MARJORIE LAWRENCE, Great Australian Voices

4 CD Desirée Records GAV 010
Click here to order the CD set !!!!

Marjorie Lawrence (1909-1979) was a sensation. She was a sensation in every aspect of her remarkable career. From her competition wins in her teen years, through her career in Paris, an absolute sensational debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York at age 28, through her physical immobilization to her heralded 'comeback' (click here for a video exc!!), her work entertaining the 'troops', her seemingly endless encouragement of Australian talent and work as a teacher of singing.

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This exciting new CD release from Désirée Records contains arias, ensembles and scenes from Marjorie Lawrence's most heralded roles – Brünnhilde (NY 1936), Ortrud (NY 1935), Salome (BBC 1945), Senta (Colon 1936), Sieglinde (NY 1940) and Kundry (Colon 1936) along with many songs from a wide range of composers and styles. Most importantly, this collection includes her most sought-after unpublished recordings - the 1945 Columbias and her own (unused) soundtrack recordings made for the MGM film Interrupted Melody. These original acetates were in Lawrence's own personal archive - from her estate - and are the only known recordings in existence. Also included are the Percy Grainger folksong arrangements from the 1940 Carnegie Hall concert she performed with Grainger himself on the podium.

All these available for the first time along with a host of Australian broadcasts and interviews (click here!!) . From her earliest test pressings in 1928 recorded at the age of 19, through to her final Australian concert in 1966 to her final singing appearance (performing the Piaf song "La vie en rose") at a fundraising dinner in 1973.

As always, this 4 CD set in the luxurious book format, includes a 60 page booklet complete with biographical notes and rare photographs of which the most beautiful is dedicated to the legendary Dutch critic Leo Riemens. The biographical notes are well-written and often revealing; the story about the lost Beecham/Tristan recording is horrifying but also so familiar to the seasoned record collector. Only one quibble the song ‘La vie en rose’  was not composed by the chansonnière Piaf -though she provided the lyrics- but by Louis Guglielmi.

A treasure and the perfect holiday gift.


Click here for a review of a biography on the singer