C0560. WOLFGANG SAWALLISCH Cond. Vienna S.O., w.Wilma Lipp, Aafje Heynis, Franz Crass and Singverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde: Song of Destiny; Academic Festival Overture; Tragic Overture; Variations on a Theme of Haydn; Alto Rhapsody; A German Requiem (all Brahms). 2-Philips 438 760, recorded 1960-62. Final Copy! - 028943876025
“Wolfgang Sawallisch, one of the last of the old-school German conductors, who led the Philadelphia Orchestra for nearly a decade and the Bavarian State Opera in Munich for two decades before that, embodied the German type of the ‘Kapellmeister’ in the best sense: a man steeped in music, who knew every note of every score he conducted (often from memory), who was a supportive accompanist as well as an informed interpreter and who understood how to train, develop and lead an orchestra. Never flashy, even somewhat understated, he was, at his best, insightful and illuminating.
While Mr. Sawallisch was renowned throughout Europe, he might have remained little known to American audiences had the Philadelphia Orchestra not tapped him to take over as music director in 1993. When he arrived at age 70, he underwent a veritable renaissance, evidently enjoying a new freedom, both artistic and political — far from the political squabbling that had increasingly overshadowed his last years in Munich. ‘The last 10 years, with the Philadelphia Orchestra’, he said in 2006, ‘were really the top years of my symphonic life’. His time in Philadelphia was therefore a particularly happy ending to his career. Against some expectations, the reserved, intensely private German thrived in America, and the orchestra responded warmly to him.”
- Anne Midgette, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 24 Feb., 2013
“Aafje Heynis’ singing teacher was the great Aaltje Noorderwier-Reddingius. She then benefited from the good advice of Laurens Bogtman, the great oratorio singer, and finally Roy Henderson, Kathleen Ferrier's teacher, told her that although her voice did not resemble that of the famous English singer she was still destinated for a great future because of her unique voice. She quickly established her reputation, to begin with in the field of oratorio. With her performance in Brahm's ALTO RHAPSODY with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under the direction of Eduard van Beinum, she attracted wide attention. Concerts in churches, lieder recitals, numerous performances of Bach's ST. MATTHEW PASSION, spirituals, opera- her interests were broad. For the Philips label she made a whole series of recordings of works by Bach, Handel, Brahms and Mendelssohn. Aafje Heynis showed a particular preference for Mahler, one consequence of which was a legendary recording of Mahler's Symphony #2 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink. The soprano part was sung by Elly Ameling.
The Netherlands Bach Society’s Dr. Anton van der Horst worked with her intensively on solo parts from great works…and so began the gradually developing career of this unpretentious singer, whose life was entirely dedicated to music. She performed with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on countless occasions, not only with van Beinum and Haitink, but also with Eugen Jochum and Otto Klemperer
With her British folksong performances on 45rpm, Aafje directly entered competition with the spirit of Kathleen Ferrier. She [honored] when, in London 1961, these recordings were awarded the Harriet Cohen International Music Award 'for outstanding artistry'. A Scottish, two English and two Irish folksongs, accompanied by Felix de Nobel, are souvenirs of this achievement. In 1966 she took part in performances in Berlin and Amsterdam of the Requiems of Mozart and Verdi and Beethoven's MISSA SOLEMNIS. Aafje Heynis also sang in several of Handel's oratorios and works by Alphons Diepenbrock for Netherlands radio and television. Antal Doráti, Igor Markevitch, Erich Kleiber, Angelo Ephrikian, Hans Gillesberger, Charles Münch, Szymon Goldberg, Kurt Thomas, Kurt Redel and Frits Rieger have all had the pleasure of working with her. Besides the many concerts she gave in the Netherlands, she could be heard in Belgium, Germany, England, Ireland, France, Switzerland and Austria; she also undertook an ambitious tour to India and Indonesia.
In a 1976 interview she announced: ‘I will give up singing while I will still be at the top of the mountain, and when I descend it will be out of view for the audience’. On that 19th December the moment arrived. Following a Christmas concert she walked to her car and casually informed her shocked husband that it was over.”
- Dutch Divas