Lilli Lehmann;  Hedwig Helbig       (2-Symposium 1207/08)
Item# V1614
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Lilli Lehmann;  Hedwig Helbig       (2-Symposium 1207/08)
V1614. LILLI LEHMANN: The Complete Recordings, incl. Songs by Mozart, Bach-Gounod, Schubert, Schumann, Bungert, Grieg, J.B. Faure, Bayly, etc.; Arias from Josua, Egmont, Fidelio, Nozze, Don Giovanni, Entführung, Cosi fan Tutte, Norma, Robert le Diable, La Traviata, Les Huguenots, Walküre & Tristan (Liebestod); Duets (w.Hedwig Helbig) from Norma. (England) 2-Symposium 1207/08, recorded 1906-07, w.previously Unpublished items. Final Sealed Copy! - 760411207022


"During the 26 years that Richard Wagner brooded over THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG, no one character caused him greater anguish than his heroine Brünnhilde. Time & again he flung down his pen and paced the floor. He recalled in his autobiography that once 'my courage failed me completely, for I could not help asking myself whether the singer had yet been born who was capable of vitalizing this heroic female figure'....

The first Brünnhilde was not easy to find, for most prima donnas impressed Wagner as being 'silly, fastidious schoolgirls'. He finally chose Amalie Materna, a big-chested Styrian with a grand manner and a zooming voice. At that first Bayreuth Festival in 1876 one of the Rhine maidens was a pretty young Jewess named Lilli Lehmann. Wagner wanted to adopt her but her mother, who knew the master well, objected. Lehmann was a light coloratura then and no one, least of all Wagner, suspected that she was soon to cultivate dramatic roles and sing Brünnhilde.

What Lehmann accomplished with the role has long been legendary. She sang it in the first GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG given in the U. S. in 1888, and therein set a standard which no other singer has ever quite achieved. Vocally she was a match for Wagner's mighty orchestra. Dramatically she was the 'heroic female figure' that Wagner imagined. Those who heard her have never forgotten the horror in her voice when she turned on Siegfried, the fury she became when she swore the piercing oath on the spear...."

- TIME Magazine, 11 March, 1935

"Lehmann sang in the first Bayreuth Festival in 1876, performed in London in 1884, and appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in 1885-1890. Together with her Met colleagues Fischer, Alvary, Brandt and Seidl, she helped to popularise Wagner's music in America. She appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1899 and sang in Paris and Vienna in 1903 and 1909, respectively. In 1905, she sang at the Salzburg Festival, later becoming the festival's artistic director. Lehmann was also renowned as a Lieder singer and she continued to give recitals until her retirement from the concert stage in the 1920s.

Her mature voice, of splendid quality and large volume, gained for her the reputation of being not only one of the greatest Wagnerian singers of her day but also an ideal interpreter of Bellini's NORMA and the operatic music of Mozart. She was considered unsurpassed in the roles of Brünnhilde and Isolde but sang an astonishingly wide array of other parts. Indeed, across the span of her career, she performed 170 different parts in a total of 119 German, Italian and French operas. She was also a noted voice teacher. Her voice can be heard on the recordings which she made prior to World War I. Although past her peak as an operatic singer when she made these records, they still impress."

- Z. D. Akron