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Monthly Archives: August 2012

MARGARETHE MATZENAUER, Alto/Soprano, * 01 June 1881 Temesvár (Timisoara), † 19 May 1963 Van Nuys (Kalifornien).

Soprano Margarete Matzenauer (1881-1963) was born in Hungary of Austrian parents where her father, Ludwig, was a conductor, her mother an opera singer.  As a child she learned acting, singing and dancing.  Later she studied opera in Graz and Berlin making her debut in 1901 as Puck in Weber’s Oberon.  Quickly she assumed major roles including Azucena, Carmen, Mignon, Waltraute, Erda and Ortrud, becoming famous all over Europe as a dramatic alto and mezzo. Soon she began to sing dramatic soprano parts as well; her vocal scope extended from contralto to high-dramatic soprano with equal quality and beauty.

Matzenauer made her debut at the Met during the1911/12 season November 13, 1911 singing Amneris on opening night with a cast that also featured Emmy Destinn as Aida and Enrico Caruso as Radames, with Arturo Toscanini on the podium.  A few days later she sang Brang”ne in Tristan and Isolde with Olive Fremstad as Isolde and Toscanini again conducting.  Other Wagner roles were Waltraute and Flosshilde in G–tterd”mmerung, Ortrud in Lohengrin, and Erda in Siegfried.  She saved the day January 1, 1912 when on a few day’s notice she appeared as Kundry in Parisfal, a role she had not sung before.  Other performances at the Met in that period—not with Matzenauer but with dream casts of interest to opera aficionados—included La Fanciulla del West with Emmy Destinn, Enrico Caruso and Pasquale Amato,  La Gioconda with Destinn and Caruso, and Tosca with Farrar and Scotti  —all conducted by Arturo Toscanini!

Matzenauer was at the Met for nineteen seasons in a wide variety of roles including Eboli in the first Met Don Carlo in 1920, Santuzza, Marina in Boris Godunov, Leonore in Fidelio, Brünnhilde in Die Walküre and Siegfried, and Isolde. She was so loved at the Met that the boycott against German artists at the outbreak of the First World War did not apply to her (although born in Hungary, her parents were Austrian).  She sang her final Met performance February 17, 1930 as Amneris, but continued singing opera and giving concerts throughout the United States for another decade. She had many students, including Blanche Thebom.

Matzenauer’s voice was extraordinary with a wide, even range and coloratura ability—and a real trill—uncommon in voices of this heft.  Her manifold abilities are displayed on this CD.  The first ten tracks were recorded 1907-10, all sung in German including Waltraute’s lengthy (8:43) “Seit er von dir geschieden” from Act I of G–tterd”mmerung. Three recordings from 1912 are from La Favorita and Carmen (sung in Italian and French respectively, with baritone  Pasquale Amato), and Kundry’s “Ich sahg das Kind an seiner Mutter Brust” from Act II of Parsifal, the opera she recently had sung at the Met.  Remaining recordings date from 1923-26 sung in original languages including her try at the Drinking Song from Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, a surprisingly undemonstrative account that doesn’t challenge the famous recordings by Ernestine Schumann-Heink made about two decades earlier.  Matzenauer’s coloratura in the Meyerbeer arias is extraordinary.

Preiser’s transfers are excellent.  While it is remarkable how much of Matzenauer’s voice was captured on these acoustic recordings it is a fact that she did not record particularly well.  Still, this is an important document of one of the outstanding singers at the turn of the century and as such is highly recommended.

 

as Isolde MET  (Collection G&K)

as Isolde

as Brangäne

as Brangäne (Collection G&K)

as Brangäne (Collection G&K)

as Brünnhilde MET

as Brünnhilde MET

as Brünnhilde with Weil MET 1912

as Kundry MET

as Kundry

as Ortrud

as Ortrud

as Ortrud

as Waltraute Bayreuth (Collection G&K)

as Waltraute München

as Waltraute München 1907 (Collection G&K)

as Fricka (Collection G&K)

as Fricka München

as Fricka in Walhall MET 1924

as Fidelio with Urlus MET 1915

as Dalila München 1907 (Collection G&K)

as Dalila MET (Collection G&K)

as Kassandra München 1908

as Selika München 1900

as Klytäm- nestra with Z. Fassbender Premiere München 1911

as Countess with Hempel and Farrar “Figaro”

as Amneris

as Santuzza

as Mignon

as Carmen

as Carmen München 1907 (Collection G&K)

as Carmen München (Collection G&K)

with Mottl, Prince L. Ferdinand of Bavaria a.o. München 1908 (Collection G&K)

with her daughter

Portrait München 1910 (Collection G&K)

Portrait Collection G&K)

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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Mezzo-Sopranos

 

