OP0517. DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, Live Performance, 19 Dec., 1954, Köln, w.Keilberth Cond. Kölner Rundfunks Ensemble; Rudolf Schock, Josef Greindl, Erich Kunz, Hans Hotter, Teresa Stich-Randall, Wilma Lipp, etc. (Croatia) 2-Myto 004.229. Long out-of-print, final copies! - 608974502294
“Joseph Keilberth was a German conductor active during the mid-twentieth century. His talents developed early: he pursued a general education and musical training in Karlsruhe, and at the age of seventeen joined the Karlsruhe State Theater as a répétiteur (vocal coach - a common starting place for European conductors). He remained with the theater and ten years later he was appointed general music director
He remained there until 1940, when he was appointed chief conductor of the German Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague. He became chief conductor of the Dresden State Opera in 1945. With a minimum of disruption for deNazification he remained in that position until 1950. In 1949 he became chief conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, which was in fact a reunion. After the War, the German population of the Sudetenland (the German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia), which had been the excuse for Hitler's occupation of the country, were returned to Germany, and with them went the German Philharmonic of Prague, Keilberth's old orchestra, which settled in Bamberg. Causing unwary biographers some confusion, he also became the chief conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic in 1950.
He frequently appeared as a guest conductor elsewhere in Germany, notably with the Berlin Philharmonic and, beginning in 1952, the Bayreuth Festival, and appeared regularly at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals. In 1952 he also led his first performance in the Edinburgh Festival with the Hamburg State Opera.
He was a favored conductor for the RING and other operas through 1956. In 1959 he succeeded Ferenc Fricay at the helm of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. There, history repeated itself. Keilberth died after collapsing during a performance of Wagner's TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, just as Felix Mottl—conductor at the same theater - had done in 1911.
Keilberth was very strong in Mozart and in the Wagnerian repertory, and in later German classics such as Pfitzner, Bruckner, Richard Strauss, Max Reger, and Paul Hindemith. His classic recordings included Hindemith's opera CARDILLAC.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com
"Born on Christmas Eve 1927 in New Hartford, Connecticut, Stich-Randall studied at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford and at Columbia University in New York. She made her operatic début before she was 20, as Teresa Stich, in the 1947 world premiere of Virgil Thomson's THE MOTHER OF US ALL; the following year she created the title role in Otto Luening's EVANGELINE. She was then discovered by Arturo Toscanini, who called her ‘the find of the century’ and engaged her for a series of performances with his NBC Symphony.
In 1951 Stich-Randall won the Lausanne Competition in Switzerland and began her European career; by the next year she had made a début at the Vienna State Opera, where she would perform regularly for the two decades. (In 1963 the house conferred on her the honorary title of ‘Kammersängerin’; she was the first American to be so honored.)
Stich-Randall went on to perform, in opera and concert, at the Salzburg Festival (1952-60), La Scala, the opera houses of Genoa, Turin and Naples, and widely in germany and Switzerland. She had a long association with the Aix-en-Provence Festival, where she sang every year from 1953 to 1972, notably in a cycle of Mozart operas under conductor Hans Rosbaud.
Her American career seems to have been relatively brief. She made a Lyric Opera of Chicago début in 1955 as Gilda in Verdi's RIGOLETTO; she first appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in 1961, as Fiordiligi in COSÌ FAN TUTTE and later sang Donna Anna in DON GIOVANNI, remaining on the roster until 1966. She wound her career down during the 1970s and had retired from the stage entirely by 1980, but for two brief return visits to her hometown in 1982 and 1983. She did continue to teach master classes.
Her singing, by no means to every opera lover's taste, was marked by light tone and accurate pitch with minimal vibrato; she could thus be seen as a forerunner of the period-performance movement exemplified (among singers) by Emma Kirkby. One might even suggest that Stich-Randall was born about 20 years too early."
- Matthew Westphal, PLAYBILL ARTS, 23 July, 2007
“Josef Greindl was considered as one of the greatest Wagner singers of his time. He had a powerfully expressive bass voice, whose clarity of declamation exhibited his stylistic projecting ability. Josef Greindl was equally convincing in dramatic and Buffo rôles. He also excelled in concert singing.”
- Aryeh Oron
“Rudolf Johann Schock was a German tenor who sang a wide repertoire from operetta to LOHENGRIN, recording among others opera and lieder, doing television, radio and film work. Slim and handsome, he made many films. His voice fell almost into the heldentenor fach but was smaller and more ‘ingratiating’ than many voices in that category.[ Colored distinctly with a rich baritonal quality, Schock is described by Grove as a ‘lyric tenor’ with a warm flexible voice, and a ‘strong top voice’ which suited him to ‘heroic rôles’.
When he was 18 and still continuing his musical studies that took him to Cologne, Hanover and Berlin, Schock joined the opera chorus at Theater Duisburg in the city of his birth. The Staatstheater Braunschweig cast Schock in solo roles in 1937, but his career was interrupted by his being enlisted into the army in 1940. It resumed after the war in 1945 in Hanover. In 1946, he appeared with two of the Berlin-based opera companies and in 1947 he joined the Hamburg State Opera where he was a member until 1956.
Schock was one of the first Germans to sing at Covent Garden in 1949, appearing as Rodolfo, Alfredo, Pinkerton and Tamino in his first season. He sang the title role at IDOMENEO at the Salzburg Festival and took part in the premiere there of Rolf Liebermann's, PENELOPE and the Vienna State Opera's first staging of LULU. Schock made repeat visits to the Edinburgh International Festival and sang Walther at Bayreuth in 1959.
In 1953 he played and sang the role of Richard Tauber in the film DU BIST DIE WELT FÜR MICH (released in English-speaking countries as either YOU ARE THE WORLD FOR ME or THE RICHARD TAUBER STORY). He was often compared to the older tenor and was spoken of as his successor. He was also considered the most successful German film singer of his generation. He sold over 3 million records and his German films made him almost a superstar of his day. Schock's most impressive performances include the roles of Paul in DIE TOTE STADT (Korngold), and multiple Puccini principals.
Schock also interested himself in the development of younger singers by judging vocal competitions. After discovering Karl Ridderbusch at one of these, Schock part-funded the bass's musical training. Rudolf Schock continued making concert appearances into his sixties.”
- Zillah Dorset Akron
“Thoroughly Viennese, bass-baritone Erich Kunz excelled in serious roles (although he sang rather few), comic parts and in operetta characterizations. An indispensable participant in recording producer Walter Legge's Champagne Operetta series in the early 1950s, Kunz, together with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, defined Viennese operetta style - its lightness, grace, and charm. With a rich, masculine voice, he was a definitive Figaro, Leporello, and Papageno in the tradition of Mozart performance that sprang from the Vienna Opera immediately after WWII. An incomparable Beckmesser, his interpretation was preserved on two live recordings, and he left a number of delightful recordings of Viennese café and university songs.
Kunz studied in his native Vienna, primarily with Theodore Lierhammer at the Vienna Academy. His début took place at Tropau in 1933 as Osmin (a part for deep bass) in Mozart's DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL. Following that, he sang with a number of smaller German theaters before being engaged by the Breslau Opera for three years. Kunz made his first acquaintance with England when he was offered an opportunity to understudy at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1936. He was soon thereafter assigned several smaller roles.
In 1941, Kunz became a part of the company at the Vienna Staatsoper where he remained throughout his career; he was given the title of Kammersänger in 1948. During the war years, he sang throughout Austria and Germany, primarily in Mozart and Wagner . He made his début at the Salzburg Festival in 1942 as Guglielmo in COSÌ FAN TUTTE and in 1943 became the youngest artist ever to have appeared in a major role at the Bayreuth Festival when he sang Beckmesser in DIE MEISTERSINGER.
Once the hostilities ended, Kunz's career assumed a still more international flavor. Opera performances took him to Florence, Rome, Naples, Paris, Brussels, Budapest, and Buenos Aires. His role at the Salzburg Festival grew and he was a part of the Vienna Staatsoper troupe touring England and France in 1947. The following year brought his debut at the Edinburgh Festival.
A Metropolitan Opera début waited until 1952, but Kunz's appearance as Leporello on 26 November brought a warm response from the audience and positive reviews from the critics. Both local and national writers commented upon his handsome voice and subtle comic skills. Many could recall only a few comparable artists in a role frequently immersed in slapstick routine. The Metropolitan Opera enjoyed his presence for just two years. In addition to Leporello, Kunz appeared as Mozart's Figaro, Beckmesser, and Faninal in ROSENKAVALIER. Chicago heard his treasurable Harlequin in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS and Leporello, both in 1964 and, two seasons later, his wily, yet innocent Papageno in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE.
While musical tastes had moved from the elegant Mozart style of post-war Vienna to an earthier, more robust Italianate approach by the 1960s, Kunz's inimitable stage persona lost nothing of its potency. Nor did his voice; he continued to sing well even in his sixties and continued to undertake small roles (unforgettable cameos, all) to the end of a long career. In addition to opera house appearances, Kunz graced the stage of the Vienna Volksoper from time to time, giving lessons to both audiences and fellow artists in operetta style and singing.”
- Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com