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The World Is Operetta! / Gabrielle Heidelberger, Armin Kolarczyk

Gabrielle Heidelberger, Soprano; Armin Kolarczyk, Baritone
Release Date: 12/03/2010 
Label:  Fidelitas Records   Catalog #: 10002  
Composer:  Julius FucikEmmerich KálmánJohann Strauss Jr.Karl Millöcker,   ... 
Performer:  Gabrielle HeidelbergerArmin Kolarczyk
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



THE WORLD IS OPERETTA Manfred Müssauer, cond; Gabrielle Heidelberger (s); Armin Kolarczyk (bar); Vienna Danube P FIDELITAS FR 10.002 (71: 03)


FU?IK Marinarella Overture.


Arias and duets by KÁLMÁN, J. STRAUSS II, MILLÖCKER, BIERLING, SCHMIDT, FALL, STOLZ, LEHÁR, ZELLER


I hope my readers will forgive my wish Read more to review this CD despite the fact that my appreciation of operetta resides in excerpts sung by masters of the form and not in a knowledge of complete works. I have spent many an hour smiling in satisfaction to the recordings of Erna Sack, Richard Tauber, Irene Eisinger, Marcel Wittrisch, Miliza Korjus, Joseph Schmidt, and others of that era, whereas sitting through a complete performance (or even a recording) of Die Fledermaus makes my skin crawl. Too much dialogue, too much music that works when hearing solo numbers but doesn’t work as a complete opus. Thus I have a knowledge of what’s good and bad in the style without necessarily liking full works. (Gilbert and Sullivan is an entirely different kettle of fish for me.) To begin with the best of the best, the Vienna Danube Philharmonic is an absolutely super operetta orchestra. It has exactly the right style, insouciant, witty, and with that slightly tipsy sound that those orchestras that accompanied Tauber and Wittrisch had. You almost get the impression that the musicians are dancing in their seats as they play. They make you exceedingly happy to listen to them. They’re great!


As for Gabrielle Heidelberger, she, too, is a throwback to the days when the Germans produced voices like this by the handful: a completely pure, almost tubular sound with a slight edge on top. I love this kind of voice, but it’s not for everyone, particularly modern listeners, because she has to keep the voice dead-center on every note or she sounds flat. Heidelberger manages this, as did her predecessors Hempel, Sack, Teschemacher, Korjus, and Güden, yet I know people who think those singers went flat, too. They didn’t, and neither does Heidelberger. Adjust your ears, folks. If you can listen to these modern British penny-whistle sopranos sing Monteverdi, Purcell, and Bach, you can get over this if you try. In addition to having the right voice, Heidelberger also has the right style; like the orchestra, she is full of zest, life, and humor in her interpretations. Everything she sings makes me smile; she’s got it.


But now, sadly, we must discuss baritone Armin Kolarczyk. He has problems. The voice has an interesting dark quality, and he, too, sings with incredible zest and humor, but his loud top notes tend toward strain and he has an uneven vibrato (read: wobble) that ranges from mildly irritating to outright annoying. Heidelberger, with her superior voice, carries him somewhat in the duets, which also have (for the most part) the advantage of being uptempo numbers where Kolarczyk doesn’t have to sustain any note longer than two beats, but with the exception of “Lass’ dir Zeit,” sung in a lovely mezzo-voce , all of his solos are painful to listen to. I was especially annoyed by “Ach, ich hab’ sie ja nur auf die Schulter” from Der Bettelstudent, which I happen to have on an early-60s record sung by the estimable Gustav Neidlinger (yes, that Gustav Neidlinger … when he wasn’t singing Alberich, he absolutely adored doing operetta—and he was good at it!).


Yet the bottom line here is, should you get this CD? Of course you should. Who else is singing operetta like this nowadays? The answer is, no one. Heidelberger, Kolarczyk, and the orchestra give these performances everything they’ve got, and if Kolarczyk has much less to offer, at least he’s in there pitching and not giving up. Turn back your mind to Berlin in the early 30s, and you’ll revel in this disc.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Marinarella Overture, Op. 215 by Julius Fucik
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: Romantic 
2.
Die Csárdásfürstin: Weisst du es noch? by Emmerich Kálmán
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Die Csárdásfürstin: Heia, heia, in den Bergen by Emmerich Kálmán
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Fürstin Ninetta: Einst träumte mir by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: Romantic 
5.
Wiener Blut: Das eine kann ich nicht verzeih'n by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
6.
Die Fledermaus: Ich lade mir gern Gäste ein by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Vienna, Austria 
7.
Gasparone: Dunkelrote Rosen by Karl Millöcker
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Stéphanie: Das ist zu schön um wahr zu sein by Thomas Bierling
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: 21st Century 
Written: 2009 
9.
Der liebe Augustin: Lass' dir Zeit by Leo Fall
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
10.
Der Favorit: Du sollst der Kaiser meiner Seele sein by Robert Stolz
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; Berlin, Germany 
11.
Der Bettelstudent: Und da soll man...Ach, ich hab'sie ja by Karl Millöcker
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882; Vienna, Austria 
12.
Paganini: Wir gehen ins Theater by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1925; Vienna, Austria 
13.
Der Vogelhändler: Ich bin die Christel von der Post by Carl Zeller
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Vienna, Austria 
14.
Die lustige Witwe: Da geh' ich zu Maxim by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
15.
Giuditta: Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1934; Vienna, Austria 
16.
Die lustige Witwe: Lippen schweigen by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
17.
Gräfin Mariza: Komm mit nach Varasdin by Emmerich Kálmán
Performer:  Gabrielle Heidelberger (Soprano), Armin Kolarczyk (Baritone)
Conductor:  Manfred Müssauer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Donau Philharmonie Wien
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Highly Recommended January 11, 2013 By Melvin R. Katskee (Omaha, NE) See All My Reviews "This is a wonderfully crafted, wonderfully produced CD of Operetta selection. The Donau Philharmonic and its conductor Mussauer understand this music, and present it with the verve and passion it deserves. The singing by Gabrielle Heidelberger and Armin Kolaczyk is equally ousttanding. In particular, Gabrielle Heidelberger is an outstanding singer in this genre. Never, in recent times, have I heard this music presented with such panache. As the liner notes state, many opera stars produce an operetta CD, and the beautiful melodies are there, but there is a vitality missing from the presentation. Not here. In the parlance of these times, this will simply blow one away!" Report Abuse
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