HEDWIG MATERNA, Soprano, * 04 August 1871 Graz, † (?);

ihr Vater war Postkontrolleur und Telegraphist und zugleich der älteste Bruder der berühmten Wagner- Sopranistin Amalie Materna (1844-1918); ihr Bruder, Leopold Materna (1872-1948), wurde später ein bekannter Dirigent. Sie erhielt ihren ersten Gesangunterricht durch Frau Weinlich-Tipka in Graz, dann bei Jella Fichna in Wien. Sie debütierte 1896 am Stadttheater von Mainz und blieb dort zunächst bis 1899. Darauf sang sie in der Spielzeit 1899-1900 am Stadttheater von Zürich, kam dann aber wieder nach Mainz zurück. Sie blieb während ihrer ganzen Karriere bis 1912 Mitglied dieses Theaters, dessen Publikum sie sehr schätzte, und war mit dem Kunstkritiker Heinrich Hirsch verheiratet. Bereits 1897 übernahm sie bei den Festspielen von Bayreuth eine der Walküren in der »Walküre«. Ihre Stimme, deren enormes Volumen immer wieder gerühmt wurde, fand die entsprechenden Aufgaben im hochdramatischen und im Wagner- Repertoire; so sang sie Partien wie die Senta im »Fliegenden Holländer«, die Isolde im »Tristan«, die Brünnhilde im Nibelungenring, die Elisabeth im »Tannhäuser«, die Ortrud im »Lohengrin«, die Leonore im »Fidelio«, die Rachel in »La Juive« von Halévy, die Selika in Meyerbeers »Africaine«, die Valentine in den »Hugenotten« vom gleichen Meister, die Leonore im »Troubadour«, die Gräfin in »Figaros Hochzeit« und die Donna Anna im »Don Giovanni«. Sie betätigte sich auch als Musikschriftstellerin und schrieb u.a. in Zeitschriften über die Frauengestalten in den Opern von Richard Wagner.

as Isolde Mainz

as Brünnhilde

as Elisabeth

as Venus

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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Sopranos

 

AMALIE (Amalia) MATERNA, Soprano, * 10 July 1844 St. Georgen in der Steiermark, † 18 January 1918 Wien;

Amalie Materna (1844–1918) was an Austrian operatic soprano. While possessing a famously powerful voice, Materna also maintained a youthful bright vocal timbre throughout her career which spanned three decades. She is best remembered today for originating several roles in operas by Richard Wagner.

as Isolde Wien 1883

as Brünnhilde with Grane Bayreuth 1876

  

as Brünnhilde with Grane Bayreuth 1876

as Brünnhilde  Bayreuth 1876

as Brünnhilde  Bayreuth 1876

as Kundry  Bayreuth 1882

  

as Kundry  Bayreuth 1882

 

  

as Kundry  Bayreuth 1882

as Kundry  Bayreuth 1882

 

as Kundry with Winkelmann Bayreuth 1882 

  as Ortrud Wien (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

as Kundry Bayreuth 1882

as Kundry Bayreuth 1882

 as Kundry Bayreuth 1886 

 

as Kundry Bayreuth 1882

 as Elisabeth MET 1885

as Rachel

 

as Queen of Saba

as Queen of Saba

as Selika? Karikatur (Collection G&K)

Portrait with? Wien

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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Sopranos

 

BLANCHE MARCHESI, Soprano, * 04 April 1863 Paris, † 15 December 1940 London;

French soprano Blanche Marchesi (1863-1940) was the daughter of the great French vocal teacher, Mathilde Marchesi. Blanche made her debut (1900) in Prague as Brünnhilde.

Blanche Marchesi, the Baroness de Cacamisi … standing like a goddess at the head of the piano in her home, amid the works of all arts that she has patiently collected with the rare knowledge and intuition of a Spitzer, singing one of Schubert’s song, every word of which is felt as if it were coined in the innermost recessed of the heart and pronounced by lips which knew the secret of magnetic inspiration. Blanche Marchesi is the personification of song which holds the modern mind in sway because it possesses all than man has thought, has felt and has suffered. She is the perfect type of the coming singing.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) by Emma Bullet, Sunday, November 4, 1894

 

as Brünnhilde

as Santuzza (by courtesy of Charles b. Mintzer)

as Santuzza (Collection G&K)

as Santuzza

as Santuzza

 

as Santuzza

 

as Santuzza

Portrait with her mother Mathilde Marchesi

Portrait Art-Deco

Portrait Close-Up

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Drawing

 

 

 

 

 

 

          
 
 
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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Sopranos

 

DOROTHEE MANSKI, Soprano, * 11 March 1895 New York (according to other sources 11 March 1891 Berlin), † 24 February 1967 Atlanta City (Georgia);

