Rita Streich;  Kurt Gaebel   -  Walzer & Arien         (DG 457 729)
Item# V0198
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Rita Streich;  Kurt Gaebel   -  Walzer & Arien         (DG 457 729)
V0198. RITA STREICH, w.Gaebel Cond. RIAS S.O., Berlin: Songs by Arditi, dell’Acqua, Marchesi, Czernik, Saint-Saëns, Delibes, Alabieff, Verdi & Josef & Johann Strauss; Arias from Jocelyn, Boccaccio, Rusalka (Dvorák) & Dinorah. (Germany) DG 457 729, recorded 1955 & 1958. Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 00028945772929


“Streich is someone we think of as a German singer, but she was born in Russia with mixed German and Russian parentage. She studied with Erna Berger and Maria Ivogün, and that pedigree is apparent in every note. Her voice is pure, bright but never piercing, and vibrant. Streich was one of the great singers of her era, though the voice was reportedly on the small size, which kept her away from the Met, but in the smaller European houses, and on many recordings, she was a leading lyric-coloratura soprano in the music of Strauss, Mozart and Handel.”

- Henry Fogel, FANFARE

“This album of Johann Strauss, Godard, Delibes, and similar fluff was recorded for Deutsche Grammophon in 1955 and 1958. Streich is just...how can I put it?...she’s just wunderbar! Ja, ja! Wunderbar!....you’ll need no further argument than your own ears when you hear her toss off the formidable difficulties of this so-called light repertory with such confidence. The sound is clear and has plenty of depth; you’ll hardly notice that it’s not stereo. No texts are included, but for this sort of thing, who cares? Just listen and enjoy!”

- Kurt Boyer, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2011

“Russian-born soprano Rita Streich, also known as the ‘Viennese Nightingale’, was a much-admired singer of the post World War Two era, who made many popular recordings. Her bright pearly voice was a light coloratura, and her repertoire included much lieder, as well as operas by Mozart, and also classical Viennese operetta. Rita Streich’s naturally vivacious and charming personality comes across in this delightful collection of various light musical ‘bon-bons’ which is drawn from her immensely popular recordings of the 1950’s. She was adept in several languages and so very well equipped to sing this eclectic mixture of vocal waltzes, songs and arias from operas, opéras comique and operettas, which show off her range of vocal abilities, from her effortless coloratura to her sweet, melting way with a melody. The collection includes some old favourites, less familiar pieces and some rarities. There are pretty vocal waltzes such as Johann Strauss’ Voices of Spring, the Shadow Song from Meyerbeer’s DINORAh and Luigi Arditi’s ‘Parla’ Waltz, lilting melodies such as Delibes’ ‘Les filles de Cadix’, Saint-Saëns’ beautiful ‘Le rossignol et la rose' and Verdi’s delightful ‘Lo spazzocamino’, arias from Suppé’s operetta BOCCACCIO (or The Prince of Palermo) and Dvorák’s gorgeous ‘Song of the Moon’ from RUSALKA. There are also rarer pieces by less well-known composers, such as a Dell’Acqua’s song ‘Villanelle’, Czernik’s tarantella ‘Chi sa?’, and an aria from Benjamin Godard’s opera JOCELYN.

Rita Streich, a light lyric coloratura, was the child of a Russian mother and a German prisoner-of-war father. Circuitously, the family made its way to Berlin where Streich grew up, and studied with Maria Ivogün, Erna Berger, and Willi Domgraf-Fassbänder (the father of Brigitte, and Germany's leading Papageno between wars). She made her début in 1943 at Aussig (today Ústí nad Labem on the northern border of the Czech Republic), singing Zerbinetta in Strauss' ARIADNE AUF NAXOS. In 1946, she became a member of the Berlin Staatsoper in the Unter den Linden, featured as Blonde in Mozart's THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO and Olympia in Offenbach's THE TALES OF HOFFMANN. There, until 1951, she also sang Zerlina in DON GIOVANNI, Gilda in RIGOLETTO, and Sophie in DER ROSENKAVALIER. During two subsequent seasons at the Städtische Oper, temporarily relocated in the Theater des Westens, she sang Zerbinetta, Konstanze this time in THE SERAGLIO, and the Queen of the Night in Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE. In 1952 - 1953 she was the Woodbird in Wagner's SIEGFRIED at the reopened Bayreuth Festival, then joined the Vienna State Opera, where she remained a member until her retirement from the stage in 1972. Streich made frequent guest appearances at Munich, however, and in 1954 débuted at London (Zerlina and Susanna, in Mozart's DON GIOVANNI and THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, respectively), the Salzburg Festival (as Aennchen in DER FREISCHÜTZ under Furtwängler), and Rome (Sophie again). La Scala came later on.

The soprano made her U.S. début in 1957 at San Francisco, singing two performances each as Despina in Mozart's COSÌ FAN TUTTE, Zerbinetta in ARIADNE, and Sophie in DER ROSENKAVALIER. She returned in 1959 for two more Zerbinettas, but in 1960 switched to the Chicago Lyric Opera - a house too capacious for her voice. She appeared three times as Susanna in FIGARO, and repeated the role in 1962, adding three more performances as Amor in Gluck's ORFEO ED EURIDICE. These were her last American opera appearances. Her voice was a small instrument for all the purity and technical control, better suited to a small theater such as Glyndebourne, where she appeared for the first time in 1958 as Zerbinetta. During the 1950s, Streich became a best-selling name on recordings as Zerbinetta, Sophie, Susanna, Aennchen, Adele in DIE FLEDERMAUS, and Blonde, but especially on recital discs that included coloratura light material as well as music by Mozart, Schubert, Wolf, Richard Strauss, even Milhaud -- most carefully chosen for the fach and size of her voice.

In the 1960s ,she appeared in Viennese operettas as well as operatic repertory, generously documented on German broadcast tapes of live performances. Streich retired from the stage in 1972 to teach at Essen, but returned four years later to Vienna, where she continued to teach, and where she died at the age of sixty-six. In the 1950s, and for some years after, she was considered the foremost German coloratura of her generation, often likened to her ageless teacher Erna Berger.”

- Roger Dettmer, allmusic.com