OP2019. DIE MEISTERSINGER, Live Performance, 7 March, 1959, w.Böhm Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Otto Edelmann, Giorgio Tozzi, Sebastian Feirsinger, Karl Dönch, Marko Rothmüller, Aase Nordmo-Løvberg, Regina Resnik, etc. (E.U.) 4-Walhall 0303. - 4035122653038
“Otto Edelmann, a leading Austrian bass-baritone of the postwar period particularly known for his interpretations of Wagner and Strauss roles, had a long association with the Vienna State Opera where he sang for 30 years, and also had a close relationship with the Metropolitan Opera, where he made his début in 1954 as Hans Sachs in Wagner's MEISTERSINGER and sang there until April, 1976. His final Met role was Baron Ochs in Strauss' ROSENKAVALIER, one of his signature roles, which he first performed in 1952 at La Scala with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Herbert von Karajan.
Born in Brunn am Gebirge, Austria, in 1917, Mr. Edelmann studied in Vienna with Theodor Lierhammer and Gunnar Graarud and had his first engagement in Mozart's NOZZE DI FIGARO in Gera, Germany, at the age of 20. He was subsequently engaged as a company bass in Nuremberg, where he sang his first Waldner in ARABELLA under the baton of the opera's composer, Richard Strauss. In World War II he was conscripted into the German army and spent two years as a Soviet prisoner of war before returning to the stage in 1947, first in Graz, Austria, and soon thereafter with the company of the Vienna State Opera, with whom he made his début as the Hermit in Weber's DER FREISCHÜTZ."
- Anne Midgette, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 16 May, 2003
"'Everybody's another Flagstad when I'm being told about her', grumbled the Philadelphia Orchestra's Eugene Ormandy. But after listening to recordings, he hired Norwegian Soprano Aase Nordmo-Løvberg, sight unseen. Last week Soprano Løvberg, 34, a statuesque blonde, appeared in Philadelphia's Academy of Music for her American début. Despite a deep chest cold, she sang a challenging program of arias from Beethoven's FIDELIO and Wagnerian selections. Soprano Løvberg proved to be a sort of Flagstad in miniature, more lyric than dramatic, with a round, pure and rangy voice."
- TIME, 16 Dec., 1957
“Giorgio Tozzi, a distinguished bass who spent two decades with the Metropolitan Opera and also appeared on film, television and Broadway, was a distinguished professor emeritus at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he had taught since 1991. He was previously on the Juilliard School faculty [originally having studied with Rosa Raisa, Giacomo Rimini and John Daggett Howell].
Esteemed for his warm, smooth voice; skillful acting; pinpoint diction; and authoritative stage presence - he was 6 foot 2 in his prime - Mr. Tozzi sang 528 performances with the Met. He was so ubiquitous there for so long that THE NEW YORK TIMES was later moved to describe him (admiringly) as ‘inescapable’. Mr. Tozzi made his Met début as Alvise in Ponchielli’s LA GIOCONDA in 1955. Reviewing the performance, The NEW YORK POST wrote that he ‘proved to have a voice of beautiful quality’, adding: ‘It was rich in texture and expertly handled both as to characterization and technique’. His most famous performances at the Met include the title roles in Mussorgsky’s BORIS GODUNOV and Mozart’s MARRIAGE OF FIGARO; Ramfis in Verdi’s AÏDA; Don Basilio in Rossini’s BARBER OF SEVILLE; Philip II in Verdi’s DON CARLO; and Hans Sachs in Wagner’s DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG. Mr. Tozzi began his vocal life as a baritone. He made his début (as George Tozzi) in 1948, singing Tarquinius in Benjamin Britten’s THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA. Staged at the Ziegfeld Theater on Broadway, the production also starred Kitty Carlisle.
He originated the role of the Doctor in Samuel Barber’s VANESSA, which had its world premiere at the Met in 1958. Conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos, the production also starred Eleanor Steber and Nicolai Gedda. Mr. Tozzi’s last performance with the Met was in 1975, as Colline in Puccini’s BOHÈME.
He also sang with the San Francisco Opera, La Scala and other companies and appeared as a soloist with major symphony orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. On film Mr. Tozzi dubbed the singing voice of the actor Rossano Brazzi in the role of Emile de Becque in SOUTH PACIFIC (1958), directed by Joshua Logan. (Mr. Tozzi had played the role himself, opposite Mary Martin, in a West Coast production of the musical the year before.) On the small screen he sang King Melchior in the 1978 television film of Gian Carlo Menotti’s AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS, also starring Teresa Stratas. On Broadway he received a Tony nomination for the role of the lonely California grape farmer Tony Esposito in the 1979 revival of Frank Loesser’s operatic musical comedy THE MOST HAPPY FELLA. (The award went to Jim Dale for BARNUM.)
- Margalit Fox, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 2 June, 2011
“Karl Böhm was one of the greatest conductors of the twentieth century in the German tradition. He studied music as a child and continued to work and study in music while serving in the Austrian Army during World War I - and while completing a doctorate in law. He never had conducting lessons, but made close studies of the work of both Bruno Walter and Karl Muck.
In 1921 he was hired by the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and then he became Generalmusikdirektor in both Darmstadt (1927) and Hamburg (1931-1933). He gained a reputation for his fine performances of Mozart, Wagner and Richard Strauss, as well as his championing of modern German music, including operas by Krenek and Berg. Böhm débuted in Vienna in 1933, leading Wagner's TRISTAN UND ISOLDE. In 1934 he became director of the Dresden State Opera, Richard Strauss's favorite theater. There, Böhm conducted premieres of Strauss's DIE SCHWEIGSAME FRAU (1935) and DAFNE (1938). He remained at the helm in Dresden through 1943, at which point he became director of the Vienna State Opera (1943-1945). Richard Strauss was not in official favor, and Joseph Goebbels banned any recognition of the great composer's 80th birthday in 1944. However, Böhm participated in a de facto observance, as a large number of Strauss' orchestral and operatic works ‘just happened’ to be played about the time of the birthday.
After the war, Böhm was forbidden to perform until he underwent ‘de-Nazification’, a procedure whereby prominent Austro-Germans were investigated for complicity in Nazi crimes. He was eventually cleared of any suspicion, and was permitted to resume work in 1947.
Böhm oversaw the German repertory at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (1950-1953), and again served as director of the Vienna State Opera (1954-1956). He débuted in the USA at the Metropolitan Opera with Mozart's DON GIOVANNI in 1957, and took prominent German orchestras and opera companies on tour. The Vienna Philharmonic bestowed on him the title ‘Ehrendirigent’, and he was proclaimed Generalmusikdirector of Austria. He left a legacy of many great recordings, including a complete Wagner RING cycle considered by many critics to be the best. While his Wagner and Strauss were sumptuously Romantic, his Mozart was scrupulously Classical in approach.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com