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Which soprano sang it best?

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This aria was originally composed to an English text and will be known to some of us as Ocean! Thou might monster! The English text is hardly great literature and it always used to make me laugh when Rezia sings "Oh transport" at the arrival on the horizon of the ship she thinks will rescue her and Huon. The aria was a great favourite of Callas's and she sang it when she first auditioned for De Hidalgo as a teenager! She also recorded it, in somehwat curdled English, late in her career and included it in some of her concert programmes, so it obviously remained a favourite.

It was never performed in German in Weber's lifetime, though it is now most often performed in that language and all three ladies here sing it in German. I must say, I really enjoyed all three performances.

Gertrud Bindernagel is a new name to me. A quick search revealed that she died at the age of 38 in unusual circumstances. Her husband shot her after a performance of Siegfried at the Charlottenberg Opernhaus and she died a few days later from her wounds. This is quite a voice, with splendid ringing top notes and I found this quite exciting.

All three are a little clumsy in the coloratura section, but Leider has a wonderful trill. She also sings with a greater range of expression. Flagstad does too and I find it quite difficult to make a final decision. Ultimately I'm choosing Leider, because her performance affected me the most.
 

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This is some of the most majestic music I’ve ever heard. What I want to hear in this aria is a generosity to match; a voice buffeted by the elements, an outpouring of voice and tone, caution thrown to the winds. A voice confronting one of the elemental powers: the very Ocean!

None of the ladies open with a commanding gesture, they all sound well-schooled and the aria in German is already compromised by an extra syllable so the voice isn’t allowed to soar magnificently outward as it should do. They all seem to soften their emission as soon as the first note is out. Both Leider and Flagstad are too placid to my ears. Flagstad’s conductor is also too flaccid, but she improves in the allegro section, but it’s still not convincing.

No, the singer who gets into the spirit of the piece is Bindernagel, but she is still stymied by the first measures; it’s not generous enough for me, but she declaims the following measures mightily and let’s the high notes fly- her vehemence is welcome after the placidity of Flagstad and Leider especially. Yes, Bindernagel’s trill is a bit sketchy, but she fulfills most of my requirements and sings with her whole voice and spirit engaged.

There is only one singer who sings this aria like I’d like it sung and I hope she gets to sing it here.
 

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This aria was originally composed to an English text and will be known to some of us as Ocean! Thou might monster! The English text is hardly great literature and it always used to make me laugh when Rezia sings "Oh transport" at the arrival on the horizon of the ship she thinks will rescue her and Huon. The aria was a great favourite of Callas's and she sang it when she first auditioned for De Hidalgo as a teenager! She also recorded it, in somehwat curdled English, late in her career and included it in some of her concert programmes, so it obviously remained a favourite.

It was never performed in German in Weber's lifetime, though it is now most often performed in that language and all three ladies here sing it in German. I must say, I really enjoyed all three performances.

Gertrud Bindernagel is a new name to me. A quick search revealed that she died at the age of 38 in unusual circumstances. Her husband shot her after a performance of Siegfried at the Charlottenberg Opernhaus and she died a few days later from her wounds. This is quite a voice, with splendid ringing top notes and I found this quite exciting.

All three are a little clumsy in the coloratura section, but Leider has a wonderful trill. She also sings with a greater range of expression. Flagstad does too and I find it quite difficult to make a final decision. Ultimately I'm choosing Leider, because her performance affected me the most.
What a terrible story!
 

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….Gertrud Bindernagel is a new name to me. A quick search revealed that she died at the age of 38 in unusual circumstances. Her husband shot her after a performance of Siegfried at the Charlottenberg Opernhaus and she died a few days later from her wounds. This is quite a voice, with splendid ringing top notes and I found this quite exciting.
Apparently shot by her estranged husband , who was very jealous and thought she was having a affair.
 

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It's a treat to have three fine performances of this great aria. Whenever I hear it I regret that Weber died so young and didn't have the opportunity to hear the operas of his intense admirer Wagner, whose works would not have been the same without Der Freischutz, Oberon and Euryanthe. This dramatic piece has always been a favorite of great Isoldes and Brunnhildes, including all three of the present company.

Bindernagel is a revelation to me, not so much for her voice as such - though it's a fine one and well-used - as for her marvelous verbal sensitivity and the intensity of her musical line. Leider and Flagstad have more striking and sumptuous instruments, but I'm going to give this to Bindernagel, who had me riveted at every moment, eager to hear what she'd do next. Otherwise I agree with much of what others have said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's a treat to have three fine performances of this great aria. Whenever I hear it I regret that Weber died so young and didn't have the opportunity to hear the operas of his intense admirer Wagner, whose works would not have been the same without Der Freischutz, Oberon and Euryanthe. This dramatic piece has always been a favorite of great Isoldes and Brunnhildes, including all three of the present company.

