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References - Wagner: Opera Arias / Lauritz Melchior


Release Date: 05/01/2001 
Label:  Emi Classics Special Import Catalog #: 69789   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz MelchiorAlbert ReissNora Gruhn
Conductor:  Sir John BarbirolliAlbert CoatesLeo BlechRobert Heger,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraBerlin State Opera Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

As the years go by and no real Heldentenor appears on the scene, the achievement of Melchior in Wagner seems to grow in stature. It is true that in his own era he had several peers, and possibly in his immediate successor, Ludwig Suthaus, a superior in matters of interpretation, but no other Wagnerian tenor quite boxed the compass of the heroic roles so comprehensively. He sang many of them at least 100 times between 1924 and 1950, and Tristan more than 200 times. Fortunately HMV realized his pre-eminence and recorded him in substantial extracts from his Wagner roles. Some of the most telling items are reissued here in as clean and fresh form as I have ever heard them, the unique Melchior sound ringing out with notable presence. It may seem Read more greedy but I feel that a two-disc issue would have been even more appropriate permitting the many duets he made with his famous contemporaries to be included. I hope that will follow soon.

Few if any Siegmunds have sung his music with such an apt combination of poetry and fiery ardour. That we know from the complete version of Act 1 of Die Walkiire (EMI References @ CDM7 61020-2, 10/88), but it is good to have these alternate versions, made earlier when Melchior was in marginally fresher voice. Similar qualities inform his Siegfried—the account of the so-called Forest Murmurs with Coates as conductor is full of varied colour and refined pianissimos, and the passage at the end of Act 2 after the slaying of Fafner indicates the hero's sense of loneliness, though the voice here distorts occasionally. Siegfried's death scene is full of plangent eloquence, the reading always tragic but never distorted in the cause of false emotion. That is true too of that sad, moving moment in Act 2 of Tristan after Mark's monologue when Tristan is overwhelmed with remorse. Melchior phrases it with the depth of feeling and dignity it requires and in the hero's Act 3 ravings, the fevered ecstasy is just right—and how wonderful in all these bits and pieces to be spared any excess of vibrato.

Tannhauser's Rome Narration has always been rated one of Melchior's most desirable records: the sheer intensity of utterance, helped by Coates's urgent conducting, still marks this out as a model performance. Even at his most distraught, this Tannhauser never forgets the essentials of good singing—tone and true legato. Melchior was always a pleasure to hear. In the more straightforward, lyrical passages from the other operas, it is the tenor's vocal consistency and strengths that amazes anew at every hearing. Who has ever sung Venus's and Eva's praises with such easy, free tone and such inherent musicality?

-- Gramophone [10/1989]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Rienzi: Allmächt'ger Vater, blick herab by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840-1843; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/29/1930 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: German 
2.
Tannhäuser: Dir töne Lob! Die Wunder sei'n gepriesen by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845/1861; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/29/1930 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Tannhäuser: Inbrunst im Herzen "Rome Narrative" by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Albert Coates
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845/1861; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1929 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: German 
4.
Lohengrin: Höchstes Vertrau'n by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Leo Blech
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/20/1928 
Venue:  Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: German 
5.
Die Walküre: Ein Schwert verhiess mir der Vater by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Leo Blech
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/15/1929 
Venue:  Berlin, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: German 
6.
Die Walküre: Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/16/1931 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: German 
7.
Die Walküre: Siegmund heiss' ich by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Leo Blech
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/15/1929 
Venue:  Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: German 
8.
Siegfried: Nothung! Neidliches Schwert "Forging Song" by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Albert Reiss (Tenor), Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Albert Coates
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1929 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: German 
9.
Siegfried: Aber, wie sah meine Mutter... "Forest Murmurs" by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Albert Coates
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1929 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection begins with "Dass der mein Vater nicht ist..." 
10.
Siegfried: Da lieg' auch du, dunkler Wurm by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Nora Gruhn (Soprano), Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Albert Coates
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1929 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: German 
11.
Götterdämmerung: Brünnhilde, heilige Braut (Siegfried's death) by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Robert Heger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1930 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: German 
12.
Tristan und Isolde: O König, das kann ich dir nicht sagen by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Robert Heger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1930 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: German 
13.
Tristan und Isolde: Und drauf Isolde by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Robert Heger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1930 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: German 
14.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Am stillen Herd by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Lawrence Collingwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/23/1931 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: German 
15.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Morgenlich leuchtend by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Lauritz Melchior (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/10/1931 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: German 

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