OP2177. DER ROSENKAVALIER, Live Performance, 30 May, 1965, w.Pritchard Cond. London Phil. & Glyndebourne Ensemble; Montserrat Caballé, Teresa Zylis-Gara, Edith Mathis, Otto Edelmann, etc. (China) 3-Glyndebourne GFOCD 010-65, Gatefold Edition w.Elaborate 178pp. hardcover book featuring libretto, illus. & numerous photos. Specially priced. - 878280000108
“This performance of Strauss’ most popular opera was recorded from the stage of the Glyndebourne Theatre on 30 May, 1965, before an enthusiastic audience….As for the cast, Montserrat Caballé, in superb vocal fettle, turns out to be a very good Marschallin. Her pure, gorgeous voice, with its many shadings, allows her to exploit the tonal beauty of the music without scanting the words in a way that few Marschallins can achieve. Her high pianissimos, almost a trademark of her singing, are remarkably effective in the final scene of Act I….Teresa Zylis-Gara…also has a smooth and attractive voice, and she acts the teen-age lover with passionate vigor….Glyndebourne’s presentation is, as always, lavish….The sound is the best I’ve heard in any Glyndebourne release. This set is worth acquiring for several reasons, but especially for Caballé’s Marschallin.”
- Kurt Moses, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Sept./Oct., 2011
“This recording of DER ROSENKAVALIER captures the intimacy of the Glyndebourne opera house preserving what is, without doubt, an engrossing performance with notable contributions from key soloists at poignant stages of their careers. Many considered DER ROSENKAVALIER too big a production for Glyndebourne’s intimate house. Artistic director Carl Ebert, and conductor Fritz Busch, had entertained the possibility of mounting DER ROSENKAVALIER pre-war, using Strauss’ own reduced orchestral version, but by 1959 the volume of the theatre had been increased considerably, and this production, was hailed as one of his finest achievements in what was Ebert’s final year at Glyndebourne.
The recording captures a stellar cast. Not only is this Caballé’s sole recording as the Marschallin on disc but preserves her Glyndebourne début, in the same year, also singing the rôle of the Countess in LE NOZZE DE FIGARO. The Finanical Times observed: ‘First praise should perhaps go to the Marschallin of Montserrat Caballé... a beautiful voice... And an eloquent presence. The rôle lived in her’.’ Edith Mathis as Sophie was making her second appearance at the Festival, the New Statesman lauding her rôle as ‘my own favourite is Edith Mathis’ wonderfully fresh Sophie’.”
- Zillah Dorset Akron
“Montserrat Caballé's career, which began with a legendary lucky break, would eventually make her one of Spain's greatest sopranos -- equaled in status and reputation only by her fellow Barcelonian, Victoria de los Angeles.
Her full birth name is Maria de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folch. She is named after the famous Catalan monastery of Montserrat. It is said that her parents feared that they would lose her and vowed that if she were born alive and well they would christen her with the monastery's name.
She learned singing at her convent school; at the age of eight, she entered the Conservatorio del Liceo in Barcelona. Her most important teachers were Eugenia Kenny, Conchita Badea, and Napoleone Annovazzi. When she graduated in 1954, she won the Liceo's Gold Medal. Caballé then made her professional début in Madrid in the oratorio EL PESEBRE (The Manger) by the great Catalan cellist Pau (Pablo) Casals. She then went to Italy, where she received a few minor roles at various houses. In 1956, she joined the Basel Opera; she was working her way through the smaller roles when one of the principal singers took ill and she took over the role of Mimì in Puccini's LA BOHÉME. Her unqualified success in that part led to promotion to starring roles, including Pamina, Tosca, Aïda, Marta in Eugene d'Albert's TIEFLAND, and the Richard Strauss roles of Arabella, Chrysothemis (ELEKTRA), and Salome.
She steadily gained a European reputation, singing in Bremen, Milan, Vienna, Barcelona, and Lisbon, taking such diverse roles as Violetta, Tatiana, Dvorák's Armida and Rusalka, and Marie in Berg's WOZZECK. She débuted at La Scala in 1960 as a Flower Maiden in PARSIFAL. She sang in México City in 1964 as Massenet's Manon.
On 20 April, 1965, on extremely short notice, she substituted for the indisposed Marilyn Horne in a concert performance in Donizetti's LUCREZIA BORGIA, achieving a thunderous success and ‘overnight’ super-stardom. She became one of the leading figures in the revival of interest in the bel canto operas of Bellini and Donizetti, many of which were staged especially for her. Caballé's performances as Elizabeth I (ROBERTO DEVEREAUX) and that monarch's rival Mary Queen of Scots (MARIA STUARDA) are legendary. In 1971, she sang a memorable concert performance of MARIA STUARDA in which her fellow Barcelonian José Carreras made his London début, and after that she helped advance his career. She made her Metropolitan Opera début in 1965 as Marguerite in FAUST.
Caballé's career has centered around Verdi's important dramatic roles, but has also embraced the Marschallin (ROSENKAVALIER), the Countess (NOZZE), and Queen Isabella (in the premiere of Leonardo Balada's CRISTOBÁL COLÓN in Barcelona in 1989).
Caballé has had unusual crossover success. In addition to singing on two tracks on an album by New Age composer Vangelis, she is famous for collaborating with the late Freddie Mercury of the rock group Queen, who wrote ‘Exercises in Free Love’ for her. She appeared on his hit album ‘Barcelona’. That album and its primary single rose high on the pop charts.
In 1964, she married Spanish tenor Bernabé Marti. They have two children, Bernabé Marti, Jr. and Montserrat Marti, who is herself a succesful soprano. In 1997, Caballé co-founded an important annual vocal competition in the Principality of Andorra, the Concurs Internacional de Cant Montserrat Caballé. She conducts master classes in conjunction with that competition.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com
“After me, there is only Caballé. ”
- Zinka Milanov, as quoted in Leonardo A. Ciampa’s THE TWILIGHT OF BELCANTO, p.82
"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 DIE MEISTERSINGER and sang until April 1976. His final Met role was Baron Ochs in Strauss' DER ROSENKAVALIER, one of his signature roles, which he first performed in 1952 at La Scala with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Herbert von Karajan. That performance is still available as an audio recording; there is also a video of a Salzburg production with the same principals.
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 LE 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. A FALSTAFF in 1950 under Clemens Krauss, followed by appearances in the first postwar Bayreuth festival as Hans Sachs and in the Beethoven Ninth under Wilhelm Furtwängler, sealed Mr. Edelmann's status as a leading bass-baritone of his day. While his European career included Italian roles like Verdi's Falstaff and King Philip in DON CARLOS, and French ones like Méphistophèles in Gounod's FAUST, the Met kept him to the German repertory, presenting him as Sachs, Wotan, King Marke and, of course, Baron Ochs. As Ochs, he also opened the rebuilt Festspielhaus in Salzburg in 1960. In December 1976 Mr. Edelmann sang his last performance, a final Waldner in Vienna, and turned to teaching at the Vienna Music Academy.”
- Anne Midgette, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 16 May, 2003