A mainstay of German singing in the Fifties shows her art in
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/04/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Imgard Seefried was a great favorite with German audiences, but I've never been a great convert. Her voice perse is a pleasing lyric soprano without any great individualaity, her style of singing is extremely plain, and she often drifts every so slightly off pitch. Given her notable reputation, I've listened to much of her Lieder output but have found nothing to equal contemporaries like Lisa della Casa and Elixabeth Schwarzkopf.
Still, DG has done well by Seefried in this 2-CD set where she is accompanied by the stolid and unimmaginative Erik Werba. Many recordings are in mono, since Seefired's career reached its artistic peak, so far as I can tell, in the Fifties, followed by a noticeable and rapid decline in vocal security. NO doubt others will appreciate her style more than I do, and for them this bargain twofer is a welcome arrival.
Since Amazon doesn't list the program with composers attached, it should be noted that Seefired sings 10 songs by Mozart, 9 by Schubert, 5 by Strauss, and a song cycle each by Mussorgsky, Bartok, and Schumann (the familiar Frauenliebe und Leben, a duplicaiton from Dg's ealier Liderabend with Seefried). The complete listing is as follows:
Das Veilchen K476. Die Verschweigung: Sobald Damotas Chloen sieht K518. Das Lied der Trennung: Die Engel Gottes weinen K519. Das Kinderspiel: Wir Kinder K598. Die kleine Spinnerin: Was spinnst du K531. Als Luise die Briefe ihres ungetreuen Liebhabers verbrannte K520. Einsam ging ich jungst im Haine K308. An Chloe: Wenn die Lieb' aus deinen blauen K524. Abendempfindung: Abend ist's K523. Sehnsucht nach dem Fruhling: Komm lieber Mai K596 (Mozart). Auf dem Wasser zu singen D774. Lachen und Weinen D777 op.59/4 (Schubert). Dein blaues Auge op.59 No.8. Standchen op.106 No.1 (Brahms). The Nursery - Song Cycle : Mit der Njanja / Im Winkel / Der Kafer / Mit der Puppe / Abendgebet / Steckenpferdreiter (Mussorgsky trans. Hans Schmidt). Dorfszenen Sz78 : Heuernte / Bei der Braut / Hochzeit / Wiegenlied / Burschentanz (Bartok). Morike-Lieder : An eine Aolsharfe / Das verlassene Magdlein / Begegnung (Hugo Wolf). Standchen op.17 No.2 (Richard Strauss). Myrten op.25 : Die Lotusblume angstigt sich. Liederkreis op.24 : Mit Myrten und Rosen lieblich und hold. Myrten op.25 : Du bist wie eine Blume. Frauenliebe und -leben op.42 : Seit ich ihn gesehen / Er der Herrlichste von allen / Ich kann's nicht fassen nicht glauben / Du Ring an meinem Finger / Helft mir ihr Schwestern / Susser Freund du blickest mich verwundert an / An meinem Herzen an meiner Brust / Nun hast du mir den ersten Schmerz getan (Schumann). Der Konig in Thule D367. Das Lied im Grunen D917. Die junge Nonne D828. Fischerweise D881. Seligkeit D433. Die Forelle D550 op.32. An die Musik D547 op.88/4 (Schubert). Traum durch die Dammerung op.29 No.1. Meinem Kinde op.37 No.3. Allerseelen op.10 No.8. Morgen op.27 No.4 (Richard Strauss)."
Music but no words
Joseph A. Cope | Pittsburgh PA | 10/29/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I haved loved Seefried's unaffected, somewhat boyish singing from my LP days. It is good to hear these very clear CD transcriptions,which bring her back right into my sitting room. However, beware that there are no texts or translations which is cheap on the part of the record company. Unless you are very fluent in German it is not possible to enjoy lieder without texts because the marriage of words and music is what lieder is all about. I managed to find most of them by hunting around in my LP collection and in a useful book, The Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau Book of Lieder, but drew a blank at the Bartok cycle!"
One of the greatest lieder singers
herman joseph | nyc, ny United States | 02/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
I first heard Irmgard Seefried in the 1950s and 1960s singing lieder recitals in NYC. They were transforming superior to Schwartzkopf in their musicality, voice and interpretations. Her voice had a golden silver quality with a dark underpinning. The true quality which I heard in Town Hall and the Hunter College auditorium has never really been captured on record.
What impressed everybody was the deep emotional and natural communication of her singing-something that Schwartzkopf -whom I heard in her NYC lieder debut - never achieved in concert. The first Seefried concert I heard at Town hall consisted of a group of exquisite Mozart songs, Bartok's Village Scenes in a mesmerizing performance and ten songs of Hugo Wolf. Singing of this caliber was rare and the reviewers were ecstatic. The second concert was devoted to Schumann and Hugo Wolf. In the now closed Herald Tribune, the reviewer Jay Harrison was so impressed that his four line review stated that everything was like sculpture and there was little more to add-- Those who were fortunate to hear these concerts heard lieder singing that set a standard of voice, programming, communication, musicianship and emotional involvement. Seefried was one the truly great ones and I suggest that people who don't get it re-listen. The voice is anything but plain --It has a deep expressive quality with many colors within her range that few singers of the mid and late 20th century achieved. She has left an unfilled void. Also buy the Liederabend Irmgard Seefried disc on Deutshe Grammophon and recordings made in the early years of her career."