Verdi: Macbeth (In German) - Mödl, Metternich, Hermann; Keilberth. Berlin, 1950
Listen to a Sample:
This thundering performance of Macbeth from Berlin features an exquisite cast, performing in an effective German translation. Martha Mödl is a hair-raising Lady Macbeth. Though she is audibly constrained by the role’s punishing high tessitura, she rarely wavers in pitch or quality and the dramatic effect is riveting, especially because the translation hews closer to Shakespeare than to the original libretto. Josef Metternich wields a big, beautiful instrument, and is, somewhat surprisingly, rather sensational as the conflicted thane. Theo Hermann and Alfred Hülgert turn in very strong supporting performances, and the chorus and orchestra are of an impeccable standard. The Act III chorus “Patria opressa” must have resonated deeply with the chorus, their city recently split in two, and they sing this masterpiece with unwavering commitment. The sound is excellent, though one should be aware of some cuts to the opera, most prominently in the opening scene of Act III.