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Review, Analysis and Recordings Containing
Witallia!
Witallia! Monophonic
Fire in the Andes  (Moisés Vivanco - 2:23)
Recorded in 1952

Review and Analysis of Witallia! by Nicholas E. Limansky
From Yma Sumac - The Art Behind the Legend
used with permission - all rights reserved, © Nicholas E. Limansky
Read more on the Legacy of the Diva Web site!
A strange, odd, little song with a back-up group of thin-voiced wailing men and women.  Here they play a minor part in an uninteresting piece of camp.  As if tongue-in-cheek Yma sings a miniscule text in the beginning of the song that includes her name, her nickname for Charlie and (what is, I suspect) one for Moisés.  Despite the fact that the vocal line is exotic and the orchestration uses some unusually high-pitched scoring for strings, the song is too disjunct to be successful or have lasting impact.  It is not helped by an unfortunate second section which has Yma's "traffic" imitations.  Although not intentional, Yma's syncopated "bee-bee-bee-bee-bee-bee bee," sung in raw chest voice and pitched at G# in the staff, sounds like car horns during a Manhattan traffic jam.

At the finish, however, is an unusual series of sounds that Yma will use time and again.  They became one of her trademark effects.  This is a long, chromatic rise in a siren-like wail to the highest reaches of her voice (in this song high F), and then a slow descending glissando which disappears into the syllables "Chu-Wah!"  This is followed by Yma propelling small gusts of air through her lips.  The image brought to mind is of something being dropped into water from a great height.  The "Chu-Wah" being the forceful impact and the following sounds the resulting bubbles.  One of Yma's most ingenious inventions, it was a combination of sounds never before experienced by record listeners.  Listeners of 1951 must have been as startled as they were amazed.  Unfortunately, the CD release fades before the full effect has been acheived.

