Otto Edelmann

Biography

Born: February 5, 1917; Brun am Gebirge, Austria   Died: May 14, 2003; Vienna, Austria  
An artist of consistently high standards, Otto Edelmann sang the important bass and bass-baritone roles in the Wagner, Strauss, and Mozart repertories during the 1950s and 1960s. If he lacked the truly handsome tone quality of predecessors such as Schorr, Bocklemann, and Nissen, he nonetheless offered a voice that was cleanly formed and devoid of woolliness. Although he had already made a positive impression in Vienna from 1947 onward, the Read more engagement that focused the spotlight on his art came in the 1951 reopening of the Bayreuth Festival when he sang the bass part in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony under Furtwängler (to initiate the event) and then performed a younger-than-customary Hans Sachs under Herbert von Karajan. Both performances were recorded and have remained cornerstones of the recording catalog ever since.

Born near Vienna, Edelmann pursued his musical studies at the Vienna Academy with, among others, Norwegian dramatic tenor Gunnar Graarud, a favorite artist at Berlin and Bayreuth. For his stage debut in 1937, Edelmann was engaged by the company at Gera to sing Mozart's Figaro. From 1938 to 1940, he was a member of the company at Nuremberg, but found his career essentially put on hold during WWII. Shortly after beginning again at the war's end, he became a member of the Vienna Staatsoper and quickly established himself as a singer of considerable promise. His Bayreuth Festival appearances in 1951 placed him in the front rank of post-war singers and led to other important engagements. Under Knappertsbusch, he sang live performances of Hans Sachs and recorded Meistersinger, this time as Pogner. At the Edinburgh Festival in 1952, he was heard again as Sachs, performing the role with the visiting Hamburg Opera. In 1953, he was chosen by Furtwängler to record Pizarro in Fidelio. His Leporello accompanied Cesare Siepi's Don Giovanni for several years at Salzburg -- a thoughtful characterization, if somewhat lacking in Italianate flair.

For his Metropolitan Opera debut on November 11, 1954, Edelmann presented his Hans Sachs, pleasing critics with his solid, reliable singing. In 1955, Edelmann made his San Francisco debut as Baron Ochs, appearing several weeks later as Heinrich in Lohengrin. As Ochs, his mastery of Viennese style and dialect was noted and appreciated.

The following year, he and his Marschallin, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, committed their interpretations to disc for EMI in a recording that has not left the catalog since. Edelmann went on to perform Ochs in numerous venues, notably at Salzburg where Rosenkavalier initiated performances in the new Grosses Festspielhaus in 1960. From these performances Paul Czinner fashioned his now legendary film of the opera. When Decca sought to record Kirsten Flagstad's Brünnhilde in 1957, the singer felt herself unable to cope adequately with Act II's opening war cry and opted to perform Act III only. With Solti conducting, Edelmann was the Wotan of choice for the project.

