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CD: Crotchet

Golden Operetta of Vienna
see end of review for details
rec. 1937-58
ALTO ALC1049 [67:50]
Experience Classicsonline

A compilation like this is aimed at listeners with a fleeting interest in operetta, wanting to hear a number of lollipops sung by famous singers of the past rather than the operetta aficionado, who probably has all this music already, possibly also many of these recordings. The first four tracks, from the legendary Columbia series of operettas that by many are still regarded as the best ever. With Schwarzkopf, Loose, Kunz and Gedda on top form they are self-recommending and so is Rita Streich’s Spiel’ ich die Unschuld from Karajan’s Fledermaus in the same series. The complete sets have been reviewed on Musicweb (Das Land des Lächelns, Die lustige Witwe, Die Fledermaus). But there are many other tracks to treasure. The young Fritz Wunderlich, fresh and ardent, partnered by Friederike Sailer in a couple of duets; Rudolf Schock’s Volgalied, brilliant and heroic and with sensitive phrasing but the high pianissimo notes sung falsetto; Wilma Lipp, lively and charming but a little uneven; Julius Patzak, almost 60 and a little drier of tone than on his earlier recordings, but his Viennese charm and dialect are more than compensation; Jussi Björling’s unsurpassed Ich hab kein Geld sung in Swedish but so uninhibitedly brilliant. Only the reverse side to the original 78rpm, Au Mont Ida, can challenge the beauty and thrust; Richard Tauber, like Patzak recorded late in his career but his inimitable caressing of phrases is there; Sena Jurinac’s Klänge der Heimat, recorded in 1950 and with lovely tone but I have heard readings with more Hungarian lilt and her final note is a scream.

The transfers are acceptable and the booklet has notes on the music and artist biographies. If the repertoire is attractive readers can safely invest in this disc, knowing that most of the singers are on admirable form.

Göran Forsling 

Franz LEHÁR (1870 - 1948)
Das Land des Lächelns
1. Dein ist mein ganzes Herz [3:39]
Nicolai Gedda (tenor)
Die lustige Witwe
2. Vilja-Lied [5:17]
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano)
3. Heia, Mädel aufgeschaut [3:02]
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Erich Kunz (baritone)
4. Wie eine Rosenknospe [6:17]
Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Emmy Loose (soprano)
5. Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss [4:50]
Hilde Güden (soprano)
Der Zarevitsch
6. Hab nur dich allein [4:50]
Fritz Wunderlich (tenor), Friederike Sailer (soprano)
7. Volgalied: Allein! Wieder allein! [5:35]
Rudolf Schock (tenor)
Carl ZELLER (1842 - 1898)
Der Obersteiger
8. Sei nicht bös [3:22]
Fritz Wunderlich (tenor)
Der Vogelhändler
9. Ich bin die Christel von der Post [1:59]
Wilma Lipp (soprano)
10. Wie mein Ahn’l zwanzig Jahr [2:08]
Julius Patzak (tenor)
Karl MILLÖCKER (1842 - 1899)
Der Bettelstudent
11. Nur das eine bitt’ich [3:59]
Fritz Wunderlich (tenor), Friederike Sailer (soprano)
Die Dubarry
12. Ich schenk mein Herr [3:19]
Anneliese Rothenberger (soprano)
Der Bettelstudent
13. Ich hab’ kein Geld [1:43]
Jussi Björling (tenor)
Richard TAUBER (1891 - 1948)
Old Chelsea
14. My Heart and I [3:17]
Johann STRAUSS II (1825 - 1899)
Die Fledermaus
15. Spiel’ ich die Unschuld [4:54]
Rita Streich (soprano)
16. Klänge der Heimat [4:05]
Sena Jurinac
Emmerich KÁLMÁN (1882 - 1953)
Gräfin Maritza
17. Komm Tzigany [3:03]
Rudolf Schock (tenor)
18. Kommt mit nach Varasdin [1:32]
Sari Barabas (soprano), Rupert Glawitsch (tenor)
Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Ackermann (1-4), Herbert von Karajan (15); Vienna State Opera Orchestra/Robert Stolz (5); Stuttgart Philharmonic/Fritz Mareczek (6, 8, 11); Orchestra/Wilhelm Schüchter (7, 17, 18); Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Rudolf Moralt (9, 10); Bavarian Radio Orchestra/Werner Schmidt-Boelke (12); Orchestra/Nils Grevillius (13); Orchestra/Henry Geehl (14); Hamburg Radio Orchestra/Wilhelm Schüchter (16)
rec. 1937 (13), 1943 (14), 1950 (16), 1953 (1-4), 1954 (17, 18), 1955 (15), 1957 (6-12), 1958 (5)



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