From Wax Cylinders to CDs and MP3s
November 11, 2009
So pronounced has been the response (in clicks and private e-mails; my readers seem to be shy about public comments) to the wax-cylinder recording of Robert White, that I thought I should correct any possible misimpression that his father’s repertory is the whole of his work as a performer — or even necessarily central to it.
How’s this for variety?
Hayden Wood: “A Brown Bird Singing,” with Stephen Hough, pianist
G.F. Handel: “While Kedron’s Brook,” with Ivor Bolton and the London Baroque Soloists
Irving Berlin: “Let Me Sing and I’m Happy,” with Dick Hyman, piano
Irving Berlin: “Cheek to Cheek,” with Marilyn Horne, mezzo-soprano and Dick Hyman, piano
Francis Poulenc: “Fancy,” with Samuel Sanders, piano
And, just to show why he was a child star, here he is with Fred Allen and Shirley Booth on live radio, in 1948:
Thomas P. Westendorf: “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen”
Not that he ever leaves behind his basic vocal orientation. After all, John McCormick had already sufficiently demonstrated the usefulness and versatility of the Irish-tenor approach to performance. And the possible variety is certainly manifest in this small sampling of Robert White’s vast discography. Not represented here is, for example, his work with the pioneering Noah Greenberg in medieval drama, or his recent recordings with Joan Morris and William Bolcom.