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Kurt Moses
American Record Guide, August 2003

“This new Naxos program of Opera excerpts (plus the Strauss waltz) is distinguished by excellent remasterings and its low price. The orchestral accompaniments, in particular, sound better than ever…if you don’t already have at least one disc of Berger operatic arias, grab this one. It’s the best value for the money.”

Drew Minter
Opera News, July 2003

“Listening to this Naxos portrait of the German soprano, one can imagine Berger as a marvelous teacher. No technical hurdle seems too great for her: runs move along thrillingly; high notes are always placed and never hurled; supreme cantabile characterizes all the singing — that is, when the notes are not being sung in an astonishing staccato manner. If there are reservations about the singing, they must be about the voice itself, which is small and girlish at the very bottom. For the youthful characters of Leila, Adele and Gilda, the snow–white purity of Berger’s voice is refreshing…The fact that Berger could encompass such a wide variety of roles, though, is in itself an achievement…“Der Holle Rache” has never been bettered on disc to my knowledge. The notes are rendered with spot–on staccato accuracy. Especially moving is “The Last Rose of Summer,” for its marvelous legato line. In fact, breath support and legato are the underpinning of all the styles of singing Berger mastered, from dramatic coloratura to lirico spinto roles. It is the unbroken melody of her singing that both allows her so much freedom in the phrasing and brings each characterization into a whole.”

Robert Baxter
Courier-Post, March 2003

“Marston’s sonic wizardry can be heard in new releases featuring German sopranos Frida Leider and Erna Berger. Both have been featured in historical reissues, but their voices have never before been caught with the clarity and impact of these new Naxos releases.”

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