Curiosando su Discogs.com, sito di scambi e informazioni su dischi di tutte le epoche, ho trovato alcune rarità discografiche dei primi anni del secolo scorso, in piena Belle Epoque, incise sui primi dischi di gommalacca, e fra queste alcune meraviglie di una eccezionale cantante soprano di origine ucraina, Salomea Krusceniski (o Solomiia Krushelnytska 1872-1952), che risalgono agli anni 1902-1912. Alcune incisioni, con tutti i loro antichi fruscii, si possono ascoltare anche su YouTube, accompagnate da splendide immagini di Salomea in abiti esotici e corsetti. Le note biografiche che seguono sono tratte da Discogs e dal sito www.cantabile-subito.de/ dedicato interamente ai/alle grandi cantanti del passato.
Solomia Crushelnytska was born in September, 23 of 1873 in Bilyavyntsy village of Buchach region in Ternopil state in priest’s family. Her father had progressive views that was rarity in his encirclement.
Childhood of the future singer passed in Bila village near Ternopil where her family moved.
In early age Solomia is interested of music and singing, learns to play piano and in the age of 10 performs in the chorus “Ruska besida” in Ternopil.
Living in the countryland amoug common diligent peaple Solomia learnt not only to love but deeply by all her heart understand folk songs. She didn’t part with them right to the death.
Feeling Solomia’s inclination to music and singing her father borrowed money and sent her off to Lviv conservatoire which she graduated with a medal and a decoration in 1893. The exam commissin wrote in Diploma of a young singer: “She has all data to become an adornment event of a paramount stage…” But the singer doesn’t spot on her achievent and goes into Milan where studies in a glorious professor Fausta Craspy.
A year later Solomia already sings the leading parts in the better opera theaters of Italy. Triumph that she achieved in this country widely opened the doors of opera theatres of Russia, Poland, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Egypt, North and South America and many other countriesof the world before her. “The inborn musician Solomia Crushelnytska darkened other performers of Vagner’s operas where she performed marvellously with confidence and with a real aristocracy. Noteworthy is that that after “Valkiriya” she easy sings in “Loreleya”, after “Mefistofel” in “Madam Butterfly”, after “Tristan and Isolda” in “Adrian Lecyvrer”, “Aiida” or “Salomea”… completely plunges in charming world of singing and play created by herself… ”
At the height of her fame Solomia Crushelnytska left opera stage (1915) and devoted herself to the concert activity. It’s iteresting to know that the singer wherever she would perform she included Ukrainian folk song and works of other Ukrainian composers by which she finished her concerts each time accompanying herself.
“Solomiia Krushelnytska was born near Lemberg (today Lviv, in Polish Lvov) in Western Ukraine, which was in the 19th century, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, having been folded into that Empire as a conquered province of Poland. The artist studied at the Lviv Conservatory under Valery Wysocki, one of the leading Polish teachers whose pupils included Janina Korolewicz-Wayda and Adamo Didur. She made her debut in 1892 as Leonora in Donizetti’s La Favorita, at the opera house of Lemberg, and continued to study with F. Crespi in Milan. She appeared in Odessa (1896-1897), Warsaw (1898-1902) and St Petersburg (1901-1902). In 1898 she sang in Italy for the first time (Leonora in La Forza del Destino). She was highly successful and was invited to sing in Rome (1904-1905), Naples (1902/1904) and at La Scala in the seasons of 1898/1904/1907/1909 and 1915. In 1903 after becoming involved in a political demonstration in Warsaw she settled in Italy. At La Scala her Aida was a triumph. Her rendition of the title role in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in 1904 contributed to its admission to the world repertoire. She was the first Francesca in Mancinelli’s Paolo e Francesca and took also part in the world premiere of Cilea’s Gloria. A further milestone was her sensational Salome in Richard Strauss’ masterpiece, conducted by Arturo Toscanini. In 1915 she created Pizzetti’s Fedra. She made regular visits to Spain, Portugal and South America (Buenos Aires 1906/1908/1910-1913). At La Scala she was one of the leading figures in the introduction of the German repertory. She was an acclaimed Isolde, Brünnhilde, Elektra and Salome (sung in Italian). Her repertory included 60 roles. In the mid-1920s she turned from the opera stage to concert recitals in which she sang songs by Monteverdi, Mozart, Mussorgsky, Gluck, among other composers. She particularly enyoyed to sing Ukrainian folk songs to her own piano accompaniment. From 1944 until 1952 La Krusceniski taught singing at the Lviv Conservatory.”