Kerstin Thorborg

Kerstin Thorborg
Kerstin Thorborg (May 19, 1896 - April 12, 1970)

Born in Venjan, Sweden, the contralto Kerstin Thorborg was one of the best dramatic Wagnerian singers in the two decades between 1930 and 1950. She made her debut in 1924 singing the difficult role of Ortrud in Lohengrin. Eight years later, the famed conductor Bruno Walter engaged her for the Städtische Oper in Berlin and became her mentor. Although a contralto, Thorborg's upper register was so secure that she sang numerous mezzo-soprano roles, including Venus, Kundry, Fricka, Waltraute, and Magdalena. She was especially known for her searingly beautiful Brangäne, which fortunately was preserved on record. She also appears to wonderful advantage in the live recording of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, with Charles Kullmann, under Bruno Walter, at the Vienna Musikverein in 1936. In 1938, to escape the Nazis, she made her home in the United States, singing various roles at the Met. She returned to her native Sweden in 1950, after her retirement.

By all accounts, Thorborg was a magnificent actor with great stage presence. In addition, she was endowed with a beautifully steady and intense tone.
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Kerstin Thorborg

Kerstin Thorborg

Kerstin Thorborg (May 19, 1896 - April 12, 1970)

Born in Venjan, Sweden, the contralto Kerstin Thorborg was one of the best dramatic Wagnerian singers in the two decades between 1930 and 1950. She made her debut in 1924 singing the difficult role of Ortrud in Lohengrin. Eight years later, the famed conductor Bruno Walter engaged her for the Städtische Oper in Berlin and became her mentor. Although a contralto, Thorborg's upper register ...
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8 albums
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BEETHOVEN Choral Fantasy
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 'Choral'

Live broadcast recording, 1939
Total duration: 79:46

Ania Dorfmann, piano
Jarmila Novotna, soprano
Kerstin Thorborg, alto
Jan Peerce, tenor
Nicola Moscona, bass

The Westminster Choir
NBC Symphony Orchestra  

conducted by Arturo Toscanini

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WAGNER Tristan und Isolde

Tristan - Lauritz Melchior
Isolde - Kirsten Flagstad
Brangaene - Kerstin Thorborg
Marke - Alexander Kipnis
Kurwenal - Julius Huehn

Live broadcast performance, 1941
Total duration: 3hr 25:56

Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera
conducted by Erich Leinsdorf

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WAGNER Siegfried

Recorded live in 1937
Total duration:  3hr 25:51

Lauritz Melchior, Siegfried
Friedrich Schorr,
Wanderer
Kirsten Flagstad,
Brünhilde

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
conducted by Arthur Bodanzky

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WAGNER Tannhäuser

Live concert recording, 1941
Total duration: 2hr 57:32

Lauritz Melchior - Tannhäuser
Kirsten Flagstad
- Elisabeth
Emanuel List
- Landgraf Hermann
Herbert Janssen
- Wolfram
Kerstin Thorborg
- Venus
Erich Leinsdorf,
conductor
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
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MOZART Symphony Nos. 38 – 41
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 20
MOZART Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
MOZART Requiem
MOZART Overtures and Dances

Studio Recordings, 1928 – 1938
Total Duration: 3hr 43:44

Elisabeth Schumann, soprano
Kerstin Thorborg, mezzo-soprano
Anton Dermota, tenor
Alexander Kipnis, bass

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra et al
conducted by Bruno Walter

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BEETHOVEN

Symphony No. 1
Symphony No. 2
Symphony No. 3 'Eroica'
Symphony No. 4
Symphony No. 5
Symphony No. 6 'Pastoral'
Symphony No. 7
Symphony No. 8
Symphony No. 9 'Choral'**
Choral Fantasy*
Coriolan Overture
Creatures of Prometheus
Egmont
Fidelio Overture
Leonore Overture No. 1
Leonore Overture No. 2
Leonore Overture No. 3
Septet for Woodwind, Horn & Strings
String Quartet No. 16

Live broadcast recordings, 1939

*Ania Dorfmann, piano
**Jarmila Novotna, soprano
**Kerstin Thorborg, alto
**Jan Peerce, tenor
**Nicola Moscona, bass

The Westminster Choir
NBC Symphony Orchestra  

conducted by Arturo Toscanini


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WAGNER Lohengrin

Live broadcast performance, 1940
Total duration:  3hr 8:22

Lohengrin - Lauritz Melchior
Elsa - Elisabeth Rethberg
Ortrud - Kerstin Thorborg
Telramund - Julius Huehn
King Heinrich - Emanuel List
Herald - Leonard Warren

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus  
conducted by Erich Leinsdorf