16-17]; French [4]; English [8-12, 24]
Accompaniment: Tracks 1-9 accompanied by Orchestra; Pianoforte, Gerald Moore [10-15]; Pianoforte, Lester Hodges [16-23]; Pianoforte, Karl Fritz [24]


Photographs: Girvice Archer and Charles Mintzer
Producers: Scott Kessler & Ward Marston
Audio Conservation: Ward Marston
Booklet Design: Takeshi Takahashi


Marston would like to thank Ruth Edge, Jerry Fabris, Lawrence F. Holdridge and Peter Lack.
Marston would also like to thank the Edison National Historic Site, the National Park Service, and the United States Department of the Interior for conserving and sharing rare recorded treasures.

CD2, Tracks 12 and 15 courtesy of EMI.