Hilde Gueden Sings Mozart (CD)
Gifted with great beauty and a natural stage presence, Hilde Gueden was unfailingly easy on the ear as well as the eye. With her creamy tone and ability to spin the silvery upper-register sonority needed for her Strauss roles, she was a natural successor to Elisabeth Schumann, Lotte Schá¶ne and Adele Kern. Fortunately for posterity, she recorded prolifically and in the LP era she worked mainly for Decca, taking part in many opera and operetta sets. Most of the Mozart arias here were among Gueden's first studio recordings. The first two were set down on her initial visit to London in 1947, with the LSO under Josef Krips, and four more were made two years later with the same accompanists. All were intended for 78rpm release and four came out in that form; but two, overtaken by the arrival of 33rpm LPs, were not released until the CD era. These Mozart portraits establish some of Gueden's best qualities, the creamy tone, even from top to bottom, the rhythmic poise and the mercurial, sometimes cheeky personality. The late 1940s and 1950s in Vienna seem like a golden age of Mozart singing, and Hilde Gueden played her part in it.
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