OP0575. MACBETH (in German), Broadcast Performance, 20 Sept., 1950, w.Keilberth Cond. Berlin Staatsoper Ensemble; Metternich, Mödl, Hülgert, Theo Herrmann, etc. (E.U.) 2-Walhall 0068. Final Sealed Copy! - 4035122650686
“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….”
- Vivian A. Liff, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, March/April, 2011
“From 1940 until his retirement in 1971, [Metternich] was one of the leading German baritones, singing in most of the major opera houses around the world….His was a massive voice of dark power, not rich and smooth, but with an intensity and grittiness that added much to his characterizations.”
- Charles H. Parsons, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2008
"Metternich’s rich, dark voice, extraordinary breath control, and fine musicianship was coupled with an incisiveness of text projection and a sensitivity of characterization in an outpouring of luxurious sound….In an era when German baritones were expected to sing only German opera, Joseph Metternich made an international career…specializing in the dramatic baritone roles of Italian opera."
- Charles H. Parsons, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, May/June, 2006
“Joseph Keilberth was a German conductor active during the mid-twentieth century. His talents developed early: he pursued a general education and musical training in Karlsruhe, and at the age of seventeen joined the Karlsruhe State Theater as a répétiteur (vocal coach - a common starting place for European conductors). He remained with the theater and ten years later he was appointed general music director
He remained there until 1940, when he was appointed chief conductor of the German Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague. He became chief conductor of the Dresden State Opera in 1945. With a minimum of disruption for deNazification he remained in that position until 1950. In 1949 he became chief conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, which was in fact a reunion. After the War, the German population of the Sudetenland (the German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia), which had been the excuse for Hitler's occupation of the country, were returned to Germany, and with them went the German Philharmonic of Prague, Keilberth's old orchestra, which settled in Bamberg. Causing unwary biographers some confusion, he also became the chief conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic in 1950.
He frequently appeared as a guest conductor elsewhere in Germany, notably with the Berlin Philharmonic and, beginning in 1952, the Bayreuth Festival, and appeared regularly at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals. In 1952 he also led his first performance in the Edinburgh Festival with the Hamburg State Opera.
He was a favored conductor for the RING and other operas through 1956. In 1959 he succeeded Ferenc Fricay at the helm of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. There, history repeated itself. Keilberth died after collapsing during a performance of Wagner's TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, just as Felix Mottl—conductor at the same theater - had done in 1911.
Keilberth was very strong in Mozart and in the Wagnerian repertory, and in later German classics such as Pfitzner, Bruckner, Richard Strauss, Max Reger, and Paul Hindemith. His classic recordings included Hindemith's opera CARDILLAC.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com