Kirsten Flagstad - regarded by many as "the voice of the century".
Kirsten Flagstad – regarded by many as “the voice of the century”.

– Kirsten Flagstad – In recital for the Magic Key Program – January 2, 1938 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Continuing the occasional series of great Singers, a radio recital performance by the legendary Norwegian Soprano Kirsten Flagstad from the RCA Magic Key Program of January 2, 1938.

Regarded by historians as The Voice Of The Century, and Music critics consider her to be one of the greatest singers of the 20th Century, Kirsten Flagstad was universally known by just about everyone – opera fans and casual listeners alike. This radio performance was supposed to have included a rare appearance of Flagstad’s sister Karen, who was to have appeared live from Oslo. But at the last minute her appearance was cancelled, owing to bad reception from Shortwave receivers. That was a shame because, as far as I know, she never appeared on American radio, before or since.

Kirsten Flagstad’s appearance runs the gamut of material, from operatic scenes to English songs – and makes for a little under half the full program.

I don’t believe this broadcast has been reissued in any form – aside from a few technical snags here and there, it sounds very good for the period – January 2, 1938 – she is supported by Dr. Frank Black and the NBC Studio Orchestra (not the NBC Symphony).

Sit back and enjoy.

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