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Lucia Popp - Die Unvergessene (The Unforgettable) / Munchner Rundfunkorchester

Brahms / Munchner Rundfunkorchester / Popp
Release Date: 07/31/2012 
Label:  Acanta/Pilz   Catalog #: 233353   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonín DvorákSergei ProkofievZoltán KodályLeos Janácek,   ... 
Performer:  Geoffrey ParsonsLucia PoppCarole Dawn ReinhartAdalbert Kraus
Conductor:  Kurt EichhornMarinus VoorbergHeinz Wallberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony OrchestraAmsterdam Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



LUCIA POPP: THE UNFORGOTTEN Lucia Popp (sop); Kurt Eichhorn, 1 Heinz Wallberg, 2 Marinus Voorberg, cond; Geoffrey Parsons (pn); Munich RO; Amsterdam CO ACANTA 233353 (4 CDs: 179:44)


Selections by WEBER, MOZART, LORTZING, PUCCINI, VERDI, MASSENET, CHARPENTIER, SMETANA, DVO?ÁK, BRAHMS, MAHLER, PROKOFIEV, KODÁLY, JANÁ?EK, GOETZ, MONTEVERDI-ORFF, HANDEL, Read more TELEMANN, BACH


The late, lamented Lucia Popp (1939–93) belonged to that very select and rarified category of singers who were truly beloved by their fans. (Among others I would also name tenors John McCormack and Richard Tauber and, in our modern day, bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli.) In Popp’s case, what made her especially loved was that rare combination of a bright, perky voice, impeccable technique, and her way of singing that so often had a smile in the voice. I fell in love with her during the late 1970s-early 1980s when she recorded a series of comic operas ( L’Elisir d’Amore, Don Pasquale, and Martha ) for Eurodisc with Heinz Wallberg conducting and Peter Dvorsky as her tenor partner, but she was also on many other recordings because, well, people loved her.


Thus, this four-CD retrospective is a most welcome release for her fans. It’s split into four sections; we begin with a Classical and Romantic-era opera recital, then go into two discs of Lieder recorded with the impeccable Geoffrey Parsons at the keyboard, before finishing up with one aria each by Mozart and Goetz after which she regales us with her Baroque style in the music of Monteverdi, Handel, Telemann, and Bach. Rather than save the negative comment for the end, I will state here that I am not at all happy with the short playing time of each CD, the longest being 49:17. This is utterly ridiculous. Acanta could easily have placed the Goetz and Mozart Zauberflöte arias on CD 1, moved the group of Dvo?ák songs from CD 3 to the end of CD 2, and then placed all of the Baroque material at the end of CD 3. This is wasteful packaging, and an unnecessary extra cost for the consumer.


Moving beyond my complaints of the layout, there is nothing much to complain of in the performances. Those unfamiliar with Popp should know that she was the “Eastern European soprano without a wobble,” and her voice was not as ungodly ugly as Edita Gruberova’s. It was, rather, a modest-sized lyric soprano of the category known as soubrette. She began her career in the Mozart soubrette repertoire (Suzanna, Papagena, Queen of the Night, etc.) before moving into bel canto roles and then somewhat “larger” soprano roles (the Countess, Elsa in Lohengrin , Agathe in Freischütz ) as well as specializing in Lieder that was based on folk songs, of which many examples abound in this set. She came up and flourished at exactly that point in operatic history when acting skills were as much in demand as cleanliness of musical execution, and she always delivered. (I’ve never seen a film clip of Popp in performance, though I did once own an episode of her TV show devoted to retrospectives of earlier singers.) On these recordings, then, you can hear her bridging the gap between such earlier soubrettes as Lotte Schöne and Irene Eisinger and such thoroughly modern singers as Kathleen Battle and Danielle de Niese.


Yes, she was that good. In conjunction with conductor Heinz Wallberg, a vastly underrated operatic conductor, Popp delivers performances here that have it all: flawless technique, perfect voice placement, and characterization in a style that observes the written score far more scrupulously than most of her forebears. Listen, particularly, to the way she sings “O mio babbino caro,” “Caro nome,” “Adieu, notre petite table,” or even “O Lovely Moon” from Rusalka: completely gone is the sloppy style of the past with its lingering on soft high notes, overdone trills and dragged-out finales. Popp’s performances are both stylistically appropriate and musically crisp, and in each of them she presents you with a character, not just a voice. I would, in fact, single out “Caro nome” as exactly the kind of performance that would have delighted Arturo Toscanini and made him want to hire her as his Gilda, except for one small detail: Although she had good pronunciation, her Italian always sounded odd with its heavy Slovakian accent. It’s a small blemish on her art, but one must be honest.


