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Hilde Güden
Recorded throughout the 1950s
NIMBUS PRIMA VOCE NI7952/53 [78:48 + 78:58]

Experience Classicsonline

CD 1 [78:48]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Don Giovanni - Batti, batti, o bel Masetto [3.43]
Don Giovanni - Vedrai carino [3.46]
Die Zauberflote - Ach, ich fühl's [4.53]
Le Nozze di Figaro - Venite, inginocchiatevi [3.18]
Le Nozze di Figaro -  Giunse alfin il momento ... Deh vieni, non tardar [4.25]
Idomeneo - Se il padre perdei [5.01]
Il re Pastore - L'amerò, sarò costante [5.15]
Exultate, Jubilate - Motet K165 [14.25]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
La Traviata - Ah! for's e lui ... Sempre libera [6.48]
Rigoletto - Caro nome [6.17]
Rigoletto -  Tutte le feste ... Si vendetta [10.31]
with Aldo Protti, baritone
Falstaff - Sul fil d'un soffi o etesio [3.33]
La Boheme - Quando men vo ... finale Act 2 [6.53]
with Prandelli, Inghilleri, Corena, Arie, Luise, Tebaldi
CD 2 [78:58]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)
Turandot - Signore, ascolta [2.17]
Turandot - Tu che di gel sei cinta [2.46]
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Der Rosenkavalier - Act 3 final trio and duet [11.36]
with Maria Reining, Sena Jurinac and Alfred Poell
Einerlei Op.69 No.3 [2.31]
Säusle, liebe Myrte Op.68 No.3 [3.53]
Der Stern Op.69 No.1 [1.40]
Schlechtes Wetter Op.69 No.5 [2.05]
Ich wollt' ein Strausslein binden Op.68 No.2 [2.40]
Als mir dein Lied erklang Op.68 No.4 [3.03]
Freundliche Vision Op.48 No.1 [2.40]
Schlagende Herzen Op.29 No.2 [2.07]
Heimkehr Op.15 No.5 [1.57]
Befreit Op.39 No.4 [3.57]
Die Nacht Op.10 No.3 [2.18]
Wie sollten wir geheim sie halten Op.19 No.4 [1.40]
Meinen Kinde Op.37 No.3 [2.13]
Noël COWARD (1899-1973) Bitter Sweet - I'll see you again [3.00]
Zigeuner [3.06]
Private Lives - Someday I'll find you [2.45]
Conversation Piece - I'll follow my secret heart [2.20]
Ivor NOVELLO (1893-1951)
Glamorous Nights - Glamorous night [3.16]
Careless Rapture - Music in May [3.17]
The Dancing Years - The waltz of my heart [3.07]
The Dancing Years - I can give you the starlight [2.26]
King’s Rhapsody -Someday my heart will awake [2.31]
King’s Rhapsody - The violin began to play [3.47]
Aldo Protti (baritone)(CD 1, tr. 11); Giacinto Prandelli (tenor), Giovanni Inghilleri (baritone), Fernando Corena (bass), Raffaele Arie (bass), Melchiorre Luise (bass), Renata Tebaldi (soprano)(CD 1, tr. 13); Maria Reining (soprano), Sena Jurinac (soprano), Alfred Poell (baritone)(CD 2 tr. 3); Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Josef Krips (CD 1, tr. 1, 2), Karl Böhm (CD 1, tr. 3), Erich Kleiber (CD 1, tr. 4, 5; CD 2 tr. 3), Clemens Krauss (CD 1, tr. 6), Alberto Erede (CD 1, tr. 7, 8); Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome/Alberto Erede (CD 1, tr. 9-13, CD 2, tr. 1, 2); Friedrich Gulda (piano) (CD 2, tr. 4-16); Stanley Black and his Chorus and Orchestra (CD 2, tr. 17-26)
rec. September 1952 (CD 1, tr. 1-3, 6), June 1955 (CD 1, tr. 4, 5), May 1952 (CD 1, tr. 7, 8), July 1954 (CD 1, tr. 9-12; CD 2, tr. 1, 2), July 1951 (CD 1, tr. 13), June 1954 (CD 2, tr. 3), September 1956 (CD 2, tr. 4-16), November 1957 (CD 2, tr. 17-26).

 

This two disc set offers a game of two musical halves. The first disc sets up one canonic impersonation after another, majoring in Mozart and offering a minor in Verdi. Scholastically things continue on the second disc with a very liberal curriculum; a continuation of the Italian theme with some Puccini, then the famed recording  enshrining the last scene from Rosenkavalier, and then a wildcard selection of Noël Coward and Ivor Novello.

Of her Mozart mostly only good things can be spoken. The extracts from Don Giovanni find her in delightful if slightly hard voice abetted by a rather foggy recording. Similarly she is somewhat steely in Ach, ich fühl's from Die Zauberflote; she’s spatially distant but the effect is not ineffective. I much prefer the timbre of her voice in the two extracts from Le Nozze di Figaro where there is greater cream in the voice, one that co-exists fruitfully with the incipient edge – and though it’s not ideally steady it’s as good as one could expect from a singer of her exalted class.

There’s a single example from Idomeneo. The aria Se il padre perdei is taken at a good, flowing tempo and the technical demands here – and they’re considerable – are adroitly met. Il re Pastore is represented by L'amerò, sarò costante and once again the recording is dun coloured and not especially flattering with constricted dynamics but the performance itself is thoroughly effective and impressive. Fluid portamenti inform her singing of Ah! for's e lui ... Sempre libera from La Traviata – this extract is not to be confused with the Fischer-Dieskau/Bartoletti highlights set. I don’t think that the Falstaff track shows her at her best nor is Aldo Protti a supreme partner for her in Rigoletto – he’s a bit too immobile, and maybe she’s a touch light as well. The finale to Act II of La Boheme is certainly an all-star affair with Tebaldi just one of the front runners and it ends a strong if occasionally inconsistent first disc.

Brightness and youthfulness informs that Rosenkavalier set with Kleiber of which the finale is present here. This is so much a part of the living discography that we can hardly begrudge the eleven minutes it occupies – though I suspect some may have clamoured for more obscure material. Still, the Strauss songs surely make amends. Gulda was the pianist in this selection recorded in November 1957.  For me this is the heart of the set. Occasionally the sound is a touch recessed but that minor aside is all that needs to be said on that score. The voice is perfect for this repertoire – light, fluid, lyric, subtle, full of expressive nuance and colour, rising to peaks of phrases and relapsing, ardent, reflective, always seemingly truthfully to embody the musical and textual significance of all these songs. She evinces great purity – and keeps body of tone going up – in Als mir dein Lied erklang and the sheer malleable freshness of Schlagende Herzen is a delight. But all these performances are treasurable, and Gulda is a noble associate and colleague.

After which perhaps we shouldn’t judge the Coward-Novello selection too harshly; it’s a wonder she sang the songs at all. Stanley Black – usually a discriminating arranger – provides strings of too glutinous a disposition. Güden warbles infelicitously through Someday I'll find you and has to contend with a syrupy chorus in Glamorous Night. It’s all a slightly bizarre pendant to the set as a whole.

There are useful biographical notes, and no texts, in support of this frequently impressive but also somewhat uneven selection recorded between 1952 and 1957.

Jonathan Woolf

see also review by Goran Forsling and Angela Boyd

 


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