The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (262): Wonder… lich

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (262): Wonder… lich


norman lebrecht

December 16, 2020

Beethoven’s best song in the supreme interpretation.

So effortless.


  • Greg Bottini says:

    “Effortless” is a pretty good description of the great Fritz Wunderlich’s performance. I would also add “beautiful” and “inimitable”.
    A true classic.
    Happy birthday, Ludwig!

    • Edgar Self says:

      I missed the first centenerary of 1927 but well remember thoat of 1970 and the 1977 sesquicentennial. Now to mark the quarter century of the great tone-poet who is the proof of Nietzsche’s saying, “Life without music would be a mistake.”

  • caranome says:

    Sound like Harvey Bristol cream.

  • almaviva says:

    An absolutely glorious interpretation! Thank you for posting this.

  • Herbie G says:

    Wunderlich by name, wunderbar by nature. I first encountered him in the 1960s on one of those EMI Golden Voices LPs. I was stunned not only by his voice but by the expressiveness and exuberance that he brought to each role – the pathos of Lensky facing death in a duel; Tamino’s tender enchantment on seeing Pamina’s picture; Fenton’s passionate serenade from ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor – each one lovingly crafted to perfection.
    His tragic death nine days before what would have been his 36th birthday was an incalculable loss – had he lived, he would have celebrated his 90th birthday this year.
    We can at least be thankful for the huge recorded legacy – he was one of the brightest stars in the musical firmament.

  • Herr Doktor says:

    For as many times as I’ve heard Fritz Wunderlich in various recordings, he makes my jaw drop at the aching beauty of his voice, his “effortless” manner, and the overwhelming results he consistently achieves. We are so fortunate to have his art preserved for posterity even if his life was all too short. And his recording of Haydn’s Creation with Karajan…always a joy to hear.

  • E says:

    What a beautiful tribute for Beethoven’s anniversary day.

  • Eleanor Hope says:

    A joyful start to the day with Fritz Wunderlich – thank you so much!

  • Edgar Self says:

    µay it still be heard in the year 2270. It’s not an easy song, the subito piano later on, the awkward repetitions of “Auf jeder purpur Blaettchen”, but Wunderlich makes it seem so, and is unimprovable, going to the head of the list that includes Gerhard Huesch, Bjoerling, and Fischer-Dieskau. “Andenken;, “the Schubertian horseback Lied “Neue Liebe, neues Leben”, and the first Lieder cycle “An die ferne Geliebte”are close behind.

    He does it again with “Dies Bilder ist bezaubern schoen” and “Un aura amoroso”, which also do not always fare so well.

  • Peter Chun says:

    Absolutely matchless performance, just about ideal and “definitive” as is possible.

    Only other tenor to come close to this interpretation and beauty of voice is the great Jussi Björling, whose style is so different, and in some ways more “old-fashioned” in style of singing and rubato…

  • christopher storey says:

    Liquid Gold

  • Martin Spencer says:

    Additionally, no one has touched the magnificence of Wunderlich’s Dichterliebe, Bach Passion arias, Tamino, and operetta. Gedda and yes, Bjoerling, also wonderful but not with the same lieder or Bach impact.

    • Greg Bottini says:

      All very true, Martin.
      But on top of all that splendiferousness, FW could also sing Das Lied von der Erde like no other tenor!

  • Jill Richards says:

    Pity the pianist didn’t even get a mention. Unless it’s Wunderlich himself who is playing……..