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Lehár: The Merry Widow
Franz Lehar, Otto Ackermann, Philharmonia Orchestra of London
Lehár: The Merry Widow
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1


      
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CD Reviews

The most joyous Merry Widow of all
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 03/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although I could easily live or die by Schwarzkopf's version of The Merry Widow made in stereo with von Matacic as conductor, this earlier mono recording from 1953 exudes sheer joy. For naturalness and the true Viennese style, many prefer it. In her prime Schwarzkopf's ability to communicate a silvery ecstasy through her voice was unique. Opera d'Oro has seized upon the fact that EMI's classic Viennese operettas are steadily going out of copyright; I have no idea what source they used, but the sonics are good, with the orchestra clear and the solo voices close up; only a bit of microphone shatter betrays that this isn't a first-rate copy.

The secondary couple of Emmy Loose and Nicolai Gedda are delightful, quite the best I've ever heard, and Otto Ackermann's conducting is to the manner born. As for the widow's lover, Count Danilo, both of Schwarzkopf's recordings employ a baritone rather than a tenor--in the stereo version it's the rather fierce Eberhardt Wachter, here the more amiable Erich Kunz. His main flaw is a certain boisterous coarseness when he should be romantic and urbane, but Teutonic humor isn't easy to export. In sum, there are more smiles on this disc than in any half dozen other operetta recordings."