OP2783. DER FREISCHÜTZ, Live Performance, 26 July, 1954, Salzburg, w.Furtwängler Cond. Vienna Staatsoper Ensemble; Elisabeth Grümmer, Rita Streich, Hans Hopf, Kurt Böhme, Alfred Poell, Karl Dönch, Otto Edelmann, etc. (Slovenia) 2-Living Stage 347.15. Long out-of-print, final copies! - 3830025714654
“I cannot imagine a more idiomatically German performance than this. It is an infinitely slower performance than we are accustomed to….the playing of the Vienna Philharmonic is amazing, given the demands that Furtwängler makes on it….The cast is also remarkable in its strong ensemble and sense of purpose, from the rapture of Elisabeth Grûmmer as Agathe, to the helden strands of Hans Hopf’s Max. Other important portrayals in this strong lineup of singers are Rita Streich’s perky Aennchen and Kurt Böhme’s menacing Caspar….Furtwängler makes FREISCHÜTZ a galvanizing, rejuvenating experience.”
- John Ardoin, THE FURTWÄNGLER RECORD, p.165
“Hans Hopf sang the title role in SIEGFRIED and Siegfried in GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG. He was singing both roles for the first time and naturally had put in yeoman’s work to have readied these mammoth roles for performances on the level demanded by the Bayreuth Festival. Formerly he had sung primarily the Italian repertoire, but was now beginning to concentrate on Wagner roles, which suited his robust voice very well. Hopf was an incomparable raconteur, and one was never bored in his company.”
- Birgit Nilsson, LA NILSSON, p.160
"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