Richard Tauber


Born: May 16, 1891; Linz, Austria   Died: January 8, 1948; London, England  
Richard Tauber remains, for many, the quintessential Viennese operetta tenor. As well as a performer, he was a composer, his works displaying his understanding of the operetta and song genres if not the genius of a Lehár or Johann Strauss, Jr. He did not have a perfect voice; his Bs and Cs were labored and his habit of using falsetto to reach the rest of the upper range, while producing some ravishing results, could become mannered and overly Read more applied. That said, his graceful charm of expression and lyrical warmth made him one of the most beloved singers of his time.

He was the son of an actor and theater director and an actress, and was raised by his father after the age of seven, thus increasing his exposure to music and the theater. His early studies at the Frankfurt Conservatory focused on conducting and composition, his voice studies instead taking place at Freiburg under Carl Beines. He made his opera debut at the Chemnitz Neues Stadt-Theater in March, 1913, as Tamino in Mozart's The Magic Flute. He was almost immediately given a five-year contract by the Dresden Opera where he became the established lyric tenor. As his career continued to develop throughout Germany, he was strongly associated with Mozart; when he appeared as Tamino, Mozart's opera was often jokingly renamed Die Tauberflöte. Astonishingly, however, his 1915 Berlin Opera debut was as Bacchus in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos (a role that many heroic tenors find incredibly taxing), sung with 48 hours' notice and only one rehearsal! Tauber became known for his fast learning and musicianship, and was often called upon for such emergencies. He once took over as conductor for a tour with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

In the 1920s, he began to specialize in operetta and song, and became best known for those roles and for recitals, recordings, and film work. Lehár wrote the operettas Paganini, Der Zarewitsch, Friederike, and The Land of Smiles with him in mind, and in each, made sure to include a showpiece (soon known as the Tauberlied) for his talents. In 1931, he made his debut in England at the Drury Lane Theater in Lehár's The Land of Smiles, and he remained in England for fear of Nazi persecution (he was of Jewish extraction), becoming a naturalized citizen in 1940. Like most singers, his career was interrupted by the war, but he made his operatic farewell in 1947 as Don Ottavio in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Though already seriously ill with the lung cancer that was to kill him the next year, according to critics and documented by air check recordings, it would have been a creditable performance for a singer in the best of health.

Tauber owed much of his fame to his then-prodigious 725 recordings; among tenors, only Enrico Caruso and John McCormack made more recordings. Tauber's catalog unquestionably displays the most variety, including songs by Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin, arias and duets from Verdi's Il trovatore and Aida, Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann, German lieder, and even the Neapolitan and Irish songs in which Caruso and McCormack were the main exponents. He also appeared in several movies, including a film of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, Blossom Time, Heart's Desire, and Forbidden Music. Today, his operetta Old Chelsea (which he wrote to celebrate his naturalization as an English citizen) is still sometimes performed. Read less
Browse 1-11 of 11 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Belcanto - The Tenors of the 78 Era
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110389 Release Date: 03/09/2018   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Enrico Caruso,  Alessandro Moreschi,  Fernando de Lucia,  Bessie Abott  ... 
    DVD: $58.99
    In Stock
    DVD:  $58.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 2.
    Fritz Wunderlich: Complete Studio Recordings on DG
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002565802 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 32
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Alban Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Franz Crass,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Christa Ludwig,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Richter,  Karl Münchinger,  Marcel Couraud,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Bach Orchestra,  Munich Bach Choir,  Stuttgart Hymnus Boys Choir  ... 
    CD: $90.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $90.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 3.
    Thomas Hampson - Autograph
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564619045 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Charles Gounod,  Ambroise Thomas,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Charlotte Margiono,  Delores Ziegler,  Barbara Bonney  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Michel Plasson,  Antonio de Almeida,  Richard Armstrong  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Opera Chorus,  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $45.98
    CD: $44.49
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $45.98   CD:  $44.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 4.
    You Mean the World to Me / Kaufmann
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 308771 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Robert Stolz,  Hans May,  Mischa Spoliansky  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Julia Kleiter
    Conductor:  Jochen Rieder
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 5.
    Heart's Delight - Songs of Richard Tauber / Beczala
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001833702 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Rudolf Sieczynski,  Emmerich Kálmán,  Robert Stolz  ... 
    Performer:  Piotr Beczala,  Anna Netrebko,  Avi Avital,  Duncan Riddell
    Conductor:  Lukasz Borowicz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Comedian Harmonists
    CD: $21.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $21.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 6.
    Icon: Nicolai Gedda - Lyric Poet of the Tenor Voice
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 56095 Release Date: 03/23/2010   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Joaquin Turina,  Ottorino Respighi,  Francesco Maria Veracini,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  Gerald Moore,  Jan Eyron,  Aldo Ciccolini  ... 
    Conductor:  Lonya Kolbouss,  Robert Stolz,  Willy Mattes,  Willi Boskovsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Men's Chorus,  Balalaika Orchestra,  Graunke Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $97.98
    CD: $75.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $97.98   CD:  $75.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 7.
    Golden Operetta Of Vienna
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1049 Release Date: 06/02/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Tauber,  Karl Millöcker,  Carl Zeller,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Tauber,  Jussi Björling,  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Julius Patzak  ... 
    Conductor:  Henry Geehl,  Nils Grevillius,  Werner Schmidt-Bölke,  Rudolf Moralt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 8.
    Operetta Arias / Thomas Hampson
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 58361 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmerich Kálmán,  Franz Lehár,  Karl Millöcker,  Robert Stolz  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Gregory Knowles,  Colin Downs,  Richard Wright  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Voices
    ArkivCD $16.99
    Special Order
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 9.
    Original Masters - The Art Of Fritz Wunderlich
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000480702 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Hübsch,,  Traditional,  Osman Perez Freire  ... 
    Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich,  Hermann Prey,  Hubert Giesen,  Ingeborg Hallstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Carste,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Robert Stolz,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Die Spilar-Schrammeln (salon orchestra)  ... 
    On sale! $55.98
    CD: $52.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $55.98   CD:  $52.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 10.
    Treasures Of Operetta - Ziehrer, Strauss, Etc/ Knight, Et Al
    Label: Chandos Collect   Catalog: 6689 Release Date: 06/29/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Michael Ziehrer,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Emmerich Kálmán,  Oscar Straus  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Hill Smith,  Peter Morrison
    Conductor:  Barry Knight
    CD: $24.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 11.
    Welch Unbekannter Zaube / Tatjana Dravenau,   Andreas Post
    Label: Genuin Classics   Catalog: 3028 Release Date: 11/12/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Eduard Künneke,  Adolphe Adam,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Andreas Post,  Tatjana Dravenau
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart