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Karl Böhm (conductor) The Complete Decca and Philips Recordings
rec. 1950-1973 DECCA 4851588 [38 CDs + 1 Blu-ray Audio: ca. 41 hours]
Interest in Karl Böhm (1894-1981) has enjoyed a resurgence recently, as attested by the appearance of boxed sets comprising his complete recordings on multiple labels. He received numerous critical accolades during his lifetime and yet, was overshadowed commercially by other conductors (e.g. Herbert von Karajan) because he tended to be viewed as a specialist for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Richard Strauss. His interpretations of these composers reward repeated listening, but they represent only part of his vast repertoire.
Karl Böhm: The Complete Decca and Philips Recordings assembles his entire output for the two companies in a single box (14.5 x 15.5 x 15 cm) consisting of 38 CDs and one Blu-ray Audio disc, which are housed in thick, glossy ‘original jacket’ cardboard sleeves. A 95-page booklet provides full track listings and recording details, photos of the conductor and some of the singers, and an informative essay about Böhm’s career by Rémy Louis. The author attributes Böhm’s success to the mere circumstance of having outlived several pre-eminent colleagues and undervalues the individual profile that earns him a place among his venerable contemporaries, including Otto Klemperer, Wilhelm Furtwängler, and Erich Kleiber. The recordings in this collection, including many previously difficult-to-obtain items, belie Böhm’s unwarranted reputation as a self-effacing Kapellmeister by showing his vitality and capacity to generate enormous excitement.
The first disc is devoted to Mozart’s symphonies K. 338 in C (with the Minuet in C K. 409 inserted as a third movement), K. 425 in C, and K. 504 in D, which Böhm recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic in the Großer Saal of the Musikverein between 1950 and 1954. His conception of the works changed little when he performed them again with the Berlin Philharmonic for Deutsche Grammophon, but the Vienna Philharmonic played with more fervour than their counterparts in Berlin. My only reservation about these and his subsequent recordings is that so many of the repeats are missing; live recordings, including those on the DVD set issued by DG (044007341308), confirm that he adhered to this regrettable practice in concert too. The sound quality on these monaural recordings is thin, but clear.
The second disc presents Franz Xaver Süßmayr’s completion of Mozart’s Requiem in D minor K. 626 in a reading from 1956 that is swifter and more engaging than his lugubrious remake for DG in 1970 without yielding any emotional impact. If not for the boxy mono sound, this performance would stand comparison with the finest modern-instrument accounts owing to the contributions by the soloists (Teresa Stich-Randall, Ira Malaniuk, Waldemar Kmentt, and Kurt Böhme) and the searing passion exuded by the Wiener Staatsopernchor and the Wiener Symphoniker. There is an apocalyptic feeling in the Dies irae and a heightened sense of forlornness in the Recordare. Two symphonies, K. 184 in E-flat and K. 318 in G major, recorded between 19 and 22 September 1955 with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, an ensemble with which Böhm was not associated closely, conclude the disc. These sound more astringent than the timbre familiar from his accounts in Berlin, but still convey the melancholy in the Andante of K. 184 and the ebullience from the opening of K. 318, albeit with a sense of reserve.
The third disc contains Mozart’s final piano concerto K. 595 in B-flat with Wilhelm Backhaus at the keyboard and the Vienna Philharmonic (30 and 31 May 1955) and Beethoven’s Fantasy for piano, vocal soloists, mixed chorus, and orchestra, Op 80 with Hans Richter-Haaser on piano, a team of star singers (Teresa Stich-Randall, Judith Hellwig, Hilde Rössel-Majdan, Anton Dermota, Erich Majkut, Paul Schöffler), the Wiener Staatsopernchor, and the Wiener Symphoniker (June 1957). The Mozart concerto is faster than Böhm’s remake with the same orchestra and Emil Gilels as the soloist in 1973. Both pianists used Mozart’s cadenzas, but Backhaus favoured neoclassical poise, whereas Gilels imbued the concerto with a Beethovenian richness. Backhaus took the second movement ‘Larghetto’ like a true Andante (wistful but not maudlin) with a timing of 7:05 in comparison to Gilels who took 9:01. The mid-1950s stereo sound is clear and serviceable. The Mozart concerto, which predates the recording of the ‘Choral Fantasy’ by two years, was made in stereo, but the larger forces required by Beethoven suffer from an opaque mono sound stage. The performance has warmth tempered with restraint and is about three minutes faster than Otto Klemperer’s magisterial reading from 1967 with Daniel Barenboim as the pianist.
