Melchior on CD and Vinyl


Lauritz Melchior on Vinyl

Many of Melchior's shellac recordings were available until the middle of the fifties. But then the end of the 78s came. However, the recording industry soon began to provide reissues of old 78rpm records on long plays. We have to be grateful that Melchior was not an exception of this rule.

In the fifties EMI released reissues of the Walküre recordings conducted by Bruno Walter and Bruno Seidler-Winkler on 3 LPs and of Götterdämmerungs highlights on one LP. In the series Unvergänglich-Unvergessen two LPs were offered with the Siegfried recordings of Melchior. Some years later many of the great HMV recordings from 1926 to 1935 appeared on a so called Lauritz Melchior Album with two 12' long plays.

RCA Victor had several LPs in its catalogue with arias and duets from the late thirties and early fourties (together with Flagstadt, Traubel, Lehmann).

Columbia (CBS) issued 2 LPs with Melchior's records from the forties, including Tristan highlights.

Most of the old acoustic Polydor records were reissued on a Heliodor LP by the German Gramophone Company.

Preiser published two or three LPs with Melchior records from Parlophone, Polydor and HMV origins.

Last but not least Danacord began its series with Melchior reissues on LP.


Lauritz Melchior on CD

The situation of the availability of his records is on CD now near to ideal. The contents the old long plays have been transferred to CDs in similar constellations.

The first attention deserves the great Danacord project with Melchior's recordings. It includes several boxes with a great portion of his records, beginning with the first acoustics, excluding the RCA Victor and the Columbia recordings. In these boxes we find also the nearly complete Siegfried and the first and second Walküre acts. Also the first act of the Walküre from 1960 is present! One of the live recordings, Lohengrin from 1950 is offered by Danacord, too.

The EMI catalog includes CDs with Wagner arias and the first two acts of the Walküre. A complete Tristan live recording form London 1937 is also available.

RCA Victor has issued a CD with arias and duetts from Wagner, Schumann and other composers. On a Kirsten Flagstad CD we find also Melchior recordings. In the Toscanini project there are some radio transcriptions form the fourties with Melchior and Traubel.

Sony (ex. Columbia) offers a CD with excerpts from Tristan and Isolde, together with Helen Traubel and Herbert Janssen.

There are some other companies specialized in historic reissues which have published Melchior CDs, e.g. Pearl, Preiser and Nimbus.

Old radio transcriptions with songs and sketches have appeared on CD of "The Radio Years"

The most live recordings of Melchior are currently available on CD, for example by Walhall or Melodram.

So all people interested in great Wagner singing are able to hear Melchior in his best moments, also with modern equipment.


Reviews of CD Reissues