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Elisabeth Schwarzkopf

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf

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Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, DBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (9 December 19153 August 2006) was a German-born Austrian/British soprano
Soprano
A soprano is a voice type with a vocal range from approximately middle C to "high A" in choral music, or to "soprano C" or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody...

 opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 singer and recitalist. She was among the most renowned opera singers of the 20th century, much admired for her performances of Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

, Schubert
Franz Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer.Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies , liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music...

, Strauss
Richard Strauss
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

, and Wolf
Hugo Wolf
Hugo Wolf was an Austrian composer of Slovene origin, particularly noted for his art songs, or lieder. He brought to this form a concentrated expressive intensity which was unique in late Romantic music, somewhat related to that of the Second Viennese School in concision but utterly unrelated in...

.

Early life


Olga Maria Elisabeth Friederike Schwarzkopf was born in Jarotschin
Jarocin
Jarocin Jarocin Jarocin ( is a town in central Poland with 25,700 inhabitants (1995). Since 1999 Jarocin has been located in the Greater Poland Voivodeship, prior to that it was located in the Kalisz Voivodeship (1975–1998).- History :...

 in the province of Posen
Province of Posen
The Province of Posen was a province of Prussia from 1848–1918 and as such part of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918. The area was about 29,000 km2....

 in Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 to Friedrich Schwarzkopf and his wife, Elisabeth (née Fröhling). Schwarzkopf showed an interest in music from an early age. She performed in her first opera in 1928, as Eurydice in a school production of Gluck's
Christoph Willibald Gluck
Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck was an opera composer of the early classical period. After many years at the Habsburg court at Vienna, Gluck brought about the practical reform of opera's dramaturgical practices that many intellectuals had been campaigning for over the years...

 Orfeo ed Euridice
Orfeo ed Euridice
Orfeo ed Euridice is an opera composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck based on the myth of Orpheus, set to a libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi. It belongs to the genre of the azione teatrale, meaning an opera on a mythological subject with choruses and dancing...

in Magdeburg
Magdeburg
Magdeburg , is the largest city and the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Magdeburg is situated on the Elbe River and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe....

, Germany. In 1934, Schwarzkopf began her musical studies at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik
Berlin University of the Arts
The Universität der Künste Berlin, UdK is a public art school in Berlin, Germany, one of the four universities in the city...

.

However at the suggestion of the baritone
Baritone
Baritone is a type of male singing voice that lies between the bass and tenor voices. It is the most common male voice. Originally from the Greek , meaning deep sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C Baritone (or...

 Karl Schmitt-Walter
Karl Schmitt-Walter
Karl Schmitt-Walter was a prominent German opera singer, particularly associated with Mozart and the more lyrical Wagner baritone roles....

, she switched teachers and started working with the coloratura
Coloratura
Coloratura has several meanings. The word is originally from Italian, literally meaning "coloring", and derives from the Latin word colorare . When used in English, the term specifically refers to elaborate melody, particularly in vocal music and especially in operatic singing of the 18th and...

 soprano
Soprano
A soprano is a voice type with a vocal range from approximately middle C to "high A" in choral music, or to "soprano C" or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which usually encompasses the melody...

 Maria Ivogün
Maria Ivogün
Maria Ivogün was a distinguished soprano singer of Hungarian origin. She was especially an outstanding interpreter of the works of Mozart: her recording of the aria of the Queen of the Night became legendary.- Biography and artistic career :Maria Ivogün was born Ilse Kempner...

 as well as with Ivogün's husband, the pianist Michael Raucheisen
Michael Raucheisen
Translated from German WikipediaMichael Raucheisen was a German pianist and song accompanist....

. Ivogün's advice to her new pupil was, "Be noble, my child!"

Early career



In 1933, shortly after the Nazis came to power, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf's father, a local school headmaster, was dismissed from his position by the new ruling authorities for having refused to allow a Nazi party meeting at his school. He was also banned from taking any new teaching post. Prior to Friedrich Schwarzkopf's dismissal, the probability was that the 17-year-old Elisabeth would have studied medicine after passing her Abitur
Abitur
Abitur is a designation used in Germany, Finland and Estonia for final exams that pupils take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling, see also for Germany Abitur after twelve years.The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, often referred to as...

