This is a fascinating two CD issue containing some remarkable performances, some not previously issued. There are some operetta selections recorded in 1939. These have appeared before and reveal a very young Schwarzkopf singing with the then well known tenor Rupert Glawitsch. These are enjoyable and surprisingly well recorded though Schwarzkopf's voice is hardly recognisable. There are also some selections from a 1952 live broadcast. The whole broadcast is already available from Golden Melodram in a much better transfer but this selection does include some gems including Handel (from the Messiah), some Puccini (from Madam Butterfly) and some particularly wonderful Korngold (from Die Tot Stadt). There are some live broadcasts from Holland in 1958 and 1960. Schwarzkopf sings Bach's Mein Herz Schwimmt im Blut (not previously released) and Haydn's Scena di Berenice conducted by Szymon Goldberg. The Bach is not performed as it would be today and that is a disadvantage but I think the performance is better than her studio version. She responds well to Goldberg and sings more cleanly and flowingly than on the published version. The Haydn is an exciting piece with a very wide range and Schwarzkopf clearly relishes this with a very exuberant performance. The recording quality is rather harsh with the violins a bit edgy - and the applause is cut off disconcertingly quickly! The newly available 1960 performances are conducted by Giulini. There is an aria from Cosi fan tutte (E'amore un ladroncello) and the concert aria Ch'io scordi di te. This is available in two studio recordings - a rather late version on EMI and a superb earlier version on Testament.Read more ›
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