Sándor Kónya

Biography

Born: September 23, 1923; Sarkad   Died: May 20, 2002; Ibiza, Spain  
Gifted with a shining, spinto weight instrument, tenor Sándor Kónya became a leading artist with his 1958 Bayreuth Festival debut as Lohengrin. So thoroughly did his performance define the Swan Knight that it became Kónya's calling card. The 1958 Bayreuth production has been issued on CD, preserving Kónya's interpretation at its pristine best along with Leonie Rysanek's lustrous Elsa and Astrid Varnay's implacable Read more Ortrud. Later, Kónya recorded the opera commercially for RCA under Erich Leinsdorf, an effort in which the rest of the cast fell short of the tenor's high standards. The easy thrust of Kónya's top register suited both the higher-lying passages allotted to Lohengrin and Walter in Die Meistersinger and afforded him the plangency to do full justice to many Italian roles as well. Kónya's stage deportment was discrete and dignified, setting him apart from many Italian contemporaries given to frantic histrionics.

After beginning his vocal studies in Budapest, Kónya moved first to Detmold, then to Rome and Milan to gain an advanced polish to his technique. In 1951, he made his professional debut in Bielefeld as Turiddu. Following engagements at Darmstadt, Stuttgart, and Hamburg, Kónya became a member of the Städtische Oper in Berlin in 1955. From that point forward, his career became more international in scope. A leading role in the world premiere of Henze's König Hirsch and a performance of Nureddin in Cornelius' comic confection Der Barbier in Bagdad at the Edinburgh Festival attracted widespread attention in 1956. Then Kónya's stunning 1958 Bayreuth debut put his name near the top of management must-engage lists. Paris discovered him in 1959 and the year following, San Francisco heard him in four operas, the first of which was La Fanciulla del West. In the role of Dick Johnson, Kónya's strong instrument was appreciated for its vibrancy and seductive ease. His Lohengrin a month later was hailed as superior and he earned approval for his singing of Rodolfo and Radames, if muted praise for his stage deportment. Kónya's Parsifal at La Scala in 1960 was praised warmly and his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1961 was similarly successful. At London's Covent Garden, Kónya made his first appearance in 1963. As at the Metropolitan, the role was once again Lohengrin.

At the Metropolitan Opera, Kónya sang not only Lohengrin and Walter in the German wing, but also Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer and Max (in an unsuccessful attempt to revive Weber's long-dormant Freischütz). While German and Austrian audiences continued to appreciate Weber's wonderful singspiel, Metropolitan audiences were less enthralled and the work passed back into obscurity, despite Kónya's hand-in-glove suitability for the role of Max.

An artist both outstandingly endowed and versatile in schooling and temperament, Kónya proved immensely useful to the Metropolitan Opera over 14 seasons. In addition to the jugendlicher heldentenor repertory, he was a highly credible Cavaradossi, Pinkerton, Calaf, Radames, and Edgardo. A slight graininess of timbre lent to his voice a slightly veiled quality not unlike that of Björling. Kónya also shared with the Swedish tenor an uncommon blossoming of tone in the upper register. His substantial middle and lower voice provided the firm anchor for his ringing top and allowed him, at his best, to negotiate the transition (passaggio) into the upper register without the strangulation exhibited by so many other German-trained tenors. Read less
Wagner: Lohengrin / Matačić, Kónya, Grümmer, Crass
Release Date: 10/31/2006   Label: Orfeo D'or  
Catalog: 691063   Number of Discs: 3
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There are 15 Sándor Kónya recordings available.

