Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Fritz Wunderlich: Great German Tenor
Listen to Samples
German bel canto indeed
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This three CD set of Wunderlich is a gem. It features one of the most beautiful pure lyric tenor voices of the century at its absolute best. Though Wunderlich sings all the arias, including the Italian and French ones, in German, his innate musical understanding of the composers and the pieces conveys a musical and emotional authenticity rarely matched in other recordings. Listening to these arias, one can understand why Wunderlich's singing is described as "German bel canto": Wunderlich combines the German fine sense of musicianship, musical intelligence, and style with the Italian attributes of purity and evenness of timbre, open throated singing and excuisite legato phrasing. Just listen to the perfect rendition of "Komm holde dame" in the first CD, with its effortless, floating high notes and even bel canto style singing. Compare this with Wunderlich's interpretation of Pinkerton in the duet and aria from Butterfly, with its perfect diction and phrasing, singing that displays a complete understanding of Puccini's melodic line. And, for sheer joy and delight, to feel good about yourself and humanity, listen to the operetta arias of the third CD. This is the greatest recording of operetta arias in the world. Wunderlich loved to sing these songs and brought an enthusiam and flair to these arias that is simply infectious for the listener. If you've never heard Wunderlich, this is your golden opportunity to acquient yourself with one of the greatest voices of the century."
D. MCGOVERN | New Zealand | 10/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fritz who? You may well ask, for the great Fritz Wunderlich died before he'd ever achieved true international stardom. But to my ears, at least, he possessed the most beautiful lyric tenor voice on record. He had it all - superb musicality, power, warmth, and a gorgeous and immediately recognisable timbre. He could also be exciting when he wanted to, as his tour de force performance of Granada (available elsewhere) thrillingly proves. Wunderlich's death in 1966 - a few days short of his 36th birthday - deprived music lovers of a fantastic talent.
This 3CD set reinforces that loss. Among the many highlights included here is an unforgettable Folget der Heissgeliebten (Il Mio Tesoro) from Don Giovanni. It matters not a jot that Wunderlich is singing in German rather than Italian. He knew how to overcome the relative harshness of the German language with his poetic phrasing and honeyed diction. Here his breath control is amazing, and his passion transforms the character of Don Ottavio from a one-dimensional fop into a red-blooded hero. Tremendous stuff.
But for me his greatest achievement is his rendition of the aria Komm, O Holde Dame from Boieldieu's La Dame Blanche, featured on Disc One. Play this first, and you'll be entranced by the beauty of Wunderlich's faultless legato, then thrilled by the intensity and energy of the conclusion. (Admirers of Mario Lanza will note how similar Wunderlich sounds here when he reaches for the high notes.)
Showcasing Wunderlich's achievements in both opera and operetta, this set is the perfect introduction to one of the greatest tenors of them all. If you enjoy this, I'd also recommend his Deutsche Gramophon 5-CD set (simply entitled "Fritz Wunderlich"), which includes a sublime Pearlfishers Duet with Herman Prey and the aforementioned Granada.
The greatest lyric tenor of the recorded era.
D. R. Schryer | Poquoson, VA United States | 07/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fritz Wunderlich had it all -- an incredibly beautiful voice and the artistry to use it with drama or tenderness, as the music called for. He also had genuine emotional and musical integrity. He was almost certainly the greatest lyric tenor of the recorded era. Regretably, he died in an accident in his mid 30s. But, although his recorded career was short, he left a surprisingly large legacy of outstanding recordings, many of which are included in this 3-CD set. Some people may be put off because Wunderlich sang famous Italian, French, and Russian arias in German. PLEASE don't let that keep you from acquiring these recordings. When you hear Wunderlich sing, the language in which he is singing will seem inconsequential. Only the incredible beauty and artistry of his singing will matter. This man was special and so is this collection."