Copenhagen.CD cover


PLEASE NOTE: Only a limited number of CDs will be available to fill orders placed between June 7 and September 7, 2016. We ask for and will appreciate your patience and understanding. If you place a CD order during that time delivery may be delayed until after 9/7.


“Now, the Jussi Bjorling Society USA unveils an undiscovered Bjorling treasure – a Copenhagen recital from October 15, 1959. According to Sue Flaster, speaking on behalf of the Society, the recording, brought to light by collector John Haley, has been released on the JSP label, with the engineering entrusted to the estimable SETH B. WINNER and CD booklet essays by HARALD HENRYSSON and OPERA NEWS contributor STEPHEN HASTINGS.” – Brian Kellow, Opera News

Review from

Jussi Björling (tenor)
Copenhagen Concert
Bertil Bokstedt (piano)
The Voice of Firestone Orchestra & Chorus/Howard Barlow
rec. live, Falkoner Centret, Copenhagen, 15 October 1959 (1-17); NBC studio, Rockefeller Center, New York, 10 March 1952 (18-28) JSP RECORDS JSP682 [67:50]

I had hardly reckoned on some previously unknown Jussi Björling recordings cropping up. The record companies have, over the last few years, plundered radio and other archives sources for anything imaginable. Then along come these tapes and they’re in excellent sound quality too. They were recorded in Copenhagen on 15 October 1959 in the then brand new Falkoner Centret – a concert hall with superlative acoustics seating 2000 listeners. The venue was kitted out with state-of-the-art recording equipment, which was employed to record most of what was happening there. The material was then hidden in the archives – until now.

The concert took place less than a year before Jussi Björling’s demise on 9 September 1960. Only a couple of weeks earlier his heart condition made itself felt during the recording of Madama Butterfly in Rome. With this having happened it was expected that he would be in less than top shape but there is little evidence of that here. In a few places his fortes can sound a bit strained but his breath control is as superb as earlier and his legato singing is exemplary. The beauty of his silvery voice is unmistakable – it is the Jussi we know from so many outstanding recordings.

The sound quality of the recording is first class and considering the age is clear and dynamic. Seth B. Winner had excellent basic material at his disposal but he has adjusted to take account of some deviations in volume and has also removed disturbing noises like coughs and squeaks. The piano is balanced a mite closer than the voice but this is no drawback. It makes us experience Bertil Bokstedt’s elegant phrasing and exquisite timing. He was a good listener as well as a promoter – the perfect accompanist.

We recognise the repertoire. Here are many of the songs Björling recorded in 1952 for the LP Jussi Björling in Song: Brahms`s Die Mainacht, Liszt’s Es muss ein Wunderbares sein, Wolf’s Verborgenheit, Schubert’s Die Forelle and Die böse Farbe, the latter from Die schöne Müllerin and for the umpteenth time one thinks “What a pity he didn’t study the whole song-cycle.” These are songs that were close to his heart and you hear that in the warmth, the insight and the lovable phrasing. The inward, eternally beautifully sung Es muss ein Wunderbares sein gives rise to graceful shudders and the scaled-down final phrases are overwhelming.

The Nordic songs are just as dear and agreeable: P-B’s Jungfrun under lind, Alfvén’s Skogen sover, sung with such weightless beauty at pianissimo – don’t wake ’em – Sibelius’ Demanten på marssnön and Säv, säv, susa. Here Bokstedt’s sensitive accompaniment contributes to intensify the mourning song about the unhappy Ingalill who died in the waves. Jussi’s voice trembles from empathy in the final phrase “Waves, waves, lap!”. Grieg’s En svane and En drøm are permeated by a rare intensity. Such a pity he didn’t include Alfvén’s setting of Tove Ditlevsen’s Så tag mit hjerte, the only song in Danish in his repertoire and recorded in the studio a good half-year earlier. The music was left on the piano in Jussi’s apartment in Stockholm. Which could hardly have made him very jolly. Of this discord you notice nothing in his singing.

As was his wont, Jussi Björling dilutes the song repertoire with some opera arias. Tamino’s first aria from Die Zauberflöte, was his warming-up number, and he always sang Mozart in Swedish. Bizet’s Flower Song was placed between the German and the Nordic songs and it’s a song in which he generates a mighty energy. Come un bel di di Maggio from Andrea Chenier was another favourite aria, and again he sings with impeccable legato. What a pity he did neither Don José nor Chenier on stage. Tosti’s Ideale and Richard Strauss’ Zueignung round off this audibly appreciated concert, which we now, after 56 years, can enjoy in excellent sound.

