OP2792. DIE MEISTERSINGER, Live Performance, 1958, w.Cluytens Cond. Bayreuth Festival Ensemble; Otto Wiener, Josef Traxel, Hans Hotter, Gerhard Stolze, Fritz Uhl, Toni Blankenheim, Eberhard Wächter, Elisabeth Grümmer, etc. (E.U.) 4-Myto 00187. - 8014399501873
“André Cluytens was among the leading French conductors of his time. His father, Alphonse, was conductor at the Royal French Theater of Antwerp. André became his assistant and a choirmaster there. When an illness prevented Alphonse from conducting, André made his performance début in 1927. After that experience he devoted his efforts to orchestral and opera conducting rather than choral work, and he became a resident conductor in the house.
In 1932 he accepted a position as the musical director of orchestral concerts at the Capitole de Toulouse, and he became a French citizen. In 1935 was appointed the opera director in Lyons. He was an assistant of Josef Krips in a summer series in Vichy and, once again, was called on to substitute when that conductor could not perform. He became musical director of the Lyons Opera in 1942, conductor of the Conservatoire Concerts and the French National Radio Orchestra in Paris in 1943, and in 1944 conducted at the Opéra de Paris. From 1947 to 1953 he was music director of the Paris Opéra-Comique, and in 1949 was appointed as principal conductor of the Conservatory Concerts. He retained that position for the rest of his life. In 1955 he was invited to conduct LOHENGRIN at the Bayreuth Festival, the first French person to appear on the podium there. He débuted in the United States in 1956, and in Britain in 1958, when he substituted for Otto Klemperer. He formed a close relationship with the Vienna State Opera, which he first conducted in 1956, becoming a permanent guest conductor in 1959. In 1960 he became conductor of the Belgian National Orchestra in Belgium, also holding that post until his death. He also formed a close link with the Berlin Philharmonic, with which he made a notable recording of the Beethoven symphonies. However, he was primarily known for French repertoire, premiering works by Françaix, Jolivet, Messiaen, Milhaud, Tomasi, Büsser, and Bondeville. He was invited back to Bayreuth in 1965.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com
“Otto Wiener was an Austrian baritone, notable for his performances in the operas of Richard Wagner. He was born in Vienna, joined the Vienna Boys' Choir at the age of six, and started his adult career as a concert singer before making his stage début in 1953 at Graz in the title-role of SIMON BOCCANEGRA. He subsequently sang with the opera companies at Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Berlin and performed at the Vienna State Opera from 1957 onwards and at the Bavarian State Opera from 1960. He appeared at the Salzburg Festival in 1955 and sang there in the stage première of Frank Martin's LE MYSTÈRE DE LA NATIVITÉ.
Wiener first appeared at the Bayreuth Festival in 1957, and sang there until 1963 as Hans Sachs in DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG, Gunther in GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, Wotan in DAS RHEINGOLD and in the title-role of DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER. In 1962 he performed the role of Sachs at both the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera. In 1964, he appeared at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in the role of La Roche in CAPRICCIO.
Wiener was one of the highest and brightest of the successful heldenbaritones of the 1950s and 60s. He was cast in roles usually reserved for deeper, darker voices because his technique was so relaxed, well-projected, and free. Wiener retired in 1976 and died in Vienna.”
“Josef Traxel was a German operatic tenor, particularly associated with Mozart roles and the German repertory. He studied at the Darmstadt Conservatory, but was conscripted into the army before beginning his career. However, he was able to make his début in Mainz, as Don Ottavio, in 1942, while on sick-leave from the army. After internment in Britain as a prisoner of war, he returned to Germany and resumed his career in Nuremberg in 1946, where he remained until 1952, and then joined the Stuttgart Opera. The same year he appeared at the Salzburg Festival, where he sang the role of Mercury at the premiere of Richard Strauss' DIE LIEBE DER DANAE. In 1954, he first appeared at the Bayreuth Festival as Froh in RHEINGOLD, returning as Walther in TANNHÄUSER, as Erik in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER, the young sailor in TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, a Knight in PARSIFAL, and in 1957, as Stolzing in DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG. He was also a frequent guest at the Munich State Opera and the Vienna State Opera, also appearing in the Netherlands and Switzerland.
He possessed a finely poised tenor with an unusually high tessitura; his wide repertoire ranged from Belmonte to Siegmund, and he was also active in concert, often appearing in Bach's oratorios. From 1963 on he was a teacher at the Stuttgart Musikhochschule.”
- Zillah Dorset Akron