, but now, as the daughter of a banned schoolteacher, she was not allowed to enter university and – fortunately for posterity – she commenced music studies at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik
Berlin University of the Arts
The Universität der Künste Berlin, UdK is a public art school in Berlin, Germany, one of the four universities in the city...

. Schwarzkopf made her professional debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin
Deutsche Oper Berlin
The Deutsche Oper Berlin is an opera company located in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin, Germany. The resident building is also home to the Berlin State Ballet.-History:...

 (then called Deutsches Opernhaus) on 15 April 1938, as the Second Flower Maiden (First Group) in act 2 of Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

's Parsifal
Parsifal
Parsifal is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner. It is loosely based on Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, the 13th century epic poem of the Arthurian knight Parzival and his quest for the Holy Grail, and on Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval, the Story of the Grail.Wagner first conceived the work...

. In 1940 Schwarzkopf was awarded a full contract with the Deutsches Opernhaus, a condition of which was that she had to join the Nazi party.

Since the theme was brought up in the dissertation of the Austrian historian Oliver Rathkolb in the year 1982, the discussion of the singer's (Schwarzkopf) relationship with National Socialism (i. e. Nazi Party) has been discussed repeatedly in the media and in literature. There was criticism that Schwarzkopf, not only in the years immediately after the war but also in confrontation with revelations made in the 1980s and 1990s made contradictory statements, including in regard to her membership in the NSDAP (Member No. 7,548,960). At first, she denied this and then with varying explanations defended it. In one version, for example, she claimed that she joined the party only at the insistence of her father who, himself, earlier had lost his position as school principal after forbidding a Nazi program in the school. Critics have accused her, however, of typical suppression reactions and ruthless careerism in the Nazi era.

Further publications discussed her musical performances during the war before (Nazi) party conferences and for units of the Waffen-SS (combat SS). Her defenders argue in favor of her claim that she always strictly separated art from politics and that she was a non-political person. "That she tried to cover up these misdeeds, even as the truth of them became known, and didn't admit them voluntarily, has led some to attack her as being a profiteer of the Nazi cultural system".

In 1942, she was invited to sing with the Vienna State Opera
Vienna State Opera
The Vienna State Opera is an opera house – and opera company – with a history dating back to the mid-19th century. It is located in the centre of Vienna, Austria. It was originally called the Vienna Court Opera . In 1920, with the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Austrian...

, where her roles included Konstanze in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Die Entführung aus dem Serail is an opera Singspiel in three acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The German libretto is by Christoph Friedrich Bretzner with adaptations by Gottlieb Stephanie...

, Musetta and later Mimì in Puccini
Giacomo Puccini
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian composer whose operas, including La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire...

's La bohème
La bohème
La bohème is an opera in four acts,Puccini called the divisions quadro, a tableau or "image", rather than atto . by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger...

and Violetta in Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century...

's La traviata
La traviata
La traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La dame aux Camélias , a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. The title La traviata means literally The Fallen Woman, or perhaps more figuratively, The Woman...

.

Post-war career



In 1945, Schwarzkopf was granted Austrian citizenship to enable her to sing in the Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper). In 1947 and 1948, Schwarzkopf appeared on tour with the Vienna State Opera at London's Royal Opera House
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The...

 at Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as...

 on 16 September 1947 as Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni
Don Giovanni
Don Giovanni is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and with an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the Teatro di Praga on October 29, 1787...

and at La Scala
La Scala
La Scala , is a world renowned opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre at La Scala...

 on 28 December 1948, as the Countess in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro
The Marriage of Figaro
Le nozze di Figaro, ossia la folle giornata , K. 492, is an opera buffa composed in 1786 in four acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais, La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro .Although the play by...

, which became one of her signature roles.

Schwarzkopf later made her official debut at the Royal Opera House on 16 January 1948, as Pamina in Mozart's The Magic Flute
The Magic Flute
The Magic Flute is an opera in two acts composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. The work is in the form of a Singspiel, a popular form that included both singing and spoken dialogue....

