Der Fliegende Hollander  (Keilberth;  Uhde, Weber, Varnay)  (2-Testament SBT2 1384)
Item# OP1289
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Der Fliegende Hollander  (Keilberth;  Uhde, Weber, Varnay)  (2-Testament SBT2 1384)
OP1289. DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER, Live Performance, 1955, w.Keilberth Cond. Bayreuth Festival Ensemble; Hermann Uhde, Rudolf Lustig, Ludwig Weber, Josef Traxel, Astrid Varnay, etc. (England) 2-Testament Stereo SBT2 1384, from Decca recording. Outstanding sound! Final Copy! - 749677138424


“This enthralling performance has always been a highly recommended version. Its stereo incarnation was available only briefly on LP….Now Testament has had access to the original stereo tapes and, as in the case of the same year’s RING...the sound is truly amazing, allowing us to enjoy the intense, vital performance even more than in the past….Phrase after phrase [from Uhde] etches itself in the mind in this unmissable portrayal. Incredibly Varnay, who was also Brünnhilde in 1955, brings to Senta a tireless dedication and vision to match Uhde’s hero. She fines her large voice down to the more intimate needs of Senta….All [of the cast] seem to be under the spell of the work and the conductor in a reading that now has the stereo sound it so richly deserves.”

- Alan Blyth, GRAMOPHONE, Oct., 2006

“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,