Christa Ludwig

Christa Ludwig,  Mezzo Soprano

Christa Ludwig is acknowledged as one of the twentieth century’s most complete vocal artists. She debuted in 1946 as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus at the Frankfurt State Opera and starred at the Vienna State Opera from her debut as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro in 1955 until her retirement from singing in 1994. Her professional singing career spanned five decades and, as a star of the international operatic stage, she starred in the soprano, mezzo and coloratura mezzo repertoire.

Ms. Ludwig also established her reputation as a fine lieder singer. The intimate auditorium of the Volkstheater in Vienna was packed with a discerning and enthusiastic audience when Christa Ludwig gave a master class there.

As a bonus on this CD, we see Ms. Ludwig conduct a master class. The young singers who took part – Valerij Serkin (tenor), Stella Grigorian (mezzo) and Marcus Pelz (baritone) – were all studying at an advanced level, with their sights set on finding success as professionals on the operatic stage. With her guidance, their characterizations are seen to take on a new depth in just a short space of time. The master class focuses on Mozart and concludes with a performance extract featuring the young Christa Ludwig as Dorabella in Così fan Tutte in 1970.

We hear the following on this CD:

  • Schubert – Winterreise D. 911
  • A Master Class with Christa Ludwig, Part I

Christa Ludwig, mezzo soprano with Charles Spencer, piano

The performance was recorded in 1994 when Ludwig was sixty-six years old. The richness of her voice is perhaps just slightly reduced by age, but the artistry that comes from almost fifty years of performing more than makes up for this. Indeed, this is a wonderfully artistic performance.

So, this is a DVD for lovers of Schubert, admirers of the legendary Christa Ludwig, and for those who wish to see a Ludwig master class.

Here is Christa Ludwig:

Tags: Christa Ludwig, Schubert, Master class

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