Puccini: Tosca (In German) - Rysanek, Hopf, Metternich, Töpper; R. Kraus. München, 1953
Listen to a Sample:
This German Tosca shows off the great Leonie Rysanek at the very beginning of her career. Rysanek's middle voice is as full as I have ever heard it and her top is gleaming. Hans Hopf seems surprisingly at home in Puccini and displays a remarkable top that he rarely got to show off while singing Wagner. Joseph Metternich's voice is probably the least Italianate of the bunch but his portrayal of Scarpia is so bone-chilling that it more that compensates. On a lighter note if you are wondering who that lush-voiced Shepherd is, it is a young Hertha Töpper. Although she is hardly a convincing replacement for a boy soprano, it is still nice to hear her. The sound is excellent.
Tosca excerpts with Leonie Rysanek, James King & Eberhard Waechter