Thursday, March 11, 2010
There's little information about Ferdinand Himmelreich online, although I did find something that mentions a "brief biography" of him in the October 1989 issue of In The Groove magazine.
Though Himmelreich is a mystery, the piece he chose for this recording is not. It's from the opera Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti. Though the opera premiered on September 26, 1835 in Naples, it languished in relative obscurity until the 20th century, when Enrico Caruso recorded a popular version (in 1908), Walt Disney used it in his animated Make Mine Music! (in 1946), and Maria Callas instigated a full-scale revival of it (in 1952). Himmelreich's recording is from the 1920s.
The Three Stooges, or someone on their production team, must have loved the piece - it's used in two of their films (Micro-Phonies and Squareheads of the Round Table).
Ferdinand Himmelreich - Lucia Sextet (mp3)