David deJongh | Carrollton, TX United States | 04/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm ashamed to say that I had never heard of Irmgard Seefried until coming across this recording. I have, of course, known and loved the voice of Schwarzkopf since first hearing her as a teenager.
This is a glorious collection, featuring a most attractive selection of duet repertoire, although I have grown used to hearing Ardo e Scoprir sung by male voices (and can relate to the lyric from a male viewpoint). The remastering of the 1955 sessions is unbelievably clear and rich. As usual, Gerald Moore's accompaniment is encouraging, deeply felt, but unobtrusive.
The 1947 Hansel and Gretel excerpt is the one we remember from our schooldays. The voices come across well, and the orchestral sound is good for the age of the recording. Unfortunately, the Rosenkavalier excerpt, also from 1947, does not fare so well. What could have been an outstanding recording (it was recorded in the Musikvereinsaal, renowned for its fine acoutics) sounds like a bootleg recording made on somebody's portable cassette recorder. It's certainly a pleasure, though, to hear Schwarzkopf as Sophie."