Disc four, the last one in the set devoted to Mozart, contains performances of the final three symphonies (K. 543 in E-flat, K. 550 in G minor, and K. 551 in C major) that stem from the same sessions at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in September 1955 as K. 184 and K. 318 on the second disc. These energetic interpretations are marginally quicker and terser than his famous recordings from Berlin, especially the finale Molto allegro of K. 551, which is played exhilaratingly. The dry sound may be attributable to the monaural recording equipment employed by Philips during the sessions.
Two Beethoven concertos, Op 15 in C with Friedrich Gulda as the soloist and Op 37 in C minor featuring Wilhelm Backhaus, comprise the fifth disc. According to the booklet, each of these concertos was recorded in a single session: 22 May 1951 (Op 15) and 23 September 1950 (Op 37) in the Großer Saal of the Musikverein with the Vienna Philharmonic. No information is provided as to which sets of cadenzas either pianist played. Both recordings reward multiple hearings because their freshness and spontaneity give the sense of a private concert without the distraction of an audience, an effect that is enhanced by the clean, monaural sound. A life-affirming vitality pervades Op
37 in a reading which equals even the justifiably acclaimed remake from 1977 in the same venue with Maurizio Pollini as the soloist. The improvisatory spirit of Backhaus contrasts with Pollini’s meticulous textual precision.
The sixth disc offers Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony in F, Op 93 and Schubert’s Symphonies in B-flat, D. 485 and B minor, D. 759 with the Vienna Philharmonic. As with the concertos on the previous disc, each of these symphonies was recorded in a single session: 27 May 1953 (Op 93), 16 (D. 485) and 18 (D. 759) June 1954 in the Großer Saal of the Musikverein. The performance of Beethoven’s Eighth is almost as electrifying as Arturo Toscanini’s 1951 account, and it eclipses Böhm’s sedate performance with the same orchestra in 1971. Böhm revisited the Schubert symphonies twice for DG in Berlin and Vienna. These monaural recordings’ raw beauty and sense of discovery differ from his subsequent refined readings even though the tempi are similar.
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in D minor, Op 125 with Teresa Stich-Randall Orchestra, Hilde Rössel-Majdan, Anton Dermota, Paul Schöffler, the Wiener Staatsopernchor, and the Wiener Symphoniker is on the seventh disc. At 67:29, this reading from June 1957 (the venue and details about the recording technology are not listed) is about five minutes faster than the one in Böhm’s complete cycle with the Vienna Philharmonic in 1970. This performance has never received as many plaudits as the roughly contemporary accounts by Wilhelm Furtwängler (1951), Arturo Toscanini (1952), Otto Klemperer (1957), Ferenc Fricsay (1958), and Herbert von Karajan (1962). Böhm’s recording sounds as though it is in mono; the sizeable choir and orchestra would have benefited from a wider sound stage. This performance has an elegant reserve that perhaps explains why it is overlooked in favour of those with an overtly individual character. This recording’s merits include a very good vocal quartet, an excellent choir, and fine orchestral playing. Böhm conveys the feeling of a live occasion in the studio (a lack of audible tape splices implies that each movement may very well have been recorded in single takes).
