The best of Frida Leider.
John Austin | Kangaroo Ground, Australia | 02/26/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Music lovers who wish to have the great Berlin soprano Frida Leider represented in their record collections are unlikely to find a better memento than this. It comprises most of the best recordings she made between 1927 and 1931. Unfortunately her "Brunnhilde's Immolation" is not included. Technically what is here is probably the most satisfactory from her recorded legacy, and the Preiser restorations are well up to their usual standard. It must be said that Frida Leider's art and reputation can never be worthily demonstrated from her recordings. Her radiant high notes were never comfortably caught by the recording processes of her day. Timing exigencies, moreover, often dictated that many of the Wagner opera extracts she recorded were rushed through and in some cases cut. The duet with Melchior from "Tristan und Isolde" lacks the central section sung by Brangaene. It also derives from two recording sessions, one in London and the other five months later in Berlin. The second session proved necessary when the masters of the first two sides of the four made in London proved to be defective. The result, however, is as "heady" and sensuously overwhelming as can be imagined."