Le nozze di Figaro (Richard Itter Collection)
Erich Kunz (Figaro); Irmgard Seefried (Susanna);
Paul Schöffler (The Count); Lisa Della Casa
(The Countess); Sena Jurinac (Cherubino);
Oskar Czerwenka (Bartolo); Rosette Anday
(Marcellina); Murray Dickie (Basilio);
Anny Felbermayer (Barbarina); Walter Berry (Antonio)
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra / Karl Böhm
(Royal Festival Hall, London, 13 September 1954)
This release has been sourced from the Richard Itter archive. After 12 years of negotiation starting in 2005, ICA Classics have signed an exclusive long term
agreement with the Lyrita Recorded Edition who are responsible for Richard Itter Trust. The collection is very important for collectors because it has never been
released before onto the market.
Harold Rosenthal, editor of Opera Magazine, described the staged performance at London’s Royal Festival Hall in September 1954 as ‘sheer delight’ and went on to
praise an exceptionally strong Viennese cast, many of whose members had long associations not just with the Vienna State Opera but with the city itself.
In a 1985 interview Walter Berry (Antonio) said, ‘We played in the Theater an der Wien (during the rebuilding of the Vienna State Opera) and we developed
a certain style, a Mozart style which was connected very much with the singers of that time...this was an incredible ensemble (with particular reference to Irmgard Seefried, Erich Kunz and Paul Schoeffler) together with Karl Böhm and Josef Krips’.
Erich Kunz was described by Harold Rosenthal as ‘the complete artist’ in this performance, while Alan Blyth said he epitomised ‘the Viennese style at its most
compelling...with his charming personality, velvety baritone and innate sense of style’. Irmgard Seefried is descibed by George Hall in his booklet notes as ‘one of the joys of this recording’. Lisa Della Casa (Countess) sang this role nearly 200 times worldwide while Paul Schöffler sang the Count’s role 103 times in Vienna alone. Of Sena Jurinac’s performance Harold Rosenthal said: ‘What an imp of mischief she makes of Cherubino and with what feeling and intensity she sang her two arias’. As for Karl Böhm, the distinguished critic Joseph Wechsberg wrote of him, ‘When Böhm conducts Mozart, we hear Mozart, not Böhm conducting Mozart’.
A very good live recording captures the atmosphere of this light-footed performance in a packed Royal Festival Hall.
ICA Classics 2cds ICAC5147
|Release Period||April 2018|