, in performances sung in English, and at La Scala on 29 June 1950 singing Beethoven's Missa Solemnis
Missa Solemnis (Beethoven)
The Missa solemnis in D Major, Op. 123 was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven from 1819-1823. It was first performed on April 7, 1824 in St. Petersburg, under the auspices of Beethoven's patron Prince Nikolai Galitzin; an incomplete performance was given in Vienna on 7 May 1824, when the Kyrie,...

. Schwarzkopf's association with the Milanese house in the early 1950s gave her the opportunity to sing certain roles on stage for the only time in her career: Mélisande in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande
Pelléas et Mélisande (opera)
Pelléas et Mélisande is an opera in five acts with music by Claude Debussy. The French libretto was adapted from Maurice Maeterlinck's Symbolist play Pelléas et Mélisande...

, Jole in Handel's Eracle, Marguerite in Gounod's Faust
Faust (opera)
Faust is a drame lyrique in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré's play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Part 1...

, Elsa in Wagner's Lohengrin
Lohengrin (opera)
Lohengrin is a romantic opera in three acts composed and written by Richard Wagner, first performed in 1850. The story of the eponymous character is taken from medieval German romance, notably the Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach and its sequel, Lohengrin, written by a different author, itself...

, as well as her first Marschallin in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier
Der Rosenkavalier
Der Rosenkavalier is a comic opera in three acts by Richard Strauss to an original German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It is loosely adapted from the novel Les amours du chevalier de Faublas by Louvet de Couvrai and Molière’s comedy Monsieur de Pourceaugnac...

and her first Fiordiligi in Mozart's Così fan tutte
Così fan tutte
Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti K. 588, is an opera buffa by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart first performed in 1790. The libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte....

at the Piccola Scala. On 11 September 1951, she appeared as Anne Trulove in the world premiere of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress
The Rake's Progress
The Rake's Progress is an opera in three acts and an epilogue by Igor Stravinsky. The libretto, written by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman, is based loosely on the eight paintings and engravings A Rake's Progress of William Hogarth, which Stravinsky had seen on May 2, 1947, in a Chicago...

. Schwarzkopf made her American debut with the San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Opera is an American opera company, based in San Francisco, California.It was founded in 1923 by Gaetano Merola and is the second largest opera company in North America...

 on 20 September 1955 as the Marschallin, and her debut at the Metropolitan Opera
Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company, located in New York City. Originally founded in 1880, the company gave its first performance on October 22, 1883. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager...

 on 19 December 1964, also as the Marschallin.
In March 1946, Schwarzkopf was invited to audition for Walter Legge
Walter Legge
Harry Walter Legge was an influential English classical record producer, most notably for EMI. His recordings include many sets later regarded as classics and reissued by EMI as "Great Recordings of the Century". He worked in the recording industry from 1927, combining this with the post of junior...

, an influential British classical record producer and a founder of the Philharmonia Orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra
The Philharmonia Orchestra is one of the leading orchestras in Great Britain, based in London. Since 1995, it has been based in the Royal Festival Hall. In Britain it is also the resident orchestra at De Montfort Hall, Leicester and the Corn Exchange, Bedford, as well as The Anvil, Basingstoke...

. Legge asked her to sing Hugo Wolf
Hugo Wolf
Hugo Wolf was an Austrian composer of Slovene origin, particularly noted for his art songs, or lieder. He brought to this form a concentrated expressive intensity which was unique in late Romantic music, somewhat related to that of the Second Viennese School in concision but utterly unrelated in...

's lied
Lied
is a German word literally meaning "song", usually used to describe romantic songs setting German poems of reasonably high literary aspirations, especially during the nineteenth century, beginning with Carl Loewe, Heinrich Marschner, and Franz Schubert and culminating with Hugo Wolf...

 Wer rief dich denn? and, impressed, signed her to an exclusive contract with EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

. They began a close partnership and Legge subsequently became Schwarzkopf's manager and companion. They were married on 19 October 1953 in Epsom
Epsom
Epsom is a town in the borough of Epsom and Ewell in Surrey, England. Small parts of Epsom are in the Borough of Reigate and Banstead. The town is located south-south-west of Charing Cross, within the Greater London Urban Area. The town lies on the chalk downland of Epsom Downs.-History:Epsom lies...

, Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

; Schwarzkopf thus acquired British citizenship by marriage. Schwarzkopf would divide her time between lied
Lied
is a German word literally meaning "song", usually used to describe romantic songs setting German poems of reasonably high literary aspirations, especially during the nineteenth century, beginning with Carl Loewe, Heinrich Marschner, and Franz Schubert and culminating with Hugo Wolf...

er recitals and opera performances for the rest of her career. When invited in 1958 to select her eight favourite records on the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's Desert Island Discs
Desert Island Discs
Desert Island Discs is a BBC Radio 4 programme first broadcast on 29 January 1942. It is the second longest-running radio programme , and is the longest-running factual programme in the history of radio...

, Schwarzkopf chose seven of her own recordings as they evoked fond memories of the people she had worked with.
In the 1960s, Schwarzkopf concentrated nearly exclusively on five operatic roles: Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Countess Madeleine in Strauss's Capriccio
Capriccio (opera)
Capriccio is the final opera by German composer Richard Strauss, subtitled "A Conversation Piece for Music". The opera received its premiere performance at the Nationaltheater München on October 28, 1942. Clemens Krauss and Strauss himself wrote the German libretto...

, and the Marschallin. She also was well received as Alice Ford in Verdi's Falstaff
Falstaff (opera)
Falstaff is an operatic commedia lirica in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, adapted by Arrigo Boito from Shakespeare's plays The Merry Wives of Windsor and scenes from Henry IV. It was Verdi's last opera, written in the composer's ninth decade, and only the second of his 26 operas to be a comedy...

. However, on the EMI label she made several "champagne operetta" recordings like Franz Lehár's The Merry Widow
The Merry Widow
The Merry Widow is an operetta by the Austro–Hungarian composer Franz Lehár. The librettists, Viktor Léon and Leo Stein, based the story – concerning a rich widow, and her countrymen's attempt to keep her money in the principality by finding her the right husband – on an 1861 comedy play,...

and Johann Strauss II's The Gypsy Baron
The Gypsy Baron
The Gypsy Baron is an operetta in three acts by Johann Strauss II which premiered at the Theater an der Wien on 24 October 1885. Its libretto was by the author Ignaz Schnitzer and in turn was based on Sáffi by Mór Jókai. During the composer's lifetime, the operetta enjoyed great success, second...

.

Schwarzkopf's last operatic performance was as the Marschallin on 31 December 1971, in the theatre of La Monnaie
La Monnaie
Le Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie , or the Koninklijke Muntschouwburg is a theatre in Brussels, Belgium....

 in Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

. For the next several years, she devoted herself exclusively to lieder recitals. On 17 March 1979, Walter Legge suffered a severe heart attack. He disregarded doctor's orders to rest and attended Schwarzkopf's final recital two days later in Zurich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

. Three days later, he died.

After retiring, Schwarzkopf taught and gave master class
Master class
A master class is a class given to students of a particular discipline by an expert of that discipline—usually music, but also painting, drama, or any of the arts....

es around the world, notably at the Juilliard School
Juilliard School
The Juilliard School, located at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, United States, is a performing arts conservatory which was established in 1905...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. After living in Switzerland for many years, she took up residence in Austria. She was made a doctor of music by the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 in 1976, and became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (DBE) in 1992.

Schwarzkopf died in her sleep during the night of 2–3 August 2006 at her home in Schruns
Schruns
Schruns is the main village of the Montafon valley in Vorarlberg, Austria, in the Bludenz district.In the west, one can see one of the most popular hiking and climbing mountains in Vorarlberg, the Zimba, which is called the "Vorarlberger Matterhorn"....

, Vorarlberg
Vorarlberg
Vorarlberg is the westernmost federal-state of Austria. Although it is the second smallest in terms of area and population , it borders three countries: Germany , Switzerland and Liechtenstein...

, Austria, aged 90. Immediately following her death, an urban myth
Urban legend
An urban legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend, is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true...

 resurfaced: that she was an aunt of Norman Schwarzkopf
Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.
General Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf KCB , also known as "Stormin' Norman" and "The Bear", is a retired United States Army General who, while he served as Commander of U.S. Central Command, was commander of the Coalition Forces in the Gulf War of 1991.-Early life:Schwarzkopf was born in Trenton, New...

