Headshot of La Cieca

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Happy vernal equinox!

What better way to say, “welcome, first day of spring” than with Elena Cernei singing “Printemps qui commence?”

Parterrians are encouraged to post their own favorite spring songs in the comments section below.

105 comments

  • MontyNostry says:

    Off-thread, but this piece of sad news (posted by Michael Schade on Facebook) explains Genia Kühmeier’s cancellations:

    “I am devastated to hear the news that Martin Siebzehnriebl , Genia Kühmeier’s dear husband, is being buried today in Vienna after losing his battle to cancer! He was such gentle good man and a huge support to Genia and a loving father to their Children who are only four and nine years old! Such a tragedy and he died far too young!”

    • Cocky Kurwenal says:

      Tragic. And everything is suddenly understandable. Poor lady.

      • MontyNostry says:

        Just shows that we should all give performers some slack when they don’t live up to our expectations. There can be all kinds of awful stuff going on in their lives.

  • Agnese di Cervia says:

    My favorites songs for March


    and

  • rapt says:

    Here’s another palate-cleanser. Don’t miss the two exquisite sniffs at the end of each verse, not to mention the concluding messa di voce.

  • Fidelia says:

    Another late entry! I love this :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lZvviG6_Bg

  • Jamie01 says:

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=kHmYIo7bcUw

    • Milady DeWinter says:

      Gualtier M and messa voce: Thank you for those lovely Hallstein and Printemps links! How could I forgot the matchless Printemps -- what charm, and that steady, loooonnng breath -- amazing. And Hallstein! Back one page is an interview with that charmer and Mr. Everding from 1991

      I love this particular gem from Yvonne:

      • messa di voce says:

        A more apt Printemps choice than mine.

        I tried to find one of the arias from “Mozart,” which always reduce me to a blubbering heap, but they don’t seem to be up on Youtube.

        • Milady DeWinter says:

          “I’ll Follow My Secret Heart” duet with Noel Coward brings on the waterworks with me. Whenever I’m down, or up, or just need a palette cleanser, I pull out Yvonne P or my “Toast to Tosti” disc. Sure cures for anything that ails anybody -- at least temporarily.

          • armerjacquino says:

            You know who sings Noel Coward- often seen as the epitome of a certain kind of ‘Englishness’ better than anyone else?

            • Milady DeWinter says:

              That’s a score, armer! I am only now catching up on my Gueden-ese. What a wonderful, versatile singer. So winning as Zdneka etal., but after hearing her in a Sirius archival Gilda, which was outstanding, I started to investigate other Gueden recordings. Such style, and a nice round, core to the voice. If only Ms. Phillips could have channeled some of Gueden’s expertise as Rosalinda into this season’s dismal Fledermaus outing chez Gelb.

            • rapt says:

              Speaking of et al., here’s her unusual (and my favorite) Zerbinetta:

            • Bill says:

              Gueden always had a high extension to her voice from the beginning so that in Mid
              Career she could adequately tackle Zerbinetta and Aminta in Schweigsame Frau.
              She never had trouble with the Czardas in Fledermaus and did not have to scream
              out the final high note of that aria as so many do these days. Everytime I saw her as Violetta or Gilda she had no problem with the high notes. Schwarzkopf also sang
              Zerbinetta earlier in her career and della Casa did some Queens of the Night but later settled for lyrical roles. All 3 sang Sophie but only Gueden stuck with Sophie throughout her career. Welitsch also sang Sophie quite early (in Graz) -- Jurinac stated that she could reach a high C but not further up -- Seefried was a high soprano (Olympia even) but only in the first decade of her career -- Gueden had just the slightest amount of acid in her voice though of an appealing nature -- her repertoire was wide, she was very glamourous on stage -- It is interesting
              that Boehm used her for Zerbinetta at Salzburg in 1954 while relegating Streich who was in the same series of performances to the role of Nyade (sung gorgeously). Gueden retired at the age of 53 in 1970 in full command of her vocal facilities singing her major roles up to the very end.
              She also sang Zerbinetta in Vienna until 1959, her Daphne was famous and she had a great success as Melisande with von Karajan conducting -- plus she may have been unmatched as Rosalinde in Fledermaus from 1950 onward and probably has not been surpassed since in that role. She had the beauty, the verve, the elan, the voice and of course when needed a perfect Hungarian accent. In Vienna she was affectionately called Hulda which I believe was her original name and distinquished her from Hilde Ko (Konetzni) and Hildchen (Zadek)
              do not know what the Viennese called Hilde Roessel-Majdan