Witallia!  is included on the following releases
catalog no: SSL-4313 (SP 651)
U.S. military transcription LP (16" vinyl format) has six Yma Sumac tracks on one side, and tracks by Walter Gross on the piano on the other. This recording was made by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and released for airplay by the Armed Forces Radio Service. 1952 United States
catalog no: DDN-299
Canadian release of Yma Sumac's second album, recorded in 1952.  Except for tiny details, most Canadian pressings are nearly identical to the U.S. pressings.  Liner notes are in yellow on the back of the box 1952 Canada
catalog no: DDN-299
Original release of Yma Sumac's second album, recorded in 1952.  Liner notes are in yellow on the back of the box 1952 United States
catalog no: KDF-299
Second album, first pressing, Optional Centers, yellow back cover 1952 United States
catalog no: KDF-299
Second album, first pressing, yellow back cover 1952 United States
catalog no: FBF-299
Rather unusual Boxed Set EP with two disks, each having four tracks.  The Double EP was generally in a gatefold sleeve rather than a box so this release was apparently done defore the sleeves were made. 1952 United States
catalog no: FAP 1-299
Second album, later pressing, volume one of two - red label 1952 United States
catalog no: FBF-299
Second album, Gatefold double EP, later pressing 1952 United States
catalog no: L-299
Reissue of second album from Germany with Les baxter credits 1952 Germany
catalog no: L-299
Reissue of second album from New Zealand.  Mfg. by His Master's Voice (N.Z.) Ltd. 1952 New Zealand
catalog no: L-299
Early LP pressing of second album with Les Baxter credits on disk label 1952 United States
catalog no: L-299
Later LP pressing of second album without Les Baxter credits on disk label. For each new format released, Les Baxter's credits appeared, then were removed for the next pressings. Those with his name on the label (it does not appear on the sleeve on any pressing) can be considered first or early rele . . . 1952 United States
catalog no: LC 6609
U.K reissue of Yma Sumac's second album, recorded in 1952.  Features unusual painted cover art in the same style as the original photograph.  Because of the detail, very likely it was a painted over copy of the original photo and then reprinted onto the cover.  Painted cover art seems . . . 1953 United Kingdom
catalog no: T-299
Reissue of second album, first 12 inch LP pressing 1955 United States
catalog no: SM-299
Probably a '60s or '70s reissue of Yma Sumac's second album recorded in 1952.  Because of the extra space this format had, additional tracks from the same recording session were added.  The original 78 rpm set had only eight tracks. 1965 United States
catalog no: ENC 10489
Reissue of Yma Sumac's second album, released originally as a 78 rpm set recorded in 1952, this is a later 12" LP pressing.  Due to the extended play time on this format, additional tracks from the same session were used to fill it. 1965 Australia
catalog no: T-299
Reissue of second album, later 12 inch LP pressing 1972 United States
catalog no: UV099
This Italian release was made on "audiophile" 180 gram vinyl. 2004 Italy
catalog no: SL-9799
Red-tone cover photo, available mail order only 1988 United States
Vinyl releases seem to be the trend now as this recent double LP indicates. This time it is a reissue from a compilation CD rather than being a reissue of an original vinyl disk. 2005 United Kingdom
catalog no: PS39015
A collection featuring tracks drawn primarily from Yma Sumac's Mambo! (1954) and her Legend of the Sun Virgin (1952) albums with several others from various albums and singles. 2007 Germany
catalog no: 2711402146
Unusual Compact Disc collection from Greece, apparently available for only a single day as a promotional by a weekly newspaper. Packaged in a long DVD-type sleeve. 2008 Greece
catalog no: CDP-7-91 250-2
Reissue of second album, first Compact Disc reissue.  These early CD releases had much sharper, clearer cover art than the later Right Stuff reissues. 1989 United States
catalog no: 0777-7-91 250-2-9
Reissue of second album, second CD reissue 1996 United States
catalog no: ASIN: B001P5MG6A
Collection from the United Kingdom features tracks ranging from Yma Sumac earliest material from 1943 to 1954 at the height of her career. Includes tracks from Voice of the Xtabay (1950), Legend of the Sun Virgin (1952), Inca Taqui (1953) and Mambo! (1954) and also included are her two singles from . . . 2009 United Kingdom
catalog no: CD 31507
Another compilation featuring selections from Yma Sumac's first four Capitol Records albums. This release is part of the Entertainers of the World series. Although the country origin is not stated anywhere on the packaging inside or out, the publisher is located in Ireland. This release does not hav . . . 2009 Ireland
catalog no: PCD-1172
This compilation was the first CD released of Yma Sumac's material 1987 United States
catalog no: CDL 9568
Yma Sumac's first CD, this particlar pressing of the compilation was from Canada. 1987 Canada
catalog no: CDL 9568
Yma Sumac's first CD which in this case is a compilation.  This is a later reissue. 1991 United States
catalog no: TOCP 50 037
CD compilation from Japan features a nice cross section of Yma Sumac's '50s material.  Now out of print, it still shows up once in a while. 1996 Japan
catalog no: CREVO 34 CD
Compilation with previously-unreleased material.  This is the original 1995 issue but a more recent version exists with different tracks. 1995 United Kingdom
catalog no: CREVO 34 CD
Reissue of compilation with previously-unreleased material. This reissue contains a slightly different track selection than the original 2001 United Kingdom
catalog no: 23351
76 Hits and Rarities from the goddess of Exotica. More details and track for this September 2012 collection coming soon. 2012 United Kingdom
catalog no: GSS 5482
This 3-CD set advertised as being from Holland but package and disk printing indicate it was made in Portugal. Released in March 2008 and contains 47 tracks, this boxed set contains three standard jewel cases all with the same cover art and no booklet or notes. The box cover is shown. 2008 Portugal
catalog no: 118734
Anthologie 1950-1959 Compact Disc set of Yma Sumac's containing all of Yma Sumac's 1950's Capitol Records original release catalog. Probably a bootleg as no EMI/Capital Records licensing information could be found. These tracks are included on legitimate releases of all the original albums. 2013 France
catalog no: BLUE102CD
Double CD collection features remastered tracks from the 1943 Argentina Session along with those from the Capitol Records years. 2005 United Kingdom
Yet another compilation CD with the title of Queen of Exotica making three with that title. This one, which is a 2-CD set, combines four of Yma Sumac's '50s albums. 2005 United Kingdom
catalog no: 4 M-299
Yma Sumac's second album is sung in quasi-classical style.  This is the first cassette reissue.  The original 78 rpm set had eight tracks while 12" LP and later reissues generally had twelve as does this cassette.  The additional tracks were from the same session. 1987 United States
catalog no: 4 XL-57 080
This brief cassette compilation has one stereo track and is the first time that Babalu was heard since its release as a 78 rpm and 45 rpm single in the '50s.  This cassette contains a good cross section of Yma Sumac's recordings. 1989 United States
catalog no: 4 XL-9799
B/W cover photo, mail order edition. This early release has two addional tracks not found on later cassette reissues. 1988 United States
catalog no: PDK-2-1172
First cassette compilation has two tracks fewer than the compact disc version 1992 United States
catalog no: 8 M 299
Reissue of second album 1972 United States
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