Once past the aria in Italian, however, there is absolutely nothing to complain of. Popp’s identification with the songs on these discs—but particularly the Wunderhorn songs of Mahler—has to be heard to be believed. No one sings this material like this nowadays, no one at all. These are wholly unique performances. So, too, are her versions of the brief song cycles of Dvo?ák, Prokofiev, Kodály, and Janá?ek, but for very different reasons. These more serious songs elicit unsuspected depths of emotion from the singer, as she both draws us into her (their) emotional world and gives out much of herself. A rare disappointment on this set is her performance of “Let the Bright Seraphim” from Handel’s Samson, which is taken at an almost funereal pace. Bach’s Jauchzet Gott is also a bit on the tardy side, certainly no match for the recordings of Carole Bogard or Emma Kirkby. Apparently, the historically informed revolution didn’t reach Lucia’s ears!


Acanta doesn’t include the texts of any of the songs. This isn’t much of a problem in the more familiar material (Brahms, Mahler), but it is a detriment in Prokofiev and the Eastern Europeans. I recommend Emily Ezust’s Lied and Art Song Texts Page for most of them. Aside from the short playing time of these discs, this is an indispensable set for anyone who loved, or still loves, Lucia Popp. I’m sure one of them!


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
In folk tone, Op. 73/B 146 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Bohemia 
Language: Czech 
2.
Russian Folksongs (12), Op. 104: no 5, Brown eyes by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USSR 
Language: Russian 
3.
Russian Folksongs (12), Op. 104: no 2, Green woods by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USSR 
Language: Russian 
4.
Russian Folksongs (12), Op. 104: no 12, The monk by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USSR 
Language: Russian 
5.
Russian Folksongs (12), Op. 104: no 4, White snowflakes by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Language: Russian 
6.
Hungarian Folk Music: no 15, Lovely is the forest by Zoltán Kodály
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917-1932; Hungary 
Language: Hungarian 
7.
Hungarian Folk Music: Youth by Zoltán Kodály
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 917-1932; Hungary 
Language: Hungarian 
8.
Hungarian Folk Music: Excerpt(s) by Zoltán Kodály
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 917-1932; Hungary 
Language: Hungarian 
9.
Hungarian Folk Music: Another month by Zoltán Kodály
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 917-1932; Hungary 
Language: Hungarian 
10.
Moravian folk poetry in Song: no 1, Love by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1901; Brno, Czech Republic 
Language: Czech 
11.
Moravian folk poetry in songs: Uncertainty (Nejistota) by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Written: pub 1908 
Language: Czech 
12.
Moravian folk poetry in Song: Tears of comfort by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1901; Brno, Czech Republic 
Language: Czech 
13.
Moravian folk poetry in Song: The little letter by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1901; Brno, Czech Republic 
Language: Czech 
14.
Moravian folk poetry in Song: Flowers of love by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1901; Brno, Czech Republic 
Language: Czech 
15.
Moravian folk poetry in Song: The hazelnut by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1901; Brno, Czech Republic 
Language: Czech 
16.
Moravian folk poetry in Song: The corn cockle by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1901; Brno, Czech Republic 
Language: Czech 
17.
Moravian folk poetry in Song: no 18, My Lover's Horses by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1901; Brno, Czech Republic 
Language: Czech 
18.
Moravian folk poetry in Song: A little singing girl by Leos Janácek
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1901; Brno, Czech Republic 
Language: Czech 
19.
Songs (9), Op. 69: no 9, Mädchenfluch by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Austria 
20.
Songs (7), Op. 95: no 5, Vorschneller Schwur by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1884; Austria 
21.
Songs (7), Op. 95: no 6, Mädchenlied by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Germany 
22.
Songs (5), Op. 107: no 5, Mädchenlied by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1887; Austria 
23.
Songs (5), Op. 107: no 3, Das Mädchen spricht by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Austria 
24.
Songs (6), Op. 85: no 3, Mädchenlied by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Austria 
25.
Songs (6), Op. 7: no 5, Die Trauernde by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
26.
Songs and Romances (8), Op. 14: no 8, Sehnsucht by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1858; Germany 
27.
Songs (8), Op. 59: no 3, Regenlied by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873; Austria 
28.
Deutsche Volkslieder (49), WoO 33: no 41, Es steht ein Lind by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1894; Germany 
29.
Deutsche Volkslieder (49), WoO 33: no 34, Wie komm ich denn zur Tür herein? by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1894; Germany 
30.
Deutsche Volkslieder (14), WoO 34: no 8, In stiller Nacht by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
31.
Lieder und Gesänge, vol 1: no 1, Frühlingsmorgen by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880-1883; Austria 
32.
Lieder und Gesänge, vol 2: no 2, Ich ging mit Lust by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1890; Budapest, Hungary 
33.
Lieder und Gesänge, vol 3: no 4, Nicht wiedersehen! by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1890; Budapest, Hungary 
34.
Lieder und Gesänge, vol 3: no 3, Scheiden and Meiden by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
35.
Lieder und Gesänge, vol 2: no 1, Um schlimme Kinder artig zu machen by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1890; Budapest, Hungary 
36.
Lieder und Gesänge, vol 1: no 3, Hans und Grethe by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880-1883; Austria 
37.
Lieder und Gesänge, vol 2: no 4, Starke Einbildungskraft by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1890; Budapest, Hungary 
38.
Lieder und Gesänge, vol 3: no 2, Ablösung im Sommer by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1890; Budapest, Hungary 
39.
Lieder und Gesänge, vol 1: no 2, Erinnerung by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880-1883; Austria 
40.
Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Ach, ich fühl's, es ist verschwunden by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
41.
Der Freischütz, J 277: Wie nahte mir der Schlummer by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817-1821; Dresden, Germany 
42.
Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung: Die Kraft versagt by Hermann Goetz
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Switzerland 
43.
Rigoletto: Caro nome by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
44.
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
45.
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: E Susanna non vien! by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1786 
46.
Manon: Allons! Il le faut pour lui-męme by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1884 
47.
Louise: Depuis le jour by Gustave Charpentier
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; France 
48.
Die lustige Witwe: Grisettenlied "Can-Can' by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1905; Austria 
49.
Ich danke den Herrn von ganzem Herzen by Georg Philipp Telemann
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marinus Voorberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1755; Germany 
50.
Samson, HWV 57: Let the bright Seraphim by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano), Carole Dawn Reinhart (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Marinus Voorberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1743; London, England 
Language: German 
51.
Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren, BWV 231 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marinus Voorberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Leipzig, Germany 
52.
Orpheus: All mein Sehnen by Carl Orff
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: By 1925 
53.
Orpheus: Weh, dass des Lebens by Carl Orff
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: By 1925 
54.
Zar und Zimmermann: Verraten!...Die Macht des Szepters by Albert Lortzing
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano), Adalbert Kraus (Tenor)
Conductor:  Heinz Wallberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
55.
Bartered Bride, B 143/T 93: Alone at last...How strange by Bedrich Smetana
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863/1870; Czech Republic 
Language: Czech 
56.
Rusalka, Op. 114/B 203: O moon high up "Song to the moon" by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Bohemia 
Language: Czech 

