This is an aria that is usually sung by lyric sopranos. However, Grob-Prandl, a high dramatic soprano (the loudest female type), sings it beautifully. She is not manipulating words or sound to produce an expressive effect. The music really does flow out of her, and she lets the music speak. This is in great distinction with the way in which today’s singers are trained. A sound is taught, as in brighter or darker or both. Expression comes from manipulating the sound.

Listen to the accuracy of the pitches. This is amazing for a voice of her size.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a German translation of the lyrics. I am giving the original French and an English translation.

Meyerbeer, Robert le diable, Act IV Isabelle’s Aria

Robert, toi que j’aime
et qui reçus ma foi,
tu vois mon effroi.
Grâce pour toi-même,
et grâce pour moi !
Quoi ! ton coeur se dégage
des serments les plus doux ?
Tu me rendis hommage,
Je suis à tes genoux.
Robert, toi que j’aime
et qui reçus ma foi,
tu vois mon effroi.
Grâce pour toi-même,
et grâce pour moi !

Meyerbeer, Robert le diable, Act IV, Isabelle’s Aria

Robert, you whom I love
and to whom I pledged myself,
you see my great fear.
Take pity on yourself,
and pity me as well!
What! Your heart is rejecting
the sweetest vows you swore?
You pledged your love to me,
I’m here now at your knees.
Robert, you whom I love
and to whom I pledged myself,
you see my great fear.
Take pity on yourself,
and pity me as well!

Gertrude Grob-Prandl
November 11, 1917 – May 16, 1995

Grobe-Prandl was an Austrian high dramatic soprane soprano. Grob-Prandl was born in Vienna and studied at the conservatory with Singer-Burian. She originally intended to become a piano teacher but the professors at the conservatory began to notice the size of her voice and she was placed in a singing class. Besides size, her voice had a distinctive burnished timbre and a tight, brisk, consistent vibrato. She made her debut in 1939 at the Vienna Volksoper as Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana. She graduated to heavier roles such as Isolde, Brünnhilde and Turandot. She retired in 1972. Irmgard Seefried once remarked that the “walls shook” when Grob-Prandl sang Turandot. A popular anecdote states that she was once interrupted while performing as Turandot, by fire-fighters. People outside the theater had mistaken her for a fire-alarm siren. Unlike many big Wagnerians, she was dexterous enough to sing Mozart.