V2172. MARTHA MÖDL, w.Rainer von Zastrow (Pf.): Schubert & Wolf Lieder, Live Performance, 22 Feb., 1964, Hamburg; w.KEILBERTH Cond.: WESENDONCK LIEDER (Wagner), recorded 1955. (Germany) Gebhardt 0001. Long out-of-print, final copies!
“The incredibly lengthy career of Martha Mödl has been well documented. In that time she sang it all: beginning as a mezzo (Hänsel, Eboli, Carmen, Azucena), then soprano (Isolde, Brünnhilde, Kundry), then in the 1960s returning to mezzo and some great character rôles (Klytemnestra, Die Amme, Waltraute). In the 1970s she adapted to secondary character rôles (Widow Begbick, Grandmother Burya, the Old Countess in QUEEN OF SPADES), some of which were rechristened ‘Mödl-Rollen’ in her honor. She was often called the ‘German Maria Callas’ with her dramatic intensity, excitement, unique, colorful mezzo-tinted soprano voice.
She was one of the singers very important to the re-establishment of the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth in the 1950s. She appeared in several world premières, creating rôles in operas by Fortner, Cerha, and von Einem. There is a little-known video of an interview with Mödl, Astrid Varnay, and Birgit Nilsson—great Wagnerians all. Varnay and Nilsson defer to Mödl!”
- Charles H. Parsons, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, July/Aug., 2012
“As one of the most charismatic dramatic sopranos from the middle of the past century, Mödl has not exactly been neglected on CD reissues….an unforgettable artist….the Wesendonck Songs [are sung] with exceptional beauty of tone, well supported by a Cologne orchestra under Keilberth.”
- Vivian A. Liff, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, March/April, 2011