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Otto Klemperer (1885–1973) was widely regarded as one of the leading conductors of the 20th century along with his compatriots, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Bruno Walter. These performances date from 1955, a period when Klemperer was at his most authoritative, spending a number of seasons guest conducting in Cologne with great success. As a result, he became principal conductor of the Philharmonia in London in 1959 following the departure of Herbert von Karajan for Berlin.
Both Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream and Beethoven Symphony No.8 are sourced from the original WDR tapes and have been superbly remastered. They appear for the first time on CD.
The Mendelssohn performance, with its wonderful clarity, like the Beethoven Symphony No.8, is in general faster than the studio made recording in 1960.
Käthe Möller-Siepermann was a regular performer at Cologne Opera while Hanna Ludwig also performed there and at other houses in Germany as well as further afield. She retired in 1968 to pursue pedagogical and lecturing opportunities.
One of today’s most-admired singers, Diana Damrau, was a pupil of Ludwig’s.
Felix Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61 (Sung in German)