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Original release: Elect CD 2116 - 12" LP
Recorded: 1961
Studio: Live Performance

Review and Analysis of Recital by Nicholas E. Limansky
From Yma Sumac - The Art Behind the Legend
used with permission - all rights reserved, © Nicholas E. Limansky
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[This album] is indispensable for anyone interested in this singer. Back in the early 1980s I was given a home-made cassette copy of this concert (minus a few selections) by Bob Covais [Miracles producer]. His "master" was a copy of an original reel to reel tape Yosef Synovec brought back from Czechoslovakia (which he had made from original LP vinyl releases). Compared to that tape, [the CD version of this album] is in superlative sound and I recommend it without reservation. Most importantly, this is the only commercially extant example of an Yma Sumac concert. For that reason alone, it is priceless. Still capable of weaving her magic, Sumac proves that her unusual gifts were not just the product of a recording studio. Here are all the famous effects with the added frisson of a live audience. The only difference from earlier recordings is a shearing of some of the more altitudinous notes and, at times, a certain, intractability of Yma's voice -- as if she were having trouble getting it to move as quickly as she would like.

Probably the most interesting aspect of this disk is that it shows how different Yma and her music were in front of an audience rather than in a recording studio. Not only is her singing different but also the "sound" of her music. One clearly begins to understand the reasons for the problems that arose for the group once the recordings were released.

All the selections are of interest. It should be mentioned, however, that the selections on [album] are placed differently from where they would have appeared during a concert. For those interested in recreating a Sumac concert [on the Live in Russia CD] I suggest reprogramming your CD player. The following is a possible sequence which basically duplicates programs given in the 1950s. (The numbers preceding the pieces are their position on the CD.)

2 Wambra (orchestra)
3 Ataypura (Sumac)
4 Montana (Sumac)
6 Kuyaway (Sumac)
8 Serenata India (orchestra)
5 Supay Taki (Sumac)
9 Goomba Boomba (Sumac)
11 Llama Caravan (orchestra)
10 Cueca Chilena (Yma-Moises)
7 Hori Canastitay (Yma-Moises)
1 Taita Inty (Yma-Moises)
13 Chuncho (Yma-Moises)
12 Marinera (everyone - encore)

Listened to this way one gets a pretty good idea of what a Sumac concert was like. This is especially important since Moises was extremely particular about the placement of Yma's songs during a concert.

The selections are well done with verve and secure vocalism throughout multiple octaves. Although none of them exhibit the outrageous elan of the early 1950s recordings, they are indispensable for showing Yma in front of an audience.

Additional notes: recorded during a live show in Bucharest, Romania in 1961, this album was first released on both the 10" and 12" LP formats under the Recital name in Romania on the Electrecord label.  It was later reissued on CD as Live in Russia on the Elect label, which was a label that did not exist and was a play on words of Electrecond.  The Live in Russia CD reissue is considered to be bootleg but a legitimate reissue was released in November 2006 that not only has the tracks rearranged into an order that more closely matches the live performance but it also contains a previously unreleased track.  Besides having fewer tracks, the 10" LP had spoken intros in Romanian on a number of them that were missing from the CD reissue some of the 12" LP releases.  Some 12" LP issues also had the voice intros but they were missing on others.  There was at least one additional instrumental track released as a single that was not on any of these issues except for the 2006 and 2013 CD reissues.

The bracketed text in the review indicates edits made by the Web master, added mainly to make it more generic for both the vinyl and Compact Disc issues.

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