Meta Seinemeyer Sings Puccini, Verdi, Giordano, Wagner

Meta Seinemeyer Sings Puccini, Verdi, Giordano, Wagner

by Meta Seinemeyer


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Meta Seinemeyer Sings Puccini, Verdi, Giordano, Wagner

Meta Seinemeyer is a distant figure from an unknowable past, and if it weren't for the more than 80 recordings she made in the 1920s, we might not be aware of her at all. She was certainly an alluring woman to look at; the one common portrait of her seen on all of the reissue packages devoted to her memory is ample evidence of that. Were we able to step inside the portrait and ask her who she was, Seinemeyer might state that she made her debut at the Deutschen Opernhaus in Berlin-Charlottenburg, a second-string opera house where she labored until 1925 when conductor Fritz Busch lured her away to replace Elisabeth Rethberg at the Semperoper. After that, things moved fast for Seinemeyer; she created the role of the Duchess in the premiere of Busoni's "Doktor Faust"; appeared in Vienna, Dresden, and Buenos Aires as a star attraction; and during this time made her many records, mostly with the orchestra and chorus of the Berlin Staatsoper. After making her London debut at Covent Garden in early 1929, Seinemeyer discovered she had leukemia. Within mere months, Seinemeyer was dead at the age of 33. Reissue packages on Seinemeyer's work have not been especially numerous, and in this respect Hänssler Classic has been lucky to pick a historic singer whose recordings have not been extensively mined by one of the "other guys." The digital transfers featured on the Living Voices series entry devoted to Seinemeyer, made by the THS Studio Holger Siedler, are certainly unusual -- similar to Romophone in that a light digital reverberation is applied, although there is little to no evidence of surface noise here. The original late-'20s German recordings would have had considerable surface noise owing to the poor quality of the pressings and a bit of ambient reverberation owing to the large rooms in which such recordings were made. It appears that the ambient room sound has been subsumed into the digital reverb, and miraculously Seinemeyer's voice comes very prominently to the fore. Moreover, this is what you want, as the choruses of the Berlin Staatsoper sure were a scrappy-sounding bunch in the late '20s. Seinemeyer was an interesting choice to replace Elisabeth Rethberg, a self-taught soprano possessed of a magnificently beautiful and versatile voice whose weak aspect was her in her inability to act. Seinemeyer, likewise self-taught, had a BIG voice and was unable to reach a true pianissimo, and this is a disadvantage in the Puccini selections heard here. Fritz Busch regarded her as the perfect choice, however, in a series of Verdi revivals he planned to do, and in the Verdi selections and Wagner Seinemeyer's power and musicality is stunning -- she was a rare species, a big-voiced German singer who was nonetheless effective in singing Italian opera. This Living Voices collection of Seinemeyer is probably the historical opera consumer's best choice for a single-disc collection of her work, and the sound is so excellent one wishes the same studio could rehabilitate all of her recordings, as impractical and commercially unjustifiable such a project would be.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/09/2006
Label: Swrmusic
UPC: 4010276018247
catalogNumber: 94511


  1. Tosca, opera: Vissi d'arte
  2. Tosca, opera: Chor. Cantate (Singt vereint in vollen Chören)
  3. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Ancora un passo or via
  4. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Un bel di vedremo
  5. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Das ist sicher ein Kriegsschiff (Una nave di guerr
  6. Don Carlo, opera: Tu che la vanità
  7. La forza del destino, opera: Son giunta, grazie o Dio
  8. La forza del destino, opera: Du wirst den Schritt beim Morgenrot (Sull'alba il
  9. La forza del destino, opera: Pace, pace, mio Dio
  10. Otello, opera: Gia nella notte densa
  11. Andrea Chénier, opera: La mamma morta
  12. Andrea Chénier, opera: Du kommst daher (Vicino a te)
  13. Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b: Der Männer, Sippe - Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnem

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