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Franz Völker

A tenor having a tone of voice of dramatic size and power, Franz Völker wisely avoided one of the most heroic jobs of Richard Wagner where he cannot compete in sheer quantity with such a sensation as Lauritz Melchior. However, as Lohengrin, he was the just musician to rival the Danish tenor for beauty of audio and adherence to legato build creation. With or without such imposing competition, the German tenor still could have been celebrated as an excellent singer, not missing strength, but holding initial and last to full-throated, refined vocalism: proof a bel canto approach do indeed exist one of the better German performers. After research in Frankfurt, Völker produced his debut for the reason that town with Florestan within a 1926 creation of Fidelio. He previously been noticed by conductor Clemens Krauss who, after that and later, had taken a solicitous curiosity about his profession and whose support hastened his popularity among Central Western european dramatic tenors. Although Völker’s device had significant heft from the beginning, he previously the easy creation to sing Mozart with surpassing style and several studio room recordings as verification. Völker continued to be at Frankfurt until he transferred to Vienna in 1931. Berlin noticed him from 1933 to 1943. After many pre-WWII performances in Munich, Völker sang there frequently from 1945 to 1952. In 1931, he started a successful association with Salzburg, producing many celebrated performances there. Völker’s Bayreuth debut occurred in 1933; his performances there through the 1930s possess assumed the mantle of star. Excerpts from two of the productions specifically, Die Walküre and Lohengrin, are conserved on disk and support important promises that he invariably matched up in live show the gleaming build and unusual suppleness of his studio room recordings. While Völker’s profession was confined nearly exclusively towards the Continent, he do sing during two periods in London. His Covent Backyard debut occurred in the infamous 1934 season-opening functionality of Fidelio that discovered conductor Thomas Beecham turning around through the overture to shout at loud late-comers. (Beecham’s resounding “Shut up, you…!” was noticed not merely by audience associates, but also by listeners to a countrywide broadcast of the function.) Together with Lotte Lehmann, Alexander Kipnis, Erna Berger, and Herbert Janssen, Völker was present exemplary in both tone of voice and design. In Die Walküre three evenings after that Apr 30 starting, Völker’s Siegmund was hailed as excellent even encircled by such luminaries as Frida Leider, Rudolf Bockelmann and, once more, Lehmann and Kipnis. Völker’s achievement was perceived to have roused Lauritz Melchior to a fresh degree of vocal control and strength when he made an appearance as younger Siegfried two evenings afterwards. When Völker came back to London through the 1937 Coronation period, his Siegmund was matched along with his Bayreuth partner Maria Müller as Sieglinde. The tenor was once again deemed excellent, “a German tenor in shape to sing Lohengrin.” Völker’s quick rise to achievement brought possibilities to record only a season after his debut and he continuing throughout the following two decades to become perhaps one of the most totally documented of performers. Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Smetana, Strauss, and Verdi had been among the composers highlighted on his recordings. An entire 1942 Lohengrin merits particular mention. Also reputed being a recitalist and far respected for his insinuating shows of operetta excerpts, Völker is certainly represented by many exceptional recordings in both groups.

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