50 years ago: Fritz Wunderlich’s last recital

50 years ago: Fritz Wunderlich’s last recital


norman lebrecht

September 18, 2016

The great German lyric tenor died in a domestic accident on 17 September 1966.

He was weeks away from his 36th birthday and his Metropolitan Opera debut.

Wunderlich’s final appearance was on September 4 at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh.The pianist was Herbert Giesen.

You may never hear a more heartfelt account of Schumann’s song, Ich grolle nicht.

The last song of his short life was Schubert’s An die Musik.


  • Manfred Gerber says:

    Thank you for remembering this ‘Jahrhundertsaenger’.
    Fritz Wunderlich was the Mozart among all singers
    of all times.

  • Brian Hughes says:

    One of the greatest voices of the century. I weep every time I play one of his recordings.

  • Anne Evans says:

    Thank you, Norman, for reminding us of the golden tone of this glorious singer. Every aspiring Lieder singer should listen to and learn from his use of text and dynamics. It brought tears to my eyes.

    Anne Evans

  • Cyril Blair says:

    So lovely and moving. Thank you.

    • John E Romano says:

      I have been an uber fan of Fritz Wunderlich since my high school and lifelong friend played a recording of Fritz during English class way back in 1972/3. I was too late of course, but if he had lived, I think I would have become a groupie . I have always loved his voice perhaps more than any other. I have all his recordings which are, all of them, a treasured portion of my music collection. The world lost one of its greatest tenors when Fritz died; but, as I read these comments, it is gratifying to know that his memory and that exquisite voice lives on………