> Richard Tauber - Heart's delights [GPJ]: Classical Reviews- February 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Richard TAUBER (1892 – 1948): HEART’S DELIGHTS
1. You are my heart’s delight (from ‘The Land of Smiles’)
2. Girls were made to love and kiss (from ‘Paganini’)
3. O maiden, my maiden (from ‘Frderica’)
4. Merry Widow Waltz (from ‘The merry Widow’)
5. Serenade (from ‘Frasquita’)
6. Patiently smiling (from ‘The land of Smiles’)
7. Vienna city of my dreams (Sieczynski/Lockton)
8. Don’t be cross (from ‘Der Obersteiger’)
9. Roses from the South (J.Strauss II)
10. I’m in love with Vienna (from ‘The Great Waltz’)
11. One day when we were young (from ‘The Great Waltz’)
12. Only a rose (from ‘The Vagabond King’)
13. Waltz of my heart (from ‘The Dancing Years’)
14. Nightingale song (from ‘Der Vogelhändler’)
15. Serenade (Schubert)
16. Kommt a Vogerl geflogen (Trad.)
17. Your love could be everything (‘from ‘Old Chelsea’)
18. Liebe kleine Nachtigall (Moszkowski)
19. Simple little melody (from ‘Land Without Music’)
20. My heart and I (from ‘Old Chelsea’)
21. You mean the world to me (from ‘The Singing Dream’)
22. One night of love (from ‘One Night of Love’)
23. Komm Zigan (from ‘Countess Maritza’)
24. Goodbye (from ‘The White Horse Inn’)

Richard Tauber (tenor) with conductors Henry Goehl (tracks 6,8,12,17,20), Gustav Walter (tracks 19,22), Frieder Weissmann (tracks 23, 24)
REGIS RRC 1066 [74:44]

Avalable for around £6 from your dealer

This is an irresistible collection of juicy lollipops from one of the great ‘crossover’ artists of the twentieth century. Tauber was unique; you simply cannot mistake the timbre of his voice or the style of his singing, and though he has his many mannerisms, there is a deeply felt sincerity about his singing that, for me anyway, overrides any feeling of ‘cheesiness’. The way, for example, he slides into soft half-voice for the reprise of Girls were made to love and kiss is simply delicious, however camp it may be by purist standards.

Did he have a great voice? He probably did, though of course he came under fire for ‘prostituting’ himself by singing increasing amounts of light music. Most of the recordings here are from the 30s and 40s, when he was arguably past his vocal peak. In Mädchen mein Mädchen from 1928, though, you can hear a voice with an undeniably heroic ring to it. As he progressed through his later career, he had to learn to handle the higher reaches of his voice, so that he tends either to hector or go into a soft falsetto – which he of course does supremely beautifully.

He had a striking stylistic range, as you can readily hear even on this issue devoted to lighter numbers. The delicacy of the lovely Serenade from ‘Frascita’, for example, is in marked contrast with the aching nostalgia of a song like ‘One day when we were young’. In fact, nostalgia is, quite naturally, the staple coinage of this issue, but there is a particular poignancy in the person of this Austrian singer so vastly popular in the English-speaking world in the pre-World War II years. In fact he settled in England in 1938 and became a British citizen in 1940, and it’s probable that his career would have easily survived the war; but sadly he died prematurely in 1948.

One aspect of Tauber I was not aware of was his work as a composer. The most successful of his operettas was Old Chelsea, from which there are two songs here. In particular, My heart and I is a very celebrated song, and, though Tauber’s voice is undoubtedly showing its age in this 1943 recording, he seems to sing it with a special passion.

If you already know and love Tauber’s singing, this CD will probably send you into raptures. If you don’t, do try it, and keep a box of Kleenex handy. Most of these very old recordings wear their age very well, and create no serious barrier to the enjoyment of the art of this great stylist.

Gwyn Parry-Jones


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