Lament for daughter of Germany’s greatest tenor

Lament for daughter of Germany’s greatest tenor


norman lebrecht

April 18, 2022

Barbara Wunderlich, daughter of Fritz Wunderlich, has died of cancer in Munich, her husband has announced.

Barbara was just two years old when her father died in 1966, in a fall at a shooting lodge.


  • Michael Hunt says:

    Are there still suspicions surrounding the manner of Fritz Wunderlich’s death?

    • YS says:

      It was at night, he was guest in a certain house, he did not want to switch the lights on, when trying to go to the bathroom on the ground floor (he was in the 1st floor and a big stairway was between the floors). He was tumbling and fell down the Stars…

  • YS says:


    …he was tumbling and fell down the stairs….

  • fred says:

    Germany’s greatest tenor? What about Tauber? Max Lorenz? Slezak? Schock?

    • Davidissimo says:

      Fritz Wunderlich was head and shoulders better than any of those very fine singers, not just for his sublimely thrilling, naturally-endowed instrument, but also because of his intelligent, always tasteful and sensitive use of it. The manly, visceral sound, the totally committed expression of the music’s true meaning, that incredible legato, the giving each and every note its full value. His diction where every word was clearly heard in any language. Yes, he was the best tenor of any nationality of the 20th century, and perhaps beyond. He has no competition from those before him or since, and certainly not from anyone today. And that, as a German radio announcer once told me, is my humble opinion… which just happens to be correct.

      • Gerhard Hoschopf says:

        Bitte was Sänger betrifft. Es ist alles subjektiv! Dem einen gefällt der dem anderen wer anderer besser. Geschmacksache. Sollte kein Streitthema sein. Alles Gute

      • D Varelai says:

        I agree with you except when you maintain that he has no competition from anyone today. Glad that you say it’s your humble opinion (and strike out the final words).

        • Harpist says:

          Who of the today’s would be able to be on the same level? There are great tenors – but Wunderlich was exceptional. None of them today is.

        • Hazel says:

          Indeed. We have just seen a young-generation heldentenor who sang at the semi-finals of the Laffont Competition at the Metropolitan Opera. 27 years old. A wonderful voice, great technique, I think he will be a star of the future.
          His name is Matthew Cairns. I look forward to watching him in the finals on Sunday May 1st.

      • Michael K. Cantwell says:

        Bjorling, Melchior, Vickers, for a start

    • Hugo Preuß says:

      To add to that list: Peter Anders! Franz Völker! Wolfgang Windgassen! And especially, first and foremost: Peter Schreier.

      Wunderlich was undoubtedly great. But so were quite a few others.

    • Catrin Unkel says:

      All these tenors you mentioned are way below Fritz Wunderlich’s talent

  • annmarie fuller says:

    I think Fischer-Dieskau was also one of Germanys great tenors

  • Abailardus says:

    The fall was a result of a bullet, was it not?