Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Otto von Rohr (Bass), Herbert Brauer (Baritone), Paul Sandoz (Baritone), Valerie Bak (Soprano), Tilla Briem (Soprano), Gottlob Frick (Bass), Marga Höffgen (Contralto), Ira Malaniuk (Mezzo-Soprano), Agnes Giebel (Soprano), Maria Stader (Soprano), Margarethe Bence (Alto), Friedhelm Hessenbruch (Bass)
Freiburger Bachchor, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Philharmonia Chor Stuttgart
Sinfonieorchester des Südwestfunks Baden-Baden, Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR
Stories about Wunderlich’s meteoric rise to success, his incredibly heavy workload or his seemingly effortless acquisition of new repertoire have been told again and again – sometimes painting an idealized and sometimes a distorted picture of the artist. The nine installments of the SWR retrospective that have been released by SWR CLASSIC to this day feature Fritz Wunderlich as a singer of songs, (an unequalled) Mozart tenor, a brilliant interpreter of the greatest tenor hits, a fascinating singer of operettas and as a tasteful interpreter of light music, to name but a few of the genres that made up his repertoire. Though Fritz Wunderlich remains until today a widely appreciated and admired singer, there are some facets to his artistic side that are still relatively unknown. The tenth and last installment presents Fritz Wunderlich as an interpreter of the big works of sacred music, an aspect that has to be considered as an essential part of his artistic profile.
This box set presents Fritz Wunderlich as an interpreter of sacred music, an important and integral part of his profile. Fortunately, a number of his distinguished performances have been preserved, including the complete recording of Bachs St John Passion, excerpts from the Christmas Oratorio, Handels Messiah, Mozarts Requiem & Mass in C minor, and excerpts from Verdis Messa da Requiem. Despite his young age, Wunderlich seemed to have effortlessly mastered even the most virtuoso challenges and the way he used his famous golden voice to master the challenging role of the evangelist in the St. John Passion is truly remarkable. The recording of Handels Messiah presented here was made on 21 March 1959. Wunderlich was the only tenor involved, also singing the arias. The live recording of Mozarts Requiem (21 June 1958) features a stellar cast: apart from Wunderlich, soprano Agnes Giebel, alto Iva Malaniuk and bass Otto von Rohr also took part in the performance. Mozart didnt finish his C Minor Mass KV 427. This live recording from 1957, however, includes the missing parts supplied by court music director Georg Alois Schmitt from Schwerin. He mostly used works or parts of works Mozart himself had written. However, there is one exception: for the Credo, Schmitt used the Crucifixus from Johann Ernst Eberlins Mass No.8.