Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sony Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Leontyne Price's MET Debut

If you missed the chance in 1996 to purchase The Essential Leontyne Price, an 11 CD box set celebrating the diva's 70th birthday, you're in luck! To commemorate her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1961, Sony Classical is releasing two limited edition box sets called Leontyne Price: The Complete Collection. All the content comes from her catalog originally recorded for RCA, now owned by Sony. The first box contains 12 CDs full of French and German art songs, as well as orchestral works for soloist (Barber, R. Strauss, Berlioz). This box also contains two discs of arias in recital with David Garvey on piano, two discs dedicated to her recordings of sacred works (Spirituals with Leonard de Paur, Hymns with the Men and Boys Choir of St. Thomas Episcopal Church) and the crossover album Right as the Rain with André Previn. The second box is loaded
with opera arias and duets from the recording studio years of 1959 -1979, including her first solo album affectionately referred to by fans as the "blue album" because of the color on the jacket sleeve, the five Prima Donna albums of roles she never performed on stage, a Richard Strauss disc of opera arias, scenes from Antony and Cleopatra, a duets album with tenor Plácido Domingo and a 1982 gala concert at the Metropolitan Opera with Marilyn Horne and James Levine. Release date is set for November 29, 2011.

But what will make these two sets especially memorable for fans who may have purchased this music in previous incarnations? Each CD will be have its own sleeve featuring the artwork from the original LPs. Special standouts could potentially be:

*Editor's note: The Leontyne Price Sings Richard Strauss album was released with its original cover in this box set from 2009.

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