There is a substantial bonus as well: The Voice of Firestone from 10 March 1952. It was issued not long ago as a filler for Immortal Performances’ restored Il trovatore from the Met in 1941. The difference with Seth Winner’s transfer is that this has a somewhat stronger out-signal and thus the dynamics are a little wider. Richard Caniell at Immortal Performances cleaned things up a bit and took away a lot of the opening commercials and shortened Hugh James’ announcements. Otherwise one can note that Jussi´s voice seven years earlier was lighter and somewhat freer. He makes the best of Mrs Firestone’s obligatory opening and concluding melodies and Nessun dorma is sung with real glow. Tosti’s L’alba separa salla luce l’ombra – written for Caruso – sounds excellent. Speaks’ Sylvia and Victor Herbert’s Neapolitan Love Song are spoiled by a glutinous chorus – but Jussi sings well.

The 24-page-booklet is a further bonus with among other things a detailed historical account by Harald Henrysson of Jussi Björling’s appearances in Denmark. They spanned some 28 years: all of his adult career. It’s lavishly illustrated. The vocal expert Stephen Hastings, author of the book The Björling Sound, contributes a profound analysis of the Copenhagen concert, full of insight as usual. There are also contributions by John H. Haley, Dan Shea and Seth B. Winner. This is a quality issue, in other words and should be in every Jussi Björling collection.

This CD is dedicated to the memory of Lars Hemmingsson (1939–2015), founder and honorary chairman of the Jussi Björling Society in Sweden, where he was untiringly active until his final illness.

Göran Forsling

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791)
Die Zauberflöte:
1. Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön (sung in Swedish) [4:16]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833 – 1897)
2. Die Mainacht [4:08]
Franz LISZT (1811 – 1886)
3. Es muss ein Wunderbares sein [2:24]
Hugo WOLF (1860 – 1903)
4. Verborgenheit [3:22]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797 – 1828)
5. Die Forelle [2:04]
Die schöne Müllerin:
6. Die böse Farbe [2:36]
Georges BIZET (1838 – 1875)
7. La fleur que tu m’avais jetée (Flower Song) [4:06]
8. Björling announces Peterson-Berger song as substitute for the originally programmed
Alfvén Så tag mit hjerte [0:21]
Wilhelm PETERSON-BERGER (1867 – 1942)
9. Jungfrun under lind [2:50]
Hugo ALFVÉN (1872 – 1960)
10. Skogen sover [2:39]
Jean SIBELIUS (1865 – 1957)
11. Demanten på marssnön [3:26]
12. Säv, säv, susa [2:35]
Edvard GRIEG (1843 – 1907)
13. En svane [2:44]
14. Ein Traum (sung in Norwegian as En drøm) [2:13]
Umberto GIORDANO (1867 – 1948)
Andrea Chenier:
15. Come un bel di di maggio [2:53]
Paolo TOSTI (1846 – 1916)
16. Ideale [3:42]
Richard STRAUSS (1864 – 1949)
17. Zueignung [2:16]
The Voice of Firestone
18. Opening announcement & Idabelle Smith FIRESTONE (1874 – 1954)
If I Could Tell You [1:39]
19. Announcements [0:32]
20. Oley SPEAKS (1874 – 1948) Sylvia [2:35]
21. Announcements [0:39]
22. Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 – 1924) Nessun dorma from Turandot [3:30]
23. Announcements [0:43]
24. Paolo TOSTI L’alba separa dalla luce l’ombra [2:20]
25. Announcements [0:28]
26. Victor HERBERT (1859 – 1924) Neapolitan Love Song from The Princess Pat [2:41]
27. Announcements [0:54]
28. Idabelle Smith FIRESTONE In My Garden; and Concluding Announcements [1:50]

PLEASE NOTE: Only a limited number of CDs will be available to fill orders placed between June 7 and September 7, 2016. We ask for and will appreciate your patience and understanding. If you place a CD order during that time delivery may be delayed until after 9/7.


$20.00 POSTPAID  We can Only send orders to the US.

