Beethoven: Fidelio - Mödl, Windgassen, Edelmann, Metternich, Schwarzkopf, Schock; Karajan. Wien, 1953


Listen to a Sample:



  • I am not sure of the circumstances of this performance. It took place before the Wiener Staatsoper had reopened, and the performance omits all of the dialogue including the Act II Melodram (although oddly the accompaniment is played.) What is clear is just how cathartic this performance must have been for the performers and audience who had just emerged from the horrors of WWII.
  • Martha Mödl is at her absolute peak, singing with her signature abandon as well as displaying incredible control over her remarkable instrument.
  • Wolfgang Windgassen brings a youthful sound to the role of Florestan, capturing the character's tortured elegance perfectly.
  • Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Rudolf Schock are icing on the cake as Marzelline and Jacquino.
  • The true star of this performance is Herbert von Karajan who brings insight to the score at every turn. Perhaps the most stunning moments are the choral sections, which Karajan and the Wiener Singverein shape with exquisite detail.


  • None to mention.

Martha Mödl sings "Abscheulicher!" from Fidelio
Athens, 1957

In Mono

OD 11868-2