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The Very Best Of Fritz Wunderlich


Release Date: 04/22/2003 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 75915   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartGeorge Frideric HandelFriedrich von FlotowRichard Wagner,   ... 
Performer:  Fritz WunderlichRudolf SchockLiselotte SchmidtEdith Mathis,   ... 
Conductor:  Hans ZanotelliHorst SteinBerislav KlobucarHans Müller-Kray,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony OrchestraBavarian State OrchestraBerlin State Opera Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 34 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

When Fritz Wunderlich died in a fall in 1966 at age 36 the opera world lost a masterful lyric tenor whose voice was tonally beautiful (a honeyed timbre with a tough backbone) and notable for its open, direct sound, unusual in German tenors traditionally trained to produce a throaty quality. And Wunderlich was more than just a voice: he could characterize well, lightening or darkening the voice to suit the dramatic situation. He always phrased with elegance and his legato singing was breathtaking, as we easily hear in virtually every selection on these well-filled discs recorded in the early 1960s when his natural gifts blossomed to enable mature interpretive insights. Put succinctly, if you love Björling, you'll love Wunderlich.
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All of the items but one, a gorgeously sung Handel "Ombra mai fu", are in German. Since many of these selections are from French and Italian operas, singing them in guttural German often is a downer, or at best forces the listener to make mental adjustments not always to the benefit of the music. Not to worry--despite accurate German diction, Wunderlich makes the music sound totally idiomatic, so much so that for the most part you don't even realize he's singing in the "wrong" language. In fact, he sounds like a great French tenor in the French arias that open Disc 2, complete with the slightly nasal sound and melting soft phrases that distinguish the best of that breed.


Wunderlich's Mozart is nothing short of fabulous; in "Il mio tesoro" and "Dalla sua pace" from Don Giovanni he negotiates the high tessitura comfortably, adding muscle to the tone to transform Don Ottavio from wimp to concerned lover. Similar timbral qualities make "Un'aura amorosa" from Cosi fan tutte, and Die Zauberflöte's "Dies Bildnis" irresistible. Welcome too, are some German arias from operas rarely heard these days by Cornelius, Lortzing, Kienzl, and a melting "Lensky's Aria" from Eugene Onegin.


Much of the second disc is given over to operetta, where Wunderlich shows himself the natural heir to Richard Tauber. He has more voice than Tauber though, compensating for the older singer's infectious charm. Not that Wunderlich is charm-challenged; just hear his "O frag mich nicht" from Fall's Der Fidele Bauer for a healthy dose of it, complete with a smile in the voice. But then, any of the Lehár, Kalman, or Strauss selections also prove the point. Too bad EMI didn't take this opportunity to remaster these transfers since some of the tracks reissued more than a decade or two ago could have benefited. But this isn't serious enough to deter. Wunderlich's star shone briefly, but none shone more brightly. Get this! [6/14/2003]
--Dan Davis, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Dalla sua pace by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Zanotelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
Language: German 
2.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Il mio tesoro intanto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Horst Stein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
Language: German 
3.
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: O wie ängstlich, o wie feurig by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Berislav Klobucar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
4.
Così fan tutte, K 588: Un' aura amorosa by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Berislav Klobucar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
5.
Serse, HWV 40: Ombra mai fu "Largo" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Müller-Kray
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738; London, England 
Language: Italian 
6.
Martha: Ach, so fromm by Friedrich von Flotow
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Berislav Klobucar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
Language: German 
7.
Der fliegende Holländer: Mit Gewitter und Sturm by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841/1852; Germany 
Language: German 
8.
Zar und Zimmermann: Lebe wohl, mein flandrisch Mädchen by Albert Lortzing
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Berislav Klobucar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
Language: German 
9.
Der Evangelimann, Op. 45: Selig sind, die Verfolgung leiden by Wilhelm Kienzl
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Müller-Kray
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra,  St. Wolfang Childrens Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Bad Aussee, Austria 
Language: German 
10.
Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor: Horch, die Lerche singt im Hain by Otto Nicolai
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Robert Heger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1536; Spain 
Language: German 
11.
Bartered Bride, B 143/T 93: Poor fool...is it really true by Bedrich Smetana
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863/1870; Czech Republic 
Language: German 
12.
Eugene Onegin, Op. 24: Lensky's aria by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Horst Stein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1879 
Language: German 
13.
Mignon: Adieu, Mignon! Courage! by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Horst Stein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; France 
Language: German 
14.
Manon: Instant charmant...En fermant les yeux "Dream of des Grieux" by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Berislav Klobucar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883-1884; France 
Language: German 
15.
La dame blanche: Viens, gentille dame by François Boieldieu
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Müller-Kray
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Paris, France 
Language: German 
16.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Quanto è bella! Quanto è cara! by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Müller-Kray
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Language: German 
17.
Eine Nacht in Venedig: Komm in die Gondel, mein Liebchen by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor), Rudolf Schock (Tenor)
Conductor:  Fried Walter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1883 
Language: German 
18.
Der Bettelstudent: Durch diesen Kuss by Karl Millöcker
Performer:  Liselotte Schmidt (Soprano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Werner Schmidt-Bölke
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
19.
Das Land des Lächelns: Von Apfelblüten einen Kranz by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Carl Michalski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1929; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
20.
Der Zarewitsch: Allein, wieder allein "Wolgalied" by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Moltkau
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1927; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
21.
Gräfin Mariza: Grüss mir mein Wien by Emmerich Kálmán
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Moltkau
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Wenn es Abend wird..." 
22.
Der Fidele Bauer: O frag'mich nicht by Leo Fall
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Carl Michalski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907; Austria 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Kleinen Kindern..." 
23.
Die Rose von Stambul: Zwei Augen, die Wollen mir nicht by Leo Fall
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Moltkau
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
24.
Der Rattenfänger von Hameln: Wandern, ach wandern by Adolf Neuendorff
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Werner Eisbrenner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  FFB Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; New York, USA 
Language: German 
25.
Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Berislav Klobucar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
26.
Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor: Mein Mädchen by Otto Nicolai
Performer:  Edith Mathis (Soprano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Robert Heger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Berlin, Germany 
Language: German 
27.
Bartered Bride, B 143/T 93: I've found you... My lovely treasure by Bedrich Smetana
Performer:  Pilar Lorengar (Soprano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863/1870; Czech Republic 
Language: German 
28.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Una furtiva lagrima by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Müller-Kray
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Language: German 
29.
Eine Nacht in Venedig: Ach, wie so herrlich by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Fried Walter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
30.
Giuditta: Freunde, das Leben ist lebenswert by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Moltkau
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1934; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
31.
Das Land des Lächelns: Dein ist mein ganzes Herz by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Carl Michalski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1929; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
32.
Die Zirkusprinzessin: Zwei Märchenaugen by Emmerich Kálmán
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Moltkau
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
33.
Gräfin Mariza: Komm Zigány by Emmerich Kálmán
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Moltkau
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: Post-Romantic 
Language: German 
34.
Die Rose von Stambul: O rose von Stambul by Leo Fall
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Moltkau
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916; Vienna, Austria 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection is preceded by "Man sagt uns nach..." 
35.
Der Barbier von Bagdad: So leb' ich noch...Vor deinem Fenster die Blumen by Peter Cornelius
Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hans Müller-Kray
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1858; Weimar, Germany 
Language: German 

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