Hans Hotter

Biography

Born: January 19, 1909   Died: December 6, 2003   Country: Germany  
Hans Hotter was one of the twentieth century's greatest singing actors. Indeed, he was often compared to the Russian bass-baritone Feodor Chaliapin in histrionic ability as well as vocal endowment. Like the Russian, he was tall, able to bring the authority of his six feet four inch frame to the Wagnerian roles in which he came to specialize. After the retirement of Friedrich Schorr in 1943, Hotter came to be considered the supreme Wotan in Read more Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung tetrology.

Hotter trained as an organist and choirmaster, but found his vocal gifts pushing him in the direction of a singing career. He made his debut as the Speaker in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the age of 20 in the small theatre at Opava. Following contracts in Prague, Breslau, and Hamburg, he was invited to Munich in 1938 and remained associated with that company for much of his subsequent career. In Munich, he came in close contact with composer Richard Strauss who, much impressed with Hotter's singing and acting, composed three roles specifically for him, beginning with the Commandant in Friedenstag (Freedom's Day) which had its premiere in Munich in 1938. Following that, Strauss wrote for Hotter the part of Jupiter in Die Liebe der Danae (The Love of Danae). Hotter sang the dress rehearsal for a much-delayed production at Salzburg just before all theatres were closed in 1944. In Capriccio, Strauss' final opera, Hotter appeared as Olivier at the 1942 premiere.

With the cessation of World War II hostilities, Hotter's career took him abroad, first to London in 1947 where, among other roles, he performed Wotan in stagings given in English; he remained a revered artist in England for as long as his long career continued. In 1950, he made an impressive debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera as the protagonist in Wagner's Fliegende Holländer. His immense voice and baleful appearance made a profound effect upon both critics and audiences as yet more comparisons to Chaliapin were invoked. After only a few seasons, however, his Met career came to a halt when general manager Rudolf Bing sought to steer him in the direction of secondary parts. The rest of the opera world was only too happy to hear him perform the great Wagnerian and Strauss roles in which he was incomparable and he was a welcome guest in San Francisco and Chicago.

Vienna was one of several European venues to benefit from his appearances in roles he seldom undertook in the United States. Roles such as Don Basilio in Barbiere di Siviglia and King Phillip in Verdi's Don Carlo were two especially memorable interpretations.

Throughout the 1950s and on through the last of his public appearances in 1972, Hotter's voice was increasingly prone to unsteadiness at full volume. Acute hay fever bedeviled him during summer engagements such as those at the Bayreuth Festival. Still, his performances remained riveting even in vocal decline and Georg Solti chose him for his Ring recording even after he was significantly past his prime.