Edelmann was once involved in a Metropolitan Opera misadventure with Wotan. After beginning a performance of the Walküre Wotan, he announced at the conclusion of Act II that he could not continue. Another singer was brought in, but discovered his voice failing midway through Act III and signaled for the curtain to be brought down. No other singer being available, Edelmann -- now somewhat recovered -- was persuaded to resume at the beginning of scene 3 and finish the bedeviled performance. Read less
Mozart: Don Giovanni / Furtwängler, Siepi, Grümmer, Edelmann
Release Date: 11/20/2001   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 073019  
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Wagner: Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg / Knappertsbusch, Schöffler, Edelmann
Release Date: 08/05/2008   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 440057   Number of Discs: 4
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Verdi: Falstaff / Santi, Edelmann, Grimm, Van Vrooman, Wiener Symphoniker
Release Date: 07/27/2010   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 101507   Number of Discs: 1
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Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier / Pritchard, Caballe, Edelmann, Zylis-gara, Modenos, Mathis
Release Date: 04/26/2011   Label: Glyndebourne Festival Opera  
Catalog: 24016   Number of Discs: 3
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Browse 1-25 of 60 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 9 / Furtwangler, Schwarzkopf, Cavelti, Haefliger, Edelmann
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 92641 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Otto Edelmann,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Elsa Cavelti,  Ernst Haefliger
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Lucerne Festival Chorus
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  • 2.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 9 / Furtwangler, Schwarzkopf, Cavelti, Haefliger, Edelmann
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95641 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ernst Haefliger,  Elsa Cavelti,  Otto Edelmann,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Lucerne Festival Chorus
    CD: $14.99
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  • 3.
    Weber: Der Freischutz / Furtwangler, Grummer, Hopf, Streich
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 121166 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Hans Hopf,  Oskar Czerwenka,  Alfred Poell,  Rita Streich  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Strauss / Karajan [11 CDs & 1 Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002100500 Release Date: 08/19/2014   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé,  Giusto Cappone,  Pierre Fournier,  Norbert Hauptmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $179.98
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  • 5.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9; Overtures / Karajan, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633735 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Otto Edelmann,  Ernst Haefliger,  Marga Höffgen,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society Chorus
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  • 6.
    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
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  • 7.
    Wilhelm Furtwangler: Wiener Konzerte 1944-1954 [18-CD Set]
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 834118 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  César Franck,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Badura-Skoda,  Dagmar Bella,  Paul Schöffler,  Anton Dermota  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singakademie,  Vienna Boys' Choir
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  • 8.
    Solti Conducts The Strauss Operas [15-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001746102 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Waldemar Kmentt,  Hilde Gueden,  Eberhard Wächter,  Wilhelm Lenninger  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    Voices Of German Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40497 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Edda Moser,  Kurt Moll,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Langrée,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Berislav Klobucar,  Rudolf Moralt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 10.
    The Very Best Of Herbert Von Karajan
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6789922 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jean Sibelius,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Gidon Kremer,  James Galway  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 9 / Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 790 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Elsa Cavelti,  Otto Edelmann
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Lucerne Festival Chorus
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  • 12.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0111 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Otto Edelmann,  Lisa Della Casa,  Heinrich Pflanzl,  Gerhard Unger  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
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  • 13.
    Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier / Della Casa, Karajan
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453200 Release Date: 10/17/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Josef Knapp,  Fritz Sperlbauer,  Hilde Gueden,  Evelyn LaBruce  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Wilhelm Furtwangler - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 07878 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 21
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Béla Bartók,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Hans Hopf,  Otto Edelmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier / Pritchard, Caballe, Edelmann, Zylis-gara, Modenos, Mathis
    Label: Glyndebourne Festival Opera   Catalog: 24016 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Angela Jenkins,  David Hughes,  Otto Edelmann,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
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  • 16.
    Dokumente Einer Sangerkarriere: Gottlob Frick, Vol. 3
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93473 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Cornelius  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Terkal,  Gottlob Frick,  Hugo Meyer Welfing,  Kurt Equiluz  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Heger,  Wilhelm Schüchter,  Rudolf Kempe,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt  ... 
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  • 17.
    Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - A Film By Paul Czinner
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4684 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Sena Jurinac,  Otto Edelmann
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $44.99
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  • 18.
    Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - A Film By Paul Czinner
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4684 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Sena Jurinac,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Otto Edelmann
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 19.
    Wagner: The Complete Opera Collection / Bavarian State Opera, Bayreuth Festival, Badische Staatskapelle, Cagliari Theater...
    Label: Membran International Gmbh   Catalog: 233106 Release Date: 10/25/2010   Number of Discs: 43
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Franz Klarwein,  Luise Willer,  Viorica Ursuleac,  Georg Hann  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Robert Heger,  Joseph Keilberth,  Günter Neuhold  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $69.98
    CD: $63.99
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  • 20.
    Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg - 50 Years
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001469202 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Leos Janácek,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Sena Jurinac,  Judith Hellwig,  Siegfried Rudolf Frese  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Claudio Abbado,  Carlo Rizzi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung  ... 
    On sale! $99.97
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  • 21.
    Verdi: Falstaff / Santi, Edelmann, Grimm, Van Vrooman, Wiener Symphoniker
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101507 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Melitta Muszely,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Hans Gunter Grimm,  Graziella Sciutti  ... 
    Conductor:  Nello Santi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Wiener Symphoniker
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  • 22.
    Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier / Schwarzkopf, Karajan
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 66824 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Eberhard Wächter,  Teresa Stich-Randall,  Kerstin Meyer,  Erich Majkut  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Loughton Girls School Chorus,  Philharmonia Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Strauss: Arabella / Solti, Della Casa, London
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001305202 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Otto Edelmann,  Harald Pröglhöf,  Eberhard Wächter,  Judith Hellwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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    On sale! $23.99
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  • 24.
    The Record of Singing Vol 5 - From the LP to the Digital Era
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28949 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Luciana Serra,  Neil Shicoff,  Alain Vanzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Georges Prêtre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 25.
    Best Karajan 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15206 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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