V0592. MAHLER’S DECADE IN VIENNA, Singers of the Court Opera, 1897-1907, incl. Lola Beeth, Edyth Walker, Irene Abendroth, Theodor Bertram, Hermine Bosetti, Leopold Demuth, Ottilie Fellwock, Wilhelm Hesch, Berta Kiurina, Mme Charles Cahier, Selma Kurz, Richard Mayr, Frances Saville, Erik Schmedes, Leo Slezak & Johannes Sembach. 3-Marston 53004. Transfers by Ward Marston. Exhaustive notes by Stephen E. Helfling, featuring informative thumbnail biographies of each artist represented. Very Long out–of–print, Final Copy! - 638335030425
“One of the great compilations of important historic material to appear in the new millennium is Ward Marston’s 3-CD set MAHLER’S DECADE IN VIENNA, which offers Singers of the Court Opera, 1897-1907 (Marston 53004-2). None of the records is accompanied by Gustav Mahler, of course, but all involve singers who worked with him, and the discs were in large measure made contemporaneously with performances by these artists in Vienna. The collection allows us an opportunity to eavesdrop, as it were, on singers and the state of singing during one of the most hallowed – and revolutionary – eras in all of opera.
Marston includes sixteen Wagner selections, of which four are from the RING operas.
All are with piano accompaniment, but these items certainly permit the curious listener to hear artists, now largely forgotten, who were born before Wagner passed away – and who had the benefit of growing up while memories of performances supervised by the composer were still vivid. Marston’s set is perhaps even more valuable for its non-RING Wagner cuts, which include bits from DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER, TANNHÄUSER, LOHENGRIN, TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, and one of the Wesendonck songs (‘Träume’). Marston closes his in a 1907 ‘Liebestod’, unpublished on 78s, that was sourced from the Yale Collection of Historical Recordings.”
- John W. Lambert
“Ward Marston's CD anthology, MAHLER'S DECADE IN VIENNA, happily includes several fascinating recordings of these earlier artists, while concentrating mainly on the singers that Mahler brought to Vienna as he attempted to change performance practices according to his passionately held revisionist ideas. Renard, Abendroth, van Dyck, and Dippel soon chose to leave Vienna, but Sedlmair and Winkelmann continued to perform major dramatic roles under Mahler for several years. Elizza's career expanded in Vienna, and Reichmann, Schrödter, and Hesch continued to perform regularly. Edyth Walker sang important roles under Mahler, but conflicts developed; she left Vienna in 1903 and went on to have a great international career. The first group of important new singers included Anna Bahr-Mildenburg, Selma Kurz, Frances Saville, Marie Gutheil-Schoder, Grete Forst, Margarethe (Rita) Michalek, Berta Förster-Lauterer, Laura Hilgermann, Hermine Kittel, Leo Slezak, Erik Schmedes, Franz Naval, Leopold Demuth, and Richard Mayr. They can all be heard on these CDs, and comparisons can be drawn, although it is difficult to do so on such scant evidence.
This remarkable anthology contains 234 minutes of singing by sixty-eight singers on seventy-nine recordings. Many of these recordings exist only in unique copies and have never been transferred to CD before.”
- Harold Bruder, The Opera Quarterly , Volume 20, Number 3, Summer 2004