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Hilde Rössel-Majdan (Contralto)
Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works
General Discussions


See Hilde Rössel-Majdan - Short Biography



Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (July 31, 2001):
[To Eitan Loew, regarding his message about BWV 170] I think you are the first person I have seen on this list lauding Hilde Rössl-Majdan (often spelled Rössel-Majdan, and sometimes with the first name Hildegard---- on Operissimo she is Rössel-Majdan which proves nothing, on my program for Zauberflöte from the Staatsoper she is Rössl-Majdan!!!) besides me. She was my great for Bach cantatas. I think I have them all, most are with Felix Prohaska, one with Michael Gielen, BWV 63 Christen, ätzet diesen Tag! and finally there are the many vols. of the Geistliche Lieder which I only many years ago collected vol I of as I found the music boring. From what I see, on the CD releases some of her work is part of sets with many with other singers which/who don't particularly interest me.

At all events, these days I keep her LPs as Petrarc kept his Greek Homer under his pillow to absorb by osmosis.

Eitan Loew wrote (July 31, 2001):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] Thank you for your response.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (August 1, 2001):
[To Eitan Loew] Of course it is not only acceptable to write a, o, u +e for the umlauted letters, but maybe sometimes for the best. I was not saying anything against it. I was only really remarking on the oddity that they can't decide whether the first part of her hyphenated name is spelled with an -e- between the -ss- and the -l or without such (which I believe is the correct, but who knows?) So either Roessl- or Roessel-. I too wish that there would be an Rössl-Majdan CD edition as there is now a Kathleen Ferrier edition and for me it does not need to be limited to Bach as I have broader interests :-)

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 1, 2001):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman & Eitan Loew] According to 'Baker's Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997)' her name does not include e. BTW, this very reliable source does not add much about her to the information from Operissimo.

< I also used to have a lot of LPs, but since I purchased my first CD player some 15 years ago, I cannot enjoy LPs anymore. I'll appreciate to have some information about CDs in which she sings Bach (and Bach only, this is my obsession...) >
A list of HRM's Bach recordings appears in her short bio in the Bach Cantatas Website, in the following page: All of her Bach recordings with Felix Prohaska, Hermann Scherchen and Mogens Wöldike are available on CD. Her recordings with Michael Gielen, have never been printed in CD form, AFAIK.

Eitan Loew wrote (August 1, 2001):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] I'm taking the accusation :-)... As a matter of fact, I listen to a lot more and enjoy it, of course; however, one cannot buy everything, and I try to focus on completing a collection of Bach works.

BTW, I have already been accused once being "narrow-minded" when I expressed my reservations from considering the trash called "pop" as 'music'. Of course, every combination of noises can be called 'music', but then I've found myself in a difficult position when I tried to define the difference between 'music' in the sense of arts (does not have to be classical only) and entertainment. Can somebody help?

René de Cocq wrote (August 1, 2001):
[To Eitan Loew] I fail to see the relevancy of which label a cultural expression may carry. Pop music, is it art? Is it music? Who cares? If an artist is able to move your soul, that is all that matters. Personally, I get moved by a whole lot of different kind of music, varying from the pianoworks of Erik Satie to (almost all) the music of Bach, from the choir music of Francis Poulenc to Beethoven's Mondschein Sonate, from (some) songs by Sting, Neil Young, Robbie Robertson and Bob Dylan to the jazz sounds of Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk and Cannonball Adderley, from the voice of Billie Holiday to the quartet recordings of Benny Goodman. And so on, and so forth. The key word may be: openmindedness. Calling all pop 'trash' does not fit in that concept.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (August 2, 2001):
[To Eitan Loew] I agree that one cannot buy everything although on all lists it sounds like some do indeed buy everything. But, if only Bach with HRM (to use Aryeh's convenient abbrev.), then how about the Prohaska C.Ph.E. Bach Magnificat? It has always sounded just a little too much like Papa's to me.


Rössl-Majdan (Preinfalk) Johannes-Passion

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (August 23, 2004):
Pardon my French:

I don't give a rat's ass about the conductor. I only care about the fact that this is the only Johannes-Passion with Hilde Rössl-Majdan. I have by now found things of hers that I never expected to exist such as e.g. a magnificent Das Lied von der Erde (with Kmentt under Kubelik) and other things less interesting, an Eboli in a "complete" Don Carlo, and Orpheus in a German Gluck, and other opera performances never issued. Of course the areas in which I have always worshipped her are Mahler and Bach. Von Weber's Euryanthe is not to be forgotten (on Gala). Can anyone give me a lead as to someone who may be willing to share a copy of the Johannes? I cannot live without her any longer. Private replies very welcome. I am the greatest R-M fan in the world.

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 23, 2004):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] The only recording of SJP with HRM, of which I am aware, was done back in 1952 under the baton of Gottfried Preinfalk. See: [3]
Has this recording ever been issued in CD form?

