Four German Contraltos

COMPOSERS: Gluck,Handel,Wagner
LABELS: Preiser
PERFORMER: Luise Willer, Eva Liebenberg, Maria Olszewska & Margarete Klose, with various orchestras
CATALOGUE NO: 89979 AAD mono

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Four German Contraltos of the Past is particularly interesting in that it features Eva Liebenberg, a glamorous presence in Berlin during the Twenties and a one-time guest at Bayreuth who, because of her Jewish origins, disappeared from view until after the Second World War.

Liebenberg’s vibrant singing graces Gluck, Handel and Wagner, though when it comes to Gluck I’d find it difficult to choose between Liebenberg in Orfeo ed Euridice (1929) and Margarete Klose in Alceste (1938).

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Klose was a supremely sensitive artist with an acute feeling for verbal nuance, and her contribution (largely Verdi) shines even within a programming context that also includes Luise Willer and the admirable Maria Olszewska.