Discs 8 and 9 are devoted to the two piano concertos by Johannes Brahms, Op 15 in D minor and Op 83 in B-flat with Wilhelm Backhaus as the soloist accompanied by the Vienna Philharmonic. The first concerto, recorded in June 1953, has an agility that lends coherence to the sprawling opening movement without feeling hurried or perfunctory. With a total timing of 43:28, it is around eight minutes faster than the classic account by Emil Gilels under Eugen Jochum’s direction (51:43) from 1972. If it had been recorded with the stereo technology from which the Mozart concerto from two years later profited, this would be a prime recommendation for this work. The recording of the second concerto dates from 1967, just two years before Backhaus died. It differs from the other collaborations between Backhaus, Böhm, and the Vienna Philharmonic in its composure; there is more breathing room, but many characteristics remain, especially in the Andante, which at 12:19 is treated as what this tempo indication means. The overall timing for this concerto is 48:05; Gilels and Jochum, by contrast, took 51:44 in total with an Andante of 14:04. The caution that Backhaus exercised here does not equate with diminished quality; on the contrary, his realisation of this challenging work exemplifies the art of expressing emotion without lapsing into indulgence.
The tenth disc contains four overtures by Carl Maria von Weber (Euryanthe, Preciosa, Oberon & Peter Schmoll) and the third symphony in F Op 90 by Brahms with the Vienna Philharmonic from 1951 and 1953 respectively. The performance of the Brahms symphony rivals Eugen Jochum’s celebrated reading with the Berlin Philharmonic from 1956 in quality. Böhm’s approach to the third symphony was redolent of Bruno Walter’s lyricism, whereas Jochum emphasised the emotional tension. All three conductors omitted the exposition repeat in the first movement, a practice that disqualifies these otherwise top-tier interpretations from being a first choice (as far as I am aware, the first recording to include the repeat in this symphony was Otto Klemperer’s from 1957). The Weber overtures are well played in surprisingly clear, detailed sound for their vintage.
Anton Brucker’s third and fourth symphonies performed with the Vienna Philharmonic, which constitute discs 11 and 12, are pinnacles in the discographies of these works. A lilting performance of the third symphony in D minor (WAB 103), recorded in 1970, relishes the work’s harmonies in contradistinction to Karajan’s epic linearity with the Berlin Philharmonic from a decade later. The timings for each conductor’s reading of Leopold Nowak’s edition of the 1889 version are virtually identical (Böhm: 56:50; Karajan: 56:48), but Böhm’s earthy warmth offers another perspective than Karajan’s spiritual questing. Böhm has been preserved in better sound than the harsh, tinny digital technology that Karajan had at his disposal in 1980. Böhm used the 1878/80 version of the fourth symphony in E-flat (WAB 104) in the edition by Robert Haas for his 1973 recording in which steady tempi allow the music to flow mesmerizingly for 68:10. Karajan luxuriated in the sound for a span of 63:51 in his 1975 recording with the Berlin Philharmonic, which also utilised the Haas edition of the score. Eugen Jochum, one of the most respected Brucknerians of the last century, was content to let the music speak for itself in his literalist 1965 recording of the Haas edition with the Berlin Philharmonic, which is situated between the other two performances with a timing of 64:46.
Following Bruckner, the thirteenth CD presents Richard Strauss, a composer with whom Böhm shared a long friendship and musical partnership. Böhm and Clemens Krauss were two conductors whom Strauss trusted to carry his legacy forward. The recording of the Vier letzte Lieder from 1953 with Lisa Della Casa makes a stronger emotional impact than other performances in the catalogue (e.g. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf) on account of its lack of sentimentality and respect for the tempos that Strauss stipulated. ‘Im Abendrot’, the longest of the songs, ticks by at 6:04, a pace that abets the lyricism and sense of resignation implied by the sung text: this is an acceptance of the inevitable, not agonised weeping. When this cycle premiered on 22 May 1950 in the Royal Albert Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Furtwängler’s direction with Kirsten Flagstad as the soprano, the performers conveyed not only sombreness, but ponderousness, which is at odds with Strauss’s scoring and tempo indications. Lisa Della Casa’s bright soprano and immaculate articulation (every word is understandable without reading along with a printed text) suit these songs better than the Wagnerian muscularity imposed upon them during their first public performance. The recording of Tod und Verklärung, which follows the Lieder, is a brusque, unsentimental reading with the Concertgebouw Orchestra from September 1955. Böhm’s causticity suits the subject matter of this work: a dying man reflecting on his life. This interpretation might have an ascetic effect on listeners accustomed to the polished beauty, which other conductors (e.g. Karajan) impart to this tone poem.
