Irmgard Seefried (1944-1967)

Although we shall already be commemorating the 25th anniversary of the death of Irmgard Seefried on 23 November 2013, this soprano’s magnificent artistry as demonstrated on the operatic stage, in the concert hall and in the genre of the lied is still remembered well by music-lovers today. She came originally from Swabia, and after making her stage debut in Aachen (where she worked for the first time with Herbert von Karajan) she moved to the Vienna State Opera in 1943 and remained attached to the house for more than thirty years. She developed into one of the most important singers of her time, especially in the Mozart repertoire. Her performances and recordings as Pamina in the Zauberflöte, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte under conductors such as Karl Böhm and Joseph Krips made her into a role model for the generations after her. Irmgard Seefried, ca. 1949
Irmgard Seefried, ca. 1949
Foto: Private archive Gottfried Kraus
Excerpts from these roles can be heard in this anniversary box from Orfeo. Many recordings by Irmgard Seefried that were hitherto unavailable, or available only in poor copies on the grey market, have here been rigorously restored. Our collection begins in the year 1944 and features excerpts from well-known radio productions under Karl Böhm (Mozart’s Zauberflöte, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Wagner’s Meistersinger and Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos) alongside other, less well-known recordings of individual arias by Haydn, Weber and Puccini under the baton of Leopold Ludwig. Her Mozart performances – which took her all over the globe – are documented here with various conductors including Ernest Ansermet, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Bruno Walter. Besides her star roles mentioned above we find works here such as the motet Exsultate, jubilate and the aria Non temer, amato bene, in which her husband Wolfgang Schneiderhan took on the violin solo part, as he often did during those years when Seefried was at the height of her career. Naturally, a homage to Irmgard Seefried cannot omit her song repertoire. This is documented here by a selection of radio recordings from the 1950s and ’60s. Whether in songs by Haydn and Mozart or by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms, her diction is always remarkable. Furthermore, her musical approach was thoroughly natural (in the best sense of the word) and this always allowed Seefried to establish a direct connection with her audience. This is especially the case for the programme chosen for the last CD in our new anthology, which at first glance seems a little odd: Mussorgsky’s Nursery songs, recorded in 1958 with her “constant” accompanist Erik Werba, and Chansons from three centuries, a German Radio broadcast from 1967. These add new, fascinating aspects to round off Irmgard Seefried’s artistic profile.


Haydn, Franz Joseph

Chi vive amante, XXIVb:13
1.     Chi vive amante, XXIVb:13
05:00

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), K. 620 (excerpts)
2.     Act II: Ach! Ich fuhl's, es ist verschwunden
05:08
3.     Act II: Du bist also mein Bräutigam?
04:42

Beethoven, Ludwig van

Fidelio, Op. 72 (excerpts)
4.     Act I: Duet: Jetzt, Schatzchen, jetzt sind wir allein
04:41
5.     Act I: Armer Jaquino - Aria: O war' ich schon mit dir vereint (Marzelline)
04:25

Weber, Carl Maria von

Der Freischutz, J. 277, Act II: Wie nahte mir der Schlummer … Leise, leise, fromme Weise
6.     Der Freischutz, J. 277, Act II: Wie nahte mir der Schlummer … Leise, leise, fromme Weise
09:03

Wagner, Richard

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg) (excerpts)
7.     Act II: Gut'n Abend, Meister!
08:30
8.     Act III: Hat man mit dem Schuhwerk nicht seine Not! - O sachs! Mein Freund! Du teurer Mann!
05:22

Puccini, Giacomo

Suor Angelica, Ohne Mutter bist du, Kind, gestorben! (Sung in German)
9.     Suor Angelica, Ohne Mutter bist du, Kind, gestorben! (Sung in German)
19:12

Strauss, Richard

Ariadne auf Naxos, Op. 60, TrV 228a (excerpts)
10.     The Prologue: Lieber Freund! Verschaffen Sie mir die Geigen
08:19
11.     The Prologue: Sein wir wieder gut … Musik ist eine heilige kunst
03:12

Disc 2

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492 (excerpts)
1.     Act II: Voi che sapete
02:44
2.     Act IV: Aria: Deh vieni, non tardar
04:34
Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), K. 620, Act II: Ach! Ich fuhl's, es ist verschwunden
3.     Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), K. 620, Act II: Ach! Ich fuhl's, es ist verschwunden
04:56
Il re pastore, K. 208, Act II: L'amero, saro costante
4.     Il re pastore, K. 208, Act II: L'amero, saro costante
06:11
Zaide, K. 344, Act I: Aria: Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben
5.     Zaide, K. 344, Act I: Aria: Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben
05:51
Exsultate jubilate, K. 165
6.     Exsultate, jubilate
04:45
7.     Fulgat amica dies
00:58
8.     Tu virginum corona
06:25
9.     Allelujah
02:36
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492, Act IV: Endlich naht sich die Stunde - O saume langer nicht (Sung in German)
10.     Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492, Act IV: Endlich naht sich die Stunde - O saume langer nicht (Sung in German)
06:04
Così fan tutte, K. 588 (excerpts)
11.     Act I: Recitative: Temerari! Sortite fuori di questo loco! - Come scoglio immoto resta
05:40
12.     Act II: Recitative: Ei parte … senti … ah no! - Per pieta, ben mio, perdona (Fiordiligi)
07:48
Vado, ma dove? Oh Dei!, K. 583
13.     Vado, ma dove? Oh Dei!, K. 583
04:08
Ch'io mi scordi di te … Non temer, amato bene, K. 505
14.     Ch'io mi scordi di te … Non temer, amato bene, K. 505
09:53
Non più, tutto ascoltai … Non temer, amato bene, K. 490
15.     Non più, tutto ascoltai … Non temer, amato bene, K. 490
06:41

