OP0826. ERNANI (in German), Broadcast Performance, 1951, w.Müller-Kray Cond. Südfunk Stuttgart Ensemble; Annelies Kupper, Heinrich Bensing, Karl Schmitt-Walter, Otto von Rohr, etc.; Karl Schmitt-Walter, w.Görlich Cond.: BARBIERE - Largo al factotum (in German), 29 Nov., 1937, Stuttgart. (E.U.) 2-Walhall 0109. - 4035122651096
“Schmitt-Walter made his key début at the Berlin State Opera in 1935, as Luna in IL TROVATORE, which led to a long association with this important theatre, where he would sing wide repertory of lyric parts for the baritone voice. He also performed often at the Hamburg State Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival, the Bayreuth Festival, and, from 1950, the Munich State Opera. Outside the Austro-German operatic heartland, he made guest appearances at the Paris Opéra, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Liceo in Barcelona, La Monnaie in Brussels and the Holland Festival, among other major European venues.
Schmitt-Walter possessed a comparatively light, high-baritone voice of great beauty and was equipped with an exceptionally good singing technique. He was particularly admired in Mozart and Wagner roles, notably Papageno, Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Beckmesser, which role he often sang at Bayreuth. Schmitt-Walter also performed in Verdi operas such as ERNANI, LA TRAVIATA and UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, mostly in German translation. He enjoyed considerable success in light German operas by Lortzing and also in operetta. He was an excellent lieder interpreter, too. From 1962, he taught in Munich and Copenhagen and died in Bavaria at the age of 84.”
- Ned Ludd
“Heinrich Bensing made his début as an opera singer at the Opera House Hannover, and from 1935 to 1939 he was a permanent member of the Cologne Opera House. In 1938 he toured several times with great success at the Frankfurt Opera House, after which he was hired as a permanent member. The Frankfurt Opera he was then on until his untimely death in 1955.
After the Second World War, he had guest appearances with the Hamburg State Opera (1947-1955), with the Vienna State Opera (1949-1954) and with the Cologne Opera House. At the Vienna State Opera he sang after the Second World War, among others Don José in CARMEN, the title role in LES CONTES D’HOFMANN , the Duke in RIGOLETTO, Radames in AÏDA , the title role in DON CARLOS and Pinkerton in MADAMA BUTTERFLY. He sang Calaf in February 1951 with Carla Martinis’ Turandot. In the summer of 1951, he appeared at the Salzburg Festival as Andres in the opera WOZZECK under the baton of Karl Böhm. Bensing was also especially treasured in the Italian repertoire.
Although Bensing made no commercial recordings, he is heard in historical performances of various operas which have appeared in recent years on CD.”
- Hans Lick
“Annelies Kupper was a grande dame of the German stages specializing in Mozart, but with enough power to take on Aïda, some Strauss heroines (Ariadne, Daphne), Tannhäuser’s Elizabeth and the heavy-duty heroines of Die Toten Augen, Die Tote Stadt and Tiefland, all heard on this disc….She does get splendid 'backup' from Wolfgang Windgassen in TANNHÄUSER, a ferocious Amonasro from Hans Reinmar in the ‘Nile Scene’, Kurt Boehme in TIEFLAND, and Lorenz Fehenberger in the glorious ‘Glück, das mir Verblieb’ from DIE TOTE STADT.”
- Charles H. Parsons, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, May/June, 2012
“After she had already worked as concert soprano, Annelies Kupper made her début in 1935 at the Opera House of Breslau as a second boy in ZAUBERFLÖTE. Other appearances quickly followed. After the National Theatre of Schwerin (1937-1938) and the National Theatre of Weimar (1938-1940), she came in 1940 to the State Opera of Hamburg. There she remained until 1945, and since then was a celebrated member of the Bavarian State Opera Munich. Annelies Kupper made regularly guest appearances at the State Opera of Vienna (starting in 1938 with the rôle of Eva in MEISTERSINGER) and at the State Opera, Berlin. Appearances led her to Paris, Stockholm, Brussels, The Hague and Amsterdam. At Bayreuth she sang in 1944 Eva in MEISTERSINGER, and in 1960 Elsa in LOHENGRIN. At the Salzburg Festival in August 1952 she created the title rôle in the official première of the Strauss’ DIE LIEBE DER DANAË, as the composer himself had promised her just before his death in 1949. In 1950 she sang the Female Chorus in THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA by Benjamin Britten, and also the solo soprano in MESSIAH and in Franz Schmidt’s BUCH MIT SIEBEN SIEGELN. In 1952-1953 she made a guest appearance at Covent Garden as Chrysothemis in ELEKTRA and in the première there of BUCH MIT SIEBEN SIEGELN. As late as 1961, she sang in Munich Desdemona in Verdi’s OTELLO. Until 1966 she still gave occasional appearances. After 1956 Annelies Kupper worked as lecturer, later as Professor at the Munich College of Music. The beauty of her voice, and the way she expressed her feelings were admired by the critics and the public alike.”
- Aryeh Oron