Personnel: Marian Anderson (countertenor); Franz Rupp, Kosti Vehanen (piano).
Recording information: Lotos Club, New York, NY (01/14/1936-05/14/1952); New York, NY (01/14/1936-05/14/1952).
When introduced to Marian Anderson in 1935, Arturo Toscanini remarked, "a voice like yours is heard once in a hundred years." A re-release of Anderson's 1956 album, SPIRITUALS is a collection of intimate performances by one of the 20th century's great performers, remastered from the original recordings made between 1941 and 1952. Anderson's astounding voice is accompanied by a subdued piano. The restrained accompaniment highlights Anderson's rich, smooth tones and emotionally poignant performance.
A pioneering black singer, Anderson defied the odds, performing with the New York Philharmonic in 1925 and debuting at Carnegie Hall in 1929. Despite all the obstacles in her path, she performed to great acclaim throughout the world. Among the many honors bestowed upon her are the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Kennedy Center Honors, the Congressional Medal, and honorary degrees from more than 20 colleges.