Schwetzinger Festpiele 25 May 1968
CD Hannsler Classic CD 93.719

Click here for ordering the Cd and to listen to samples.

Parts of Schwetzinger Festspiele concerts –click here to read more about them – are now being released by the Hannsler Classic Label. Previous vocal releases included early Hermann Prey (1963) and late Teresa Berganza (1985) and a possible release could still include a Victoria de los Angeles recital besides some others of interest. This Arroyo disc is of course very warmly welcomed and the best so far in the series. First of all because it’s prime Arroyo in  non-operatic repertoire showing what a versatile and accomplished Lieder singer she was. Her concert here included Rossini, Schubert songs, Brahms and Dvorak’s Zigeunerlieder. Her encores consisted of four spirituals but only “witness” is a new addition to her discography. The others can be found on the LP discussed below.

High time to release on CD her other two song discs. The first going back to 1962 (!) was issued as a medium-play record by the German Stuttgart based label ‘Opera’. This record has an even broader repertoire than the Hanssler CD under review as it contains Fauré (French), Rorem (English), Obradors and Nin (Spanish), Stradella (Italian) and Brahms (German). The second vinyl release –Capitol records 1974- is a spirituals only record together with chorus all led by the legendary Dorothy Maynor (!). If I would be put on the Martina Arroyo desert island disc test it would definitely be this one I would take along as she is in splendid radiating voice combined with great artistry and authenticity. Moreover both choirs accompanying her can boast excellent material and a few excellent soloists who can be heard duetting with Arroyo in some of the spirituals but for CD only people the Schwetzinger recital offers a good alternative.