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Josef Metternich – Rare and Unreleased Recordings
CD 1 [74:42]
Albert LORTZING (1801-1851)
Der Wildschütz -: Wie freundlich strahlt - Heiterkeit und Fröhlichkeit [4:54]
RIAS Symphonie-Orchester/Johannes Schuler
Gian Carlo Menotti (1911-2007)
The Old Maid and the Thief, opera (1939): Singt der Mai seine Lieder [2:58]
RIAS Symphonie-Orchester/Walter Sieber
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Eugene Onegin (1879) Op. 24: Sie schrieben mir (Vy mne pisali) [4:22]
Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Franz Marszalek
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Il Trovatore (1853) -Alles ist stille - Ihres Auges himmlisch Strohlen (Tutto è deserto - Il balen) [4:23]
Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Franz Marszalek
Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864)
L' Africaine (1865) - Hei Adamastor, der König der Meere (Adamastor, roi des vagues) [4:13]
Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Franz Marszalek
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
La forza del destino, Melodramma in four acts (1869) - O schreckensvolles Schicksal (Morir tremenda cosa) [6:03]
Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Gustav Konig
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Il Trovatore (1853) - Vernehmet! - Befreit, o welche Seligkeit (Udiste? - Mira d'acerbe) [7:19]
Marianne Schech (soprano)/Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Richard Kraus
Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945)
Cavalleria Rusticana (1889) - Ach, Euch sendet Gott mir (Oh, il Signore vi manda) [5:06]
Marianne Schech (soprano)/Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Richard Kraus
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Arabella - Lyrische Komödie in drei Aufzügen Op. 79 (TrV 263) (1930-32) - Und du wirst mein Gebieter sein [3:16]
Marianne Schech (soprano)/Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Richard Kraus
Ruggiero LEONCAVALLO (1857-1919)
Zazà (1900) - Zazà, piccola zingara [2:45]
Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Hermann Hagestedt
Ferdinand GUMBERT (1818-1896)
An des Rheines grünen Ufern Einlage zu Lortzings "Undine" [4:01]
Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Hermann Hagestedt
Albert LORTZING (1801-1851)
Zar und Zimmermann, opera: Sonst spielt' ich mit Zepter [3:16]
Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Hermann Hagestedt
Paul LINCKE (1866-1946)
Im Reiche des Indra, operetta: Es gibt im Volkesmunde wohl Märchen ohne Zahl [2:49]
Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Hermann Hagestedt
Ruggiero LEONCAVALLO (1857-1919)
Pagliacci, opera (1892) - Schaut her! Ich bin's! (Si può? Si può?) [5:28]
Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Franz Marszalek
Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957)
Die Tote Stadt (1920)
Die tote Stadt (The Dead City), opera, Op. 12: Mein Sehnen, mein Wähnen [3:08]
Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Franz Marszalek
Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864)
L' Africaine (1865) - Dir, Königin, bin ich ergeben (Fille des rois, à toi l'hommage) [3:52]
Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Franz Marszalek
Umberto GIORDANO (1867-1948)
Andrea Chénier (1896) - Ein Feind des Vaterlandes (Nemico della partia) [4:02]
Kölner Rundfunkorchester/Franz Marszalek
Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963)
Die Harmonie der Welt (The Harmony of the World), opera in 5 acts (1951): Wüßtest du, was mir dein Ja bedeutet [2:36]
Orchester der Bayerischen Staatsoper/Paul Hindemith
CD 2 [71:41]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901)
La traviata (1853) - Act 3. Prelude [4:13]
Annina? (Annina?) [5:01]
Das Versprechen habt Ihr gehalten (Teneste la promessa) [1:32]
Lebt wohl jetzt, ihr Gebilde (Addio del passato) [3:40]
Act 3. O Herrin! (Signora!) [1:35]
Act 3. O lass' uns fliehen (Parigi, o cara) [3:38]
Act 3. Jetzt, mein Alfred, geh'n wir (Alfredo, andiamo) [3:18]
Act 3. Ah, Violetta! (Ah, Violetta!) [1:43]
Act 3. Teurer, hier nimm dies Bild von mir (Prendi, quest'è l'immagine) [4:49]
Peter Anders, Josef Greindl, Elfride Trötschel, Annelies Herfurth, RIAS-Kammerchor/ RIAS Symphonie-Orchester/ Ferenc Fricsay (conductor)
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Otello - tragic opera in four acts (1887) Act 1. Scene 1. Seht das Segel! Die Galeere! (Una vela! Un vessillo!) [4:21]
Act 1. Scene 1. Freut euch alle! (Esultate!) [2:41]
Act 1. Scene 1. Rodrigo, nun sag', was meinst du? (Roderigo, ebben che pensi?) [2:49]
Act 1. Scene 1. Feuer der Freude! (Fuoco di gioia!) [3:16]
Peter Anders, Edwin Heyer, Cornelis van Dyk, RIAS-Kammerchor/RIAS Symphonie-Orchester/Ferenc Fricsay
Otello, opera: Act 2. Geh' nur - Ich glaube an einen Gott (Vanne - Credo in un Dio) [4:56]
Otello, opera: Act 2. Zur Nachtzeit war es (Era la notte) [3:53]
Bernd Aldenhoff/Orchester der Bayerischen Staatsoper/Ferenc Fricsay
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Arabella - Lyrische Komödie in drei Aufzügen Op. 79 (TrV 263) (1930-32)
Duett & Final Scene. Ich habe eine Frau gehabt [9:05]
Duett & Final Scene. Und du wirst mein Gebieter sein [2:58]
Duett & Final Scene. Das war sehr gut, Mandryka [8:03]
Annelies Kupper/Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Richard Kraus
CD 3 [68:36]
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Parsifal (1882) -Amfortas' Monologues. Nein! Laßt ihn unenthüllt! [7:51]
Parsifal (1882) - Amfortas' Monologues. Ja, wehe, wehe [7:10]
Parsifal (1882) - Nur eine Waffe taugt [9:14]
Howard Vanderburg/Orchester der Bayerischen Staatsoper/Eugen Jochum
Josef Metternich in conversation with Thorsten Schneider [44:20]
Josef Metternich (baritone) with accompanists as noted
rec. live, 1948-57
GEBHARDT JGCD0064 [3 CDs: 74:42 + 71:41 + 68:36]


