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Hilde Güden - Arias and Songs

NIMBUS PRIMA VOCE NI 7952-3 [78:48 + 78:58]

Experience Classicsonline

CD 1
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791)

Don Giovanni:
1. Batti, batti, o bel Masetto [3:43]
2. Vedrai carino [3:46]
Die Zauberflöte:
3. Ach, ich fühl’s [4:53]
Le nozze di Figaro:
4. Venite, inginocchiatevi [3:18]
5. Giunse alfin il momento … Deh vieni, non tardar [4:25]
6. Se il padre perdei [5:01]
Il re pastore:
7. L’amerò, sarò costante [5:15]
8. Exsultate, jubilate, motel K 165 [14:25]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901)

La traviata:
9. Ah! Fors’è lui … Sempre libera [6:48]
10. Caro nome [6:17]
11. Tutte le feste … Si vendetta [10:31]
12. Sul fil d’un soffio etesio [3:33]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 – 1924)

La bohème:
13. Quando me’n vo’ …finale, act 2 [6:53]
CD 2

1. Signore, ascolta [2:17]
2. Tu che di gel sei cinta [2:46]
Richard STRAUSS (1864 – 1949)

Der Rosenkavalier:
3. Act 3 final trio and duet [11:36]
4. Einerlei, Op. 69 No. 3 [2:31]
5. Säusle, liebe Myrte, Op. 68 No. 3 [3:53]
6. Der Stern, Op. 69 No. 1 [1:40]
7. Schlechtes Wetter, Op. 69 No. 5 [2:05]
8. Ich wollt’ ein Sträusslein binden, Op. 68 No. 2 [2:40]
9. Als mir dein Lied erklang, Op. 68 No. 4 [3:03]
10. Freundliche Vision, Op. 48 No. 1 [2:40]
11. Schlagende Herzen, Op. 29 No. 2 [2:07]
12. Heimkehr, Op. 15 No. 5 [1:57]
13. Befreit, Op. 39 No. 4 [3:57]
14. Die Nacht, Op. 10 No. 3 [2:18]
15. Wie sollten wir geheim sie halten, Op. 19 No. 4 [1:40]
16. Meinem Kinde, Op. 37 No. 3 [2:13]
Noel COWARD (1899 – 1973)

Bitter Sweet:
17. Ill see you again [3:00]
18. Zigeuner [3:06]
Private Lives:
19. Someday I’ll find you [2:45]
Conversation Piece:
20. I’ll follow my secret heart [2:20]
Ivor NOVELLO (1893 – 1951)

Glamorous Night:
21. Glamorous night [3:16]
Careless Rapture:
22. Music in May [3:17]
The Dancing Years:
23. The waltz of my heart [3:07]
24. I can give you the starlight [2:26]
King’s Rhapsody:
25. Someday my heart will awake [2:31]
26. The violin began to play [3:47]
Hilde Güden (soprano)
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); The 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). ADD

Hilde Gǖden was born Hulda Geiringer in Vienna on 15 September 1917 and began her musical studies at the age of 16 at the Vienna Music Conservatory. Her theatrical debut followed when she was 21 at the Vienna Folk Opera under the name of Hilde Gerin, later changing this to Hilde Güden. Her opera debut came in 1939 when she was 22 years old as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

We do not hear her as Cherubino in this fascinating compilation set compiled by Nimbus from LPs, but in eight Mozart arias. There are two from Don Giovanni, "Ach, ich fǖhl’s" from Die Zauberflöte, two from Le Nozze di Figaro and one each from Idomeneo and Il Re Pastore, ending this group with the Exultate, Jubilate, K165. For people used to listening to more recent sopranos in these roles and arias, Güden’s singing is a revelation! Her beautiful, pure and silvery soprano harks back to a different era of vocal style and interpretation from that we have heard from contemporary performers. I loved hearing her sing all these arias, and particularly her moving version of "Ach, ich fühl’s" where Karl Böhm paces the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra slowly – typically for him - allowing the singer and orchestra almost to "breathe" the music. Güden’s interpretations can also give one insight into those of later sopranos. Today’s aspiring young Mozart singers should listen to these recordings and learn from the tone and approach of this artist.

Güden’s career progressed from working with major conductors at The Vienna State Opera. These included Josef Krips, Karl Böhm, Erich Kleiber, Clemens Krauss and Alberto Erede (with whom she sings on these CDs. Later she sang at La Scala, Milan, Zurich, Roma Opera, the Bavarian State Opera, Glyndebourne, La Fenice, Venice, The Metropolitan Opera, New York, The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Salzburg Festival. Those were the starry years in which she shared the operatic boards with the most celebrated singers and artists of the era.

The next group of arias are Italian: three from Verdi – two from Rigoletto and one from Falstaff, followed by three from Puccini – one from La Bohème and two from Turandot.

After that comes the Strauss group. It is in the Mozart and Strauss that Güden excels. No wonder Strauss apparently called her "my Sophie Güden" – she was a Strauss interpreter par excellence! The Act 3 final trio and duet from Der Rosenkavalier which she sings with Maria Reining, Sena Jurinac and Alfred Poell are just breathtakingly beautiful. Is this the best version on record? Who knows? Whether it is or not, it must be very close to the best. This superb performance is followed by thirteen Strauss songs with Friedrich Gulda accompanying.

This two CD set ends with a group of Noel Coward/Ivor Novello songs which perfectly suit Güden’s voice and interpretation. Those of us used to more contemporary opera singers performing a variety of "cross-over" repertoire may, as I did, initially view this group with a slightly cynical suspicion, expecting an over-trained voice and exaggerated "elocution lesson" pronunciation. This is not at all what one gets from Güden. She sounds so comfortable and natural in this repertoire and her English pronunciation, described in the accompanying booklet as having "a slight continental accent", flows so well within her interpretation of the lyrics and music. The booklet, too, by the way, is well researched and more than adequate for the CDs, although the texts/libretti for the arias/songs are not given. I am sure people can find the words elsewhere, should they need to do so.

Nimbus has done an excellent job in choosing a representative selection of Güden’s recordings, with her strengths lying in the gorgeous Mozart and Strauss repertoire. The sound is clear and immediate. The original recordings were made in the 1950s, when editing technology was nothing like as advanced or as precise as it is today, so as a trade-off for the pleasure of hearing this wonderful singer, there are a few notes here and there which would not have got through to the final version of such recordings made nowadays. In my view, these are truly offset by fascinating interpretations and by the beautiful, clear, pure voice of Hilde Güden.
Angela Boyd

see also review by Goran Forsling





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