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Lehár: The Merry Widow / Matacic, Schwarzkopf, Gedda, Et Al


Release Date: 08/15/2000 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 67367   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Franz Lehár
Performer:  Doreen MurrayKurt EquiluzFranz BöheimHans Strohbauer,   ... 
Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraPhilharmonia Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 20 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Schwarzkopf is in rich and alluring voice, conveying better than any other singer the title character's ebullience of personality.

Recordings of The Merry Widow may come and go; but none quite manages to oust this classic EMI version—recorded in 1962 and now given new presence and vitality in this fine CD transfer. Its great joy is Schwarzkopf in rich and alluring voice, conveying better than any other singer in the role the character's ebullience of personality. Eberhard Waechter makes a considerable virtue of EMI's preference for a baritone Danilo, Nicolai Gedda is in his most clear and lyrical voice, and Hanny Steffek is a charming Valencienne.

Matacic adopts speeds that at times seem a trifle
Read more frenzied, and yet quieter moments such as "Vilja" come off incomparably well. The main thing is the sense of high spirits that prevents us forgetting that this is indeed operetta and thus meant to be fun, and yet which never gets in the way of musical values. The pity is that the version is not quite complete (no "Zauber der Häuslichkeit", no cake-walk). Indeed, at some 40 minutes per CD, there is very little more music here than on the single Karajan CD (DG 415 524-2GH, 3/86). Yet, if it is a little short on playing time, it offers more than a full measure of artistry and sheer enjoyment.

-- Gramophone [4/1986]
reviewing the original CD release of this recording, EMI 47178
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Works on This Recording

1.
Die lustige Witwe by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Doreen Murray (Soprano), Kurt Equiluz (Tenor), Franz Böheim (),
Hans Strohbauer (Tenor), Hannelore Steffek (Soprano), Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Soprano),
Josef Knapp (Bass), Rosemary Phillips (), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor),
Eberhard Wächter (Baritone), Leslie Wood (), Eilidh McNab (Soprano),
Christine Parker (), Noreen Willet ()
Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1962 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall and EMI Abbey Road Studio  
Length: 79 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: German 

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