While better known as an operatic personality, Hotter was a magnificent interpreter of German lieder (he in fact enjoyed performing this music more than opera) and made many recordings of the repertory over a three-decade span. His interpretive genius and ability to scale back his huge voice suited this kind of singing superbly, and the reissue on CD of his best song recordings has won the enthusiasm of a new generation of followers. Read less
Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Karajan, Vinay, Modl, Hotter, Vinay
Release Date: 08/27/2013   Label: United Classics  
Catalog: 2012131   Number of Discs: 3
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Wagner: Siegried (Bayreuth, 1958)  / Knappersbusch, Varnay, Hotter, Windgassen
Release Date: 01/13/2015   Label: Walhall  
Catalog: 248   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Das Rheingold (Bayreuth 1958) / Knappertsbusch, Hotter, Grummer, Konya
Release Date: 01/13/2015   Label: Walhall  
Catalog: 246   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Parsifal / Karajan, Wachter, Hotter, Uhl
Release Date: 10/20/1998   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1169   Number of Discs: 3
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Strauss: Die schweigsame Frau / Bohm, Hotter, Gueden, Wunderlich
Release Date: 08/16/1994   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 445335   Number of Discs: 2
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Browse 1-25 of 117 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Opera Gold: 100 Great Tracks
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002503602 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Henry Lewis,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 2.
    R. Strauss: Capriccio / Schwarzkopf, Sawallisch, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555534 Release Date: 05/20/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Eberhard Wächter,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Keilberth [Bayreuth 1953]
    Label: Pan Classics   Catalog: 10340 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Josef Greindl,  Hans Hotter,  Bruni Falcon,  Ludwig Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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    CD: $42.49
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  • 4.
    Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Solti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002330102 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Birgit Nilsson,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 5.
    Wagner: Das Rheingold (Bayreuth 1958) / Knappertsbusch, Hotter, Grummer, Konya
    Label: Walhall   Catalog: 246 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Hans Hotter,  Rita Gorr,  Frans Andersson  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Wagner: Siegried (Bayreuth, 1958)  / Knappersbusch, Varnay, Hotter, Windgassen
    Label: Walhall   Catalog: 248 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Gerhard Stolze,  Frans Andersson,  Astrid Varnay,  Hans Hotter  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Solti [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002236146 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Birgit Nilsson,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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    Blu-ray Audio: $84.49
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  • 8.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 9.
    Most Wanted Recitals - The Art Of Hans Hotter Vol. 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002178202 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Loewe,  Hugo Wolf,  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Geoffrey Parsons
    CD: $12.99
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  • 10.
    Richard Wagner: Die Walkure / Knappertsbusch, Bayreuth
    Label: Walhall   Catalog: 247 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Astrid Varnay,  Hans Hotter,  Jon Vickers,  Leonie Rysanek  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Most Wanted Recitals - The Art Of Hans Hotter
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002066902 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugo Wolf,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Geoffrey Parsons
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  • 12.
    Karajan 1947-1958: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms - Choral Music
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633629 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Nicolai Gedda,  Marga Höffgen,  Heinz Rehfuss  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 13.
    Karajan: Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, R. Strauss, Opera Arias - 1946-1949
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633618 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Leopold Wlach,  Julius Patzak,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Elisabeth Höngen  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Friends of Music Chorus
    CD: $64.49
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  • 14.
    Richard Strauss: Complete Operas
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002013902 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 33
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Cäcilie Reich,  Eva Maria Rogner,  Ira Malaniuk  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Karl Böhm,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $175.98
    CD: $167.49
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  • 15.
    Strauss: The Great Operas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 3179923 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Gerd Nienstedt,  José Van Dam,  Agnes Baltsa,  Horst Nitsche  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Rudolf Kempe,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $110.98
    CD: $73.49
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  • 16.
    Wilhelm Furtwangler Conducts Brahms Vol. 2
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6674 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Hans Hotter
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    Grandioso! - Great Verdi Recordings From Caruso To Pavarotti [7 CD-Set]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001928802 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Sándor Kónya,  Maria Németh,  Ebe [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Stignani,  Renata Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  János Kulka,  Alberto Erede,  Bruno Bartoletti  ... 
    On sale! $49.98
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  • 18.
    Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Karajan, Vinay, Modl, Hotter, Vinay
    Label: United Classics   Catalog: 2012131 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ludwig Weber,  Martha Mödl,  Hans Hotter,  Ramon Vinay  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
    On sale! $22.99
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  • 19.
    Schoenberg: Gurre-lieder / Mehta, Lakes, Marton, Quivar, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802190 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg
    Performer:  Florence Quivar,  Eva Martón,  Hans Hotter,  Jon Garrison  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Choral Artists,  New York Philharmonic
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Great Wagner Singers [6-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826302 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Sieglinde Wagner,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Wilhelm Pitz,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Richard Kraus  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 21.
    Wagner at The Met
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 542717 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Karin Branzell,  Lauritz Melchior,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Emanuel List  ... 
    Conductor:  Artur Bodanzky,  George Szell,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Fritz Reiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 4727667 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Rita Streich,  Hans Hotter,  Josef Greindl,  Gustav Neidlinger  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth
    CD: $12.99
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  • 23.
    Wagner: Complete Operas [43-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001786402 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 43
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Don Garrard,  Elisabeth Gale,  Della Jones,  April Cantelo  ... 
    Conductor:  Edward Downes,  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Northern Symphony,  BBC Northern Singers,  Leipzig Radio Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $124.98
    CD: $111.99
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  • 24.
    Mozart 111 [55-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001766872 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Emil Gilels,  Elena Gilels,  Maurizio Pollini  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  James Levine,  Herbert von Karajan,  Marc Minkowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $164.49
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  • 25.
    Beethoven - The Orchestral Recordings / Klemperer
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 404275 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Aase Nordmo-Lövberg,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Hans Hotter,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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