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Christa Ludwig, rounded to celebrate your birthday is a DVD with song recordings came in the trade, created at a time when you had already decided that no more proceedings. They have always stressed, your retreat from concert stages and never regretted it. Listen to your own recordings?
Oh, yes. When I heard the recordings, I was amazed. That was a demonstration tape for students, which shows how to behave on stage. Only now, "Arthaus" wondered if that was not even made public. I was glad to hear how well I would have sung, after I had already stopped!
Enjoy over to the Honors eighties?
Sure. I got there during a ceremony at the State Opera "Silver great honour," or so. In response, one in the audience asked: Why not gold? In any event, I forgot the little thing with a silver Schleifchen equal in my sweater plugged in - where else I hätt's hintun? On the ball, I Philharmonic at Christl Schönfeld seen how different religious needle in a fix. That, I hope, too. Do not from diamonds. I have also received another order, which has a golden Schleifchen. It is now turn elsewhere. I have collected many Schleifchen. They told me that in the State Opera, where an honorary member died and laid out in the foyer, a black pillow beside lies with the order it. That's not good with only one order. Thus, I have been busy.
The tell you laughing merrily, but also perhaps a bit ironic.
Well, I have to begin to organize. I know in any long ago, what music I wish on this occasion. I would like, I have sung Mahler's "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen." Is it good?
They watch the musical life is still very closely. What do you think of how those messages, some of the young singers meistbegehrten still had no contracts with the nominee Vienna State Opera directorate, nevertheless already compete in the autumn of 2010?
Oh, when I hear that there are singers who do not have a contract, then I can only say: I have so much sung without contracts. From a certain status requires no contracts. When it comes to contracts, I always have to Mrs. Gruder Director-Guntram in the Musikverein think that the break in an evening of songs I came into the dressing room and asked: Christa, how much do you want? Then I: Well, give me what then? Well, she asked, what did you get last time? And I said: I do not remember exactly, but can bissel's one more?
's Contracts were therefore not?
When I arrived in Vienna, I have at least half a year without a contract sung, because not yet ratified. This is the bureaucracy here. In Darmstadt, I have previously sung without a contract! There was Gustav Rudolf Sellner director, said only: This is not a handshake agreement enough?
Has not changed now?
So, when I hear that Nina Stemme still no agreement, then I can only say: This is a great singer who can sing anything. And the need is everywhere.
Yes, precisely. Who they previously has them.
But they will prefer Vienna. One has but his priorities.
Have you ever Vienna preferred, although you should sing elsewhere?
Oh, yes, when it comes to the "Carmen" in the Otto Schenk production went! That was the mid-sixties, and I should then the Marie in a "Wozzeck" Nova sing in Paris. Then came Carmen Schenk with the offering. Precisely! The Carmen was a problem child of mine - once Löbl Karl has written: "Trotzköpfchens Gypsy wedding." In any event, Schenk I first asked: How do you do that's? If it is like "Neckermann makes it possible" with hands in the Having hips, then I can not. I am a Antityp of Carmen. It's not. But he has meant: No, no, this is like the woman next door who loves freedom. Then I am for Vienna decided against Paris. But that was the only time that such a thing happened. Otherwise, it was always four, five years in advance planned. The beauty was that the conductor knew what a singer in four, five years, you can expect - and what not, or not more.
Conductors and managers in our days seem as reckless - or less interested.
I believe that the young singers have made it harder today because they geldgieriger. I think the Topsänger. The kids get so miserable fees, which it is difficult to live rich. The famous but get so much that they are tempted, still more to sing, much to cash. This is a shame, because to sing is also a certain degree of maturity. I remember very well in a meeting with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and his first wife. He was 30 and had perhaps already very famous. The woman has this evening said to me: Dieter, who now have to actually take a break so that he met his success humanely. The success follow! There is truth in what turn. The success is one of them. You need a certain amount of rest to him to cope. I always say: Work to do with the head. Not with the vote. Singing will be inspired yes, the meaning of words. It is not just a matter of producing beautiful sounds. If one only sings beautifully, then a happy five minutes, then it will be bland. That's why I love so much to Callas. At my birthday party recently in the State Opera was the duet from Bellini's "Norma" played from the recording, in which I on the side of the Callas sing Adalgisa. As I begin to sing, and very beautiful. But then Callas sings the same phrase, which is then again something else.
How does it because as a young singer, if you noticed that the more beautiful colleague sings - or expressive?
At that time I did not notice. This is something I only noticed when I hear the record. But the audience remembers the difference of course. It was then simply too early.
They have been through all difficulties, bitten through, advice from your mother.
For me it was quite obvious that I was a singer. I had to be after the war, so my family above water. I had no other ambition. When I started in Vienna, I had, however, still problems with the heights. In the famous State Opera ensemble this time, but there were tough competitors in their own ranks.
When I noticed the morning, oje, I have the high A is not, then I could cancel. By twelve o'clock so we can cancel. As I called to the office director, I can not sing today. Ah, said, you can not sing? Good. Thank you. Since I was offended. But there were actually two or three others as the singing Octavian. We were not well paid. When I completed my first concerts in the concert hall sang, I got 1000 on the evening Schilling. A dress at the 1500 Mariahilferstraße cost Schilling. I never had money. Thank God it was my aunt who lent me money when I had to go where, in order to give concerts. I remember that I in the first year in the State Opera Directorate went and collected my bills vorzeigte, to show that I want my Gage could not live. Since then, I got to the big games, which I had already sang, grade 28 has become the Eboli, the Brangaene, an allowance.
The large lots are quickly fallen to you, you had to try not matter?
The early sixties, the "Parsifal" premiere under Karajan. As my mother said to me: Christa, you have to sing Kundry. I had no idea what the Kundry, and went to Karajan with the remark: My mother says I should sing the Kundry. He had in Aachen, as a young general music director with my mother "Parsifal" and "Fidelio" - and now, a quarter century later, I was there. As he said to me: Have you been somewhere sung Kundry? No, I said never. Yes, he asked further, how can you dare, here in Vienna for the first time such a lota want to sing? Yeah, I said to him: you can I! That was the only time that I invited to a game. My voice had received a large extent - and suddenly wanted all conductors with me everything. Karajan, Bernstein Böhm and wanted me as Isolde!
Can such sizes without loss say no?
It has been just talk with them. Karajan once told me the "Siegfried"-Brünnhilde. The I also learned him but then two months earlier cancelled. Then he told me: Christa, you are like a cat. A dog is in man: Spring - and he jumps. A cat looks only if they can jump. For the singer is indeed a matter of how many times he sings a game. I have looked at the big games always ausbedungen: three day break. The day after the screening, I was out the second I recovered, the third, I again are recorded for the next performance.
Did the music in your life after stage career played a major role?
Actually, the silence is becoming more and more important for me. But if a Bruckner Eighth on the program, then I turn the radio safely. . . ■
( "The Press", print edition, 15.03.2008)
More information: CHRISTA LUDWIG: To Person