Elisabeth Schwarzkopf

Composers

Biography

Born: December 9, 1915; Germany   Died: August 4, 2006; Austria  
The daughter of a teacher, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf began to study voice in 1934 at the Berliner Musikhochschule with Lula Mysz-Gmeiner and with Maria Ivogun. She also studied lieder interpretation with Michael Raucheisen, Ivogun's husband. In 1938, Schwarzkopf debuted in Berlin as a Flower Maid in Parsifal. She remained in Berlin until 1944 when she joined the Vienna State Opera making her debut as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos. Her first Read more international appearances were in 1947 at London with the Vienna State Opera on tour as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Marzelline in Fidelio. She became a regular guest at Covent Garden. That same year she made her debut at the Salzburg Festival and she appeared there nearly every year until 1964. At Salzburg she was best known for her Mozart roles of Donna Elvira, Countess in Le nozze di Figaro and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, but also had great success as Alice Ford in Falstaff and the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. Her recitals with Gerald Moore as accompanist at Salzburg were always highly regarded, but in 1953 the great conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler accompanied her in an all Wolf recital. Her Teatro alla Scala debut in 1949 as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro was a great success and she sang there until 1964 in a variety of roles including Melisande, Carmina burana, Catulli Carmina, and Il Trionfo of Orff, Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, Elsa in Lohengrin, Anne in The Rake's Progress, Iole in Handel's Hercules, as well as her Mozart and Strauss roles. She made her San Francisco Opera debut in 1955, but did not sing at the Metropolitan Opera until 1964. Her belated debut there is attributed to her ties to the National Socialist regime in Germany and Austria.

As great as her reputation as an opera singer was, her work on the recital and concert stage had even higher acclaim. Her fame as a recitalist was matched only by that of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Her appearances were eagerly awaited around the world. In particular, her interpretations of the songs of Schubert, Strauss, and Wolf were admired. She is one of the few singers who was able to fulfill all of the requirements of an evening devoted to the songs of Wolf. On the concert stage she was often heard in cantatas and Passions of Bach, as well as the Verdi Requiem and symphonies of Mahler.

The voice of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in her very early career was a light high soprano with excellent control of fioritura and breath control. As she matured, the middle and lower registers became much stronger and she began to sing more dramatic scores while giving up the lighter roles. By the late 1950s, she concentrated her operatic appearances on five or six roles to which she devoted great energy developing her interpretations to their highest level. This attention to detail and constant probing for added interpretive depth is the reason some writers find her performances too mannered and studied. In the recording studio, where she would work for hours perfecting one phrase, she was aided by her husband, record producer Walter Legge, in finding the perfect vocal color and phrasing to illuminate each piece. Even her most vocal critics stand in awe of the hard work that she brought to bear on even the simplest of songs. It is as a Mozart, Strauss and Wolf interpreter that Elisabeth Schwarzkopf will always be remembered. Read less

Browse 1-25 of 283 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Callas Remastered
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633991 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Richard Wagner,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Gianni Poggi,  Fedora Barbieri,  Paolo Silveri  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Basile,  Antonino Votto,  Gabriele Santini,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Italian Radio Chorus Turin,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Karajan 1947-1958: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms - Choral Music
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633629 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Nicolai Gedda,  Marga Höffgen,  Heinz Rehfuss  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9; Overtures / Karajan, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633735 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Otto Edelmann,  Ernst Haefliger,  Marga Höffgen,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society Chorus
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  • 4.
    Karajan: Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, R. Strauss, Opera Arias - 1946-1949
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633618 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Leopold Wlach,  Julius Patzak,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Elisabeth Höngen  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Friends of Music Chorus
    On sale! $64.99
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  • 5.
    100 Hits: Classical Greats
    Label: 100 Hits   Catalog: 1017490 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Myra Hess,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Myra Hess  ... 
    Conductor:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Members of the Vienna Octet (Members)
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  • 6.
    Strauss: The Great Operas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 3179923 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Gerd Nienstedt,  José Van Dam,  Agnes Baltsa,  Horst Nitsche  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Rudolf Kempe,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $110.98
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  • 7.
    Beethoven: Symphonie No. 8; Strauss: Vier Letzte Lieder; Bartok: Konzert Fur Orchester
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 881132 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  István Kertész
    CD: $22.49
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  • 8.
    Celebrating Verdi: Legendary Interpreters
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 3079088 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Tito Gobbi,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Berislav Klobucar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
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  • 9.
    Celebrating Verdi: Legendary Interpreters [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 3079084 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Tito Gobbi,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Berislav Klobucar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
    Blu-ray Video: $29.99
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  • 10.
    Wilhelm Furtwangler Conducts Brahms Vol. 2
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6674 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 100501 Release Date: 11/01/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Anton Dermota,  Herbert [Bass Vocals] Alsen,  Emmy Loose,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Moralt,  Karl Böhm
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  • 12.
    Sacred Music - Bach, Handel, Beethoven / Klemperer
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 935402 Release Date: 08/20/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Franz Crass,  Agnes Giebel,  Nicolai Gedda,  Dame Janet Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22266 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Rolando Panerai,  Sena Jurinac,  Vittoria Palombini,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 14.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22320 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  George London,  Hermann Schey,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 15.
    Schubert Lieder
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1401 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Karl Hudez,  Gerald Moore
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $9.99
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  • 16.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 11930 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  César Franck,  Paul Dukas
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Oralia Dominguez,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Cesare Siepi
    Conductor:  Victor De Sabata
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 17.
    Classic Voices Of The Century
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2050 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Tito Gobbi,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    On sale! $35.98
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  • 18.
    Cosi Fan Tutte
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 3010 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Rolando Panerai,  Nan Merriman,  Lisa Otto,  Sesto Bruscantini  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $28.49
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  • 19.
    Fidelio
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2048 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Paul Schöffler,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Julius Patzak  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    CD: $21.99
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  • 20.
    Marriage Of Figaro
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1097 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Elisabeth Höngen,  Erich Kunz,  Sena Jurinac,  Irmgard Seefried  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 21.
    Puccini, Mozart, Beethoven, Etc / Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1167 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 22.
    Sings Lieder
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1268 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 23.
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7700918 Release Date: 06/14/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Waldemar Kmentt,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Christa Ludwig,  Hermann Prey  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
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  • 24.
    Mahler: Symphonies 2, 4, 7 & 9, Das Lied von der Erde / Klemperer [6-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 483982 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Christa Ludwig,  Fritz Wunderlich
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 25.
    Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro / Giulini, Taddei, Moffo, Wachter
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 359592 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Elisabetta Fusco,  Giuseppe Taddei,  Eberhard Wächter,  Anna Moffo  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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