She began her career with an engagement at the Berlin Court Opera in the 1913-1914 season. There she sang inter alia the Tebaldo in Verdi’s “Don Carlos” and the first Scarce at the Berlin premiere of “Parsifal” (1914). In 1914-1919, she joined the National Theatre of Mannheim (including 1917 in the world premiere of “Sharazade” by Bernhard Sekles in the title role), 1919-1921 at the State Opera of Stuttgart.In  1922-1926 she was engaged at the Berlin State Opera. In 1927 she accepted a position at the Metropolitan Opera New York (first role: Witch in “Hansel and Gretel” by Humperdinck). She went to the Metropolitan Opera in the long period from 1927 to 1941 on in smaller soprano-like mezzo-soprano roles, as well as Elsa in “Lohengrin”, as Venus in “Tannhauser”, as Ortrud in “Lohengrin”, as Gutrune in »Twilight of the Gods “, as Chrysothemis in” Elektra “by Richard Strauss, as Herodias in its”. Salome “, as Giulietta in” tales of Hoffmann “and as Marianne Leitmetzerin in” Rosenkavalier “In 1933, she replaced Frida Leider as Brünnhilde in “Valkyrie”. Their great game remained the witch in “Hansel and Gretel”. 1930, 1935 and 1936, she was at the opera in San Francisco as a guest in 1938 at the Opera House of Chicago. At the festivals of Salzburg 1933-1934 she sang Isolde in “Tristan” by Bruno Walter, 1934, she appeared as a guest at the Vienna State Opera. Since 1942 she worked as a professor at Indiana University in Bloomington, where she also resides. Among her pupils was the soprano Felicia Weathers. She was married to the Swedish music critic Walter Brandon, her daughter Inge Manski was a successful singer.
Numerous recordings of the Vox brand, HMV, Tri-Ergon, private recordings from the Metropolitan Opera, etc. on EJS “Rheingold.”

as Isolde Salzburg 1933 (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

 

as Isolde with Rünger Salzburg 1933 (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

 

as Isolde with Grahl, Manowarda and Rünger Salzburg 1933 (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

 

as Isolde with Grahl, Manowarda and Rünger Salzburg 1933 (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

 

as Isolde with Grahl Salzburg 1933 (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

as Isolde with Grahl Salzburg 1933 (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

 

as Isolde with Grahl, Manowarda and Rünger Salzburg 1933 (by courtesy of Peter Giljum)

 

as Walküre with Schorr and Flagstad San Francisco 1935

as Herodias with Ljungberg and Lorenz MET 1934

as Herodias Close-Up MET 1934

as Witch MET 1931

as Witch with Team “Hänsel und Gretel” MET 1931

with Friends

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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Sopranos

 

THERESE MALTEN, Soprano, * 21 June 1855 Insterburg (Ostpreußen), † 02 January 1930 Neuzschieren bei Dresden;

A well-known German dramatic soprano.

She was born at Insterburg, East Prussia, studied with Gustav Engel in Berlin, and made her début in 1873 in Dresden as Pamina in The Magic Flute. In 1882 Richard Wagner selected her as the original Kundry in Parsifal. From that time on till her retirement in 1903, she remained a member of the Dresden Opera, with frequent leaves of absence for appearances in the principal European opera houses such as the Semperoper [contradiction: this is the same as the Dresden Opera]

Her repertory included many the great mainstream operas, but she was pre-eminent as an interpreter of Wagner’s heroines.

 

as IsoldeDresden 1888 (Collection G&K)

as Isolde Bayreuth 1886.

as Isolde Dresden 1899

as Isolde Dresden 1899

as Isolde Bayreuth

as Brünnhilde 1890 (Collection G&K)

as Brünnhilde Dresden

 

as Brünnhilde 1890

 

as Brünnhilde 1890 (Collection G&K)

as Brünnhilde 1890 (Collection G&K)

as Brünnhilde Dresden

as Brünnhilde “Siegfried” 1890

 as Kundry Bayreuth 1882

 

 as Kundry Bayreuth 1882

as Kundry Bayreuth 1882

as Kundry Bayreuth 1882

as Kundry Bayreuth 1889 (Collection G&K)

 

as Kundry Bayreuth 1889

 

as Kundry Bayreuth 1889 (Collection G&K)

 

as Kundry Bayreuth 1882

 as Kundry Bayreuth 1882

 

as Kundry Bayreuth 1882

 

as Kundry with Gudehus and Siehr  Bayreuth 1882

 

as Kundry with Gudehus  Bayreuth 1882

   

as Kundry with Van Dyck Bayreuth 1882

as Elisabeth

as Elisabeth

as Elisabeth

as Elsa Dresden 1884

as Eva 1886

as Eva with Gudehus and Scheidemantel Dresden

as Sieglinde

 

as Senta

 

as Milada ?

 

as ?

Portrait (Collection G&K)

Portrait with her dog Black Dresden 1888 (Collection G&K)

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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Sopranos

 

RUTH JOST-ARDEN, Soprano, * 02 September 1899 Berlin, † 19 December 1985 Bayreuth;

Jost-Arden received vocal training in Berlin and in New York. Her first successes were on the concert stage. Her voice attracted the attention of Toscanini, who brought her to Bayreuth for the 1930 Festival where she made her debut as Venus in Tannhäuser. From 1931-40 she was the principal dramatic soprano at the Cologne Opera. She sang very little during World War II, and after 1945 she lived in Bayreuth.

 

as Kundry Bayreuth (by courtesy of Erich Wirl)

as Venus Bayreuth 1930

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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Sopranos

 
 
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