V0191. MARIA CEBOTARI, w.von Karajan, Krips & Zweig Cond.: Arias from Nozze, Don Giovanni, Faust, La Boheme, Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Ariadne auf Naxos, Madama Butterfly & Der Zigeunerbaron. (Austria) Preiser 90034, recorded 1947-49. Very long out-of-print, Final copy!
"Maria Cebotari (1910-49) was widely admired for the freshness and charm of her singing and her stage presence. She created the role of Aminta in Strauss' DIE SCHWEIGSAME FRAU. Karajan made some 78rpm recordings with her, including an aria from Johann Strauss' DER ZIGEUNERBARON and Ariadne's 'Es gibt ein Reich'."
- Richard Osborne, CONVERSATIONS WITH VON KARAJAN, p.114
"As we can learn from her repertory, Maria Cebotari was an extraordinarily versatile singer. She was often considered a 'predecessor' to Maria Callas. Indeed, the two sopranos had a great deal in common. Both were true artists of great musicality and totally committed to their art. Both were utterly reliable, never missing an entry or a rehearsal. They would never come along half-knowing the music, and they could be entrusted with something new and it would be learnt quickly and intelligently. No wonder that the two Marias were loved by all great conductors. With the underlying darkness of her soprano, a pronounced vibrato and brilliance at the top of her range - but above all with the intelligence, intensitiy and sheer energy, she did justice to every role. She was one of the very few singers who succeeded in lyrical, dramatic and coloratura parts. Four composers were essential for her short career: Mozart, Strauss, Verdi and Puccini. In 1935, she sang the part of Aminta in the world premiere of Richard Strauss' DIE SCHWEIGSAME FRAU under Karl Bohm at Dresden Semper Opera House. Strauss advised her to move to Berlin, and in 1936 she joined the Berlin State Opera, where she was a prima donna until 1946. That year, she sang Susanna in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Zerlina in DON GIOVANNI, and Sophie in DER ROSENKAVALIER for Dresden Semper Opera Company's performances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. From then on, she appeared at many great opera houses including Vienna Staatsoper and at La Scala."
Richard Strauss described her as 'the best all-rounder on the European stage; never late and never cancels'. Herbert von Karajan, during a BBC interview decades after her death, said she was the greatest Madama Butterfly he had ever conducted."
- Andrea Shum-Binder, subito-cantabile