. This myth was published in several obituaries. However, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf was an only child, and thus had no nieces or nephews.

Legacy


She leaves a discography that is considerable both in quality and in quantity and will be mostly remembered for her Mozart and Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

 operatic portrayals, her two commercial recordings of Strauss's Four Last Songs
Four Last Songs
The Four Last Songs for soprano and orchestra were the final completed works of Richard Strauss, composed in 1948 when the composer was 84. Strauss did not live to hear the premiere, given at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 22 May 1950 by the soprano Kirsten Flagstad accompanied by the...

, and her countless recordings of lieder, especially those of Wolf
Hugo Wolf
Hugo Wolf was an Austrian composer of Slovene origin, particularly noted for his art songs, or lieder. He brought to this form a concentrated expressive intensity which was unique in late Romantic music, somewhat related to that of the Second Viennese School in concision but utterly unrelated in...

.

The Elisabeth Schwarzkopf/Walter Legge Society, chaired by Dr Daphne Kerslake, continues to keep her name alive.

Awards

  • 1950: Lilli Lehmann Medal
    Lilli Lehmann Medal
    The Lilli Lehmann Medal is an award named in honour of soprano Lilli Lehmann. It is awarded by the Mozarteum International Foundation.-Recipients:Among the people who have received it are:* Maria Stader, 1950, 1965* Hans Braun, 1950* Julius Patzak, 1950...

    , Mozarteum International Foundation, Salzburg
  • 1959: 1. "Orfeo d'Oro", Mantua (?)
  • 1969: Orphée d'or recording award from the Académie du disque lyrique in Paris
  • 1961: Edison Award, Amsterdam
  • 1961: Awarded the title Deutsche Kammersängerin
    Kammersänger
    Kammersänger , abbreviation: "Ks.", literally means "Chamber singer." It is a German honorific title for distinguished singers...

  • 1964: Honorary member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music
    Royal Swedish Academy of Music
    The Royal Swedish Academy of Music or Kungl. Musikaliska Akademien, founded in 1771 by King Gustav III, is one of the Royal Academies in Sweden...

  • 1967: Stockholm television award for best European soprano Stockholmer
  • 1971: Hugo-Wolf Medal
  • 1974: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 1982: Mozart Medal of the city of Frankfurt
    Frankfurt
    Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

     am Main
  • 1983: Honorary member of the Vienna State Opera
    Vienna State Opera
    The Vienna State Opera is an opera house – and opera company – with a history dating back to the mid-19th century. It is located in the centre of Vienna, Austria. It was originally called the Vienna Court Opera . In 1920, with the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Austrian...

     and title of Kammersängerin
  • 1986: Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
    Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
    The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres is an Order of France, established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and confirmed as part of the Ordre national du Mérite by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963...

  • 1991: UNESCO Mozart Medal
    UNESCO Mozart Medal
    The UNESCO Mozart Medal is an award named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and administered by UNESCO.-Recipients:* Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, 1991* Alicia Terzian, 1995* Elfi von Dassanowsky, 1996...

  • 1992: Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire
    Order of the British Empire
    The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

     for services to music
  • 2002: Honorary medal from the city of Vienna
    Vienna
    Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...


Quotations


  • (After being asked about Peter Sellars
    Peter Sellars
    Peter Sellars is an American theatre director, noted for his unique contemporary stagings of classical and contemporary operas and plays...

    )
    "There are names I do not want mentioned in my home. Do not say that name in my presence. I have seen what he has done, and it is criminal. As my husband used to say, so far no one has dared go into the Louvre Museum to spray graffiti on the Mona Lisa
    Mona Lisa
    Mona Lisa is a portrait by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. It is a painting in oil on a poplar panel, completed circa 1503–1519...

    , but some opera directors are spraying graffiti over masterpieces." – Newsweek
    Newsweek
    Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

    interview, 15 October 1990
  • "Many composers today don't know what the human throat is. At Bloomington, Indiana
    Bloomington, Indiana
    Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 80,405 at the 2010 census....