Temporarily Unavailable

2015 JBS-USA Conference Recordings Available!

The full audio content of the Salt Lake City Conference of JBS-USA is now available for purchase.
[It does not include the Assembly Hall Recital nor the auction.]

The price is $30.00 postpaid, delivered on a flash drive with MP3 audio
or $15.00 for Immediate Download of the MP3 Audio Files
(Conference Donors and Presenters will receive a complimentary copy)




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MP3 Audio for SLC Conference / JBS-USA

Friday, June 12, 2015 / Zip #1
1. Conference open – Christopher McBeth, Utah Opera 8:19
2. Land du Valsignade; Star Spangled Banner 6:30
3. Duff Murphy: Björling – Recitalist: Out Front Alone 59:45
4. James A. Drake / David N. Tucker: Richard Tucker: The American Caruso 1:16:14
5. Richard Tucker, conclusion 28:57
6. Harald Henrysson & Dan Shea: Audio Discoveries – A Helsinki Tosca & Copenhagen Recital 23:41
7. James A. Drake: The Björling His Colleagues Knew 24:04
8. The Björling His Colleagues Knew, conclusion 00:35
9. (photo break) 00:25 10. Ingo Titze: The Singer’s Formant Cluster – “Vocal Ring in the Voice of Jussi Björling 1:01:09

Saturday, June 13, 2015 / Zip #2
1. Introduction to day and to Stephen Hastings 9:44
2. Stephen Hastings: Five Tenors for Don José 1:09:39
3. Stephen Hastings: Five Tenors, conclusion 3:05
4. Introduction to Zachary Milliman and Jared Oaks Unpacking Engelbrekt: Natanael Berg’s opera under the Nazi’s 28:12
(w/excerpts by soprano, Melissa Heath)
5. Natanael Berg’s opera under the Nazi’s (conclusion) 10:27 (excerpts by soprano, Melissa Heath)
6. Cherilyn Worthen conducts 2 Swedish songs 5:17
7. Introduction & beginning of Harald Henrysson: Phonography update & The Netherlands Interview 31:32
8. David Björling Becomes a Singer: USA, Sweden and Vienna 1899 – 1908 20:00
9. (conclusion) 20:35
10. Low level audio – question 00:43

Saturday, June 13, 2015 / Zip #3
1. Introduction and Panel Discussion 35:32 Tonight: Jussi Björling . . . today
2. Panel Discussion, (conclusion) 26:12
3. Stefan Olmårs – Concerts in Voxna, Skansen Stockholm And Strömsbruk 2016 7:53
4. Introduction and Michael Mayer: 42:43 How’d He Do That?! – The Functional Aspects of Jussi Björling’s Singing
5. Michael Mayer (conclusion) 24:40
6. Introduction and Andrew Farkas: 52:08 And the Winner is . . .
7. Andrew Farkas (conclusion) 29:15

Conference Schedule for JBS-USA: Salt Lake City, June 11-13, 2015

The schedule for the Salt Lake City JBS-USA Conference has been released!
You will find it below and you can download a PDF copy here. Conference Schedule

For Presenter Bios you may download the PDF here, Presenter Bios



3:00 PM Check-In – The Plaza Hotel

[Today is the ideal time to tour Temple Square (free) – inquire in the hotel]

4:00 PM Registration – Pick up Packets and Conference ID tags

Note:  The ID tag should accompany you at all times

Dinner on your own – see suggestions in packet

7:10 PM Group-Walk to Tabernacle Choir Rehearsal

Mormon Tabernacle, Temple Square – enter at Door 18 of the Tabernacle as a group

(Rehearsal begins at 7:30 PM.  The Jussi Björling Society-USA will be acknowledged 8:30-9:00 PM)



8:30 AM Registration – Pick up Packets and Conference ID tags (Hotel Lobby)

8:45 AM Welcome

Walter B. Rudolph, President

Cecilia Hahn, Swedish Consulate of Salt Lake City

Christopher McBeth, Artistic Director, Utah Opera/USUO, Salt Lake City

National Anthem – Jared Oaks, piano

9:00 AM Björling – Recitalist:  Out Front Alone

Keynote Address:  Duff Murphy, Los Angeles, California

10:00 AM Richard Tucker: The American Caruso

Dr. James A. Drake, Merritt Island, Florida

Dr. David N. Tucker, Westport, Connecticut


12:00 PM Organ Recital – The Tabernacle on Temple Square Dr. Richard Elliot, Principal Tabernacle Organist