CD 14 is the problematic instalment in this collection owing to Böhm’s lack of involvement with several items (Lieder by Robert Schumann, Hugo Wolf, and Richard Strauss and Wotan’s farewell to Brünnhilde from the end of Die Walküre), which do not belong in this set. The works that Böhm actually conducted should have been included after the programme on the previous disc, which is only 43:09 long. Anton Dermota’s renderings of two arias from Don Giovanni – ‘Dalla sua pace’ and ‘Il mio Tesoro intanto’ – and one from Die Zauberflöte – ‘Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön’, as well as ‘Kein andres, das mir so im Herzen loht’ from Strauss’s Capriccio, are exquisitely sung, if studio-bound efforts from September 1950. As attractive as these tenor arias are, they are out of context from the operas of which they are integral parts. Julius Patzak’s delivery of Florestan’s opening scene from Act 2 of Fidelio, ‘Gott! welch' Dunkel hier! – In des Lebens Frühlingstagen’, communicates the right combination of agony and determination to escape from his wretched predicament. The selections with Paul Schöffler as the baritone soloist – ‘Non più andrai’ from Le nozze di Figaro, ‘Madamina, il catalogo è questo’ from Don Giovanni, as well as ‘Era la notte, Cassio dormie’ and ‘Credo in un Dio crudel’ from Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello – are less attractive because Schöffler did not embody any of these characters; he was an outstanding Wotan, however, in a performance led by Rudolf Moralt. The Vienna Philharmonic’s accompaniment is ideal in spite of the constricted mono sound.
CDs 15 and 16 contain a stunningly well-sung and conducted performance of Die Zauberflöte from the Redoutensaal in Vienna between 23 and 28 May 1955 that is compromised only by its omission of the dialogue, the same deficiency that blights Klemperer’s otherwise exemplary recording from 1964, the same year in which Böhm made his second recording in Berlin with some of the spoken text. This lesser-known performance of Mozart and Emanuel Schikaneder’ Singspiel has much to recommend it as a supplement to Böhm’s remake, the first of which is Wilma Lipp’s Königin der Nacht, one of the most convincing assumptions of this role along with Lucia Popp for Klemperer. Lipp, who negotiates the coloratura effortlessly with clear diction throughout, is vastly preferable to Roberta Peters on Böhm’s subsequent recording. Kurt Böhme, who is best remembered for his portrayal of Fafner in Georg Solti’s Ring cycle, lent Sarastro a sense of authority and paternal warmth with his dark timbre and secure declamation. Hilde Güden, who possessed an instrumental-like lyric soprano voice that prefigured Gundula Janowitz, embodied Pamina’s innocence and, when confronted with seeming danger, defiant courage and strength. Walter Berry portrayed Papageno not as a submissive, risible fellow, but as a self-confident ‘Jedermann’ whose rejection of the ‘wisdom’ offered by some of the priests and decision to follow a different path than Tamino is sympathetic. Papageno’s philoprogenitive euphoria when he is finally united with Papagena, sung here by Emmy Loose, is a paragon of how the duet, “Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Papagena!”, ought to be sung. The only vocal weakness in this recording is the Tamino of Léopold Simoneau, whose attractive tenor voice is insufficient to compensate for his poor enunciation of the text. Böhm’s second recording featured Fritz Wunderlich in arguably the best recorded interpretation of this role. In summary, this would be a reference recording of Zauberflöte if the full spoken script had been included because this is where so much of the character development takes place. The clear, full-bodied early stereo sound requires no apology.
