OP0977. BENVENUTO CELLINI (Berlioz) (in German), Broadcast Performance, 1952, w.Tenner Cond. Wiener Rundfunk Ensemble; Fritz Uhl, Otto Wiener, Edith Kermer, Leo Heppe, Barbara With, etc.; MITROPOULOS Cond. NYPO, w.ELEANOR STEBER: Les Nuits d’Été – Live Performance, 5 April, 1953 (both Berlioz). (E.U.) 2-Walhall 0137. - 4035122651379
“Fritz Uhl was an Austrian operatic tenor, particularly associated with Wagner roles. Born in Matzleinsdorf, near Vienna, he studied in Vienna with Elisabeth Radó, and while still a student toured Holland with an operetta troup. He made his operatic début in Vienna, as Gounod's Faust in 1952, and then sang in Graz (1952-53), in Luzern (1953-54), in Oberhausen (1954-56), in Wuppertal (1956-58). In 1957, he began making guest appearances at the Munich State Opera, the Vienna State Opera, also appearing at the Salzburg Festival and the Bayreuth Festival.
Uhl began his career by singing lyric roles and lighter Wagner roles such as Erik in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER, and gradually moved into heldentenor roles such as Tristan, Siegmund, Stolzing, Florestan, Herod, etc. He sang widely in Europe, appearing at the Paris Opéra, La Monnaie in Brussels, the Liceo in Barcelona, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Royal Opera House in London, etc. He was also invited at the San Francisco Opera and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
A forthright singer with a fine voice, he is best known for his recording of TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, opposite Birgit Nilsson, under Georg Solti.”
“Otto Wiener was an Austrian baritone, notable for his performances in the operas of Richard Wagner. He was born in Vienna, joined the Vienna Boys' Choir at the age of six, and started his adult career as a concert singer before making his stage début in 1953 at Graz in the title-role of SIMON BOCCANEGRA. He subsequently sang with the opera companies at Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Berlin and performed at the Vienna State Opera from 1957 onwards and at the Bavarian State Opera from 1960. He appeared at the Salzburg Festival in 1955 and sang there in the stage première of Frank Martin's LE MYSTÈRE DE LA NATIVITÉ.
Wiener first appeared at the Bayreuth Festival in 1957, and sang there until 1963 as Hans Sachs in DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG, Gunther in GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, Wotan in DAS RHEINGOLD and in the title-role of DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER. In 1962 he performed the role of Sachs at both the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera. In 1964, he appeared at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in the role of La Roche in CAPRICCIO.
Wiener was one of the highest and brightest of the successful heldenbaritones of the 1950s and 60s. He was cast in roles usually reserved for deeper, darker voices because his technique was so relaxed, well-projected, and free. Wiener retired in 1976 and died in Vienna.”
“…Dimitri Mitropoulos again urged me to sing with him and the New York Philharmonic….Once again, we began to hunt for something special we could do together. We settled on a [then] little-known cycle of songs, 'Les Nuits d’Été' by Hector Berlioz…. 'Les Nuits d’Été' proved a miraculous welding of music and artists, music and text…I cherish the memory of this and all the music we made together. Within the year we recorded the six songs which comprise the cycle, plus three additional Berlioz songs, and it’s comforting to know that after all these years, ours remains the definitive performance of this luscious music….Is it any wonder that my memories of this fantastic man and the music we made together are still so vivid?”
- Eleanor Steber, ELEANOR STEBER, AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, pp.128-129