12:50 PM Dutch Lunch – Q & A with James Drake and David Tucker at “JB’s”


2:00 PM Late Registration – Pick up Packets and Conference ID tags – Aspen Room

2:10 PM Audio Discoveries – A Helsinki Tosca and Copenhagen Recital (samples) Dan Shea, Harald Henrysson and Walter Rudolph

2:30 PM The Björling His Colleagues Knew Dr. James A. Drake, Merritt Island, Florida

3:15 PM The Singer’s Formant Cluster – “Vocal Ring” in the Voice of Jussi Björling  Dr. Ingo Titze

4:10 PM Robert Tuggle, Met Archives – comments (read); Dinner& Auction Overview  Walter Rudolph


4:45 PM Jussi Björling in the Family History Library Naomi Newbold

7:00 PM The Conference Dinner (for those pre-paid; all drinks by individual payment)

Caffé Molise, 55 W 100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 (Phone: (801) 364-8833)

Comments:  Anders Björling, St. Peter, Minnesota

Auction:  Terry Williams, Kansas City, MO




8:45 AM Registration – Pick up Packets and Conference ID tags

8:50 AM Greeting and Plan-for-the-Day

9:00 AM Five Tenors for Don José

Stephen Hastings, Milan, Italy

9:55 AM Unpacking Engelbrekt:  Natanael Berg’s opera under the Nazis

Jared Oaks, Salt Lake City, Utah

Zachary Milliman, Anchorage, Alaska

Melissa Heath, soprano

10:35 AM Swedish Music Interlude – Ensemble from Utah Valley University Cherilyn Worthen, conductor

11:00 AM Phonography update and “The Netherlands Interview!” Harald Henrysson

11:15 AM David Björling Becomes a Singer:  USA, Sweden and Vienna 1899 – 1908 Harald Henrysson, Säter, Sweden

Lunch is on your own – see suggestions in packet

1:30 PM Panel Discussion – Tonight:  Jussi Björling . . . today

Andrew Farkas – Jacksonville, Florida

Sue Flaster (moderator) – Charleston, South Carolina

Enrique Gilardoni – Santiago, Chile

Stephen Hastings – Milan, Italy

Duff Murphy, Los Angeles – California

2:20 PM Concerts in Voxna, Skansen Stockholm and Strömsbruk 2016 Stefan Olmårs

2:30 PM How’d He Do That?! The Functional Aspects of Jussi Björling’s Singing. Michael Mayer, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

3:30 PM And the Winner is . . . Andrew Farkas, Jacksonville, Florida

4:50 PM Dinner is on your own – see suggestions in packet


7:30 PM The Jussi Björling Society – USA Conference Recital   (open to the public)

Carla Rae Cook, mezzo-soprano

Jared Oaks, piano

Rebecca Pedersen, soprano

Monica Rasmussen, piano

Banner Smith, tenor

Assembly Hall on Temple Square


9 – 11 PM Closing Reception Aspen Room – Plaza Hotel

(Conference registrants and Conference Recital Performers only)



9:00 AM Tabernacle Choir “live” broadcast

 8:30 AM On Your Own – gather in Hotel Lobby – group walk

Mormon Tabernacle, Temple Square (be seated at 9 AM for the 9:30 AM broadcast)

9:00 AM JBS-USA Board of Directors Meeting

JB’s Restaurant

Bon voyage – Safe Travels – Thanks for Coming

The Jussi Björling Society-USA Conference in Salt Lake City

invites you to
June 11-13, 2015 in the Plaza Hotel, 122 W South Temple

Enjoy some of the world’s leading authorities on singers and singing, including:

Anders Björling – son of Jussi and Anna-Lisa Björling
*James A. Drake, Ph.D. (Florida) – author of Richard Tucker, Rosa Ponselle, Lily Pons (biographies)
Andrew Farkas (Florida) – co-author of the biography Jussi
Stephen Hastings (Italy) – author of The Björling Sound
Harald Henrysson (Sweden) – founding curator of The Jussi Björling Museum; author of A Jussi Björling Phonography
Michael Mayer (Minnesota) – vocal function coach, researcher and singer
Duff Murphy (Los Angeles) – opera commentator and host of KUSC’s Opera Show
Jared Oaks (Salt Lake City) – Assistant Music Director, Ballet West; musicologist
Ingo Titze (Iowa) – Executive Director of the National Center for Voice and Speech
*David N. Tucker, M.D. – son of Richard and Sara Tucker

