Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Fritz Wunderlich - Live on Stage
see end of review for details
rec. 1962-6
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 9109 [74.20]

Experience Classicsonline


The son of a Kapellmeister, Fritz Wunderlich made his stage debut as Tamino in a student production in 1954. By a cyclical coincidence it was also his last role, sung with the Stuttgart Opera at the Edinburgh Festival in August 1966. After those appearances he returned to his native Germany to holiday at the hunting lodge of a colleague, the bass Gottlib Frick. Whilst going to answer a phone call he slipped and fell down stairs and was taken to hospital unconscious; he never recovered. Thus ended the career of certainly the greatest German lyric tenor of the immediate post-Second World War years; he was two weeks short of his 36th birthday. At this stage of his career he was about to expand more extensively into the Italian lyric milieu and was preparing the role of Rodolfo in La Boheme at the time of his death. Whilst Caruso and Björling died prematurely at 49, we at least have records of them in their full vocal maturity. We will never know where Wunderlich’s vocal development would have taken him, particularly in the German repertoire; certainly a Walther, and perhaps a Lohengrin or Parsifal, as successor Siegfried Jerusalem, a distinguished Tamino in Haitink’s recording of Die Zauberflöte, did.
 
We are fortunate that Wunderlich left a diverse legacy of studio recordings. He worked extensively for Electrola, the autonomous German branch of EMI as well as DG, whilst various radio stations have also been a source of issued CDs. As was the habit in the 1950s and 1960s most of his operatic offerings on record are in the singer’s native German rather than the language of the works’ composition and many of the excerpts on the EMI issue The Best of Fritz Wunderlich (see review) are sung in that language with only Handel’s Largo being sung as set.
 
The live recordings present in this issue derive from the last four years of Wunderlich’s life. His intended direction was surely recognition of the growth of his voice the consequences of which can be heard as early as 1964 in his singing of the role of Tamino, a signature role (trs.1-5). In the opening mirror aria, Die Bildnis (tr.1) there is some sign of strain as he reaches for, rather than floats up to, the climax, swelling on the note for expression. By contrast, in the reprise in Dalla sua pace from Don Giovanni recorded a year earlier he sings on the breath with gently elegiac phrasing (tr.6); in this he is helped by Karajan’s conducting. The extra edge to the voice as required for the La Boheme Rodolfo is present in the extracts from Il barbiere di Siviglia sung in German (trs.8-9). In contrast, the extracts from Die Entführung aus dem Serail recorded a year earlier evidence those long-breathed expressive tones with the voice bright and forward - his hallmark (trs.14-15). 
Perhaps the highlights of this collection are the Strauss items from works not otherwise available with him. Of these his strong toned singing of Du süssester Engel from Die schweigsame Frau is particularly notable despite some overload (tr.13). This extract, like that of Di rigori armato il seno from Der Rosenkavalier here enjoys its first appearance on CD (tr. 12) and together with Hilde Gueden’s contribution makes the extract from Daphne particular highlights (tr.11).
 
In other extracts the supporting singers vary from the superb Lucia Popp and Hilde Gueden in Addio, mia vita from Capriccio (tr. 10) to a rather gruff Sarastro and somewhat mature Rothenberger in the extracts from Die Zauberflöte (trs 1-5).
 
Live performances demand more from a singer than those made in the studio, particularly how their voices strike an accommodation with the auditorium size. We can hear what Wunderlich really sounded like in various theatres and it becomes even more evident what a loss his premature death meant to the operatic world.
 
Robert J Farr

Details
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Die Zauberflöte K.620
Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön [4:37]
Holde Flöte [3:33]
Soll ich dich, Teurer, nicht mehr sehn?" [2:47]
Mich schreckt kein Tod [2:02]
Tamino mein! [8:11]
with Anneliese Rothenberger, Claude Heater, Albrecht Peter, Chorus of the Bavarian State Opera, Munich Philharmonic/Fritz Rieger
rec. Munich Nationaltheater, 26 July 1964
Don Giovanni, K.527
Come mai creder deggio … Dalla sua pace [4:40]
Amici miei ... Il mio tesoro [5:14]
Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera/Herbert von Karajan
rec. 22 June 1963
Die Entführung aus dem Serail K384
Hier soll ich dich denn sehen [2:52]
Konstanze, dich wiederzusehen - O wie ängstlich, o wie feurig [5:30]
Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera/Josef Krips
rec. 4 October 1965
Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792 - 1868)
Il barbiere di Siviglia (German version)
Sieh schon die Morgenröte [4:12]
Strahlt auf mich der Blitz des Goldes (Duet with Eberhard Wächter) [7:33]
Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera/Karl Böhm
rec. 28 April 1966
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Capriccio Op.85
Addio, mia vita [3:58]
Fritz Wunderlich, Lucia Popp, Lisa della Casa, Robert Kerns, Waldemar Kmentt, Walter Berry, Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera/Georges Prêtre
rec. 21 March 1964
Daphne - bucolic tragedy in one Act
Leukippos, du? -(with fade-out ) [6:11]
with Hilde Gueden, Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera/Karl Böhm
rec. 21-26 May 1964
Der Rosenkavalier Op.59
Di rigori armato il seno [4:58]
with Kurt Böhme, Josef Knapp
Bavarian State Opera/Rudolf Kempe
rec. 20 July 1966
Die schweigsame Frau Op.80
Du süssester Engel [8:02]
Ingeborg Hallstein, Kurt Böhme
Orchestra of the Munich State Opera/Heinz Wallberg
rec. 12 August 1962

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.