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Track(s) taken from CDA67813

If I could tell you

author of text

Christine Brewer (soprano), Roger Vignoles (piano)
Recording details: December 2009
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: March 2011
Total duration: 3 minutes 19 seconds

Cover artwork: The Celebrated (1906) by Joseph Marius Avy (1871-1939)
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

Robert White (tenor), Samuel Sanders (piano)


'Unlike many dramatic sopranos, Brewer here demonstrates a clarity of enunciation and a variety of tone that suits this lighter material … extracts from musicals by Romberg and Bernstein are frankly yet enjoyably sentimental. Irresistible' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Vignoles flickers through the rippling piano part of Frank La Forge's Hills before changing to a slower, more emphatic injection in the last stanza. This is a fine song, delivered by Brewer with strong voice and the fervour of longing … Brewer's own [encore], Review has the final word. To Vignoles's spirited playing, Brewer brings variety to the descriptions of Miss Sadabelle Smith's performance … it's fun and provides a final encore for which it was worth staying till the end' (International Record Review)
‘If I could tell you’ is the chef d’œuvre of Idabelle Firestone, a name which probably trips more naturally off the American tongue but is rolled around in wonderment by the English. Née Smith, she became Mrs Harvey Samuel Firestone, founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. They were sponsors of the Firestone programmes, catering for a large audience and engaging many of the best-known singers in America. The programmes were somewhat like the Palm Court series in Britain: for the singer an operatic aria and a couple of melodious songs with light orchestral music in between. The American programme had, by stipulation of the sponsors, to open with ‘If I could tell you’. Eleanor Steber was said to be, of all their singers, the one who sang it best.

from notes by John Steane © 2011

«If I could tell you» est le chef d’œuvre d’Idabelle Firestone, nom qui sort peut-être plus naturellement de la bouche d’un Américain, mais dont les Anglais parlent avec émerveillement. Née Smith, elle a épousé Harvey Samuel Firestone, fondateur de la Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Ils sponsorisaient les programmes Firestone, qui étaient destinés à un vaste auditoire et engageaient les chanteurs les plus célèbres en Amérique. Les programmes ressemblaient un peu à la série Palm Court en Grande-Bretagne: pour la chanteuse, une aria lyrique et quelques chansons mélodieuses avec entre les deux une musique orchestrale légère Par stipulation des sponsors, le programme américain devait commencer par «If I could tell you». De toutes les chanteuses, Eleanor Steber était, de l’avis général, celle qui le chantait le mieux.

extrait des notes rédigées par John Steane © 2011
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

„If I could tell you“ ist das Meisterwerk von Idabelle Firestone, ein Name, der wahrscheinlich für Amerikaner leichter auszusprechen ist, als für Engländer. Sie war eine geborene Smith und heiratete dann Harvey Samuel Firestone, den Gründer der Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Sie waren die Sponsoren der Firestone-Sendungen, die ein großes Publikum hatten und viele der berühmtesten Sänger in Amerika engagierten. Ähnlich wie die Palm-Court-Serie in Großbritannien, bei der die Sänger eine Opernarie und ein paar melodiöse Lieder darboten und dazwischen leichte Orchestermusik erklang, gab es bei der amerikanischen Reihe jedoch noch die Bedingung von Seiten der Sponsoren, dass die Sendungen jeweils mit einer Darbietung von „If I could tell you“ begonnen werden mussten. Es heißt, dass von allen Sängern Eleanor Steber diese Nummer am besten sang.

aus dem Begleittext von John Steane © 2011
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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