    , I was invited to listen to music written in quarter tone
    Quarter tone
    A quarter tone , is a pitch halfway between the usual notes of a chromatic scale, an interval about half as wide as a semitone, which is half a whole tone....

    s for four harps and voices. I had to go out to be sick." – Newsweek interview, 15 October 1990

Further reading

  • Jefferson, Alan Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Northeastern University Press (August 1996) ISBN 1-55553-272-1 Chapter One extract
  • Sanders, Alan 'The Schwarzkopf Tapes: An artist replies to a hostile biography' (2010) ISBN 978-0-9567361-0-9
  • Legge, Walter; postscript by Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth; ed. Sanders, Alan Walter Legge: Words and Music Routledge (1998) ISBN 0-415-92108-2
  • Sanders, Alan and Steane, John B Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: A Career on Record Amadeus Pr (January 1996) ISBN 0-931340-99-3
  • Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth Les autres soirs Tallandier (Aug 16 2004) ISBN 2-84734-068-8
  • Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth On and Off the Record: A Memoir of Walter Legge Faber and Faber Ltd (Dec 31 1982) ISBN 0-571-11928-X; Scribner (March 1982) ISBN 0-684-17451-0; (paperback) ISBN 0-571-14912-X; University of British Columbia Press (Jan 1 2002) ISBN 1-55553-519-4
  • Liese, Kirsten, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. From Flower Maiden To Marschallin. Molden, Vienna 2007. ISBN 978-3-85485-218-6

Recordings


Recordings include the following.

Bach
  • St Matthew Passion (Klemperer), Philharmonia Orchestra
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    The Philharmonia Orchestra is one of the leading orchestras in Great Britain, based in London. Since 1995, it has been based in the Royal Festival Hall. In Britain it is also the resident orchestra at De Montfort Hall, Leicester and the Corn Exchange, Bedford, as well as The Anvil, Basingstoke...

     (EMI 1961)

Brahms
  • A German Requiem (Klemperer), Philharmonia Orchestra
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    The Philharmonia Orchestra is one of the leading orchestras in Great Britain, based in London. Since 1995, it has been based in the Royal Festival Hall. In Britain it is also the resident orchestra at De Montfort Hall, Leicester and the Corn Exchange, Bedford, as well as The Anvil, Basingstoke...

     (EMI 1961)

Humperdinck
  • Hänsel und Gretel (Karajan) (1953) Naxos 8.110897-98

Lehár
  • Das Land des Lächelns
    The Land of Smiles
    The Land of Smiles is a romantic operetta in three acts by Franz Lehár. The German language libretto was by Ludwig Herzer and Fritz Löhner. The performance time is about 100 minutes....

    (Ackermann) (1953) and excerpts from Lehar Operettas Naxos 8.111016-17
  • Die lustige Witwe
    The Merry Widow
    The Merry Widow is an operetta by the Austro–Hungarian composer Franz Lehár. The librettists, Viktor Léon and Leo Stein, based the story – concerning a rich widow, and her countrymen's attempt to keep her money in the principality by finding her the right husband – on an 1861 comedy play,...

    (Kunz, Gedda) (1953) Naxos 8.111007

Mozart
  • Don Giovanni
    Don Giovanni
    Don Giovanni is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and with an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the Teatro di Praga on October 29, 1787...

    (Carlo Maria Giulini
    Carlo Maria Giulini
    Carlo Maria Giulini was an Italian conductor.-Biography:Giulini was born in Barletta, Italy, to a father born in Lombardy and a mother born in Naples; but he was raised in Bolzano, which at the time of his birth was part of Austria...

    , Philharmonia Orchestra
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    The Philharmonia Orchestra is one of the leading orchestras in Great Britain, based in London. Since 1995, it has been based in the Royal Festival Hall. In Britain it is also the resident orchestra at De Montfort Hall, Leicester and the Corn Exchange, Bedford, as well as The Anvil, Basingstoke...

    ) (EMI 1959) with Joan Sutherland
    Joan Sutherland
    Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, OM, AC, DBE was an Australian dramatic coloratura soprano noted for her contribution to the renaissance of the bel canto repertoire from the late 1950s through to the 1980s....

     as Donna Anna.
  • Le nozze di Figaro
    The Marriage of Figaro
    Le nozze di Figaro, ossia la folle giornata , K. 492, is an opera buffa composed in 1786 in four acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais, La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro .Although the play by...

