Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Helmut Graml, Karl Schmitt-Walter, Johann Sebastian Bach|
Icon: Hans Hotter, the Great Bass-Baritone [Box Set]
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
World-renowned singer Hans Hotter made a career for himself singing the great Wagnerian bass-baritone roles. His magnetic stage presence and booming tone made him ideal for these challenging parts. This 6-CD set includes s... more »
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World-renowned singer Hans Hotter made a career for himself singing the great Wagnerian bass-baritone roles. His magnetic stage presence and booming tone made him ideal for these challenging parts. This 6-CD set includes several highlights from Wagner operas, but focus mainly on German Lieder, showing how Hotter was able to scale his voice down and focus his performances on the words and messages of the songs.
Absolutely essential performances
L. Johan Modée | Earth | 08/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hans Hotter (1909-2003) is perhaps best known for his Wagner performances in Bayreuth, where he incarnated one of the most memorable Wotans in history with his very special bass-baritone voice. We have many of these performances on disc. One of the most interesting is Keilberth's 1955 Ring (Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen [Box Set]).
This Wagner aspect of Hotter is also evident in this excellent collection of 6 CDs: the final scene of Die Walküre, together with Birgit Nilsson. Leopold Ludwig conducts. This must be one of the best final Walküre scenes ever recorded. Both Hotter and Nilsson are better than ever here, in this 1957 recording.
But the main focus in this collection is Hotter's lieder performances of Schubert (the cycles Winterreise and Schwanengesang, and other Schubert songs). Hotter's 1954 Winterreise is his very best, and it is one of the best recordings of this work as well. The same holds for his 1954 Schwanengesang. Two wonderful cycles with Gerald Moore at the piano. A set of 1949 Schubert performances, including An die Musik, shows Hotter in an earlier, brighter voice. Essential recordings, many of them of course available in other editions but it is good to have them collected here.
The Brahms and Schumann lieder collected here are equally rewarding, in particular Brahm's agnostic "Vier ernste Gesänge", Op. 121. This is also the case of Hotter's Hugo Wolf lieder, the latter generally considered as immortal classics. As far as I know, the Wolf lieder recital are otherwise only available in a very expensive Testament edition (Hans Hotter Wolf Lieder Recital), so it's a real bargain to have them in this cheap box.
Finally, the first CD incarnates yet another Hotter classic: Bach's cantata BWV82, "Ich habe genug". An ideal work for Hotter - considering his tragic Schubert and Wagner repertoire. A very anti-modern (non-autheticist) performance from 1950, but superb nonetheless.
In addition, this box also collects excerpts from Orff and Strauss operas, some other Wagner stuff, an excerpt from a 1947 performance of Deutches Requiem with Karajan ("Herr, lehre doch mich"), and various lieders by Loewe, Strauss, Pfitzner, and Grieg.
In sum, this is a superb bargain, featuring one of the greatest bass-baritone voices in human history in his very best performances - most of them in mono sound but in fine remasterings. A good booklet text too, but - unfortunately, no libretti and lieder texts are included (but this is perhaps a minor quibble). Warmly recommended."