OP0264. GIULIO CESARE (Handel), w.Leitner Cond. Bayerischen Rundfunk Ensemble; Walter Berry, Fritz Wunderlich, Christa Ludwig, Lucia Popp, etc. (England) 3-Verona 27035/37. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy!
“There are great singers, and there are great artists. A great singer needs an exceptional voice, a masterful technique and the musicianship to conquer the most challenging repertoire. A true artist, of course, possesses these attributes, but there is something more - a soul-deep connection to the expressive content of the music; a sort of telepathic sympathy with the composer and a yearning to communicate that fire of inspiration to anyone who will listen. Christa Ludwig was blessed with all these things, and the opera world has been blessed in turn by her unerring ability to understand the characters she played, and to carry their joys and sorrows to the audience with such humanity and tenderness that we could not help taking her into our hearts. The beauty, warmth and radiance of her instrument seem inseparable from the beauty, warmth and radiance of the human spirit that breathes forth that wondrous sound. She made thrilling forays into dramatic-soprano territory, singing the Marschallin as well as Octavian in DER ROSENKAVALIER and giving performances of Leonore in FIDELIO that are now the stuff of legend. Perhaps most famously, she partnered her then-husband Walter Berry as the Dyer's Wife in DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN.
Her Met début in 1959, as Cherubino, was not a great triumph, but by the time she bade farewell to the house, as Fricka in 1993 - her 119 performances of fifteen roles had made her one of the most beloved artists in the company's history.”
- Louise T. Guinther, OPERA NEWS, April 2014
“Ferdinand Leitner was a German conductor who studied under Franz Schreker, Julius Prüwer, Artur Schnabel and Karl Muck. He also was a composition student with Robert Kahn. Starting as a pianist, through the help of Fritz Busch, he became a conductor in the 1930s. He was conductor of the Nollendorfplatz Theater in Berlin from 1943 to 1945; in Hannover from 1945 to 1946; in Munich from 1946 to 1947; and the General Music Director of the Württemberg State Opera house in Stuttgart from 1947 until 1969.
He is famous as a conductor of opera, his favourite composers being Wagner, Richard Strauss, Mozart, and twentieth-century composers Carl Orff and Karl Amadeus Hartmann. He succeeded Erich Kleiber in 1956 as conductor for the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. From 1976 to 1980, he worked in The Hague as principal conductor of Het Residentie Orkest.”