The performance of Le nozze di Figaro on CDs 17-19 would be fit to stand beside the contemporaneous recording under Erich Kleiber’s direction if not for the miscasting of Il Conte d'Almaviva and the inexplicable omission of Marcellina and Basilio’s arias in the fourth act. Whereas Kleiber’s performance, which was recorded a year earlier, is in glorious stereo, Böhm was given a narrow monaural sound stage by Philips in the Brahms-Saal of the Musikverein (13-22 April 1956). In spite of these limitations, lovers of Mozart will want to savour Sena Jurinac as La Contessa di Almaviva (her rendition of ‘Dove sono’ is immensely touching), Rita Streich (a bright, dulcet Königin der Nacht in Ferenc Fricsay’s recording of Die Zauberflöte from 1954) as a witty Susanna, Walter Berry as one of the great Figaros (his main competition was Cesare Siepi), and Christa Ludwig as Cherubino (she is superior to Suzanne Danco for Kleiber). Paul Schöffler, unfortunately, is not the right baritone for Il Conte: he had a magnificent voice and was a great Hans Sachs, but he sounds uncomfortable in a role that demands a seductive charm to complement his position of authority. This performance has so many virtues, including the Wiener Symponiker’s graceful playing, that I winced when I heard a cut in Figaro’s recitative in the second act and discovered the usual stage cuts in the fourth. Böhm’s adroit handling of the overture radiates degrees of vivacity rarely encountered. My ears adjusted to the sound quality after the overture because all of the instruments and voices can be heard clearly. Regarding the presentation, it would have been possible to fit this opera onto two CDs if the full capacity (currently around 88 minutes per disc) had been utilised. It is difficult to remove the second CD in this set from the middle of the triptych cardboard sleeve. As it stands, the best option for exploring Böhm’s interpretation of Figaro is his 1968 recording in Berlin, which is textually complete and in excellent sound.
The gloriously-sung performance of Così fan tutte on discs 20 and 21 is too savagely cut to be more than an alternative for connoisseurs of this masterpiece. Although this recording was made for Decca almost a year earlier (16-21 May 1955) than the Figaro, it is in stereo. Although Böhm professed to love this opera, he never gave a complete performance of it (his subsequent recording for EMI in 1962 has fewer cuts, but is still maddeningly incomplete). The cast speaks for itself: Lisa Della Casa (Fiordiligi), Christa Ludwig (Dorabella), Emmy Loose (Despina), Anton Dermota (Ferrando), Erich Kunz (Guglielmo), and Paul Schöffler (Don Alfonso). The Wiener Philharmoniker and Staatsopernchor responded to Böhm’s lithe pacing, which enables the music to breath and for details to be heard clearly. It is a pity that no one prevailed upon the participants in this extraordinary ensemble to record the entire score for posterity (if the limitations of early long-playing records made it economically unfeasible to issue it all initially, subsequent issues could have included any sections that would have been withheld from the first release).
Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss on discs 22 and 23 is the soundtrack to the film issued by DG on DVD (044007343715). With Gundula Janowitz as Rosalinde and Eberhard Wächter as Gabriel von Eisenstein, this is an enthralling performance. Since only the musical numbers are included here, it is advisable to acquire the DVD because the story is incomprehensible in the absence of the dialogue. For an audio recording, I recommend Herbert von Karajan’s 1960 account on Decca with Hilde Güden as Rosalinde in spite of the execrable ‘Gala sequence’ inserted into Act 2, which consists of musical numbers that have no relation to this operetta.
CDs 24-26 provide a reference recording if there ever was one: a pioneering recording of Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Die Frau ohne Schatten in astonishingly good sound for its vintage (28-30 November and 1-3, 7 and 10 December 1955 in the Großer Saal of the Musikverein). If not for the cuts (mostly in Act 3) that seem to have been carried over from the production at the Wiener Staatsoper on which this recording was based, this could be the top choice for this complex opera. As the Kaiserin, Leonie Rysanek’s aura of naivety transforms into wisdom and strength when she is forced to defy authority. Elisabeth Höngen’s Amme is eminently credible in how she manipulates the Kaiserin. Paul Schöffler conveys Barak’s inability to comprehend his wife’s behaviour, his rage at the end of Act 2, and his tenderness when reuniting with her. Christel Goltz portrays Barak’s wife as frustrated, angry, confused, and, ultimately, loving. Credit must go to Böhm and the other performers for championing this symbolist opera and establishing its place in the repertoire in the face of scepticism from Decca.
