Great Swedish Singers - Arne Tyrén, bass
Edouard du PUY (1771 - 1822)
Ungdom och dårskap (Youth and Folly)
1. Var slug och djärv och listig [5:01]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791)
Le nozze di Figaro
2. La vendetta [3:46]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827)
3. Hat man nicht auch Gold [2:31]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 - 1868)
4. Sia qualunque delle figlie [4:34]
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797 - 1848)
La fille du régiment
5. Au bruit de la guerre [7:17]
Richard WAGNER (1813 - 1883)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
6. Das schöne Fest [5:13]
7. Ich weiss ein wildes Geschlecht [6:19]
8. Wache, Wala! Wala, erwach! [9:28]
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844 - 1908)
9. Song of the Viking [8:41]
Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 - 1893)
10. Lyubvi vse vozrasti pokorni [3:15]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813 - 1901)
11. Studio il passo [4:35]
Alban BERG (1885 - 1935)
12. Doctor and Wozzeck [7:29]
Richard STRAUSS (1864 - 1949)
13. Herr Kavalier! [4:59]
14. Nein, nein! Nein, nein! I’ trink’ kein Wein [6:39]
Arne Tyrén (bass)
Margareta Hallin (soprano) (5), Unni Rugtvedt (alto) (8), Anders Näslund (baritone) (12), Barbro Ericson (alto) (13); Kjerstin Dellert (soprano) (14)
various orchestras and conductors including Colin Davis, Sixten Ehrling and Stig Westerberg.
BLUEBELL ABCD113 [78:48]
Quite a number of the singers in Bluebell’s important series “Great Swedish Singers” were as well known internationally as they were to regular visitors to the Royal Opera House at Gustaf Adolf Square in Stockholm. Arne Tyrén appeared mainly on his home stage during a long career. His official debut was as Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro in 1956 and he went on singing until circa 1990. I saw and heard him frequently during the 1970s and 1980s in a wide variety of roles and before that became familiar with his voice through Swedish Radio’s regular broadcasts from the Royal Opera - not only from premieres actually. I remember particularly Le nozze di Figaro in the mid-1960s, an opera where Erik Saedén for many years had been Figaro. At that broadcast Tyrén took on the title role for the first time. Even earlier I heard him in the title role in Karl Birger Blomdahl’s Herr von Hancken.
I certainly share the opinion of Stefan Johansson, Head of Dramaturgy at the Royal Swedish Opera, as expressed in the liner-notes: ‘Tyrén is chiefly remembered as an actor-singer with a voice more characteristic than beautiful and a dominant and colourful stage personality. It might come as a surprise listening to these representative excerpts of a number of his impersonations so many years later that Arne Tyrén in fact sounds so good and sings so well.’ Expressive but with a dryness of tone that increasingly came closer to speech-song - those were my opinions of him. Here, in a well chosen programme, he reveals a remarkably sonorous instrument. The opening aria from du Puy’s Ungdom och dårskap, at once gives ample evidence of this, as well as his excellent enunciation and his lively involvement. Edouard du Puy was a Swiss-born musician, educated in Paris where he studied violin and piano and eventually arrived at Stockholm, where he became concert-master in the Royal Orchestra. He was also a singer, actor and composer. The operetta Ungdom och dårskap stems from 1814 and was a great success. Du Puy played the hero, a seducer, a pursuit which he also seems to have taken up in his private life.
Tyrén’s Doctor Bartolo is a person not to be tampered with and is magnificently sung with the same larger than life intensity that Fernando Corena also displayed. He can also scale down the voice and be rather intimate. His patter singing is truly accomplished. In a more serious vein he is an expressive Rocco in Fidelio, unfortunately rather distantly recorded.
Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola is impressive - though his voice is decidedly Germanic. That also goes for Sulpice in La fille du regiment, where he is partnered by the brilliant Margareta Hallin. Her perfectly equalized tone, technical mastery and warmth make her an ideal Marie, her coloratura not an iota inferior to Sutherland’s and her enunciation far superior.
In the Wagner repertoire he is an authoritative Pogner and a threatening Hunding, features that no doubt made him even more thrilling when seen in the opera house. Unni Rugtvedt is a good Erda with beautiful legato in the scene from Siegfried but she is overshadowed by Tyrén’s vital and powerful Wanderer.
One of the best tracks on this disc is the Song of the Viking from Sadko. It is sung in Russian, dark and imposing, and his timbre is authentically Slavonic. Gremin’s aria, sung in Swedish, is good and he displays fine legato singing in Banquo’s aria from Macbeth.
Arne Tyrén appeared in several modern operas and the doctor in Wozzeck offers good evidence of his declamatory capacity. We also hear Anders Näslund in the title role. Näslund was another excellent actor who shared this role with Erik Saedén for several years. It is also worth noting the razor sharp precision of the orchestra, conducted by the hyper sensitive Sixten Ehrling in a recording from King’s Theatre in Edinburgh.
Arne Tyrén’s Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier was one of his very best impersonations. I saw the Folke Abenius production when it was new in 1971 - it is still running and is as fresh as it was almost forty years ago - but these two excerpts are from an earlier production. Tyrén’s Ochs is a boisterous and rather unbearable individual and even without the visual images he stands out as a fully rounded character. Barbro Ericson (Annina) and Kjerstin Dellert (Octavian) belonged to the same ‘iron gang’ at the Royal Opera and graced the stage for many years. In particular Ms Dellert’s whining Mariandl is superb.
Bearing in mind that Arne Tyrén rarely appeared abroad this issue is primarily aimed at listeners who saw and heard him regularly in Stockholm. The opportunities to hear him in many of his best roles is something to be applauded. I believe, however, that listeners, who never heard him in the flesh, will appreciate his personality and lively readings.