Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Adolf Mehrkens, Luigi Arditi, Franz [Vienna] Schubert|
Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Contralto: Opera Arias & Songs, 1900-1935
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks, Classical
No Description Available. Genre: Classical Music Media Format: Compact Disk Rating: Release Date: 24-FEB-1998
Listen to Samples
No Description Available.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 24-FEB-1998
2cd Set Showcases Golden Age Contralto's Long Career
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps better than any other cd set available featuring the recordings of Mme Ernestine Schumann-Heink, this Stanford Archives Series 2cd Set is a treasure trove of beautifully transferred selections, from the first 1900 recording to the live performance of "Stille Nacht" made just before her last Christmas in 1935 and introduced by the artist herself! A stunning live performance (January, 1931) of the St Paul aria "But the Lord is mindful of his own" is most remarkable for its clarity and fidelity, often lacking in the recordings of Golden Age singers!The career is beautifully represented with all of the favorite lieder and operatic selections and very little of the scratch, hiss and thumps that come with vintage recordings. An added bonus is the informative booklet with lyrics and translations of the selections.For the serious collector of recordings of Golden Age singers, this is an essential album! The voice and personality of the singer ring thru every note and her personal comments."
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This a wonderful collection of recordings from a by-gone era, and one that for some was the true "Golden Age of Singing." Whether the singers were really all that much better than those we have today is debatable. However, it can never be said that singers of this time period were without personality, or sang like the faceless impressions we often are subject to enduring today. Schumann-Heink was a GOlDEN AGE singer. Her's was a voice to be reconned with. Many great singers took her as a role model, including Rosa Ponselle. Her technique was excellent (even if it was not perfect, but then, what we are getting by the time of these recordings is really a voice not in its prime, though still incredible), and her interpretations legendary. It is said that at her last performance on stage, in Wagner's Das Rhinegold (she sang Erda) that the listeners listened with such amazement that even after her character had sunk into the earth, it took many moments to return one's throughts to the goings on at hand that were transpiring on the stage. Schumann-Heink was a large woman, and because of that fact, many stories have ciculated, even in respectable musical writings, about her inability to stop eating, of knocking down orchestral players to get through because she was so wide. Even seeing her photos of her career, one never sees anyone of that magnitude of obesity. Research has proven the stories false. When one studies her life, one is awarded with the real struggle this woman went through to become the "Great Schumann-Heink" she would become (and her struggles weren't all musical; imagine having sons fighting on opposite sides during WWI). Her apprenticeship was LONG, and she did sing many bel canto roles for a lot of years (and a lot of other "Fluff") until she really took off. Of course, we know her now mostly for her Wagnerian interpretations. Even though she was a very large woman, she could act, and well. Few commentators commented much on that aspect of her performances; it was usually her voice, and the richness of it, the fullness of the sound, the power of it, and the depth of emotional intensity it conveyed. For those of us who have come to understand past singers only through the written word, it is so nice to have recordings of one to see just what everyone was talking about. This collection really does give us a good picture of what Schumann-Heink was capable of doing. Of course, the sound quality, though exceptional for remasterings of this sort of recording, is horrible. One must listen through hisses, scratches, and all that. Yet, in spite of everything the old recording technology did to rob us of a real impression of this singer, the qualities she brought to music come through, like a ghost from a distant land informing us of some great thing from a forgotten age. Unlike many reissuings of old recordings, this one comes with a wonderfully informative booklet, translations, and well, everything we would expect. We are not left in the dark at all. That is very helpful, especially for those who are buying such reissues out of curiosity and not a long detailed study of the life of the singer. You get the chance to really get to know about this singer, her time frame in the history of music, and the music she is singing without having to spend years going over dusty old books and newspaper clippings to learn this or that small detail. I think the booklet is really first rate, and is a great help to those who are just coming to these old recordings out of a desire to just hear what it was all about. As for collectors, well, this is definitely something you should be adding to your collection. It is a wonderful documentary in sound of a wonderful career of a completely fascinating woman, and a woman who in a sense was the "great mother" of all Americans, especially at Christmas time when her singing of "Silent Night" was considered an American Institution."