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Biography

Born: September 23, 1923; Sarkad   Died: May 20, 2002; Ibiza, Spain  
Gifted with a shining, spinto weight instrument, tenor Sándor Kónya became a leading artist with his 1958 Bayreuth Festival debut as Lohengrin. So thoroughly did his performance define the Swan Knight that it became Kónya's calling card. The 1958 Bayreuth production has been issued on CD, preserving Kónya's interpretation at its pristine best along with Leonie Rysanek's lustrous Elsa and Astrid Varnay's implacable Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Act I: Ha! Das gelang mir! (Angelotti)
Act I: Da sind die Pinsel! - Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae - Was tust du? (Messner, Cavaradossi)
Act I: Gib mir die Farben! (Cavaradossi)
Act I: Aria: Wie sich die Bilder gleichen (Cavaradossi, Messner)
Act I: Was gibt's da drinnen? (Cavaradossi, Angelotti, Tosca)
Act I: Mario! Mario! Mario! (Tosca, Cavaradossi)
Act I: Ach, di Augen! - Mit deinen Augen kann kein andres Auge sich messen (Tosca, Cavaradossi)
Act I: O Geliebte (Cavaradossi, Tosca)
Act I: Sehr gut zwar meint es Tosca - So ging sie? (Cavaradossi, Angelotti)
Act I: Frohe Neuigkeiten, Euer Gnaden! (Messner, Chorus)
Act I: Ein Tollhaus in der Kirche! Schone Wirtschaft! (Scarpia, Messner, Spoletta)
Act I: So also war es - Mario?! Mario?! (Scarpia, Tosca, Messner)
Act I: Ich kam hierher, das Herz voll zum Zerspringen (Tosca, Scarpia)
Act I: Drei Hascher mit einem Wagen ... Elig ... (Scarpia, Spoletta, Chorus)
Act II: Tosca als Falke! (Scarpia, Sciarrone)
Act II: Starker ist der Genuss noch - Spoletta wartet (Scarpia, Sciarrone, Spoletta)
Act II: Doch schon etwas - Er ist da (Scarpia, Spoletta, Cavaradossi, Tosca, Chorus)
Act II: Wo ist Angelotti? - Mario, du hier? (Scarpia, Cavaradossi, Spoletta, Tosca)
Act II: Wir aber plaudern hier als gute Freunde (Scarpia, Tosca)
Act II: Sciarrone, was sagt der Kavalier? (Scarpia, Sciarrone, Tosca, Cavaradossi)
Act II: Doch nun, Tosca, erklaret! - Mario! Erlaubst du zu reden? (Scarpia, Tosca, Cavaradossi, Spoletta, Sciarrone)
Act II: Geliebter! - Floria! (Tosca, Cavaradossi)
Act II: Im Brunnen bei der Villa! geh, Spoletta - Neuigkeiten, Euer Gnaden! - Viktoria! (Scarpia, Sciarrone, Cavaradossi, Tosca)
Act II: Soll die beschwor'ne Pflicht ich brechen einmal (Scarpia, Tosca)
Act II: Aria: Nur der Schonheit weiht' ich mein Leben (Tosca)
Act II: Siehe mit gefalteten Handen hier (Tosca, Scarpia, Spoletta)
Act II: Welche Route nehmt Ihr? (Scarpia, Tosca)
Act II: Tosca, endlich bist du mein! (Scarpia, Tosca)
Act III: Ach, meine Suefzer! (Hirte)
Act III: Mario Cavaradossi? Hierher! (Schiesser, Cavaradossi)
Act III: Cavaradossi verharrt in Gedanken
Act III: Aria: Und es blitzen die Sterne (Cavaradossi, Tosca)
Act III: Geleit fur Floria Tosca! (Carvaradossi, Tosca)
Act III: Die zarten Hande (Cavaradossi)
Act III: Wisse: Nah ist die Stunde (Tosca, Cavaradossi)
Act III: Nur deinetwegen wollt' ich noch nicht sterben (Cavaradossi, Tosca)
Act III: Und sie kommen nicht - Sprich einmal von dem kunftigen Schonen (Tosca, Cavaradossi)
Act III: Es ist Zeit! - Ich komme (Schliesser, Cavaradossi, Tosca)
Act III: Welche Umstandlichkeiten! (Tosca)
Act III: Aber jetzt, Mario! Mario! (Tosca, Spoletta, Sciarrone, Chorus)


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