Dokumente Einer Sangerkarriere - Hermann Prey

Release Date: 2/9/2010
Catalog Number: 93466
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


HERMANN PREY: Opera Arias and Duets by Mozart, Rossini, Heiling, Lortzing, Kreutzer, Nessler, Leoncavallo, Humperdinck, Korngold, and J. Strauss II Hermann Prey (bar) PREISER 93466 (74:40)


This is an unqualified rave. Hermann Prey (1929–98) possessed one of the most stunningly beautiful singing voices ever to grace this planet—a baritone of caressing, velvety tone that positively enfolded one’s ears in luxury, flawless in production and projection from top to bottom, with superb diction and breath control, and little deterioration even at the end of a career spanning more than 40 years. (I was blessed to hear him live once; Nicolai Gedda canceled a recital in Chicago to which I had a ticket, and Prey substituted on short notice with pianist Helmut Deutsch in an all-Brahms Lieder program. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.) Rarer still, as an interpreter he was (like Carlo Bergonzi and Fritz Wunderlich) utterly unaffected and simply incapable of making a false or misjudged musical move. Singing was as natural to him as breathing, yet he never descended to the merely routine. If he did not subtly probe his texts for nuances with the consummate skill of Fischer-Dieskau, neither did he ever fall into affected mannerisms as the latter occasionally did. Finally, there was an unfettered joy in his art that was utterly infectious in communication to his hearers.


This CD presents 16 selections—one from the Electrola catalog, the others from Columbia—recorded at the onset of Prey’s career, from 1954 to 1957. So far as I can tell, only one (an aria from Die Zigeunerbaron ) is drawn from a complete opera recording, and only one other track (the Nedda–Silvio duet from Pagliacci , sung in German as Der Bajazzo ) is otherwise currently in print. Better yet, most of the selections are arias from light operas and operettas seldom heard outside of Germany and unlikely to be in most vocal collections. The music is simply delightful and, with Prey rendering it, even ravishing, his artistry already fully formed. His delivery is so fluent that one scarcely notes that three excerpts from Italian-language works are sung in German; the vivacity and vocal accuracy of his Ich bin das Factotum from Rossini’s Barber simply put to shame almost any baritone since Riccardo Stracciari, and by itself is almost worth the price of the CD. The closest thing to a shortcoming here is that perhaps his Silvio is rather too nice for rotgut verismo.


As with all Preiser releases, the transfers are absolutely pristine, in excellent monaural sound with no surface noise. The original matrices are scrupulously documented, and the dual-language German-English notes are brief but trenchant. No lover of great singing can afford to be without this disc. Highest recommendation, and a likely 2010 Want List entry.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
Works on This Recording
1. Zar und Zimmermann: Sonst spielt ich mit Szepter by Albert Lortzing
Performer: Hermann Prey
Period: Romantic
Written: 1837 ; Germany
2. Der Wildschütz: Heiterkeit und Fröhlichkeit by Albert Lortzing
Performer: Hermann Prey
Period: Romantic
Written: 1842 ; Germany
3. Das Nachtlager in Granada: Ein Schütz bin ich by Conradin Kreutzer
Performer: Hermann Prey
Conductor: Martin Mälzer
Period: Romantic
Written: 1834 ; Vienna, Austria
4. Das Nachtlager in Granada: Die Nacht ist schön by Conradin Kreutzer
Performer: Hermann Prey
Conductor: Martin Mälzer
Period: Romantic
Written: 1834 ; Vienna, Austria
5. Der Trompeter von Säkkingen: Alt-Heidelberg, du feine by Viktor Nessler
Performer: Hermann Prey
Period: Romantic
Written: 1884 ;
6. Der Trompeter von Säkkingen: Möchte in die Ferne schweifen by Viktor Nessler
Performer: Karl Kohn (Voice), Hermann Prey
Period: Romantic
Written: 1884 ;
7. Der Trompeter von Säkkingen: Behüt dich Gott! by Viktor Nessler
Period: Romantic
Written: 1884 ;
8. I Pagliacci: Nedda! Silvio! by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Period: Romantic
9. Königskinder: Verdorben! Gestorben! by Engelbert Humperdinck
Performer: Hermann Prey
Period: Romantic
Written: 1910 ; Germany
10. Die tote Stadt, Op. 12: Mein Sehnen, mein Wähnen "Tanzlied des Pierrot" by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer: Hermann Prey
Period: Modern
Written: 1920 ;
11. Der Zigeunerbaron: Her die Hand by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer: Hermann Prey
Conductor: Otto Ackermann
Period: Romantic
Written: 1885 ; Vienna, Austria
12. Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Hermann Prey
Conductor: Arthur Grüber
Period: Classical
Written: 1791 ; Vienna, Austria
13. Così fan tutte: Mädchen, so treibt ihr's mit allen by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Hermann Prey
Period: Classical
Written: 1790 ; Austria
14. Hans Heiling: An jenem Tag by Heinrich Marschner
Performer: Hermann Prey
Period: Romantic
Written: 1831-1832 ;
15. Il barbiere di Siviglia: Largo al factotum by Gioachino Rossini
Performer: Hermann Prey
Period: Romantic
Written: 1816 ; Italy
16. Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: Hermann Prey (Baritone)
Period: Classical
Written: 1791 ; Vienna, Austria
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