The Plaza Hotel will be our SLC home, and it is located directly across the street from Temple Square. We will attend the Thursday evening rehearsal of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the historic Tabernacle. A special organ recital is being prepared with us in mind, and Saturday evening’s recital will take place in the Assembly Hall, next to the Tabernacle. A reception with drinks, cookies and fruit will bring things to an end after the recital.

TempleSalt Lake City is known as The Crossroad of the West. Free tours are given on Temple Square. The Family History Library is the largest collection of genealogical records in the world and is free to all. Both are less than one block from the hotel. The Great Salt Lake is a 20 minute drive to the west and about the same to Antelope Island (home to both antelope and buffalo) going north. Park City is a half-hour drive east and Robert Redford’s Sundance resort is an hour south and east.

Temple Square sites include the Salt Lake Temple and Tabernacle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, two Visitor Centers, a pedestrian area with reflection pool, The Family History Library and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Organ. (The Plaza Hotel is directly behind the Temple spires in this photo.) City Creek Center is one of the nicest aPlazaHotelnd newest urban shopping areas in the USA – and less than a block away. There are five National Parks in southern Utah (Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Cedar Breaks and Zion’s). Yellowstone and Grand Teton are north 5-6 hours (all short distances in the West).

Two New “Must-Have” Books Available Only to JBS Members! – JUSSI by Jacob Forsell – JUSSI BJÖRLING PHONOGRAPHY

Hear! Hear!

Announcing the availability of two books from the Jussi Björling Society-USA. Please note –
both are available in very limited quantities, and availability is only to members of the Society.
Ordering instructions are included in the descriptions below:


Jussi by Jacob Forsell

JUSSI by Jacob Forsell, Harald Henrysson and Bjorn Ranelid is now available with English captions!

Jacob Forsell, Harald Henrysson and Bjorn Ranelid have combined to produce a beautiful, richly illustrated picture-portrait of the life and career of Jussi Björling. This splendid book, previously sold at $75 US (plus postage) is now available to members in the continental US for only $50, postpaid.

The enclosed CD-ROM contains Jussi’s complete chronology in both Swedish and English. This unique resource has not been published anywhere else. (HH)

The book is published in Swedish, but a translation of the picture captions is available on the JBS web site as a PDF and can be printed off to accompany the book. Please send your check for $50 US to Janel Lundgren and include your shipping information. We have very few copies of this title available, so please speak up! $50 postpaid

PDF of the Translated Picture Captions – Free Bonus! Click Here to Download


A JUSSI BJÖRLING PHONOGRAPHY, by Harald Henrysson, 3rd print edition” is a 309-page printed version of the list of Jussi’s recordings and their CD and DVD issues, which has been available on the websites of the Jussi Björling Museum (since October 2011) and later of the Jussi Björling Society (Jussi Björlingsällskapet). It was again revised before printing in May 2014.

The book lists all Björling recordings today known to be preserved, and it seems unlikely that many more will be found in the future. Nine live recordings have been added since the 2nd edition was published in 1993, and information about some of the earlier known ones is now more complete.

This edition includes information about 1328 issues on CD and 21 on DVD (unlike the 2nd edition, sleeve titles are retained after the numbers also in the chronological part, which makes the issues easier to identify there).

An index of the recorded music is included, as well as a list of music in Jussi’s concert repertoire of which no recordings are known.

On the web, I hope to expand the JB Phonography to include also other (analogue) media: 78s,LPs, etc., but due to its size, I am not planning to produce a printed version.

The 3rd edition is printed in 100 copies only. It makes the information available to those who are not familiar with computers, and a printed version can be practical also for those who have the information available on the web. (Harald Henrysson)I $40 postpaid


You may order one copy of each book for $85.00 postpaid (continental USA only).

Please send checks to:

Janel Lundgren, Treasurer
The Jussi Björling Society – USA
21 Josiah Norton Rd
Cape Neddick, Maine 03902