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SCHMIDT, Joseph: Arias and Songs (1929-36)

Period(s) 20th CenturyClassical (1750-1830)Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Film and TV Music • OperaOperettaVocal
Catalogue 8.111318-19
Label Naxos Historical
Quality   320kbps

Although he recorded for a relatively short period, only eight years, Joseph Schmidt stands out as one of the great recording artists and one of the most popular singers of the inter-war period. With a high-lying voice ideally suited to the microphone and a natural musical ability of the highest calibre, Schmidt triumphed over unhappy personal and political circumstances to leave a precious legacy of recordings. These demonstrate both a remarkable vocal technique (Schmidt’s biographer, Jan Neckers, praises ‘the soft, plangent quality of his voice, his exceptional legato and splendid high notes’) and a wide-ranging repertoire of opera, operetta and ballads.


Review By David Denton,Naxos,December 2007

Joseph Schmidt was unique in creating a career largely in the radio and recording studios, his diminutive size impeding a career on the stage. Born in 1904 his war torn world was eventually annexed to Rumania, and it was a Rumanian passport that he carried. It was in Germany and Austria that he most frequently appeared, his broadcasts on Berlin Radio including many complete operas. It was claimed that his voice was flawed, and it was only with the limitations of microphones that it emerged in the velvet quality we hear. His career was further compromised when he appeared in films, and having used his voice in the 'pop' world he became an outcast in opera. In popularity the cinema only added to his fame, though it was to be short-lived with the rise of the Nazi party. Throughout life



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