One of Fritz Wunderlich’s (1930–1966) most fascinating qualities was his incredible range of musical skills. He was probably Germany’s greatest tenor who could perform virtually anything in the repertoire for high male voice – from Schlager music to arias from J. S. Bach's Passions; from Mozart to music of the 20th century; from the greatest tenor hits of all times to unknown gems. His musicality and his seriousness as an artist turned everything he sang into something extraordinary.
This recording is the first official release in any format of this once-in-a-lifetime concert performance featuring Dame Joan Sutherland and Fritz Wunderlich. In 1959 performances of Handel were just beginning to embrace the original instrument movement making this recording an invaluable historic record of performance practice. In addition to musicological interest, the CDs present Joan Sutherland at the beginning of her illustrious career in the full bloom of youth. She was flown in as a last minute replacement for the scheduled soprano and proceeded to give a virtuoso performance of the demanding title role. Full of Handel's gorgeous melodies and with vocal fireworks in bountiful supply, it is no wonder that Sutherland completely awed the German public. She is joined by Fritz Wunderlich, the acclaimed German tenor, in their one-and-only collaboration. He as well was a last minute replacement and rises to the exacting demands of Handel. His rich and pliant tone is perfectly suited to the technical and dramatic demands of the opera.
Despite his premature death at age 35, Fritz Wunderlich was one of the great lyric tenors of the century, equally at home with Mozart's Magic Flute and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. Why, then, does Schubert's great song cycle about disappointed love so often elude him? Though he brings his usual vocal splendor and gratifying lyricism to the music in ways that few tenors can dream of, both Wunderlich and his accompanist have a strangely club-footed sense of rhythm. What should often be an intimate expression is extroverted and even labored. – David Patrick Stearns
Fritz Wunderlich's lyricism, boundless musicianship and exquisite diction made him one of the great tenors of the 20th century. In September 2016, DG will commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death with the release of Complete Studio Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon, a comprehensive 32CD box set of sacred works, opera and operetta, lieder and popular song. The collection includes Decca, Philips and Polydor recordings as well, several appearing internationally for the first time.
Vocalist Fritz Wunderlich's legacy is an impressive quantity of recordings, from popular music to Operetta, German and Italian operas and German Lied, additionally he sang baroque and spiritual works.
This is glorious compilation of Mr. Wunderlich's astounding recordings. To my knowledge, this 10 CD box set has not been available in America. Here, as never before, we find most of the recordings being made when he was 26 years old! I highly recommend purchasing this for your collection!
Fritz Wunderlich could be considered the James Dean of the singing world – a young, charismatic performer who suffered a tragic death at the height of his career and abilities, and whose posthumous reputation has grown beyond that which he was able to enjoy during his short life. Considered among the finest Mozartean tenors of his day, Wunderlich embraced a wide repertory that expanded to included the works of Strauss, Schubert, Bach, and Mahler, and he left behind many excellent recordings that have been the primary source of his legacy…