Search - Richard [1] Strauss, Giacomo Puccini, Engelbert [Classical] Humperdinck :: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: Legendary Recordings

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: Legendary Recordings
Richard [1] Strauss, Giacomo Puccini, Engelbert [Classical] Humperdinck
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: Legendary Recordings
Genres: Pop, Classical


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A Grab Bag of Schwarzkopf Recordings from 1940s-50s
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 03/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I don't honestly know whether these recordings deserve to be called legendary. They mostly derive from commercial recordings issued in the 1940s and 1950s, almost all of them on the EMI label (except for a 1947 'Presentation of the Rose' scene on Columbia, with Irmgard Seefried, and a couple of numbers from Suppé operettas from 1939-40 on Telefunken). Since Amazon has not yet listed the contents of the two discs I shall do so in brief:

1. Strauss: Presentation of the Rose, Der Rosenkavalier, 1947 (with Seefried), VPO, Karajan
2. Puccini: Turandot - 'Tu che di gel sei cinta', Böhm, 1949
3. Puccini: Gianni Schicchi - Oh! Mio babbino caro, Karajan, 1949
4. Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel - Duet 'Brüderchen', E. Grümmer, Karajan, 1953
5. Ibid. Sandman scene, with Anny Felbermayer and E. Grümmer, ibid.
6. Mozart: Exsultate jubilate, Susskind, 1947
7. - 12. Dvorák: from the Mährischen (Moravian) Duets, with Seefried

1. Strauss: Zigeunerbaron: 'O habet acht!', with Nicolai Gedda, Ackerman, 1954
2. Ibid: Schatzwalzer: 'Seht, dies Gefunkel', Gedda, Burgsthaler-Schuster
3. Ibid: 'Wer uns getraut', Gedda, K. Stepanek, ibid
4. Strauss: Fledermaus, 'So muss allein ich bleiben', Gedda, R. Streich, Ackermann, 1955
5. Ibid. 'Trinke Liebchen, trinke schnell', Karl Dönch, Helmut Krebs, ibid
6. Ibid. 'Dieser Anstand so manierlich', Gedda, ibid
7. Ibid. Czardas: 'Klänge der Heimat', ibid
8. Lehár: Merry Widow, Entrance-song of Hanna, Ackermann, 1953
9. Ibid: 'Vilja-Lied', ibid
10. Lehár, The Land of Smiles, 'Gern, gern wär ich verliebt', Ackermann, 1953
11. Ibid: 'Wer hat die Liebe uns in Herz gesenkt', Gedda, ibid
12. Ibid: 'Alles vorbei ich möcht einmal wieder die Heimat seh'n', ibid
13. Suppé: Boccaccio, Excerpt (not otherwise identified), Lutze, 1939
14. Suppé: Wiener Blut, only identified as 'Grosser Querschnitt', Lutze, 1940

The quality of the recordings is acceptable, certainly for their time, and they have been nicely remastered. We get to hear the young Schwarzkopf before she was as well known as she became. The early 'Presentation of the Rose' is delicious, and Seefried is an equal in this scene. Lovely! Another highlight for me is the Vilja-Lied, sung with caressing tone. The Fledermaus excerpts fizz and sparkle. I also very much liked the Dvorák duets; unfortunately their fine piano accompanist is not identified.

It's hard to know whether to recommend this set. For those who are already fans of Schwarzkopf, you probably already have her singing most of these selections, perhaps even in these versions. For those who are coming to her art afresh, it might be a bit difficult justifying the cost of this set -- and I notice it is being offered at AmazonCA and AmazonUK for considerably less -- although for some it will certainly be worth it to hear the development of Schwarzkopf's art from her earliest years. You'll have to decide whether it is for you.

Scott Morrison"