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My Secret Heart
Hilde Gueden (soprano)
Stanley Black and his Chorus and Orchestra (CD 1 tr. 1-12)
Orchestra/Kurt Adler (CD 1 tr. 13-27)
Wiener Volksopernorchester/György Fischer (CD 2 tr. 1-36)
Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Staatsopernorchester/Richard Rossmayer
rec. Austria, October 1952 (CD 1 tr. 13-27); June 1953 (CD 2 tr. 37-44); Kingsway Hall, London, UK; March 1957 (CD 1 tr. 1-12); Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria, 19-20 May, 2-4 July 1969 (CD 2 tr. 1-36)
ELOQUENCE 482 0115 [60:36 + 69:18]

Eloquence are focusing on the lovely Hilde Gueden at the moment, possibly as a preparation for next year (2017) and her centennial celebration. This is the fifth issue. I have previously reviewed The Early Years and there have also been Gueden discs with operetta, Mozart and Richard Strauss. This twofer concentrates on lighter repertoire and may not be as important as the others. On the other hand, whatever Ms Gueden touched was highly attractive and this set gave me a lot of pleasure.

Ten of the twelve songs on My Secret Heart, first issued on LP in 1957, are on a two-CD set in Nimbus’ “Prima Voce” series, issued in 2008 (review ~ review). I found her readings of these Ivor Novello and Noel Coward songs delectable and not unduly operatic, though I heard some signs of aging in her voice. Maybe my hearing has deteriorated since then, but now she sounds just as fresh as ever, and I still like the sweet-toned strings of Stanley Black’s orchestra - a listening pleasure. Hilde Gueden Sings Music from Vienna, first issued on a 10" LP in 1952, occupies the rest of CD 1 and is in effect two medleys with a break in the middle, where we, so to speak, turn the LP over. The sound is elderly but the anonymous orchestra play well and Vienna-born Gueden sings them to the manner born.

Hilde Gueden Sings Children’s Songs from Many Lands was issued as late as 1970, when the singer was well past fifty. Her voice is still in mint condition. Mature sopranos can easily kill simple songs like these, but Ms Gueden sings them with beguiling simplicity, intimately and naturally, as a mother – or maybe granny – would do. Paul Fürst’s arrangements are also very attractive and varied. Alle Vöglein sind schon da nods in the direction of Papageno and Frère Jacques is accompanied in quasi-rococo style. The sound is out of the Decca top drawer. The rest of CD 2 is from another 10" LP, issued in 1953. Richard Rossmayer has arranged eight well-known German Christmas songs with the Vienna State Opera Chorus and Orchestra, luxury backing. Again one enjoys the simplicity and naturalness of both singing and arrangements. This is the real thing; far from the overblown treatment that has killed these songs many times.

I can imagine going back to this set from time to time for the unpretentious simplicity – and the many beautiful melodies. Maybe not an essential buy but very attractive even so.

Göran Forsling

Track listing
CD 1 [60:36]
My Secret Heart
The Music of Ivor Novello and Noël Coward
Ivor NOVELLO (1893 – 1951)
Careless Rapture:
1. Music in May [3:14]
Noël COWARD (1899 – 1973)
Conversation Piece:
2. I’ll follow my secret heart [2:19]
Bitter Sweet:
3. Zigeuner [3:05]
The Dancing Years:
4. Leap Year Waltz [3:41]
King’s Rhapsody:
5. Some day my heart will awake [2:29]
The Dancing Years:
6. I can give you the starlight [2:25]
7. Waltz of my heart [3:05]
Bitter Sweet:
8. I’ll see you again [2:59]
King’s Rhapsody:
9. The violin began to play [3:45]
Perchance to Dream:
10. We’ll gather lilacs [2:43]
Private Lives:
11. Some day I’ll find you [2:43]
Glamorous Night:
12. Glamorous Night [3:16]

Hilde Gueden Sings Music from Vienna
13. O du lieber Augustin [1:19]
14. Brüderlein fein [1:01]
15. Die Banda kommt [0:53]
16. S’Mailufter! [2:53]
17. Wenn’s die Geigen heimlich streicheln [0:54]
18. Wiener Künstler [1:36]
19. Das ist mein Wien [1:00]
20. Kunst und Natur [2:48]
21. Ich und der Mond [2:03]
22. Wien, Weib, Wein [2:14]
23. S’Herz von an echten Weana [0:35]
24. Vogerl, flieg‘ in‘ d‘ Welt hinaus [1:37]
25. Wie sich der Wiener den Himmel vorstellt [1:22]
26. Wiener-Wald [2:08]
27. Herrgott, wie schön bist du, Wien [2:05]

CD 2 [69:18]
Children’s Songs from Many Lands
(Arranged by Paul Fürst)
1. Hänschen klein [1:10]
2. Backe backe Kuchen [0:52]
3. Alle Vöglein sind schon da [1:29]
4. Fuchs, du hast die Gans gestohlen [1:04]
5. Es tanzt ein Bi-Ba-Butzemann [1:26]
6. Hänsel und Gretel [1:10]
7. Wer hat die schönsten Schäfchen [1:48]
8. Vögelhochzeit [0:56]
9. Ein Männlein steht im Walde [0:52]
10. Suse, liebe, Suse [0:54]
11. Die Blümelein, sie schlafen [1:48]
12. Es klappert die Mühle [1:08]
13. Kommt ein Vogerl geflogen [0:48]
14. Müde bin ich, geh zur Ruh [1:30]
15. Alle meine Entchen [0:55]
16. Guter Mond, du gehst so stille [2:46]
17. Sing a Song of Sixpence [0:44]
18. Hickory Dickory Dock [0:49]
19. Hush a Bye Baby [1:31]
20. Oranges and Lemons [0:49]
21. Baa, Baa Black Sheep [0:52]
22. Three Blind Mice [1:09]
23. I Had a Little Nut Tree [0:40]
24. Bye Baby Bunting [1:15]
25. Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush [1:28]
26. Frère Jacques [1:17]
27. Sur le pont d’Avignon [1:30]
28. Meunier tu dors [0:58]
29. Il était un petit navire [2:24]
30. Au clair de la lune [1:18]
31. Tengo [0:45]
32. Buji [0:58]
33. Kasoeuta [1:37]
34. Ma come balli bella bimba [1:49]
35. Fa la nana bambin [1:41]
36. Pajarito que cantas [1:30]

Christmas Songs
(Arranged by Richard Rossmayer)
37. O du Fröhliche [3:05]
38. O Tannenbaum [2:50]
39. Was soll das bedeuten [3:08]
40. Es blühen die Maien [2:36]
41. Es ist ein Ros‘ entsprungen [2:36]
42. Es hat sich eröffnet [2:36]
43. Süsser die Glocken nie klingen [2:58]
44. Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht [3:30]



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