V1736. LAURITZ MELCHIOR (as Baritone): Songs by Helmuth, Lange-Müller, Körling, Kjerulf, Mortensen, Weyse, Berggreen, Hassler, Heise, Friedman, Henriques, etc.; Arias from La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Der Trompeter von Säkkingen, Sømandslivliden Kirsten & Bertran de Born; Scandanavian Quartet (Melchior, Peelmann, Madsen & Hansen): 4 songs. (Germany) Truesound Transfers 3031, recorded 1913-20. Transfers by Christian Zwarg, obviously from immaculate 78rpm copies!
“In 1910, [Melchior] joined the Royal Theatre opera school and was trained as a baritone, making his début at the theatre in 1913 as Silvio in PAGLIACCI. In 1916, while on a tour in Sweden with a company headed by the American contralto, Madame Charles Cahier, he was told by her that his voice had the timbre for heroic tenor and was advised to stop singing baritone and start to develop his true voice. He took the advice and in 1918 his début in a tenor rôle took place at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen….”
- Ib Melchior, LAURITZ MELCHIOR – THE GOLDEN YEARS OF BAYREUTH, p.260
“Lauritz Melchior trained with retired Danish tenor Vilhelm Herold. In 1918, now singing as a tenor, Melchior gave his first performance as Tannhäuser. 1924 saw his first performances at Bayreuth (Siegmund, Parsifal), and at Covent Garden (Siegmund), two of the most important theaters of his career. Another crucial debut came in 1926: the Metropolitan Opera, portraying Tannhäuser. The remainder of the 1920s passed by in a whirlwind of newness.
Although in the 1920s Melchior was planning to make Germany the center of his career, the unforeseen Nazification and Great Depression of the early 1930s in fact moved him away from that country's theaters, including ‘Hitler's Bayreuth’. After 1933, the majority of his opera season was spent at the Metropolitan. It was a Dionysiac time for Wagner performance. His only new operatic rôle in the 1930s was Florestan.
Melchior left the Met and the opera after a much publicized kafuffle with incoming General Manager Rudolf Bing, giving his last performance (Lohengrin) in February of 1950."
- Zillah D. Akron
“[Truesound] transfers have been an absolute revelation to me….Amazingly, Christian Zwarg has managed to unlock the sound of these recordings in such a way as to present [voices] such as I have never heard before. Here the sound has a sheen and glow which is quite beautiful. It is as if an old masterpiece painting has been cleaned and restored, allowing rays of brilliant light to emerge….”
- Davyd Booth, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2012