Experience Classicsonline

It took me a long, long time to type out the headnote – but it was worth it. This is an unexpected harvest of rare material recorded in the decade between 1948 and 1957 by baritone Josef Metternich. There are two CDs and a third CD that contains extracts from Parsifal and Metternich in interview; three quarters of an hour of the interview in total.

Whether it’s Lortzing or verismo, Meyerbeer or Verdi, almost everything here is of interest and in the main beautifully sung. His fine legato, inherent sense of musical and lyric line and equalized warm tone can be gauged by his singing of the Lortzing extracts. Here we find a real brio, as well as a truly idiomatic appreciation of matters of style and vocal weight. It’s highly unusual to hear him in Menotti and brief though the extract is we can appreciate the breath control, the lyric impulse once more, the strongly rolled ‘r’ – so much so in fact that it makes the brevity of the track all the more disappointing.

He was splendid in the Slavic repertoire as well; his Tchaikovsky is fine. The Verdi extracts are heard in good radio sound. Meyerbeer brings out the bravura in Metternich – the tongue twisting dash of Hei Adamastor, der König der Meere vies with Dir, Königin, bin ich ergeben – both from L’Africaine – vie for the palm. As ever he sings in German, though you’ll find in the interview that he was proud to sing in Italian at the Met. He makes a fine team with Marianne Schech in Strauss though she can be a touch squally in Mascagni – but she’s dramatic too. Especially liked the lissom strings so adeptly contoured by conductor Richard Kraus. The Leoncavallo extract is from Zazà, a little unusually and happily. It’s not quite three minutes in length but one admires Metternich’s big, personable singing and his sheer craft. He’s equally mellifluous in the Korngold and quite as much at home in the Lincke as he was in Lortzing. One should note that the Hindemith extract is conducted by the composer. Once more it is frustratingly brief at one two and a half minutes but valuable nevertheless. There are a series of extracts from La Traviata and Otello where he’s joined by some first class colleagues – Peter Anders, Josef Greindl and Elfride Trötschel among them. Fricsay conducts.

As ever in these he shows tremendous commitment and theatrical heft, the voice a powerful one but capable of considerable mobility even in the more difficult higher positions where it seldom loses resonance or power. These and the Parsifal extracts demonstrate what a versatile and valuable singer he was.

Modest and amusing too if the recorded interview is characteristic. He has the audience and the interviewer in stitches a number of times. Although well into his eighties in 2001 when this was taped Metternich (1915-2005) is vigorous, impish, witty and generous to his colleagues. He speaks well of Leo Blech and of Solti, especially admired George London, and Rudolf Bing, and had a huge admiration for a man he thought one of the greatest singers of his time – Richard Tucker. If you understand only a little German, as I do, you’ll still be touched by the genuine way in which he relates how Tucker and his wife made friends with Metternich. And Metternich was proud of his Italian roles at the Met – not just singing the expected German ones.

The three CDs are priced as two. Even in these cash-starved times admirers of the baritone really have no excuse for passing this by.

Jonathan Woolf


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