V2273. JULIUS LIEBAN: Songs by Offenbach, Gounod, Richard Mandl, etc.; Arias & Duets (w.Ernst Kraus, Adolf Lieban, Helene Lieban-Globig, Marie Dietrich, Ottilie Metzger, Margarete Parbs, Emilie Herzog, Gustav Werner, Eduard Kandl & Rudolf Krasa) from Siegfried, Der Waffenschmied, Undine, Hans Sachs, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Fra Diavolo, Carmen, Orphée aux Enfers, Die Fledermaus, Der Zigeunerbaron, Prinz Methusalem, Boccaccio, The Mikado. (Germany) Truesound Transfers 3113, recorded 1903-16. Transfers by Christian Zwarg.
“This was an individual performer, to say the least.…’Buffo tenor’ is one description that I have seen in print; ‘an infectious artist’ is another; or how about ‘incredible versatility’ or ‘not to be missed’….Many collectors will not know this voice, and those who choose to become familiar with it through this CD will be amazed, as I was, at Lieban’s extraordinary coloratura ability and a sensational trill (one of the finest to come from a man)….This CD is valuable in more ways than one, then, and it would be remiss of any serious vocal collector to delay acquiring it.”
- John Banks, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2015
“Julius Lieban was an Austrian-German opera singer, born the son of a Jewish cantor in Moravia and learned in his youth gypsy violin playing. Later he attended the Conservatory of the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna, studied singing with Josef Gänsbacher. He then sang at the Stadttheater in Leipzig and at the Komische Oper in Vienna as a Tenorbuffo. In 1881 he participated in the Wagner-tour of Angelo Neumann and later sang at the Bayreuth Festival. From 1883 he worked as Tenorbuffo member of the Court Opera in Berlin and later also sang at the newly founded German opera house in Charlottenburg. In 1908 Lieban became Kammersänger. As of 1933, he had sung over 70 performances of Mime (his most celebrated role) at the State Opera. He was engaged successfully as guest in many major opera houses throughout Europe. His brothers were the baritone Adalbert Lieban, bass Adolf Lieban and baritone Siegmund Lieban.
[Wagner] had recommended his Bayreuth singer Schlossser for the part of Mime [for SIEGFRIED, in Berlin]; but I had decided to give the role to Julius Lieban, an ideal Mime and a member of our Leipzig cast. At the close of the first act Wagner, who had never seen this young singer before, could hardly contain himself. With his characteristic dash he flew on to the stage and stormed up the steps, passing Lieban, whom he did not recognize, in his hurry. The singer himself, young and inexperienced, was hurrying down the stairs, anxious to hear the Master’s verdict. As he passed him by I called to Wagner, ‘Master, this is our Lieban’, but not recognizing the name he hurried on, still looking for the artist; till I finally cried, ‘Master, this is our Mime!’ Then he stopped suddenly, wheeled, and rushed at Lieban, who stopped there, trembling at the thought of meeting Richard Wagner. The Master threw his arms about him in an ecstasy of enthusiasm, and when he exclaimed, ‘You did that wonderfully – it was simply matchless!’ – the young fellow fairly cried for joy and kissed his hand in reverence and gratitude.”
- Angelo Neumann (Director of Leipzig Stadttheater), ERINNERUNGEN AM RICHARD WAGNER, p.148
“Angelo Neumann was a German baritone and theater director. Neumann began his stage career in 1859, and from 1876 he was Leipzig’s opera director. His aegis began with a LOHENGRIN, followed by other Wagner operas and performances of Verdi's AÏDA and Bizet's CARMEN. In 1882 he organized a Gluck cycle. In Berlin he staged THE RING DES NIBELUNGEN and later became director of the Prague German Theatre.
He was best known for his Wagner performances and his traveling Wagner Ensemble, to which a full orchestra under the baton of the conductor Anton Seidl, an opera chorus, stage equipment and stage technicians as well as renowned soloists and soloists were employed, and from 1882 to 1883 alone he produced 135 RING performances and over 50 Wagner concerts throughout Europe. For this purpose he bought from Wagner the complete equipment of the premiere of the Bayreuth RING with costumes by Karl Emil Döpler. He produced as well the first performance of the entire Wagnerian RING in Venice, and again in April 1883 (two months after Wagner’s death) at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice.”
“[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