Notes and Editorial Reviews
Ljuba Welitsch (sop); Various accompaniments
NIMBUS 7959 (2 CDs: 138:17)
Or sai, chi l’onore; Non mi dir.
Un ballo in maschera:
Ma dell’arido stelo divulsa; Morrò, ma prima in grazia.
Tatiana’s Letter Scene.
Ich muss am Fenster Lehnen; Es geht auf Mitternacht.
Love Duet (with Richard Tucker, ten).
J. STRAUSS II
Klange der Heimat.
Die lustige Witwe:
Lied und Czardas.
Ich schenk’ mein Herz
Few singers have caused such an emotional uproar when they have debuted at a major opera house as Ljuba Welitsch did at Covent Garden and the Metropolitan. Welitsch debuted in England as Donna Anna in
, and then sang her most famous role of Salome. She caused a sensation. In
magazine Harold Rosenthal wrote about her as follows: “Her singing has a purity about which one can only describe as instrumental-instrumental, that is to say, in the sense that the voice itself is absolutely even from bottom to top, and that the musical line appears to be quite indestructible and independent of such mundane considerations as the need to take more breath.”
On the notes from an Odyssey LP from which some of the selections on this CD are taken, Frank Merkling, who was then the editor of
, wrote about her debut in
“That night, Welitsch and Reiner made history. When the great gold curtains finally swept together, the audience set up a thunderous roar, an ovation that lasted fifteen minutes.”
The arias from
The Queen of Spades, Un ballo in maschera
, and the songs by Lehár and Millöcker were previously issued on a London LP. She sings the
Queen of Spades
arias in German. All of these recordings were made between 1947 and 1950, when she was in her prime. The voice is consistently beautiful and the technique superb. The conductors are Rudolf Moralt with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Fritz Reiner and Max Rudolf with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, Walter Susskind and Josef Krips with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
The discs illustrate her versatility and ability to sing beautifully whether she is singing Mozart, Verdi, Strauss, Puccini, or operetta arias. The booklet contains biographical notes, track lists that note which conductors and orchestras are involved, and timings. Any lover of great singing should have this recording; strongly recommended.
FANFARE: Bob Rose