And, yes, HRM was a marvellous singer!

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (August 23, 2004):
[To Aryeh Oron] I know, I know. I read your site like the Bible almost every day. If anyone knows anyone who has the LPs, a tape, a cassette would make my life very happy.


Prohaska/HRM Rusalka on Walhall

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (January 15, 2007):
To those interested,

I wanted to call your attention to a magnificent and riveting German language performance on Walhall (available next time you shop at Berkshire) of Dvorak's Rusalka. This abridged 1954 performance features the Jezibaba of Hilde Rössl-Majdan, whose photo alone dominates the front of the jewel case.She, however superb here, is not the only great singing presence. Waldemar Kmentt as The Prince is wonderful. So is Walter Berry as The Water Sprite. The orchestral under Felix Prohaska is a tremendous force for good. Obviously there are many ways to read such a work as Rusalka and Prohaska's is breath-taking. The performance, as noted is abridged. The acts run c. 46,51, 22.42, and 36.06 by my reckoning.

My Neumann Czech recording for ex. runs about 55., 45, 57. The CD set contains a bonus of a German language 1948 performance with some famed singers but a performance which I do not find effective at all. The sonics of the Prohaska indicate access to the ORF original tapes rather than an aircheck, in other words the sonics are superb.

Someone had offered me this three years ago, i.e. long before the Walhall release from its source. He has offered to transfer his own tapes but alas his health deteriorated.

Happily a lot of HRM performances are coming out as are other German language performances of non-German operas, many of these on the superb Walhall issues.


HRM has left this world

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (December 21, 2010):
the death of Hilde Rössl-Majdan has been announced.
The joy she brought to my life since I find encountered her BWV 53 is indescribable.

On another list was written:

When Hugues Cuenod died on 3 December Malvenuto gave us some Bach where alsthe voice of Austrian alto Hilde Rössel-Majdan can be heard. Now she also died on 15 December short before her 90th birthday.


Hilde Roessel-Majdan upload, enjoy [GMHof]

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (December 23, 2010):
Hilde Rössel-Majdan died on 15 December short before her 90th birthday

Since she was the original cause of this list, I am uploading four items in a .rar folder:

Erbarme dich, mein Gott, Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde (attributed these days to Melchior Hoffmann but the attribution keeps on changing), Kindertotenlieder, and the rarest of her recordings, Es ist vollbracht.

Yoël whose life was immensely enriched by her singing


Hilde Röss(e)l-Majdan in memoriam

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (December 29, 2010):
In Memory of Hilde Rössl-Mahler I have uploaded four audio files. It is a .rar folder and you need either winrar or 7zip to extract the files (or the Mac equivalent)
(1) Erbarme dich, mein Gott,

(2) Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde (attributed these days to Melchior Hoffmann but the attribution keeps on changing),

(3) Kindertotenlieder,

and the rarest of her recordings,
(4) Es ist vollbracht.

Yoël whose life was immensely enriched by her singing


Hysterical lies on the internet: HRM recorded all Bach's contralto music, DUH!

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (January 4, 2011):

Austrian contralto Hilde Roessel-Majdan dead at 89
VIENNA- Austrian contralto Hilde Roessel-Majdan has died at the age of 89, the Vienna State Opera announced Monday.
Roessel-Majdan, who would have celebrated her 90th birthday next month, died on December 15, said a statement issued by the opera house, where she sang 62 different roles in a total 1,553 performances over a period of 25 years.

In addition to Wagner's great contralto roles, such as Erda in the "Ring" and Brangaene in "Tristan und Isolde", Roessel-Majdan also specialised in Mozart, singing the role of Marcellina in "The Marriage of Figaro" no fewer than 194 times. Her last appearance at the State Opera was in Schoenberg's "Moses und Aron" on November 22, 1976.
[N.B. All of Bach's works for contralto. Why do ill-informed persons get to write such non-sense? Compare the actual list of her Bach recordings on Aryeh's website. Why is "Lied" put into quotation marks?YLA]

Roessel-Majdan was also regarded as one of the great oratorio and "Lied" singers of her day, recording all of Bach's works for contralto

and working together with conductors such as Hermann Scherchen, Hans Knappertbusch, Herbert nvon Karajan, Karl Boehm, Rafael Kubelik, Otto Klemperer and Leonard Bernstein.
Born in Moosbierbaum in Lower Austria on January 30, 1921, she launched her career at the age of 30 when she stepped in at short notice to sing a performance of Mahler's Second Symphony at the State Opera under Otto Klemperer. A year later, she sang in Bach's St. Matthew Passion under Wilhlem Furtwaengler at Vienna's Konzerthaus.
She was awarded the honorary title of Austrian "Kammersaengerin" in 1962. In addition to her own performing career, Roessel-Majdan worked as a teacher and was voice professor at the music universities of Graz and

Monday December 20, 2010


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