B0206. KUTSCH & RIEMENS. UNVERGÄNGLICHE STIMMEN - Sängerlexikon (Biographical Dictionary of Singers) [German Text]. Bern, Francke, 1997. 5-Volume Set has 3980pp. featuring over 14,500 persons, many obscure. DJ Final copy! - 3-598-11250-5
“Anyone who has the five-volume SINGER LEXICON in front of them - one can really no longer speak of ‘holding it in their hands’ - Link a small song dictionary published by two avid record collectors, the Dutch music critic Leo Riemens and the German doctor Karl-Josef Kutsch. This was expanded and improved again and again until it appeared in two volumes for the first time in 1986 as THE GREAT SINGER LEXICON in Saur Verlag. It was topped up in 1990 and 1993 with a supplementary volume. (After Riemens' death (1985), Hansjörg Rost worked on the LEXICON, since 1994 as co-editor. As grateful as one is for supplement volumes, it is also annoying to have to search in different alphabets, in this case three. It is therefore to be welcomed that the now published LARGE SINGER LEXICON in its third, greatly expanded edition, combines around 14,500 biographies of famous, but also less famous or already forgotten singers in one alphabet. Artists have been accepted since the last decade of the 16th century, when the forms of the art of singing that are still dominant today, to the present day.
The biographical articles of the current GREAT SINGER LEXICON contain the artist's and real names, the dates and origins of the artist as well as the vocal subject. The singer's career is traced according to places of work and the most important singing roles and concerts. After a brief description of the most important biographical stages, the voice is characterized. Bibliography and references to existing recordings or recordings from other sound carriers (e.g. video recordings) conclude an article. THE GREAT SINGER LEXICON also contains representatives from other subjects, such as the operetta singer Heinz Hoppe or the Brecht / Weill interpreter Lotte Lenya.
The fifth volume contains two lists of the most important operas and operettas with their premiere dates in an appendix. Information on the respective cast is also given here, which can be supplemented by looking up in the lexicon section. An extensive bibliography concludes THE GREAT SINGER LEXICON, which is an indispensable reference work for every music library due to its enormous wealth of material.”
- Jutta Lambrecht, info-net-music
"The GROßES SÄNGERLEXIKON (Biographical Dictionary of Singers, literally: Large singers' lexicon) is a single-field dictionary of singers in classical music, edited by Karl-Josef Kutsch and Leo Riemens and first published in 1987. The first edition was in two volumes and contained the biographies of nearly 7000 singers from the 1590s through the 1980s. It grew out of UNVERGÄNGLICHE STIMMEN - Kleines Sängerlexikon (Immortal voices. Small singers' lexicon), published in 1962, which covered only singers who had made recordings. A 1992 review in Neue Zeitschrift für Musik described the GROßES SÄNGERLEXIKON as 'indispensable in the search for concise background information about those persons who are undoubtedly the most important to the performance of opera'."
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München
“Let me begin by stating that the publication of the UNVERGÄNGLICHE STIMMEN by by K. J. Kutsch and Leo Riemens…was a major event in the world of the record collector. Here was a new kind of encyclopedia devoted to the singers whose voices have been preserved on discs or cylinders…active since the turn of the [20th] Century….It was almost unbelievable that so many of those elusive figures at last had been rounded up between two covers.”
- Philip L. Miller, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Feb., 1970
“At the time of its first publication, it was the only English language book to give the reader basic - one might say elemental - information on every famous artist who made recordings. What is elemental information? Who studied with whom, what they sang, where the sang it, and with whom- a huge circle of knowledge. Though one can now use sources like Wikipedia to find this kind of information, these databases aren't available in a form that makes for browsing- an important matter itself. This is good for the interested reader who can probably find a copy of this out-of-print book as inexpensively as I did. A CONCISE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF SINGERS is a window into a wondrous world. Reading about these singers makes one want to listen to their recordings, and that is a real education.”
- Daniel James Shigo