Today’s contribution is another version of Silent Night Holy Night, so those who want to compare different performances have an opportunity now.
Marguerite d’Alvarez (1886-1953) was an English contralto of Peruvian heritage, born in Liverpool. She studied in Brussels and made her debut as Dellah in Rouen in 1907 or1908. Her carrier carried her to Manhattan Opera, Boston Opera and the Chicago Opera as well as the first opera houses in Europe, among them Covent Garden in London and La Scala in Milan. From 1918, she mostly gave recitals. Her last recital was in London in 1939, but she acted in a film, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman as late as 1951.
She was mostly known for her roles in the French opera repertoire, but her version of Amneris in Verdi’s Aida in London in 1914 received praising from the critics and the audience. The few recordings that exists of her documents a controlled, rich and well produced voice. On this record, she is accompanied by an unknown studio orchestra.
To give you more of her capacity, we include the flip side of the record as well, Mendelssohn’s O Rest in the Lord from the oratorio Elias, first performed in Birmingham in 1846. This recording bears some authenticity of how it might have been performed back then, thinking of her English and Belgian training from late in the 1890’s and onwards.
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