Ernestine Schumann-Heink 1906-1929

"Great artist, great woman ... by the end of this excellent selection of her recordings the special quality of her voice and artistry and of the woman herself could hardly leave the listener unmoved despite the great gap of time. Everything on these records has imagination and a loving commitment brought to it ... perhaps I may quote a sentence from a letter I received recently from the States: "I remember her voice just as it sounds on the CD". The writer was Schumann-Heink's youngest grand-daughter, who heard her daily, still practising scales and exercises, and who played the piano for her to sing, probably for the last time, two days before she went into hospital and a fortnight before her death." John B. Steane, Gramophone


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German Czech Schumann-Heink was already famous when she first recorded in 1903 and sometimes hooted on top notes (virtually her only fault). Beloved on both sides of the Atlantic, she could trill, execute rapid runs and cover a vast range. She commanded French, Italian and German roles as well as Lieder. She is a formidable motherly Fidès (here recorded in 1907) but is just as effective in Handel, Donizetti and Wagner. Gramophone

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