The other day back home in Poland, my dad put on a recording of Le Nozze di Figaro, his favourite one. The one with Vienna Philharmonic, Erich Kleiber and a bunch of amazing singers. I had never heard this one before (shame on me, apparently everyone says it is THE recording of Le Nozze), and my attention was immediately caught by the voice of Susanna.
I wonder if I listen to opera often enough to issue such criticism, but I’ll go ahead and you can kill me in the comments if you care – it seems to me that sopranos love vibrato too much sometimes. By contrast, Hilde Güden (or Gueden), who sings Susanna in this recording, has a voice that I absolutely love – very clear and pure, and at the same time extremely sweet, full of concentrated sweetness. Very different from what I’ve been hearing recently. I also like her timing, it seems to me that she knew very well that opera is not just singing but also acting – listening to her, I can hear her participating in a conversation and not just singing. Apparently she was a fantastic operetta singer as well – I can imagine that!
Here’s the recording, if you want to check it out:
And here’s a photo of the lady, who apart from being a great singer was also smokin’ hot: