Friedrich 'Fritz' Karl Otto Wunderlich 1930 - 1966

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Geoff
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Friedrich 'Fritz' Karl Otto Wunderlich 1930 - 1966

Postby Geoff » 03 Feb 2016, 23:59

I am mildly surprised that this exceptional tenor has so far escaped attention on this forum. He was 35 years old when he tragically died after a fall down a stone staircase at a friend's house. Already internationally famous, there is no doubt that he would have gone on to even greater acclaim but all we can now say is that he remains forever young. He is remembered with great affection and a great loss to the world of opera, singing and music in general:



Regards,
Geoff.

Geoff
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Re: Friedrich 'Fritz' Karl Otto Wunderlich 1930 - 1966

Postby Geoff » 06 Feb 2016, 22:54

What? No response ? Come on ! Are memories so short that the superlative Fritz Wunderlich is ignored ?
[/Peasants !b]

Regards,
Geoff.

Trickydicky1
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Re: Friedrich 'Fritz' Karl Otto Wunderlich 1930 - 1966

Postby Trickydicky1 » 17 Mar 2016, 17:53

Wunderlich was the singing hero of my youth (with Nicolai Gedda coming pretty close). I had scarcely been aware of his glorious singing for two months when I heard of his tragic death, which shocked and saddened me. Over the years, I sought out as many of his recordings as I could, and though his range of styles was wide, most of his repertoire was sung in German. Fortunately he had recorded a lot during his short life.
There have been a few tributes to him on the media here in Britain. Quite a few years back, the English tenor Nigel Douglas presented a number of radio programmes about him "In a Class of His Own". More recently on TV, the fine conductor Antonio Pappano selected Wunderlich as the epitome of the lyric tenor voice in his series on 'Classic Voices', with other great tenors of the past representing the other kinds of tenor around: Jon Vickers and Franco Corelli among them. A long section was devoted to the art of the amazingly versatile Jonas Kauffman, who acknowledges his indebtedness to the art of Fritz Wunderlich (even though Kaufmann's tone-colour is darker than Wunderlich's).

I doubt whether any tenor will give a more beautiful rendering of "Dies Bildnis.." from Die Zauberflote, ever.

Jim
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Re: Friedrich 'Fritz' Karl Otto Wunderlich 1930 - 1966

Postby Jim » 18 Mar 2016, 15:43

Quite magnificent and must be listed amongst the the greatest recorded lyric tenors. Mind you, I am not so sure about that Granada. The start is certainly attention grabbing from F to Bb but only on first hearing. Contrast this with 'Una furtiva lagrima' which also start on F and goes the other way.

Between himself, Bjorling and others, what was it about the 1940s 50s and 60s which had such great tenor voices? His tone was generally mellow, mellifluous and like Bjorling and and Schmidt very even usually, over its range. He certainly comes into the category of singers taken before their time. It is sobering to think that he was probably not anywhere near his peak at the time.

I must admit that neither Mr. Kaufman nor Jon Vickers does much for me. Although I am getting used to the style of Mr. Kaufman's sound. I must admit that I prefer my tenors to sound like tenors.

An Irish tenor, also gone before his time and an exact contemporary of Wunderlich with a very similar sound, was Dermot Troy.
Jim

Geoff
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Re: Friedrich 'Fritz' Karl Otto Wunderlich 1930 - 1966

Postby Geoff » 27 Apr 2016, 23:35

Jim, owld love,
It'd taken me far too long to reply but your mention of Dermot Troy brings back such memories. Lord knows, he wasn't an operatic tenor as we have come to expect, but he was a tenor who could turn a song into something magical. When it comes to beautiful singing, if this doesn't invite comment, I don't know what will.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea2Sgqvk-6o

Jim
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Re: Friedrich 'Fritz' Karl Otto Wunderlich 1930 - 1966

Postby Jim » 02 May 2016, 12:20

I know this is off topic Geoff but that is a beautiful rendition. I thought I had virtually all the available recordings but apparently not. Here is Dermot in a recording of Cappriccio as the Italian Tenor.

The voice was very much a Mozartian tenor type as was I maintain that of Fritz Wunderlich. I know it is dangerous to say something like that and just because the voice type is associated with a particular repertoire does not necessarily imply that anything else is off limits.
He also recorded Zaide which I do not have.
Jim

Geoff
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Re: Friedrich 'Fritz' Karl Otto Wunderlich 1930 - 1966

Postby Geoff » 02 May 2016, 21:39

Marvellous. Thank you Jim.
Regards,
Geoff.

Geoff
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Re: Friedrich 'Fritz' Karl Otto Wunderlich 1930 - 1966

Postby Geoff » 13 Oct 2016, 00:43

Ladies and Gents, I hope that you will pardon me for returning to the glory that was Fritz Wunderlich. Had he lived he would have been 86 years old this year and who knows what his vocal career would have been ? He was on the cusp of making his Metropolitan debut and he was anxious as to whether or not his voice would have been heard in the farthest corners, bearing in mind that American audiences in general have always had a tendency to place vocal power above anything else (my apologies to our US friends). Kurt Baum was an example of that. Anyway, it was a needless anxiety as far as I'm concerned. I have been listening to singers since the early 1950's and my view is that when it comes to tenors there have been, and are presently, many,many exemplary voices but you must first put aside two of them. Caruso and Bjorling. The third would have been Fritz Wunderlich.
I know that many will disagree which is how it should be, but there you are.

There is a charming story behind this song.
Regards,
Geoff.

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Pantenor
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Re: Friedrich 'Fritz' Karl Otto Wunderlich 1930 - 1966

Postby Pantenor » 15 Oct 2016, 10:23

Great!

castellomatese
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Re: Friedrich 'Fritz' Karl Otto Wunderlich 1930 - 1966

Postby castellomatese » 12 Jul 2017, 20:30

The biggest "problem" with Wunderlich is that he isn't at all controversial. Gorgeous, luscious expression and vocal line. Simply perfect.


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