Sound Samples

Der Freischutz, J. 277: Act II: Wie nahte mir der Schlummer ... Leise, leise, fromme Weise
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492: Act III: Recitative and Aria: E Susanna non vien!
Zar und Zimmermann: Act I: Die Eifersucht sit eine Plage
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro
Rigoletto: Act II: Caro nome
Manon: Act II: Allons! ... il le faut! ... Adieu, notre petite table
Louise: Act III: Depuis le jour ou je me suis donnee ...
Prodana nevesta (The Bartered Bride): Act III: Oh, jaky zal!
Rusalka, Op. 114, B. 203: Act I: Mesicku na nebi hlubokem
9 Gesange, Op. 69: No. 9. Madchenfluch (A Maiden's Curse)
7 Lieder, Op. 95 (text by S. Kapper): 7 Lieder, Op. 95: No. 5. Vorschneller Schwur
5 Lieder, Op. 107 (text by P. Heyse): 5 Lieder, Op. 107: No. 5. Madchenlied
7 Lieder, Op. 95 (text by P. Heyse): 7 Lieder, Op. 95: No. 6. Madchenlied
6 Lieder, Op. 85 (text by S. Kapper): 6 Lieder, Op. 85: No. 3. Madchenlied
5 Lieder, Op. 107 (text by O.F. Gruppe): 5 Lieder, Op. 107: No. 3. Das Madchen spricht
6 Gesange, Op. 7: No. 5. Die Trauernde
8 Lieder und Romanzen, Op. 14: No. 8. Sehnsucht
49 Deutsche Volkslieder, Book 5, WoO 33: No. 34. Wie komm ich denn zur Tur herein?
49 Deutsche Volkslieder, Book 6, WoO 33: No. 42. In stiller Nacht, zur ersten Wacht
49 Deutsche Volkslieder, Book 6, WoO 33: No. 41. Es steht ein Lind
8 Lieder und Gesange, Op. 59 (text by K. Groth): 8 Lieder und Gesange, Op. 59: No. 3. Regenlied
Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 1 (text By R. Leander): Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 1: No. 1. Fruhlingsmorgen
Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 2: No. 2. Ich ging mit Lust durch einen grunen Wald
Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 3: No. 4. Nicht wiedersehen!
Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 3: No. 3. Scheiden und Meiden
Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 2: No. 1. Um schlimme Kinder artig zu machen
Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 1: No. 3. Hans und Grethe
Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 2: No. 4. Starke Einbildungskraft
Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 3: No. 2. Ablosung im Sommer
Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 1 (text By R. Leander): Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 1: No. 2. Erinnerung

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Unforgettable Lucia Popp July 4, 2014 By R. Crum (Reseda, CA) See All My Reviews "The first time I heard her sing I was backing out of my driveway one Sunday morning. It was Song to the Moon. I was so taken with her voice I just stopped and listened. I didn't know who she was or the name of the music but I soon learned how to find both. Her voice was so precise and clear and I believe she had perfect pitch. She was captivating. What a talent. I love to hear her sing with the orchestra. The music is fantastic. It's a beautiful recording." Report Abuse
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