:THE ART OF HANS HOTTER"
LYDIA MARIMPIETRI, UGO BENETTI, GRAZIELLA SCIUTTI /
LISA DELLA CASA
JOAN SUTHERLAND - EARLY RECORDINGS
Decca has issued a plethora of historic vocal recordings many of which are of keen interest to collectors. Some of these appear on CD for the first time. These are budget bare-bones CDs, no texts, no information about the arists, but complete recording information is provided. Each CD is filled to capcity, and there usually is a "bonus" of other recordings by the artist, or singers associated with them. The new transfers are excellen, and some of the later recordings are in stereo. Much of interest here, indeed.
Bass Hans Hotter ( (1909-2003) was the Wotan for more than three decades, and one can hear his interpretatipon in the famous Solti Decca recording, as well as several live performanes. Hotter was very tall, an imposing figure who enjoyed life on a big scale, the dominant figure for Wagner in many opera ouses including the Met. He also gave numerous recials, and this side of his artistry can be heard on this Decca issue of lieder of Wolf and Schubert. Surely one of the great voices of the century.
Italian soprano Lydia Marimpietri had a limited career in the '60s, but someone at Decca obviously was impressed by her, and in 1967 she recorded this group of "romantic songs" by Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti, assisted by pianist Eric Smith. Nothing very special here; of more interest is the "bonus," arias of Rossini, Donizetti, Mozart and Bellini recorded by soprano Graziella Sciutti (1927 - 2001 )in 1960 with the Vienna Philharmonic directed by Argeo Quadri. She excelled in soubrette roles, but her career was limited. Frankly, I don't understand why Decca elected to include wither of these singers in their distinguished series.
The phenomenal Dutch coloratura soprano Christina Deutekom had a fantastic—and long—career. Born in 1931, she startled opera audiences with her performance as Queen of the Night and soon sang the role in most leading opera houses. She soon began to sing heavier roles to considerable success. Her ease in coloratura was extraordinary athough her voice was not particularly beautiful. This Decca CD feaures Viennese operatta and Strauss waltzes, along with lighter repertory. These surely showcase the artistry of this remarkable soprano whose career spanned a half-century.
Swiss soprano Lisa Della Casa (1919-2012) was a beautful, elegant woman with a solid, assured voice. She excelled in Mozart and the lighter Strauss roles Her lustrous career cenered on the Venna State Opera, and she also sang 173 performances at the Met beginning in 1953. Unfortunately for the world of opera, she retired at the age of 55 although her voice still was in prime conition. Deca's disk features a group of Handel arias recorded in 1956 with Heinrich Hollreiser and the Vienna Philharmonic, and lieder of Brahms, Schubert, Wolf, and Strauss, recorded the same year with pianist Karl Huder. The cover photo on this new issue is for a Della Casa LP of music not heard on the disk.
American tenor Eugene Conley (1908-1981) was highly respected. a favorite with sudiences for is bright, controlled voide, and handsome stage presence. Beginning in 1950, he sang leading roles with the New York City Opeera for five years and then sang at the Met appearing many times for the next six years.He sang in Toscanini's recoding of Missa Solemnis and Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress with the composer on the podium. I firs heard him in the Columbia 1951 recording of Faust (partnered by Eleanor Steber and Cesare Siepi). Conley then became a teacher and director. His bright, secure sound is heard on this CD recorded at the height of his career, 1949-1950 that includes lighter fare as well as standard arias.
Slovenian tenor Anton Dermota (1910-1989) attracted the attention of Bruno Walter early in his career, and soon began a 4-decade association with the Vienna State Opera excelling in Mozart. A favorite with Furtwängler and Böhm, he also sang Italian and French roles and was renowned for his performances of the title role in Pfitzner's Palesrina. Theere are a number of Dermote recordings currently available including Schubert's Die Schöne Mullerin featured on this reissue now at budget price. We also have lieder of Schumann and Wolf that have never before been issued on CD.
Hilde Gueden (1917-1988) was a mainstay of the Vienna State Opera during her era, known particularly for her Mozart and Strauss. This CD features a group of Srauss lieder accompanied by Friedrich Gulda, as well as her famous recordings of music from Arabella and Der Rosenkavalier.
British soprano Jennifer Vyvyan (1925-1974) had a remarkably clear pure voice perfect for music of Haydn ad Mozart. This major soprano on the Briish musical sene died tragically young of a bronchial illness. Heard on this disk are recordings made 1956-1958.
Spanish soprano Pilar Lorengar (11928-1996) began her career in the zarzuela world but soon was singing in major opera ouses including New York and Vienna. Recognized for her Mozart, she sang in Salzburg and other music centers. This CD offers operatic arias primarily by Puccini as well as some of the Spanish repertory she sang so well. Those interested in Lorengar also should investigate the Decca full-price recordings.
Italian bass Cesare Siepi (1923-2010) made his Met debut at the age of 27 as King Philip in Don Carlo substituging for Boris Christoff who ws not permitted to travel to the U.S. Siepi remained t he Met for about two decades and gave 379 performances; his featured roles were in Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro as well as Italian, German and Russian operas. With his imposing physique nd handsome features, he was a favorite everywhere he sang. This Decca CD shows his lighter side, a collection of Cole Porer songs recorded in 1958 with gushy orchestral accompaniment; we also have four Verdi arias recorded in 1954. You can see several Siepi performanes on YouTube in his most famous role, Don Giovanni. All of the Cole Porter songs were issued a few years ago on Preiser (REVIEW), with different couplings.
The 2-disk set of early recordings by Joan Sutherland is not on Decca, but it could have been, as all labels are associated with Decca. Recordings were mde 1956-1962 when the amazing sopra wasjust beginning her spectacular career, singing with unbelievable accuracy.and agility. Many of these recordings were issued on the Regis label about two years ago (REVIEW). Probably most collectors will already have these, but here they are, and this set is inexpensive, if not budget.
R.E.B. (September 2014)