            • Buster says:

              Gueden’s rare Decca recitals have just been re-released: Mozart arias with the VPO and Erede, and Strauss songs, amongst others:

              http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/s/Most+Wanted+Recitals

              I am very fond of her late operetta recordings -- when the voice had become fuller, and warmer. Vogelhaendler, Bettelstudent, and, first and foremost, the Stolz Wiener Blut. When that last album was planned, an amazing trio of leading ladies was rounded up: Wilma Lipp, Hilde Gueden, and Margit Schramm. The next question was: who gets the prima donna part? Lipp was the senior diva, and the biggest star, but she got the character role, and Gueden got the oountess. There were worries Lipp would be upset about this, and would insist on getting the Gueden part. Instead, they all got along fine in the studio, Lipp made something extraordinary out of the Probiermamsel, and Gueden gave a fine performance of the countess. Schramm is most amusing, as always.

            • Buster says:

              Gueden was older than Lipp, in fact. Will look up the story….

            • rapt says:

              Bill, thanks so much for this and all your informative reports of your long operatic experience. It’s a delight to learn about the in-house performances and the career details of many singers whom I know only from recordings. The even-handedness and evident affection of your reports adds to their charm.

            • Bill says:

              Gueden was born in 1917 and Lipp in 1925, both in Vienna. Gueden made her debut in Zurich in 1939 as Cherubino -- then became a member of the Munich ensemble -- her Vienna debut (als Gast) was as Despina in either 1941 or 1942 and she sang at the Wiener Staatsoper in a Munich production (guesting in Voienna) of Handel’s Rodelinda abpit 1942 but did not join the Vienna Opera ensemble until Feb 1947 as Zerlina. Lipp made her bebut in Vienna (but probably not the Staatsoper) as Rosina in 1943 and was an ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera as early as June 1945 only one month after the Vienna Opera was reestablished (in the current Volksoper building). Lipp is incidentally still alive, pme pf the few remaining members of the early Vienna post-war ensemble still lving (Zadek, Kmennt, Christa Ludwig who was not in Vienna til 1955). In the earlier years in Vienna Lipp was considered to have the lighter voice of the two -- (her first Pamina not until 1957) though both sang Sophie, Gilda early on) so it would be more appropriate casting for Gueden to sing the soprano role and Lipp the Soubrette. When Karajan took over the Staatsoper in 1957 he encouraged Lipp to
              emerge more as a Lyric soprano. Lipp sang something like 1194 performacnes at the Vienna Opera, Gueden a mere 672. (but Jurinac 1198, Erich Kunz close to 2500, Dermota over 1600, Schoeffler over 1100). Welitsch 458 in a much shorter time period, della Casa 426, Seefried 689, Stich-Randall 355, Schwarzkopf only about 217. Hoengen 935 after the war, Hotter 519 after the war, Cebotari 177 in two seasons alone after the war. Rysanek 527 -- these types of numbers do not crop up any more among leading singers though I believe Gruberova has sung over 700 performances in Vienna to date. (and Domingo a huge number at the Met)

            • Buster says:

              Thanks a lot Bill. Apparently, Lipp’s nickname was die blonde Callas, for all the successes she had in Italy with Italian repertoire. She tried to get out of the soubrettosphere, and managed to move on from Adele to Rosalinde, but never from Sophie to the Marschallin.

  • Milady DeWinter says:

    Thank you for posting that delightful version from Ms. Gueden. I was “rapt”!
    Such pithy tone, excellent trills, and if she doesn’t linger on the very topmost tones, she knows how to fold it all into a witty (and focused) musical profile. Excellent work.

    • Ilka Saro says:

      There used to be a vid available on Youtube of Hilde Gueden’s “Nacht und Traeume” that was stunning. It got yanked many years ago. Would love to see that again.

  • laddie says:

  • laddie says:

  • timothyjuddviolin says:

    Schubert referred to spring in a few of his songs. Take a moment and listen:

    http://www.timothyjuddviolin.com/2014/03/19/schubert-songs-of-spring/