03 February 2023

P.R. Jenkins

Karajan artists: Edda Moser – the eternal voice

Her father sat on Brahms’ lap, her voice travels through space and time. Edda Moser is one of the few artists on the “Golden Record” on board of the “Voyager” spacecraft, which as a sort of time capsule is intended to communicate to extraterrestrials the story of the world of humans on Earth.

Moser’s chosen recording was “Der Hölle Rache” from “The Magic Flute” in 1972. She never sang that aria under Karajan’s baton, but it and he played a significant role in her career, as she recalled in a recent interview:

“Karajan said, we’re going to New York, so I was going to New York with him. I was one of the ‘Rheintöchter’ in the ‘Ring’. There I ran into Karajan in the corridors of the Met and I said to him: ‘Herr von Karajan, I would like to do an audition here at the Met, because as a Rheintochter I will only be recognized if I sing wrong notes.’ Karajan said: ‘Ah, alright, alright…’ and he walked away. An hour later, my telephone rang. Rudolf Bing himself was on the phone and he said: ‘Miss Moser, I heard you want to do an audition. Well – come tomorrow.’ I went to him and sang ‘Die Königin der Nacht’. Just me, alone, on stage of the Met.”

Moser and Karajan continued their collaboration in the 1970 “Götterdämmerung” production in Salzburg (plus the recording) and in concert performing Bruckner’s “Te Deum” (with Christa Ludwig, Francisco Araiza and José van Dam) in 1981.

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