David's Review Corner
, May 2007
The legendary recording producer, Walter Legge, gathered around his famous wife, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, some of the star names from the Vienna State Opera for a series of operetta recordings made during the 1950's, here adding the orchestra that he had founded in London. The story of Weiner Blut is slight and weighed own with spoken dialogue, the original production in Vienna such a flop that the theatre manager, a broken man, committed suicide. With some adjustments to the story it was revived five years later and this time proved a success. Legge decided to record only sufficient to hang the story together, and tailored it fit on two LPs. The end product consists of a series of arias with the chorus bringing the work to a grand finale. Throughout the singing is typical of the best Viennese operetta performances, Kunz as refined as ever; Schwarzkopf creamily smooth, while the orchestra is wonderfully alive. Ackermann is a model of operetta rectitude and never pushes the tempos, and on disc this is the version to have.