OP2207. DER KUHREIGEN – Excerpts (Kienzl), w.Seidler-Winkler Cond. Eva von der Osten, Hanna von Granfelt, Elisabeth Zenker, Kurt Frederich, Konrad von Zawilowski & Willi Kaiser. (Germany) Truesound Transfers 3065, recorded 1912; Josefine Stransky (S), w.The Composer Accompanying: Two Excerpts, recorded 1933. Transfers by Christian Zwarg.
“DER KUHREIGEN is an opera (called a 'musikalisches Schauspiel' or 'musical play') in three acts by the Austrian composer Wilhelm Kienzl. The libretto, by Richard Batka, is after Rudolf Hans Bartsch's novel DIE KLEINE BLANCHEFLEUR. It was first performed in Vienna on 23 November 1911. Set in revolutionary France, this is the love story of the Swiss Sergeant Primus Thaller, condemned for singing the banned Swiss 'Kuhreigen' folksong, and Blanchefleur, wife of the Marquis Massimelle, who saves him and then herself becomes a victim of the revolution.”
“Eva Helga Bertha von der Osten (19 August 1881, in Helgoland – 5 May 1936, in Kurort Hartha) was a German soprano who débuted in 1902 at the Dresdner Hofoper and performed there regularly until the end of her career. She was a favorite of the Dresden opera-going public and sang many of the most important roles of the soprano repertory. von der Osten also was active as an opera director and served in that capacity for the première performance of Richard Strauss’ ARABELLA. She created the rôle of Octavian in Strauss' DER ROSENKAVALIER.
von der Osten’s career led to guest appearances in many of Europe’s leading opera houses. From 1923 to 1924, she found great success in the female rôles of Richard Wagner—particularly that of Isolde in TRISTAN UND ISOLDE—while touring with director Leo Blech’s ‘German Opera Company’ in North America. When she retired in 1927 after a 25-year career, von der Osten had made over 2500 operatic appearances. She was married to the baritone Friedrich Plaschke (1874-1952) and thus used the name Eva Plaschke-von der Osten”. Her nephew, Wolfgang Windgassen, was a heldentenor held in similar stature.”
“[Truesound] transfers have been an absolute revelation to me….Amazingly, Christian Zwarg has managed to unlock the sound of these recordings in such a way as to present [voices] such as I have never heard before. Here the sound has a sheen and glow which is quite beautiful. It is as if an old masterpiece painting has been cleaned and restored, allowing rays of brilliant light to emerge….”
- Davyd Booth, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2012