Autograph signature of the noted Austrian contralto and mezzo-soprano
by SCHUMANN-HEINK, Ernestine 1861-1936
"Between 1897 and 1901 Schumann-Heink took part in four consecutive Covent Garden seasons, and became a regular member of the Metropolitan company for a similar period (1898-1903), returning subsequently for single seasons only. By then she had begun the series of popular and profitable cross-country American concert tours that occupied much of the rest of her long career. In 1909 she returned to Dresden to sing the part of Clytemnestra in the première of Elektra. Although she could sing (and very well) virtually anything, her English and American stage career centred on Wagner; and it was as Erda that she bade farewell to the Metropolitan in 1932, still captivating the audience, as the American critic Olin Downes wrote, with ‘knowledge and imagination embodied in the tone and in every syllable of the text she delivered so memorably'. These words well describe the effect vividly conveyed by her Erda and Waltraute recordings made less than three years before. Although largely unrepresentative of her serious repertory, her many other recordings, made over a period of 25 years, give a splendid impression of her powers: of her opulent and flexible tones from low D to high B, the amazing fullness and evenness of her shake, her artistic conviction, dramatic temperament and vivid enunciation. Among them should be mentioned the brindisi from Lucrezia Borgia (several versions, all good), the prison scene from Le prophète, ‘Parto, parto' from La clemenza di Tito, and the duet with Caruso (‘Ai nostri monti') from Il trovatore." Desmond Shawe-Taylor in Grove Music Online.. On a slip of paper 68 x 109 mm. Dated London, March 27, 1909. In black ink.Slightly creased; right edge slightly frayed, not affecting signature.Together with a three-quarter length vintage photograph of Schumann-Heink by the White Studio in New York, ca. 177 x 126 mm. (Inventory #: 24523)
Musical Autographs and Manuscripts; Rare Books on Music and Dance; First and Early Editions of Printed Music; Prints, Drawings and Ephemera relating to Music and Dance including Opera and Ballet.
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