PERFORMER: Ernestine Schumann-Heink
CATALOGUE NO: DE 5503 ADD mono
Stokowski is represented by a magisterial ‘unissued take’ of Götterdämmerung’s orchestral finale, recorded in Philadelphia in 1927, two years before contralto ERNESTINE SCHUMANN-HEINK made her second recording of Erda’s ‘Weiche, Wotan! weiche!’.
Both versions turn up as part of a dazzling Schumann-Heink retrospective in Delos’s ‘The Stanford Archive’ series, replete with rare broadcasts, unissued recordings, spoken introductions and compelling reportage of the singer’s eventful and often tragic life. It is a noble voice, dark and vibrant, firmer at the turn of the century than in the mid-Thirties (she died in 1936) and rather less palatable for long stretches than the expressive bass of MARCEL JOURNET.