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Dokumente Einter Sangerkarriere: Hermann Uhde

Handel / Weber / Verdi / Uhde
Release Date: 09/14/2010 
Label:  Preiser Records   Catalog #: 93471   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  George Frideric HandelCarl Maria von WeberGiuseppe VerdiGeorges Bizet,   ... 
Performer:  Hermann Uhde
Conductor:  Ferdinand LeitnerArthur RotherMunich Philharmonic OrcheHans Knappertsbusch,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HERMANN UHDE Hermann Uhde (bar); Rita Streich, Astrid Varnay (sop); Kurt Böhme (bs); Various conductors and orchestras PREISER 93471, mono (79: 00)


Arias and ensembles by HANDEL, WEBER, VERDI, BIZET, D’ALBERT, WAGNER


Unlike most internationally recognized singers, Hermann Uhde received no lengthy training as a musician. He took two years of singing lessons in his late teens, after first studying architecture. Then it became a matter of moving Read more through the ranks of German opera houses: Bremen, Freiburg, and finally Munich, in 1943. The following year he was drafted, and soon after, a POW. His career resumed in 1947 in Hanover and Hamburg, before a breakout as Kreon in Orff’s Antigone at the 1949 Salzburg Festival. After that, Uhde was much in demand—and not only in Vienna, Berlin, Munich, and Salzburg, but in Rome, Paris, London, and at the Met, where he appeared for six seasons in 12 roles. He was famous for his stamina, including one Met evening when, due to a sudden cancelation by George London, he appeared as both Amfortas and Klingsor in the same Parsifal . Perhaps not surprisingly for someone who regularly overworked himself, Uhde belongs to that exclusive club of musicians who die during or directly following a performance. He collapsed from a massive heart attack in the middle of Bentzon’s Faust III in Copenhagen, just 50, and died on the way to a hospital.


Intensity was the hallmark of Uhde’s performances. Like Anja Silja, he was renowned for his combination of great acting ability, good looks, and uneven but always competent vocalism. On records, especially studio recordings, this kind of singer is often at a disadvantage: The best they offer is an art that combines visuals and sound in a live environment, relating to others on stage, and to the audience as a whole. So it proves here. The vocal part in the studio material, divorced from context, sometimes seems over the top, as in the parlando exclamations that replace occasional sung syllables in Rigoletto , or his almost incoherent Telramund in Lohengrin . Conversely, almost nothing of character comes across in Uhde’s two arias of Kaspar ( Der Freischütz ), save for blunt bonhomie in the Drinking Song, and a surprising degree of vocal agility.


Another problem is Uhde’s intonation, never secure, especially in the upper part of his voice, where notes sometimes tend to go (and remain, however long he holds them) sharp. Especially notable examples occur in the Toreador’s Song (though his Escamillo is otherwise magnificent: dark-voiced, supremely self-confident, and good-natured), and his early, bizarre attempt at Handel’s Giulio Cesare . Some of this may be due to pushing his voice, since it’s apparent that by his late-40s Uhde’s chest resonance was no longer rock solid, whatever it may have been like earlier in his career.


The live material, however, shows us another side of the singer. A pair of excerpts from Der fliegende Holländer and Die Walküre demonstrate much more fullness to the tone as heard in the concert hall, as well as excellent projection, and a perfect balance of musical momentum and insightful characterization. His Dutchman is a magnificent individual, Shakespearean in the carefully delineated details of his varied moods, and his Wotan’s invocation of love, regret, and the summoning of fire are breathtaking in their epic dimension. The recordings, too, are very good, better than they should be for live material from this period. As much can be said of the studio content, with a more resonant and lifelike ambience than was typical for the period.


In the end, I can recommend this album unreservedly only to fans of Uhde, who will no doubt already be aware of his Der fliegende Holländer and Die Walküre . However, if you’re curious about his art, a better place to start would be with that Der fliegende Holländer , available thankfully once again in the original, experimental stereo, on Testament 1384. You can read a review of the full performance in Fanfare 30:4, and I agree with the views expressed in it. After that, there’s plenty of time to give thought to his appearances in Ring cycles conducted by Keilberth and Krauss, as well as this album.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1.
Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: Dall'ondoso periglio by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Hermann Uhde ()
Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1724; London, England 
Date of Recording: 1952 
Length: 7 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Der Freischütz, J 277: Hier im ird'schen Jammertal by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Hermann Uhde ()
Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817-1821; Dresden, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1954 
Length: 2 Minutes 0 Secs. 
3.
Der Freischütz, J 277: Schweig, damit dich niemand warnt by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Hermann Uhde ()
Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817-1821; Dresden, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1954 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
4.
Rigoletto: Cortigiani, vil razza dannata by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Hermann Uhde ()
Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Munich Philharmonic Orche
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Length: 4 Minutes 14 Secs. 
5.
Rigoletto: Tutte le feste...Piangi, fanciulla by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Hermann Uhde ()
Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Munich Philharmonic Orche
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Length: 10 Minutes 4 Secs. 
6.
Carmen: Votre toast je peu vous le rendre "Toreador Song" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Hermann Uhde ()
Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1952 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
7.
Tiefland: Hüll' in die Mantielle dich fester ein by Eugen D'Albert
Performer:  Hermann Uhde ()
Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Munich Philharmonic Orche
Period: Modern 
Written: 1903; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
8.
Der fliegende Holländer: Die Frist ist um [Monologue] by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Hermann Uhde ()
Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841/1852; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1955 
Length: 11 Minutes 51 Secs. 
9.
Lohengrin: Dank, König dir by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Hermann Uhde ()
Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Length: 4 Minutes 22 Secs. 
10.
Lohengrin: Erhebe dich, Genossin meiner Schmach by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Hermann Uhde ()
Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1953 
Length: 15 Minutes 19 Secs. 
11.
Die Walküre: Leb' wohl..."Farewell and Magic Fire music" by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Hermann Uhde ()
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1957 
Length: 13 Minutes 59 Secs. 

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