Ernestine Schumann-Heink    (2-The Stanford Archive Series DE 5503)
Item# V0183
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Ernestine Schumann-Heink    (2-The Stanford Archive Series DE 5503)
V0183. ERNESTINE SCHUMANN-HEINK: Opera Arias & Songs, 1900-35, incl. Songs by Arditi, Millöcker, Schubert, Schumann, Grieg, Brahms, Loewe, Strauss, Wagner, Hermann, Gruber, Humperdinck, Hildach, Mehrkens, Raff, Elgar, Ronald, Rubinstein, Delibes, Manahan, Esenwein, Huerter, Carpenter, Nevin, O'Hara, Stephen Foster, etc.; Arias La Clemenza di Tito, St Paul (the latter a Live Performance, Performance, 11 Jan., 1931, Roxy Theatre, New York), Samson et Dalila, Sapho, Lucrezia Borgia, Le Prophète, Das Rheingold, Götterdämmerung & Rienzi. 2-Delos The Stanford Archive Series DE 5503, partially Unpublished recordings, some Live Performances (1929-35). Final copy! - 013491550329


“Delos' Stanford Archive series approaches matters from an American perspective. The project, years in the making, is a brainchild of William R. Moran, a recordings expert in California. Though Delos proclaims grand ambitions, only four titles have been released so far. Yet great care has gone into these two-disk sets. Not only has Mr. Moran filled them with unusual material from the Archive of Recorded Sound at Stanford University, but he has also provided transfers of clarity and dimension. His notes are informed and lucid. And happily, Delos includes complete texts and translations. Presumably, Mr. Moran selected the singers based on personal preference, but who will quibble with choices like the tenor Richard Crooks, the contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink and the baritones Lawrence Tibbett and Richard Bonelli?

Schumann-Heink, born near Prague, became an American citizen, but only after she had conquered Europe, where she charmed Brahms, was a favorite at Bayreuth and created the role of Klytämnestra in Strauss' ELEKTRA. She later sang tirelessly for American veterans of World War I. In a potpourri of arias and sentimental ballads (DE 5503), familiar Victor and Columbia records mingle with a smattering of unpublished material.

Romophone, Delos and Marston are by no means the only labels linking today's music lovers with the milestone singers of the past. But their fusing of the highest technical standards with superior esthetic judgment distinguishes them from their rivals. Thanks to their efforts, we are reminded again of William Faulkner's remark that the past is not dead; it isn't even past.”

- David Mermelstein, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 19 July, 1998

“Schumann-Heink’s breakthrough into leading rôles was provided when prima donna Marie Goetze argued with the director of the Hamburg opera. He asked Ernestine to sing the title role of CARMEN, without rehearsal, which she did to great acclaim. Goetze, in a fit of pique, cancelled out of the rôle of Fides in LE PROPHETE, to be performed the following night, and was again replaced by Ernestine. Schumann-Heink replaced Goetze as Ortrud in LOHENGRIN the following evening, again without rehearsal, and was offered a ten-year contract. Goetze is perhaps best-remembered as creatrice of both rôles of Herodias and Klytämnestra.

Ernestine Schumann-Heink performed with Gustav Mahler at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and became well known for her performances of the works of Richard Wagner at Bayreuth, singing at the Bayreuth Festivals from 1896 to 1914. She first sang at the Metropolitan Opera in 1898, and performed with the Met regularly thereafter for decades. In 1909, she created the role of Klytämnestra in the debut of Richard Strauss' ELEKTRA, of which she said she had no high opinion, calling it 'a fearful din'. Strauss, for his part, was not entirely taken by Schumann-Heink; according to one story, during rehearsals he told the orchestra 'Louder! I can still hear Mme. Schumann-Heink!'."

- Ned Ludd