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Fritz Wunderlich: Romantic Arias
By Alfons Rischner

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By Alfons Rischner, Emmerich Smola, Fritz Wunderlich, Hans Muller-Kray, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, and Rundfunkorchester des Sudwestfunks Kaiserslautern. By Albert Lortzing, Otto Nicolai (1810-1849), Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884), Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), Peter Cornelius (1824-1874), and Wilhelm Kienzl (1857-1941). Classical. CD. Naxos #SWR19032CD. Published by Naxos (NX.SWR19032CD).

Item Number: NX.SWR19032CD

It is well known that Fritz Wunderlich was an exceptional singer, yet it never fails to surprise when hearing him singing works from different genres and discovering how he developed from his early performances in 1953 to the opera arias he preferred later in his career. These are now brought together on this album that contains both famous and unknown arias. Fritz Wunderlich was both a gifted singer and actor, which made him a perfect match for the Spieloper (dramatic opera), a genre to which most of the works on this album belong. Albert Lortzing (1801-1851) was a leading representative of this genre, as was Otto Nicolai (1810-1849) and Peter Cornelius (1824-1874). With his remarkable voice, Fritz Wunderlich could also sing Italian opera, in which he tried to establish himself with one of the biggest tenor hits of all time: the canzone La donna e mobile, sung by the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto. While the performance may not sound thoroughly idiomatic, it's pure Wunderlich. And E lucevan le stele certainly provides a goose bumps moment for everyone. The SWR spared no effort in remastering the original tapes tomake the voice of Fritz Wunderlich sound fresh and radiant. The sound engineers explain the complete remastering process in the accompanying booklet. Both this release and all future volumes of the SWR Fritz Wunderlich series contain recordings the singer made for the company from which the broadcasting company in SWR grew. They are available in this compilation only in this SWR series.

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