OP2897. DER JAKOBINER (Dvorák) (in German), Live Performance, 1952, w.Tenner Cond. Grosses Wiener Rundfunk Ensemble; Walter Berry, Waldemar Kmentt, Fritz Uhl, Gisela Rathauscher, etc. (E.U.) 2-Archipel 0544. - 4035122405446
“Antonin Dvorák belongs to the peculiar fraternity of composers who aspired above all things to be great operatic composers, but whose legacies rest primarily on other accomplishments. Unlike others in that group, like Franz Schubert for instance, Dvorák at least has one bona fide operatic hit: RUSALKA, his sumptuous and touching fairy tale about a water nymph who becomes human for love. But that one work hardly does justice to his career-long obsession with dramatic music, which resulted in no fewer than 11 full-length operas, including THE JACOBIN, completed in 1888. If you're looking to go a level deeper into Dvorák's operatic music, THE JACOBIN is as good a place as any to start. It has everything that makes RUSALKA great -- swelling orchestral climaxes, rich melodies, and naturalistic conversation stitched into coherent musical scenes -- as well as Bohemian musical elements that RUSALKA does not have. The main difference is in the quality of the libretto, which like those of Dvorák's other obscure stage works (not coincidentally) doesn't match the inspiration and craftsmanship of his music. THE JACOBIN has a very simple central plot: a forsaken son returns home to win the love of his estranged father during the years of the French revolution. But that central idea is cluttered with so many side plots -- including the struggle between old-world feudal society and revolutionary ideals (as represented by the Jacobins alluded to in the title), and an operetta-worthy side plot involving the daughter of the local music-master. However, that lack of dramatic coherence and thrust is no obstacle to enjoying THE JACOBIN for its purely musical virtues."
- Allen Schrott, allmusic.com
“Waldemar Kmentt, born in Vienna in 1929, was the Vienna State Opera’s ‘house tenor’ for more than 20 years. In that capacity he was known for his versatility and dependability, singing 78 rôles in almost 1500 performances from 1952 to 1973….His was a smooth and attractive lyric tenor with solid high notes up to and including high C….I know of no other ‘house tenor’ whose singing was consistently on his high level.”
- Kurt Moses, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2009
"In 1955, Kmentt sang Jaquino in Beethoven's FIDELIO for the reopening of the Vienna State Opera, and performed internationally in roles such as Mirko Zeta in THE MERRY WIDOW until the turn of the century. During all this time, the tenor Waldemar Kmentt gave countless dazzling performances on the world's greatest opera stages. This portrait in honour of his 80th birthday is an impressive reflection of his versatility, with excerpts from roles he performed at the Vienna State Opera, where he was based, and where he received the title of 'Kammersänger' and was eventually made an honorary member. The flexibility and brilliant timbre of his voice brought him many roles at the State Opera, both in the legendary Mozart Ensemble under Karl Böhm and as an 'Italian' tenor (though, as usual at that time, mostly in German). A brilliant rendering of the Italian tenor’s aria from DER ROSENKAVALIER in 1968 under Leonard Bernstein, concludes the cross-section of the prodigious career of a tenor who, ever modest, never relied on mere showmanship."
“Fritz Uhl was an Austrian operatic tenor, particularly associated with Wagner roles. Born in Matzleinsdorf, near Vienna, he studied in Vienna with Elisabeth Radó, and while still a student toured Holland with an operetta troup. He made his operatic début in Vienna, as Gounod's Faust in 1952, and then sang in Graz (1952-53), in Luzern (1953-54), in Oberhausen (1954-56), in Wuppertal (1956-58). In 1957, he began making guest appearances at the Munich State Opera, the Vienna State Opera, also appearing at the Salzburg Festival and the Bayreuth Festival.
Uhl began his career by singing lyric roles and lighter Wagner roles such as Erik in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER, and gradually moved into heldentenor roles such as Tristan, Siegmund, Stolzing, Florestan, Herod, etc. He sang widely in Europe, appearing at the Paris Opéra, La Monnaie in Brussels, the Liceo in Barcelona, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Royal Opera House in London, etc. He was also invited at the San Francisco Opera and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
A forthright singer with a fine voice, he is best known for his recording of TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, opposite Birgit Nilsson, under Georg Solti.”
- Ned Ludd