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The Art Of Maria Cebotari


Release Date: 12/24/2002 
Label:  Preiser Records   Catalog #: 90511   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartOtto NicolaiJohann Strauss Jr.Giuseppe Verdi,   ... 
Performer:  Maria CebotariLore HoffmannTiana LemnitzEduard Kandl,   ... 
Conductor:  Arthur RotherFelix ProhaskaHerbert von KarajanHanns Steinkopf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony OrchestraVienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 2 Hours 28 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This well-filled double-disc Preiser set focuses on Maria Cebotari's radio recordings made in 1942 and 1943, with three exceptions. She was only 32 at the time, and had been singing in major productions since her Dresden debut as Mimi for Fritz Busch at the tender age of 21. She remained a fixture of the German and Viennese stage until her death of cancer in 1949, aged only 39. She had a vast repertory and while this set just scratches its surface, it does provide many full scenes and arias from a variety of challenging roles.

Everything is sung in German, as per the practice of the period, and almost all selections are credited as recorded by the Berlin State Radio. The exceptions -- all with the Vienna Philharmonic -- are a
Read more pair of 1948 Karajan-led arias: a golden-voiced Es gibt ein Reich from Richard Strauss' Arabella and a terrific O haber act from Johann Strauss' The Gypsy Baron, in which her voice is suffused with bright colors, smoothly delivered from top to a strong bottom register, and full of wit conveyed without mugging. There's also a fetching aria from Nicolai's Merry Wives of Windsor with the orchestra led by Felix Prohaska in January, 1949, less than six months before her death and revealing no erosion of her gifts.

Cebotari was a renowned Salome; here we get that wild final scene sung with a lighter voice than the Brunhildes often cast as opera's weirdest teenage nutcase but with a frightening, white-hot intensity. Those cries of "Was tut's" near the close are about as chilling as a singer can make them. Her Salome scene is followed by a beautifully voiced version of Daphne's final scene, its polar opposite in mood, confirming her as a great Strauss soprano. Cebotari's Traviata was one of her great triumphs and Preiser gives us 45 minutes of excerpts from her 1943 broadcast with Helge Roswaenge as a loud, unbuttoned Alfredo and Heinrich Schlusnus as the Germont of one's dreams, his plush, resonant baritone idiomatic in all but the language. Cebotari comes close to being a great Violetta too, capturing her wide-ranging moods, mirroring her emotional state in varied situations and singing with an ease and freedom that do justice to the coloratura aspects of the role. Here as just about everywhere on this set, we notice how Cebotari achieves an Italianite legato effect, even in guttural German, by her manner of holding on to soft consonants ("l" and "n" especially, for a split second to bind them to the next word or phrase). The scenes from Figaro are well done as are the Puccini excerpts from Bohème and Butterfly, though there's occasional unsteadiness in her Mimi and an unwelcome quaver that annoys in Un bel di only because it is otherwise such a fine rendition vocally and interpretively.

As usual, Preiser supplies only a bare-bones bio page and doesn't even bother to give track timings. But it does reproduce a few full-page photos of Cebotari in various roles and recording dates, orchestras, conductors and names of other singers (many of the tracks are duets with the leading singers of the day), something you can't always take for granted with this outfit. More important, the transfers are capably done, though the Puccini tracks do have more than the passing distortion that surfaces elsewhere.
--Dan Davis, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: E Susanna non vien...Dove sono by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano)
Conductor:  Arthur Rother
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/05/1942 
Length: 5 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: German 
2. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Pace, pace, mio dolce tesoro! by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lore Hoffmann (Soprano), Tiana Lemnitz (Soprano), Eduard Kandl (Bass),
Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender (Baritone), Hans Wocke (Baritone), Ernst Kurz (Tenor),
Otto Hüsch (Bass), Maria Cebotari (Soprano), Olga Rieser (),
Beate Asserson (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Arthur Rother
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/02/1942 
Length: 13 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: German 
3. Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor: Nun eilt herbei! by Otto Nicolai
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano)
Conductor:  Felix Prohaska
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/28/1949 
Length: 6 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: German 
4. Der Zigeunerbaron: So elend und so treu by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1948 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: German 
5. La traviata: Libiamo ne' lieti calici "Brindisi" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Helge Rosvaenge (Tenor), Maria Cebotari (Soprano)
Conductor:  Hanns Steinkopf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1942 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: German 
6. La traviata: Un dě, felice...Ebben quel diavolo fate by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano), Helge Rosvaenge (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hanns Steinkopf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1942 
Length: 7 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: German 
7. La traviata: Ah, fors' č lui...Sempre libera by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Helge Rosvaenge (Tenor), Maria Cebotari (Soprano)
Conductor:  Hanns Steinkopf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1942 
Length: 8 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: German 
8. La traviata: Pura siccome un' angelo by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano), Heinrich Schlusnus (Baritone)
Conductor:  Hanns Steinkopf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1942 
Length: 8 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: German 
9. La traviata: Amami, Alfredo by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano), Helge Rosvaenge (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hanns Steinkopf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1942 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: German 
10. La traviata: Scena della borsa by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano), Helge Rosvaenge (Tenor), Heinrich Schlusnus (Baritone)
Conductor:  Hanns Steinkopf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1942 
Length: 9 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: German 
11. La traviata: Parigi, o cara by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Helge Rosvaenge (Tenor), Maria Cebotari (Soprano)
Conductor:  Hanns Steinkopf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/1942 
Length: 5 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: German 
12. La Bohčme: Chi č lŕ? by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano), Peter Anders (Tenor)
Conductor:  Arthur Rother
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1942 
Length: 17 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: German 
13. La Bohčme: Sono andati? Fingevo di dormire by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano), Peter Anders (Tenor)
Conductor:  Arthur Rother
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1942 
Length: 7 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: German 
14. Madama Butterfly: Viene la sera...Bimba dagli occhi pieni by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Walther Ludwig (Tenor), Maria Cebotari (Soprano)
Conductor:  Arthur Rother
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1943 
Length: 14 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: German 
15. Madama Butterfly: Un bel dě vedremo by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano)
Conductor:  Arthur Rother
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1943 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: German 
16. Ariadne auf Naxos, Op. 60: Es gibt ein Reich by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911/1916; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/16/1948 
Length: 6 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: German 
17. Salome, Op. 54: Ah! Du wolltest mich nicht deinen Mund küssen lassen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano)
Conductor:  Arthur Rother
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1905; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1943 
Length: 14 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: German 
18. Daphne, Op. 82: Ich komme, grünende Brüder [Final scene] by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Maria Cebotari (Soprano)
Conductor:  Arthur Rother
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1936-1937; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1943 
Length: 9 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: German 

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