The Voice of Louise Natale

2 CDs / $15

w/o jewel case:
w/ jewel case:

The Way To Emmaus
plus arias and songs, including
a complete performance of the
Verdi Requiem

Hear an excerpt from "The Way To Emmaus":


If there ever was a work that could be associated with Louise Natale, it is Jaromir Weinberger's Solo Cantata for High Voice with Organ, "The Way To Emmaus". The piece requires numerous instances of high-lying pianissimi (not to mention a stentorian top range), wide vocal leaps and crystal-clear diction, vocal abilities that Ms. Natale excelled in effortlessly.

Reminiscences by Frederick Swann

There is hardly a year that goes by that someone doesn't write and ask about getting either of the recordings and/or the music, which has been out of print many years.

"The Way to Emmaus" moved thousands of people over the years. We performed it for 26 consecutive years as part of a late Easter Sunday afternoon all-music program, consisting of a few organ selections, the Weinberger cantata and some years an anthem or two by the choir.

Neither of the recordings fully satisfied many of us. The absence of the day itself, the lilies, the light streaming through the stained glass, and the general ambience of that beautiful church were an important part of the experience, and without them the recordings didn't seem complete.

When Louise sang it, she stood in the high pulpit. With the stone wall behind her, along with the big wooden canopy over the pulpit, there was an excellent acoustical shell for her voice.

And due to her diminuitive stature, the congregation could hardly see her, until she sang the line "And their eyes were opened and they knew him" - at which time, it is said she seemed to almost rise up out of the pulpit.
There is, of course, a difference in quality of the recording techniques of the two LPs; and although she does sound slightly older in some spots in the second recording, Louise had the kind of technique that enabled her to keep producing her amazing feats well into the years until she retired. She was 48 when we did the first recording and 61 when the 2nd was done.

It was a tremendous pleasure and always a learning experience to work with Louise. During many of the years she was soloist at the church we performed an average of 20 major choral works a year - and her singing of various solos was always a highlight.


The New York Times Obituary of Louise Natale...

Louise Natale Wagner, Coloratura Soloist, 74

October 1, 1992

Louise Natale Wagner, a coloratura soprano who was a frequent soloist in choral performances in the 1950's and 60's, died on Sunday at Rahway Hospital in Rahway, N.J. She was 74 years old and lived in Rahway.

She died of a heart attack, said a spokesman for the Lehrer-Gibilisco Funeral Home.

Mrs. Wagner, who performed under her maiden name, Louise Natale, was born in Elizabeth, N.J. In the 1950's, she toured nationally as a soloist with the Robert Shaw Chorale and performed with Mr. Shaw at Carnegie Hall.

She also sang with the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera and the NBC Symphony. In 1976, Mrs. Wagner founded the Light Opera Theater of New Jersey.

Her husband, John O. Wagner, died in 1974.

She is survived by two sisters, Eleanor De Francesco of New Port Richie, Fla., and Edith Natale of Linden, N.J., and a brother, John Natale of Caldwell, N.J.


THE WAY TO EMMAUS (1st recording)
Frederick Swann, organ
Riverside Church

Arturo Toscanini, conductor
NBC Symphony
Robert Shaw Chorale

(with the Robert Shaw Chorale)

Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier
He's Gone Away
Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming

Frederic Waldman, conductor
Musica Aeterna
Adele Addison, soprano (track 6

The Lord is my strength
Thou didst blow
Sing ye to the Lord

Prof. Rexford Keller
Ohio Wesleyan University
Beatrice Krebs, mezzo soprano
Basil Rathbone, narrator
May 9, 1958

3 excerpts

Virgil Fox, organ

The Virgin Slumber Song
O Holy Night

(2nd recording)
Frederick Swann, organ
Riverside Church

CD 2:

Louise Natale, soprano
Nedda Casei, mezzo soprano
Giuseppe Campora, tenor
Ezio Flagello, bass

Opera Theater of New Jersey Orchestra
Glassboro State Teachers' College
Alfredo Silipigni, conductor

March 21, 1972

Requiem and Kyrie eleison
Dies irae
Tuba mirum, Mors stupebit
Liber scriptus
Quid sum miser
Rex tremendae majestatis
Domine Jesu Christe
Hostias et preces
Agnus Dei
Lux aeterna
Libera me
Dies irae
Requiem aeternam
Libera me

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