A New Year’s concert in blog format
There is always a concert on Swedish television on New Year’s Day and I thought “Why not do something like that in my blog?”. On second thought, a concert is way too long to post in a blog, but a video clip is ok. After much thinking, my final decision was to post a clip where Jussi Björling (1911-1960) and Hjördis Schymberg (1909-2008) sing together in O soave fanciulla in La Bohème.
I guess Jussi Björling need no further introduction. Hjördis Schymberg was a Swedish coloratura soprano but she spent most of her active years singing in Sweden, even if she occasionally appeared abroad; World War II got in her way so to say. Anyhow, she did work with many of the great musicians and singers at the time and sang for example with Pinza, Warren and Di Stefano and under the baton of conductors like Furtwängler to name but a few.
She became a frequent stage partner of Björling whenever he appeared in Sweden and they sang over a hundred performances together. The Swedish audience knew that they would get something extra when they shared the stage. They also sang together in what became Björling’s last operatic performance in Sweden where she was Leonora to his Manrico in Il Trovatore by Verdi.