Royal Swedish Opera Archives Vol. 2 – Der Rosenkavalier/Fidelio

Birgit Nilsson

Birgit Nilsson is one of the foremost operatic artists of the 20th century and is still admired by new generations all over the world thanks to her recordings. It is therefore a sensation to present on “Der Rosenkavalier/Fidelio” the unreleased recordings of a repertoire in which she hasn’t been featured on record earlier.

“Der Rosenkavalier/Fidelio” is number 2 (the first being “Il Trovatore” with Jussi Björling) in the Royal Swedish Opera Archives series, the eight volumes with unique opera recording that Caprice Records is releasing in collaboration with the Royal Swedish Opera. The year was 1959 and the recordings were partly made from the wings (Fidelio) and partly from the first row (Der Rosenkavalier).

Birgit Nilsson never recorded her role as the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. But now we can hear her, with the elegant rendering of lyrics, the ease when delivering lines, the musicality and the freshness of her tone. She is surrounded by Kerstin Meyer’s world famous Octavian, Eva Prytz at the same time ethereal and temperamental Sophie and the young Arne Tyrén’s burlesque Baron Ochs. Sixten Erhling was the conductor. Barbro Ericson, Ingeborg Kjellgren, Erik Sundquist and Sven-Erik Vikström form the first class ensemble that in its turn surrounds them. We join them just in time for Uno Stjernquist’s melting rendering of the singer’s Italian aria. The first half of Act 1 couldn’t be saved, unfortunately, because the position of the microphones drowned the singers in the orchestra.

Leonora in Fidelio has been recorded by Birgit Nilsson on CD. But these first generous excerpts allow us to hear the first version in German in Stockholm, with an intensively engaged Sixten Ehrling and with the undeservedly overlooked tenor Conny Söderström as Florestan. And in Rocco’s role Leon Björker, the bass Birgit Nilsson often has wanted to remember as the best. World famous Wagner baritone Sigurd Björling is a cruelly accentuated Pizarro. And Birgit Nilsson – on the threshold here to her debut at the Metropolitan and thus her international career – acts with the precise passion of the mature artist while the great voice is guided by pure lightness and elasticity.

These are odd recordings of a 40-year-old Birgit Nilsson in great shape!

Read more
Show playlist
    • CD 1
      • Der Rosenkavalier Music: Richard Strauss
        • 1.
          ”Di rigori armato”
        • 2.
          ”Als Morgengabe ganz separatim”
        • 3.
          ”Mein lieber Hippolyte”
        • 4.
          ”Da geht er hin”
        • 5.
          ”Ah! Du bist wieder da?”
        • 6.
          ”Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding”
        • 7.
          ”Ich hab ihn nicht einmal geküsst”
        • 8.
          ”Ein ernster Tag”
        • 9.
          ”Mir ist die Ehre widerfahren”
        • 10.
          ”Ich kenn' Ihn schon recht wohl”
        • 11.
          ”Ich präsentiere Euer Gnaden”
        • 12.
          ”Wird kommen über Nacht”
        • 13.
          ”Zu Ihm hätt' ich ein Zutrau'n”
        • 14.
          ”Da lieg' ich”
        • 15.
          ”Ohne mich”
    • CD 2
      • Fidelio Music: Ludwig van Beethoven
        • 1.
          ”O wär' ich schon mit dir vereint”
        • 2.
          ”Mir ist so wunderbar”
        • 3.
          ”Hat man nicht auch Gold beineben”
        • 4.
          ”Gut, Söhnchen, gut”
        • 5.
          ”Ha! Welch ein Augenblick”
        • 6.
          ”Abscheulicher! wo eilst du hin!”
        • 7.
          ”Gott! welch Dunkel hier!”
        • 9.
          ”Euch werde Lohn in bessern Welten”
        • 10.
          ”Er sterbe”
        • 11.
          ”O namenlose Freude”
        • 12.
          ”Heil sei dem Tag”
  • Total playtime 2'48

Compact Disc // CAP 22052 // Royal Swedish Opera Archives // Opera // Releasedate: 10 June, 2003