OP3388. DIE VERKAUFTE BRAUT (Prodana Nevesta; Bartered Bride), Live Performance, 11 Nov., 1960, w.Berislav Klobucar Cond. Vienna Staatsoper Ensemble; Irmgard Seefried, Waldemar Kmentt, Hilde Konetzni, Hans Braun, Ludwig Welter, Rosette Anday, Murray Dickie, Oscar Czerwenka, etc. [The spontaneous laughter and enthusiasm of this Vienna audience is palpable!] (Austria) 2-Orfeo C785 0921, w.Elaborate Libretto-Brochure in German, French & English. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 4011790785226
“Irmgard Seefried, Viennese darling and center of the legendary Mozart ensemble, one of the most beautiful voices ever, and she knew how to use it. Even the mono quality of Smetana's (sung in German) BARTERED BRIDE under Berislav Klobucar (Birgit Nilsson's favorite conductor) is compensated for with playfulness and luxury batches like Hilde Konetzni (Ludmilla) and Rosette Anday (Hata). As Hans, the mostly underrated Waldemar Kmentt charms. In the role of Kecal, Oskar Czerwenka shines and haggles. The spicy melt of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra also shows that it is not for nothing that these works are rarely encountered today. You just can't do it with such natural brilliance. In the booklet with a gold rim, ORFEO is the Rolls Royce among opera historians on CD. Collectibles couldn't be more beautiful.”
- Robert Fraunholzer, RONDO, 6 March, 2010
“Vienna has played an important role in the performance history of Smetana’s THE BARTERED BRIDE ever since the work achieved its international breakthrough in the city at the time of the 1892 World Fair. Performed in German, it has long been a regular part of Vienna’s mainstream operatic repertory.
In 1959, for example, Gunther Rennert’s new production at the State Opera went on to achieve cult status, enjoying a grand total of ninety performances in all. In 1960 this production was captured by the microphones and recording equipment of Austrian Radio in a performance that immortalized the interpretations of the original principals from 1959. The cast was headed by Irmgard Seefried, a great favourite with Viennese audiences and one whose natural musicianship still seems particularly well suited to the character of Marie. At the time of this recording she could already look back on a stage career lasting two whole decades, and yet she had been able to retain the youthful freshness of her tone – an indispensable prerequisite for any successful interpretation of this role. The other half of this dream couple was Waldemar Kmentt as Jenika, or Hans, one of the roles with which the Austrian tenor was rightly most closely associated. With his dark-toned tenor voice, vivid diction and radiant top notes, he provides a wholly convincing portrayal of the youthful lover who is also a cunning gambler. The tragicomedy of his stuttering stepbrother is well caught by Murray Dickie with both skill and an equally beautiful tone, avoiding all sense of buffo excess. That the self-infatuated and vainglorious marriage broker Kecal is bent on palming off the bride on him, treating her as a mere object, seems entirely plausible when the role is played by another Viennese operatic institution, the distinguished Upper Austrian bass Oskar Czerwenka, an outstanding singing actor who invests the part with an altogether unmistakable profile. Even the smaller roles are cast from strength by singers of the calibre of Hilde Konetzni and Rosette Anday, all of whom milk their brief scenes for all that they are worth. A lively and yet always well-disciplined performance is further guaranteed by the Chorus and Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera under the direction of Berislav Klobucar, who, often criminally undervalued, presided genially over countless repertory performances in Vienna.”