Bindernagel is a revelation to me, not so much for her voice as such - though it's a fine one and well-used - as for her marvelous verbal sensitivity and the intensity of her musical line. Leider and Flagstad have more striking and sumptuous instruments, but I'm going to give this to Bindernagel, who had me riveted at every moment, eager to hear what she'd do next. Otherwise I agree with much of what others have said.
I love all that you say. I really love good bits of Euyanthe but it is so obscure that we have only one recording with Rita Hunter and Jessye Norman, both recorded when they were young and at their peak vocally. One aria with Norman and chorus has plenty of coloratura and a whole bunch of high C's and can push me into a frenzy. It is one of my favorite arias of all time but only she recorded it. Sutherland recorded bits of the opera early on but none of it is on Youtube. Luckily this aria is done a lot on lp recitals as it is so splendid. I have more good versions next round. Shaffee introduced Bindernagle to me and I thought she was very exciting. She is in one more contest.
 

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I love all that you say. I really love good bits of Euyanthe but it is so obscure that we have only one recording with Rita Hunter and Jessye Norman, both recorded when they were young and at their peak vocally. One aria with Norman and chorus has plenty of coloratura and a whole bunch of high C's and can push me into a frenzy. It is one of my favorite arias of all time but only she recorded it. Sutherland recorded bits of the opera early on but none of it is on Youtube. Luckily this aria is done a lot on lp recitals as it is so splendid. I have more good versions next round. Shaffee introduced Bindernagle to me and I thought she was very exciting. She is in one more contest.
You really ought to give this live (for radio?) 1949 Euryanthe a listen:

It's a livelier performance than the EMI recording, which struck me as rather studio-bound. Most interesting to me is the Eglantine, Hilde Rossl-Majdan, who I knew only as a mezzo from some recordings of the later 1950s and '60s. Here she's a brilliant dramatic soprano, superior in my view to Rita Hunter on the EMI (or anyone singing today). Skip to 101:45 for her and the baritone in a dramatic exchange that shows Weber anticipating Wagner's Ortrud and Telramund.
 

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I liked Bindernagel most here. Although I do love Flagstad and Lieder.

Do you plan on having the 1962 version by Callas in the final? It's quite late for her and her voice wasn't as fresh a few years before, but here she's actually on surprisingly good form. It's nice to have her singing so open throatedly in such good sound; here she sounds like a true dramatic, albeit past her prime.
 
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I liked Bindernagel most here. Although I do love Flagstad and Lieder.

Do you plan on having the 1962 version by Callas in the final? It's quite late for her and her voice wasn't as fresh a few years before, but here she's actually on surprisingly good form. It's nice to have her singing so open throatedly in such good sound; here she sounds like a true dramatic, albeit past her prime.
Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. The Mozart, Beethoven, Weber recital has always been my least favourite of all her studio recitals and I don't remember the 1962 version of the Weber (with Tonini?) being that much better. Maybe I was wrong?
 
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Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. The Mozart, Beethoven, Weber recital has always been my least favourite of all her studio recitals and I don't remember the 1962 version of the Weber (with Tonini?) being that much better. Maybe I was wrong?
I'd say her "Ocean" is a triumph of mind over matter, except where the truly horrifying high notes get the upper hand. I do love the performance, but like you don't find the recital as a whole among her better offerings. It's just a bit too late vocally for such Classical material. I remember a reviewer describing listening to her at this stage as rather like biting into a raw onion, not entirely pleasant even if capable of bringing a tear to the eye.
 

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I'd say her "Ocean" is a triumph of mind over matter, except where the truly horrifying high notes get the upper hand. I do love the performance, but like you don't find the recital as a whole among her better offerings. It's just a bit too late vocally for such Classical material. I remember a reviewer describing listening to her at this stage as rather like biting into a raw onion, not entirely pleasant even if capable of bringing a tear to the eye.
It was quite a favourite of hers from her student days and in fact her audition aria for De Hidalgo. I think I read that it was mooted for one of her earlier recitals, but obviously wouldn't have fit in with her Lyric & Coloratura recital. A shame it wasn't then recorded when she recorded arias from La Vestale and Medea in 1955 with Serafin.
 
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It was quite a favourite of hers from her student days and in fact her audition aria for De Hidalgo. I think I read that it was mooted for one of her earlier recitals, but obviously wouldn't have fit in with her Lyric & Coloratura recital. A shame it wasn't then recorded when she recorded arias from La Vestale and Medea in 1955 with Serafin.
Yes if she'd have recorded it in 55 it would have been excellent, but again it is nice to have her singing with such abandon in stereo; her voice always sounds a bit shrill on her studio mono recordings and I invariably find her far preferable live in those years.
 

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Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. The Mozart, Beethoven, Weber recital has always been my least favourite of all her studio recitals and I don't remember the 1962 version of the Weber (with Tonini?) being that much better. Maybe I was wrong?
Try the live 1962 London recital, recorded by Michael Scott - that is my go to version.
 

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Yes if she'd have recorded it in 55 it would have been excellent, but again it is nice to have her singing with such abandon in stereo; her voice always sounds a bit shrill on her studio mono recordings and I invariably find her far preferable live in those years.
That’s exactly what the aria needs : abandon!
 

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I liked Bindernagel most here. Although I do love Flagstad and Lieder.

Do you plan on having the 1962 version by Callas in the final? It's quite late for her and her voice wasn't as fresh a few years before, but here she's actually on surprisingly good form. It's nice to have her singing so open throatedly in such good sound; here she sounds like a true dramatic, albeit past her prime.
There’s a live version in bad sound, but she’s better than in the studio, but I get your point.
 
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