The remainder of the CDs (nos. 27-38) and the Blu-ray Audio disc are dedicated to Richard Wagner’s tetralogy, Der Ring des Nibelungen, recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival between 1966 and 1967. This issue fits the entire epic onto twelve CDs with each act in Die Walküre and Siegfried complete on its own disc. Its latest guise invites reassessment of Böhm as a Wagnerian and complements his recording of Tristan und Isolde on DG, which was made around the same time in Bayreuth. Many attributes, such as bracing tempi and white-hot intensity, are similar between his performances of Tristan and the Ring. Infinitesimal pauses at key moments, dynamics, and tempo relationships create a cohesive musical concept that emphasises the characters’ human attributes over their mythological significance. The cast is similar to that of the legendary Solti Ring, albeit with some key differences in major roles. Theo Adam sang Wotan throughout Böhm’s cycle, whereas Solti had Hans Hotter in Die Walküre and Siegfried and George London in Das Rheingold. Birgit Nilsson repeated her Brünnhilde with an extra vividness inspired by the conditions of live performance and Böhm’s urgency. Wolfgang Windgassen appeared once again as Siegfried and, interestingly, as Loge in Das Rheingold. Gustav Neidlinger gave another definitive account of Alberich. One highlight in Die Walküre is Leonie Rysanek, whose Sieglinde is far more convincing than Régine Crespin for Solti. The coital scream that Rysanek emits when Siegmund pulls ‘Notung’, the sword that Wotan planted for him, from the tree trunk, conveys the ecstasy inherent in the music at this point in the story. On the other hand, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau delivered a far better Gunther for Solti than Thomas Stewart did for Böhm; Gottlob Frick was a more sinister and terrifying Hagen in Solti’s recording than Josef Greindl proved to be for Böhm. No single recording of this massive cycle can do it full justice, but this issue’s overall concept is thoroughly engrossing and cogent. Occasional audience noise and the prompter’s whispers from the wings of the stage, which create a bizarre pre-echo of some singers’ lines (mostly audible on earphones), do not detract from these galvanising performances. Listen, for example, to the thrilling opening of the second Act of Die Walküre and Brünnhilde’s self-immolation at the end of Götterdämmerung, which has rarely, if ever, been as horrifying as it is here. The remastered sound is present, full, and detailed to such an extent that it almost places the listener inside the Festspielhaus.
CD 1 [74:01]
MOZART Symphonies Nos. 34, 36 & 38: Wiener Philharmoniker
CD 2 [77:54]
MOZART Requiem: Teresa Stich-Randall, Ira Malaniuk, Waldemar Kmentt, Kurt Böhme, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Symphoniker; Symphonies Nos. 26 & 32 Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
CD 3 [47:21]
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 27: Wilhelm Backhaus, Wiener Philharmoniker; BEETHOVEN Choral Fantasia: Hans Richter-Haaser, Teresa Stich-Randall, Judith Hellwig, Hilde Rössel-Majdan, Anton Dermota, Erich Majkut, Paul Schöffler, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Symphoniker
CD 4 [76:01]
MOZART Symphonies Nos. 39, 40 & 41: Wiener Philharmoniker
CD 5 [74:44]
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1: Friedrich Gulda, Wiener Philharmoniker
BEETHOVEN Piano Concertos No. 3: Wilhelm Backhaus, Wiener Philharmoniker
