Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Hermann Weil sings Robert Schumann's most militaristic lied!
As Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro
Weil is an interesting character in the World of Opera. He was a student of Wagner disciple Felix Mottl, a great Wagnerian conductor. He spent most of his early career in Stuttgardt, where he made a big name for himself and was brought to Bayreuth where he assumed the heldbaritone fach roles. In 1911 he came to New York to sing with the Metropolitan Opera, where he stayed for 6 seasons, leaving the company towards the end of the War in 1917. He returned in the 1920's with a German touring company and stayed long enough to get his citzenship. A smart move, as a Jew, he was able to leave Europe in 1939 for the United States. He died in a boating accident in upstate New York in 1949.
This 1916 Columbia recording of Weil singing Schumann's Die beiden Grenadiere is not a great recording, it is a good, competent recording in my opinion. Listen carefully to his exquisite diction and rolling r's! As much as I admire Feodor Chaliapin, it's a better recording of the lied than his, far less strained, so if you like the Chaliapin recording you should love this. I am presenting this video which has also been launched for the first time in digital format. I have also included an English language translation of the lied on the video post on YouTube.