    (Carlo Maria Giulini
    Carlo Maria Giulini
    Carlo Maria Giulini was an Italian conductor.-Biography:Giulini was born in Barletta, Italy, to a father born in Lombardy and a mother born in Naples; but he was raised in Bolzano, which at the time of his birth was part of Austria...

    , Philharmonia Orchestra
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    The Philharmonia Orchestra is one of the leading orchestras in Great Britain, based in London. Since 1995, it has been based in the Royal Festival Hall. In Britain it is also the resident orchestra at De Montfort Hall, Leicester and the Corn Exchange, Bedford, as well as The Anvil, Basingstoke...

    ) (EMI 1959)
  • Così fan tutte
    Così fan tutte
    Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti K. 588, is an opera buffa by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart first performed in 1790. The libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte....

    (Otto, Karajan) (1954) Naxos 8.111232-34

Johann Strauss II
  • Die Fledermaus
    Die Fledermaus
    Die Fledermaus is an operetta composed by Johann Strauss II to a German libretto by Karl Haffner and Richard Genée.- Literary sources :...

    (Gedda, Karajan) (1955) Naxos 8.111036-37

Richard Strauss
  • Four Last Songs
    Four Last Songs
    The Four Last Songs for soprano and orchestra were the final completed works of Richard Strauss, composed in 1948 when the composer was 84. Strauss did not live to hear the premiere, given at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 22 May 1950 by the soprano Kirsten Flagstad accompanied by the...

    / Arabella
    Arabella
    Arabella is a lyric comedy or opera in 3 acts by Richard Strauss to a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, their sixth and last operatic collaboration. It was first performed on 1 July 1933, at the Dresden Sächsisches Staatstheater....

    (highlights) (Ackermann, Matacic) (1953, 1954) Naxos 8.111145
  • Four Last Songs (Szell; 1965; EMI Classics "Great Recordings of the Century"; Cat: 0724356696020)
  • Ariadne auf Naxos
    Ariadne auf Naxos
    Ariadne auf Naxos is an opera by Richard Strauss with a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Bringing together slapstick comedy and consuming beautiful music, the opera's theme is the competition between high and low art for the public's attention.- First version :The opera was originally...

    (Streich, Karajan) (1954) Naxos 8.111033-34
  • Capriccio
    Capriccio (opera)
    Capriccio is the final opera by German composer Richard Strauss, subtitled "A Conversation Piece for Music". The opera received its premiere performance at the Nationaltheater München on October 28, 1942. Clemens Krauss and Strauss himself wrote the German libretto...

    (Christa Ludwig
    Christa Ludwig
    Christa Ludwig is a retired German mezzo-soprano, distinguished for her performances of opera, Lieder, oratorio and other major religious works like masses and passions, and solos contained in symphonic literature...

    , Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is a retired German lyric baritone and conductor of classical music, one of the most famous lieder performers of the post-war period and "one of the supreme vocal artists of the 20th century"...

    , Nicolai Gedda
    Nicolai Gedda
    Nicolai Gedda is a Swedish operatic tenor. Having made some two hundred recordings, Gedda is said to be the most widely recorded tenor in history...

    , Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Wolfgang Sawallisch is a retired German conductor and pianist.-Biography:Sawallisch was born in Munich, and studied composition and pianoforte there privately: at the conclusion of the war, in 1946 he continued his studies at the Munich High School for Music and passed his final examination for...

    ) (1957) EMI CDS 7 49014-8

Verdi
  • Messa da Requiem
    Requiem (Verdi)
    The Messa da Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi is a musical setting of the Roman Catholic funeral mass for four soloists, double choir and orchestra. It was composed in memory of Alessandro Manzoni, an Italian poet and novelist much admired by Verdi. The first performance in San Marco in Milan on 22 May...

    (Di Stefano, De Sabata) (1954) Naxos 8.111049-50

Richard Wagner
  • Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
    Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
    Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is an opera in three acts, written and composed by Richard Wagner. It is among the longest operas still commonly performed today, usually taking around four and a half hours. It was first performed at the Königliches Hof- und National-Theater in Munich, on June 21,...

    (Karajan) (1951) Naxos 8.110872-75

External links