Wolf: Italienisches Liederbuch, Etc / Prey, Berger
Heinemann, Herbert; Mälzer, Martin; Raucheisen, Michael; Berger, Erna; Scherzer, Ernst Günther; Günther Weißenborn; Prey, Hermann
The songs recorded on this album by the “late” Erna Berger and the “early” Hermann Prey will certainly give anyone interested in performance history, or music in general, a valuable audio account with a carefully restored sound quality. These historical recordings were made between 1952 – 1959. Erna Berger, Germany's most well-known coloratura soprano of the last few decades, indeed proved to have extraordinary musical talent even at a very early age. She went on to sing over 30 different roles at the Berlin State Opera House, including the Queen of the Night, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, and her fame spread abroad. The following years brought her guest appearances all over the world. After World War II, she started out on her international career. The German bass-baritone, Hermann Prey, grew up during the regime of the the National Socialist Party. He was scheduled to be drafted at the age of 15 when the end of the Second World War brought peace and a chance for him to study voice with Gunther Baum and Jaro Prohaska at the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin. In 1952 he won a contest of Hessischer Rundfunk Frankfurt. Hermann Prey's voice was a lyric baritone with great warmth and he had complete control of all dynamic variations. He was able to convey a sense of the comic elements of a song without losing the musical sense of the entire piece. Hermann Prey will always be remembered for the fine musicianship and the beauty of his voice.