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
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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Strauss: Elektra  / Kraus, Varnay, Rysanek, Hotter
Release Date: 02/24/2009   Label: Capriccio Records  
Catalog: 5008   Number of Discs: 2
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Strauss: Arabella / Bohm, Reining, Della Casa, Hotter
Release Date: 08/05/2008   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 445342   Number of Discs: 3
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Wagner: Siegfried / Solti, Nilsson, Hotter, Stolze
Release Date: 02/08/2010   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 414110   Number of Discs: 4
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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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Browse 51-75 of 91 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Schubert Lied-Edition Vol 6
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 40031 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Hans Hotter
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  • 52.
    Schubert Lied-Edition Vol 7
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 40032 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Tiana Lemnitz,  Peter Anders,  Erna Berger,  Georg Hann  ... 
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  • 53.
    The World's Most Romantic Operas
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9807 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Alessandro Maddalena,  Mirella Freni,  Nicolai Ghiuselev,  Franco Calabrese  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Peter Maag,  Nino Verchi,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Chorus Rome,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus  ... 
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  • 54.
    Wagner: Die Walküre Act 2 / Melchior, Lehmann, Hotter, List
    Label: Emi Classics Références   Catalog: 64255 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Marta Fuchs,  Margarete Klose,  Hans Hotter,  Lotte Lehmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Wagner: Die Walküre / Knappertsbusch, Varnay, Et Al
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 316 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Astrid Varnay,  Hans Hotter,  Josef Greindl  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 56.
    Marta Fuchs - Recordings 1934-1944
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10349 Release Date: 01/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugo Wolf,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Raucheisen,  Marta Fuchs,  Gerald Moore,  Else Wieber  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Reuss,  Robert Heger,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Gustav Görlich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Wagner: Parsifal / Knappertsbusch, Thomas, Dalis, London
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000786302 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Niels Moller,  Gerhard Stolze,  Georg Paskuda,  Dorothea Siebert  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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  • 58.
    Wagner, Schubert / Walter, Ludwig, Nilsson, Hotter, Moore
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 334 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Hans Hotter,  Gerald Moore
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig,  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Melchior - Die Walküre
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 317/18 Release Date: 01/18/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ella Flesch,  Alfred Jerger,  Margarete Klose,  Lauritz Melchior  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 60.
    The Karajan Collection - Beethoven: Symphony No 9
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76878 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Hans Hotter,  Julius Patzak
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Friends of Music Chorus
    CD: $12.99
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  • 61.
    Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Knappertsbusch, Varney, Et Al
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 660513 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Georgine von Milinkovic,  Astrid Varnay,  Maria von Ilosvay,  Hilde Scheppan  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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    On sale! $129.99
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  • 62.
    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)  ... 
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  • 63.
    Grand Tier - Beethoven: Fidelio / Bohm, Ludwig, King, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 7025 Release Date: 08/09/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Edith Mathis,  Hans Hotter,  Christa Ludwig,  Franz Crass  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Mozart: Die Zauberflote / Keilberth
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 67157 Release Date: 01/01/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Rudolf Schock,  Peter Esser,  Kristina Sert,  Kurt Marschner  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Chorus,  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Karajan, Vinay, Modl
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 603033 Release Date: 07/06/2004   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ludwig Weber,  Martha Mödl,  Hans Hotter,  Ramon Vinay  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 66.
    In Memoriam Hans Hotter (1909-2003)
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1063 Release Date: 04/27/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Hugo Wolf,  Otto Nicolai,  Michael Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Michael Raucheisen
    CD: $29.99
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  • 67.
    Bach: Cantata No 82;  Brahms / Hans Hotter
    Label: Emi Great Artists Of The Century   Catalog: 62808 Release Date: 03/23/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Gerald Moore,  Hans Hotter,  Sidney Sutcliffe,  Geraint Jones
    Conductor:  Anthony Bernard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem / Karajan, Schwarzkopf, Hotter
    Label: Emi Great Artists Of The Century   Catalog: 62812 Release Date: 03/23/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Hans Hotter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society Chorus
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  • 69.
    Wagner - The Opera Collection: Parsifal / Solti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470805 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Gottlob Frick,  René Kollo,  Zoltan Kélémén  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Vienna Boys' Choir
    On sale! $50.99
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  • 70.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 100 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Walther Ludwig,  Hans Hotter,  Irmgard Seefried
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
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  • 71.
    Les Introuvables Du Chant Wagnèrien
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 64008 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Emanuel List,  Fritz Wolff,  Alexander Kipnis,  Lauritz Melchior  ... 
    Conductor:  Eduard Mörike,  Siegfried Wagner,  Robert Heger,  Leo Blech  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 72.
    Prinzregenten Theater - Wagner: Werke / Knote, Kappel, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89305 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Pietro Mascagni,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Friedrich Brodersen,  Ludwig Weber,  Hans Hopf,  Lorenz Fehenberger  ... 
    On sale! $69.98
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  • 73.
    Philips 50 - Wagner: Parsifal / Knappertsbusch, Bayreuther
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 464756 Release Date: 10/30/2001   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Jess Thomas,  Gustav Neidlinger,  Irene Dalis  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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  • 74.
    Hans Hotter - Early Emi Recordings - Schubert, Wagner, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1199 Release Date: 12/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Gerald Moore,  Michael Raucheisen,  Hermann von Nordberg
    Conductor:  Meinhard von Zallinger,  George Weldon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 75.
    Mozart: Die Zauberflote / Szell, Della Casa, Kopth, Et Al
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 455972 Release Date: 09/16/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Kurt Böhme,  Walter Berry,  Léopold Simoneau  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $39.99
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