Christa Ludwig (16 March 1928 - )

Christa Ludwig - Fricka
Without a doubt Christa Ludwig must be among that rare handful of singers who become one of the most distinguished and beloved singers of the Twentieth Century.  A career that spanned over forty years saw her play roles in both the mezzo- and soprano repertoires both with great success.  Renowned also for her work in Oratorio and Lieder, she must simply have had one of the most diverse careers and intelligent of careers.  

Christa Ludwig is such a part of my record collection I cannot begin to fathom the thought of a possible favourite recording or performance as I discover more and more about this great artist as time goes by.  Where does one start...Adalgisa? Dalila? Fricka? Suzuki? Carmen? Judith? The Marschallin? Even Octavian or Klytemnestra?

Actually, there are two standouts for me, Ludwig's interpretations of Dalila and the Marschallin.  Two of my favourite recordings of those particular operas.  She has such a sumptuous sound it's hard to resist the two of these so I thought I'd share them both.


However, it doesn't seem fitting to write this without at least acknowledging her work as a great Wagnerian singer and today I discovered this recording of Ludwig's performance of Brunnhilde's Immolation Scene from Gotterdammerung conducted by Hans Knappertsbusch.  She is incredible in her concentration and matches Kna's slow tempi with remarkable skill in one of the longest renditions I have heard.  Absolutely remarkable and a testament to the versatility of this greatest of Divas.