WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Live On Stage / Fritz Wunderlich


Release Date: 10/19/2010 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001477402  
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartGioachino RossiniRichard Strauss
Performer:  Fritz WunderlichAnneliese RothenbergerKarl Christian KohnClaude Heater,   ... 
Conductor:  Fritz RiegerHerbert von KarajanKarl BöhmGeorges Prêtre,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic OrchestraBavarian State Opera ChorusVienna State Opera Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $41.99
CD:  $14.99
In Stock
MP3: $9.99
What's this?




Notes and Editorial Reviews


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
Read more 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 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, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Fritz Rieger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 7/1964 
Venue:  Live National Theater, Munich, Germany 
2. Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Soll ich dich, Teurer, nicht mehr seh'n? by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger (Soprano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor), Karl Christian Kohn (Bass)
Conductor:  Fritz Rieger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 7/1964 
Venue:  Live National Theater, Munich, Germany 
3. Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Wir wandelten durch Feuergluten by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Claude Heater (Tenor), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor), Anneliese Rothenberger (Soprano),
Albrecht Peter (Baritone)
Conductor:  Fritz Rieger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 7/1964 
Venue:  Live National Theater, Munich, Germany 
Notes: This selection follows "Mich schreckt kein Tod." 
4. Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Wie stark ist nicht dein Zauberton by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Fritz Rieger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 7/1964 
Venue:  Live National Theater, Munich, Germany 
5. Don Giovanni, K 527: Dalla sua pace by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
Date of Recording: 6/1963 
Venue:  Live Staatsoper, Vienna 
6. Don Giovanni, K 527: Il mio tesoro intanto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
Date of Recording: 6/1963 
Venue:  Live Staatsoper, Vienna 
7. Il barbiere di Siviglia: Ecco ridente in cielo by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Karl Böhm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
Date of Recording: 4/1966 
Venue:  Live Staatsoper, Vienna 
Language: German 
8. Il barbiere di Siviglia: All' idea di qual metallo by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Eberhard Wächter (Baritone), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Karl Böhm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
Date of Recording: 4/1966 
Venue:  Live Staatsoper, Vienna 
Language: German 
9. Capriccio, Op. 85: Addio, mia vita by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Walter Berry (Bass Baritone), Lisa Della Casa (Soprano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor),
Lucia Popp (Soprano), Robert Kerns (Baritone), Waldemar Kmentt (Tenor)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1940-1941; Germany 
Date of Recording: 3/1964 
Venue:  Live Staatsoper, Vienna 
10. Daphne, Op. 82: Leukippos, du! by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor), Hilde Gueden (Soprano)
Conductor:  Karl Böhm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 5/1964 
Venue:  Theater an der Wien, Vienna 
11. Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59: Di rigori armato il seno by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Kurt Böhme (Bass), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor), Josef Knapp (Bass)
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909-1910; Germany 
Date of Recording: 7/1966 
Venue:  Live Bavarian State Opera, Munich 
12. Die schweigsame Frau, Op. 80: Du süssester Engel, wie herrlich hast du geteufelt by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Kurt Böhme (Bass), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor), Ingeborg Hallstein (Soprano)
Conductor:  Heinz Wallberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 8/1962 
Venue:  Prinzregenten Theater, Munich, Germany 
13. Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: Hier soll ich dich denn sehen by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Josef Krips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1965 
Venue:  Live Staatsoper, Vienna 
14. Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: O wie ängstlich, o wie feurig by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Josef Krips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1965 
Venue:  Live Staatsoper, Vienna 

Sound Samples

Die Zauberflöte, K.620 / Act 1: "Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön"
Die Zauberflöte, K.620: Holde Flöte
Die Zauberflöte, K.620 / Act 2: "Soll ich dich, Teurer, nicht mehr sehn?"
Die Zauberflöte, K.620 / Act 2: Mich schreckt kein Tod
Die Zauberflöte, K.620 / Act 2: Tamino mein! - Wir wandelten durch Feuergluten - Triumpf
Don Giovanni, ossia Il dissoluto punito, K.527 / Act 1: "Come mai creder deggio" - "Dalla sua pace la mia di- pende"
Don Giovanni, ossia Il dissoluto punito, K.527 / Act 2: Amici miei...Il mio tesoro
Il barbiere di Siviglia - german version (Kollmann / Neitzel) / Act I: Kavatine: "Sieh schon die Morgenröte"
Il barbiere di Siviglia - german version (Kollmann / Neitzel) / Act I: Duett: "Strahlt auf mich der Blitz des Goldes"
Capriccio, Op.85: Addio, mia vita
Daphne - Opera in 1 Act, Op.82: Leukippos, du? - with fade-out
Der Rosenkavalier, Op.59 / Act 1: "Di rigori armato il seno"
Die schweigsame Frau, Op.80 / Act 2: Du süssester Engel
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K.384 / Act 1: "Hier soll ich dich denn sehen"
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K.384 / Act 1: "Konstanze, dich wiederzusehen" - "O wie ängstlich, o wie feurig"

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook