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Christa Ludwig - Les Introuvables
Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, Robert Schumann
Christa Ludwig - Les Introuvables
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (30) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (25) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #4


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CD Reviews

Christa Ludwig is in great shape
Manuel Reguillo-Cruz | 04/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"She sang all the major mezzo roles, and also some in the dramatic soprano repertory, notably Leonora in Fidelio, Lady Macbeth and the Marschallin.Her voice is a rich, expressive mezzo capable of dramatic incisiveness and even throughout its considerable range. Her upper register in mezzo music is excintingly projected.Although this compilation is composed of different recordings in different settings in different years, all of them show a young Ludwig when she had not yet acquired her prime and her status of, arguably, the best mezzo of the world, which would arrive in the years to come.Ludwig, thirteen years Schwarzkopf's junior, was also a member of the legendary Ensamble of Berlin, which meant that each appearance of hers in any opera produced in Berlin, Munich, Vienna, London, this Ensamble was backed by many hours of rehearsals with the same group of musicians. Usually this group comprised Schwarzkopf, Grümmer, Seefried, Berger, Güeden, Dermota, Tauber, and of course Furtwängler. This is how the legendary recording of COSI FAN TUTTE was made, in which she shared credits with Schwarzkopf.Disc one is devoted to Brahms -not less than 30 Lieder are here. She doesn't sing Brahms with intimacy, rather she attacks each song with open throat. Her diction, her care for words is now proverbial. My favorite Lied in this disc is In stiller Nacht. She sets the melancholic mood of the song with her rich, vibrant contralto-like tones.Disc two brings us Ludwig singing Mahler, Schumann and Reger. From the melodic lines of Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn to the tortuous inflexions of Max Reger's two songs, she shows an extreme afinity with these composers. Schumann is taken very sensously, one can almost feel her velvety and creamy narrations of the woman-in-love of the song cycle.Disc three is devoted to Schubert, Wolf and Strauss. Ludwig was not compelled to sing too much Wolf or Strauss (only 5 Lieder by these composers). It is her Schubert that shows her in splendid form. Auf dem Wasser zu singen is sung at such a low speed that her tone can only be described as luxurious. Erlkönig finds in her voice an ideal interpreter for the four characters of the song. In Wolf's Gesang Weylas, Gerald Moore has produced some magical arpeggios in the piano accompaniment, but of course this in only natural in him being the best accompanist ever.Disc four is a miscellaneous melange of Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Rossini, Wagner, Händel and Bach. Ludwig never tried to sing on stage Isolde, but she recorded it; the Liebestod is taken at an exciting pace and one is only waiting for the climax to see if she can do it (the top c's). Yes, she can do it. Händel's aria from Julius Caesar is, again, sensous and exciting. Händel is another composer with whom she felt communicated. Ravel's Chansons Madécasses can only be described as magical. And of course she was outstanding in Bach oratorios, as is the case of Johannes Passion.Wagner's Wessendonk Lieder are sung lustrously. I especially enjoyed Träume, which actually is sung, as its title suggests, dreamily.Praised be the two accompanists for the majority of the recordings, Gerald Moore and Geoffrey Parsons. Both have gone now and the musical world seems so empty without their supreme touch. I do believe that 50% of Christa Ludwig's success as a Lieder Singer was due to them.Thank you to EMI for this reissue."
Christa in her prime
David Luther | Dayton, Tn. USA | 09/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Being an admirerer of Christa Ludwig, I went into purchasing this recording with great expectations, and it did not disappoint in any way. Ludwig is in her prime and is heard in wonderful interpretations and beautiful singing from among several composers and works. I not only enjoy listening to her personally, but am also able to put it to great use use in my Vocal Literature class here at the college in which I teach."
Terrific recording
David Luther | 07/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I write this as s service to Christa Ludwig fans. This is a set of Lieder. Christa Ludwig is fabulous - as usual.But if you want to hear Christa ludwig in a set of operatic recitals that will knock of your socks and blow you to bits. Look for this CD called "Celebrating Christa Ludwig". It has Christa Ludwig singing excerpts from Elektra (as Elektra!!!), Ariadne auf Maxos (as Ariadne!!), Die Frau Ohne Schatten (as the Dyer's Wife), Barber of Serville (as rosina) and the Immolation Scene of Gotterdammerung (as Brunnhilde!!!). She will blow you to bits with her unmatchable dramatic sense, vocal power and beauty of tone - the greatest Brunnhilde that never was and the greatest Elektra that never was. She did sing Ariadne once in Salzburg in 1964, and she sang the Dyer's Wife for 10 years from 1964 (Vienna State Opera) to 1974 (Salzburg Festival). Her complete Ariadne is available under Myto records."