CD 6 [72:46]
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 8; SCHUBERT Symphonies Nos. 5 & 8: Wiener Philharmoniker
CD 7 [67:29]
BEETHOVEN Symphony No.9: Teresa Stich-Randall, Hilde Rössel-Majdan, Anton Dermota, Paul Schöffler, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Symphoniker
CDs 8 [43:28] and 9 [48:05]
BRAHMS Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2: Wilhelm Backhaus, Wiener Philharmoniker
CD 10 [67:53]
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3; WEBER Overtures (Euryanthe, Preciosa, Oberon & Peter Schmoll): Wiener Philharmoniker
CDs 11 [56:50] and 12 [68:10]
BRUCKNER Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4: Wiener Philharmoniker
CD 13 [43:09]
R. STRAUSS Vier letzte Lieder and Tod und Verklärung*: Lisa Della Casa, Wiener Philharmoniker; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra*
CD 14 [65:28]
MOZART Don Giovanni – ‘Dalla sua pace’ & ‘Il mio Tesoro intanto’ & Die Zauberflöte – ‘Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön’; R. STRAUSS Capriccio, Op.85: ‘Kein andres, das mir so im Herzen loht’: Anton Dermota, Wiener Philharmoniker
SCHUMANN ‘Der Nussbaum’, Op. 25 No. 3 & ‘Die Lotosblume’ Op. 25 No. 7; WOLF Mörike-Lieder – ‘Auf ein altes Bild’ & ‘Der Gärtner’; R. STRAUSS ‘Ständchen’, Op. 17 No. 2 & ‘Zueignung’, Op. 10, No. 1: Anton Dermota, Hilde Dermota
MOZART Le nozze di Figaro – ‘Non più andrai’ & Don Giovanni – ‘Madamina, il catalogo è questo’;
VERDI Otello – ‘Era la notte, Cassio dormie’ & ‘Credo in un Dio crudel’ ; WAGNER Die Walküre – ‘Leb wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind’: Paul Schöffler, Wiener Philharmoniker; BEETHOVEN Fidelio – ‘Gott! welch' Dunkel hier! – In des Lebens Frühlingstagen’: Julius Patzak, Wiener Philharmoniker
CDs 15 [64:19] and 16 [68:48]
MOZART Die Zauberflöte: Hilde Gueden, Emmy Loose, Léopold Simoneau, Walter Berry, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker
CDs 17 [44:55], 18 [47:32], and 19 [74:22]
MOZART Le Nozze di Figaro: Sena Jurinac, Rita Streich, Walter Berry, Christa Ludwig, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Symphoniker
CDs 20 [74:29] and 21 [71:30]
MOZART Così fan tutte: Lisa della Casa, Christa Ludwig, Emmy Loose, Anton Dermota, Erich Kunz, Paul Schöffler, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker
CDs 22 [36:44] and 23 [54:52]
J. STRAUSS II Die Fledermaus: Gundula Janowitz, Renate Holm, Wolfgang Windgassen, Waldemar Kmentt, Eberhard Wächter, Heinz Holecek, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker
CDs 24 [66:23], 25 [66:07], and 26 [64:00]
R. STRAUSS Die Frau ohne Schatten: Hans Hopf, Leonie Rysanek, Elisabeth Hongen, Paul Schöffler, Christel Goltz, Wiener Staatsopernorchester, Wiener Philharmoniker
WAGNER Der Ring Des Nibelungen: Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele
CDs 27 [69:18] and 28 [67:07] Das Rheingold: Annelies Burmeister, Wolfgang Windgassen, Theo Adam, Gustav Neidlinger
CDs 29 [61:57], 30 [83:49], and 31 [64:16] Die Walküre: Birgit Nilsson, James King, Leonie Rysanek, Theo Adam, Gerd Nienstedt, Annelies Burmeister
CDs 32 [78:37], 33 [68:48], and 34 [75:35] Siegfried: Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Erwin Wohlfahrt, Theo Adam, Gustav Neidlinger, Vera Soukupova
CDs 35 [35:23], 36 [77:44], 37 [61:23], and 38 [73:31] Götterdämmerung: Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Gustav Neidlinger, Thomas Stewart, Josef Greindl, Vera Soukupova
Blu-ray Audio [13:37:45]
WAGNER Der Ring Des Nibelungen (24-bit/96kHz)