OP0143. ARIADNE AUF NAXOS (Opera only) , Live Performance, 11 June, 1935, Berlin, w. Clemens Krauss Cond. Großes Orchester des Reichssenders Ensemble, Berlin; Viorica Ursuleac, Erna Berger, Miliza Korjus, Helge Roswaenge, Karl Hammes, etc. (Austria) Preiser 90259. Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 717281902595
“Michael Kennedy in OPERA ON RECORD, Vol. 3, avowed this performance is notable for Krauss’ ‘spontaneously-sounding tempi, accurate playing and noble phrasing’. Strauss once commented of Ursuleac that ‘everything I ever wrote for this type of voice seems to be made to measure for her’. That’s confirmed here in her full-toned, finely honed and easily accomplished account of the title-role….An even better reason for acquiring this Krauss version is Roswaenge’s Bacchus – simply the best ever recorded. Where almost all other tenors seem to regard the role as something of a vocal test of endurance, Roswaenge sings it as though it were tailor-made for his refulgent, spinto voice: he sails over every difficulty without a moment of strain.
The young Berger is an alluring, keen-voiced Zerbinetta, showing just one or two moments of human frailty in the stratosphere. Karl Hammes, a Salzburg Giovanni, makes an ideally suave, warm Harlequin, and Korjus, herself a Zerbinetta, leads the trio of Ariadne’s attendants. The whole performance has an idiomatic feeling of dedication not available in these days of international singers, adept in many styles, totally master of very few.”
- Alan Blyth, GRAMOPHONE, Aug., 1996
“Krauss paces the music beautifully and draws warm and incisive playing from the Grosses Orchester des Reichssenders, Berlin. Viorica Ursuleac, a noted Strauss interpreter, sings well, with style, involvement, and a rich vocal quality. Helge Roswaenge’s Bacchus…is ideal on just about every level. Not only does Roswaenge sing Bacchus’ punishing music with breathtaking technical ease and full-throated and full-hearted commitment, there is a great deal of poetry and even hushed singing in the Danish tenor’s interpretation. The 1935 broadcast is a ‘must’ for Roswaenge’s contribution alone. But of course as I have suggested, there is much more to enjoy, including the contributions of the supporting cast (Miliza Korjus is Naiad).”
- Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, March / April, 2020
“Viorica Ursuleac has often been criticized for a slight edge in her voice, with many observing that much of her career was due to the fact that she was married to conductor Clemens Krauss. Erna Berger’s Zerbinetta is positively brilliant…Helge Roswaenge’s Bacchus may be the finest on discs. He sails through Strauss’ writing in the final duet as if it weren’t difficult, although we know from virtually all other performances we’ve heard that it is. James Miller stated ‘if I had to name one recording that shows him off to best advantage this would be it’. The other unique asset of this performance is Clemens Krauss.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE, March / April, 2020