Disc 3

Haydn, Franz Joseph

She never told her love, Hob.XXVIa:34
1.     She never told her love, Hob.XXVIa:34
03:22
Piercing Eyes, Hob.XXVIa:35
2.     Piercing Eyes, Hob.XXVIa:35
01:49
The Spirit's Song, Hob.XXVIa:41
3.     The Spirit's Song, Hob.XXVIa:41
06:12

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Sehnsucht nach dem Fruhling, K. 596
4.     Sehnsucht nach dem Fruhling, K. 596
01:57

Schubert, Franz

Fischerweise, D. 881
5.     Fischerweise, D. 881
03:40
Im Fruhling, Op. 101, No. 1, D. 882
6.     Im Fruhling, Op. 101, No. 1, D. 882
04:01
Auf dem Wasser zu singen, Op. 72, D. 774
7.     Auf dem Wasser zu singen, Op. 72, D. 774
03:18
Seligkeit, D. 433
8.     Seligkeit, D. 433
02:18
Ganymed (Ganymede), Op. 19, No. 3, D. 544
9.     Ganymed (Ganymede), Op. 19, No. 3, D. 544
03:58
Ellens Gesang III (Ave Maria!), Op. 52, No. 6, D. 839, "Hymne an die Jungfrau"
10.     Ellens Gesang III (Ave Maria!), Op. 52, No. 6, D. 839, "Hymne an die Jungfrau"
06:14
Gretchen am Spinnrade, Op. 2, D. 118
11.     Gretchen am Spinnrade, Op. 2, D. 118
03:57

Schumann, Robert

Romanzen und Balladen, Book 3, Op. 53: No. 3. Der arme Peter wankt vorbei
12.     Romanzen und Balladen, Book 3, Op. 53: No. 3. Der arme Peter wankt vorbei
04:38
Myrthen, Op. 25 (excerpts)
13.     No. 3. Der Nussbaum
03:14
14.     No. 1. Widmung
02:10

Brahms, Johannes

8 Lieder und Gesänge, Op. 59 (excerpts)
15.     No. 2. Auf dem See
02:56
16.     No. 8. Dein blaues Auge
02:05
15 Romanzen aus Die Schöne Magelone, Op. 33: No. 9. Ruhe, Sussliebchen
17.     15 Romanzen aus Die Schöne Magelone, Op. 33: No. 9. Ruhe, Sussliebchen
05:31
8 Lieder und Gesänge, Op. 57: No. 8. Unbewegte laue Luft
18.     8 Lieder und Gesänge, Op. 57: No. 8. Unbewegte laue Luft
03:17
49 Deutsche Volkslieder, Book 1, WoO 33 (excerpts)
19.     No. 12. Feinsliebchen, du sollst mir nicht borfuß geh'n
00:00
20.     No. 15. Schwesterlein, Schwesterlein
02:53
21.     No. 42. In stille nacht
03:00

Disc 4

Mussorgsky, Modest Petrovich

Detskaya (The Nursery) (Sung in German) (excerpts)
1.     No. 1. Mit der Njanja (With Nurse)
02:02
2.     No. 2. Im Winkel (In the Corner)
01:42
3.     No. 3. Der Käfer (The Beetle)
02:42
4.     No. 4. Mit der Puppe (With the Doll)
02:04
5.     No. 5. Abendgebet (Going to Sleep)
02:09
6.     No. 7. Steckenpferdreiter (On the Hobbyhorse)
03:49

Traditional

Pierrot im Mondenschein
7.     Pierrot im Mondenschein
02:01

Anonymous

Trimouzet
8.     Trimouzet
01:58

Renard, Antoine

Süßkirschenzeit
9.     Süßkirschenzeit
02:37

Milhaud, Darius

Der Apfel und die Schnecke
10.     Der Apfel und die Schnecke
03:39

Kosma, Joseph

Kinderlied im Winter
11.     Kinderlied im Winter
01:33
Lied des Vogelstellers (Chanson de l'oiseleur)
12.     Lied des Vogelstellers (Chanson de l'oiseleur)
01:41
Die beiden Schnecken
13.     Die beiden Schnecken
03:37
Schöne Jahreszeit
14.     Schöne Jahreszeit
01:02
Im Garten
15.     Im Garten
01:12
Fabel (Fable)
16.     Fabel (Fable)
02:00

Total Playing Time: 04:23:06