Stellla Roman, Soprano – Los Angeles Philharmonic – Artur Rodzinski, cond – Hollywood Bowl – July 18, 1950 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Romanian born Soprano Stella Roman is soloist in this Hollywood Bowl concert featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Artur Rodzinski. The concert was recorded for later broadcast by NBC Radio on July 18, 1950.
As promised, a complete rarity this week and a recording which was thought never to have existed. This is the raw, unedited version, cut on transcription disc with announcements edited in later, as well as cut down from its 90 minutes to 60 to fit into the time constraints of Network Radio.
Since there are no announcements – here’s what’s on the player:
1. Weber – Overture to Oberon
2. Beethoven – Ah Perfido! (with Stella Roman)
3. Franck – Symphony in D.
4. Johann Strauss: Overture to Die Fledermaus
5. Korngold – Marietta’s Lied from Die Tote Stadt – Stella Roman
6. Giordano – La Mamma Morta – “Andrea Chenier” w/Stella Roman
7. Verdi – Pace, Pace Mio Dio from La Forza del Destino (Roman)
8. Richard Strauss – Til Eulenspiegel
A typical Hollywood Bowl concert in the 1940s and 50s.
Stella Roman (née Florica Viorica Alma Stela Blasu) was born in 1904 in Kolozsvár, Austria-Hungary (now Cluj-Napoca, Romania). She came from a musical background, and studied singing for eight years before making her concert début in Cluj and then in Bucharest. She then won a scholarship to continue her training in Italy with the great verismo interpreter Giuseppina Baldassare-Tedeschi [Wikidata], of whom she later said: “her style did not really suit me”. Roman moved on to study with Hariclea Darclée (who had created the title role of Tosca at the première in 1900), and was much happier under her guidance: “she taught me the value of every word and phrase”.
Artur Rodziński was born in Split, the capital of Dalmatia, on 1 January 1892. Soon afterward his father, of Polish descent and a general in the army of the Habsburg empire, returned with his family to Lwów, Poland, where Artur studied music. He later studied law in Vienna, where he simultaneously enrolled at the Academy of Music; his teachers there included Josef Marx and Franz Schreker (composition), Franz Schalk (conducting), and Emil von Sauer and Jerzy Lalewicz (piano).
He returned to Lwów where he was engaged as chorus master at the Opera in that city, making his debut as a conductor in 1920 with Verdi’s Ernani. The following year saw him conducting the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Warsaw Opera. While visiting Poland, Leopold Stokowski heard Rodziński leading a performance of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and exclaimed, “I have found that rare thing, a born conductor!” and invited him to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Enjoy the show.