Zauberflote  (Haitink;  Fritz Wunderlich, Albert van Naasteren, Maria van Dongen, Juliane Farkas)  (2-Myto 00278)
Item# OP2175
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Zauberflote  (Haitink;  Fritz Wunderlich, Albert van Naasteren, Maria van Dongen, Juliane Farkas)  (2-Myto 00278)
OP2175. DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, Live Performance, 24 May, 1958, w.Haitink Cond. Radio Netherlands Ensemble; Fritz Wunderlich, Albert van Naasteren, Maria van Dongen, Juliane Farkas, Annette de la Bye, etc. (E.U.) 2-Myto 00278. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 0801439902787

CRITIC REVIEWS:

"Bernard Haitink, an unaffected maestro who led Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for 27 years and was known for presenting powerful readings of the symphonies of Mahler, Bruckner and Beethoven conducting orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic, had long associations in Britain with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Glyndebourne Festival. He was also a prolific recording artist, putting on disc the complete symphonies of nearly a dozen canonical composers - sometimes twice.

Mr. Haitink let the music emerge from the orchestra, often transcendently, without imposing a heavy-handed interpretation that a star conductor might. His self-effacing nature was noticed early on. He was ‘not one of the glamour boys on the podium’, Harold C. Schonberg, the chief classical music critic for THE NEW YORK TIMES, wrote in January 1975 after Mr. Haitink’s debut with the New York Philharmonic, conducting Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, ‘he is a dedicated musician, always on top of the music, getting exactly what he wants from his players’. Reviewing his performance of the same symphony with the Philharmonic in 2011, the critic Steve Smith wrote in THE TIMES: ‘Some conductors strive for mysticism in late Bruckner; Mr. Haitink, with his unerring sense of shape, transition and flow, lets the music speak for itself, with results that can approach the supernatural and often did here’.

Mr. Haitink began conducting opera in the 1960s and made his debut at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1972, leading Mozart’s DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL. He was music director of the Glyndebourne Opera from 1977 to 1988 and of the Royal Opera from 1987 to 2002. In an opera world where increasingly outlandish stagings were becoming the fashion, Mr. Haitink had a strategy when required to conduct a production he didn’t like. ‘One closes one’s eyes and lives in the music’, he said in a 2009 interview with THE GUARDIAN.

In addition to the Concertgebouw, Mr. Haitink held conductorships of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Dresden Staatskapelle. He also regularly led the Vienna Philharmonic, and in 2006 he was hired as principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

His reputation for being unassuming trailed him throughout his career. In 1967, TIME magazine described him as ‘a short, quiet man who likes to take long bird-watching rambles in the woods’, and pointed out that ‘in a profession where flamboyance and arrogance are often the hallmarks of talent, the diffident Haitink is an anomaly’.

Mr. Haitink’s colleagues lauded his modesty, integrity and musicianship when he was awarded the prestigious GRAMOPHONE Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. Mr. Haitink frequently gave master classes. In an event held at the Royal College of Music in London, he wryly advised a class of young conductors not to criticize the orchestra musicians since any flaws might be as much the mistake of the conductor as of the players. “’You are there to give them confidence even if things aren’t going perfectly’, he said. ‘Mr. Haitink, with his unerring sense of shape, transition and flow, lets the music speak for itself’, a critic once wrote, ‘with results that can approach the supernatural’. He conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Mass., in 2006.

In 2011, in another interview with THE GUARDIAN, Mr. Haitink mused on the strange life of a conductor. ‘I have been doing this job for 50 years’, he said. ‘And, you know, it is a profession and it is not a profession. It’s very obscure sometimes. What makes a good conductor? What is this thing about charisma? I’m still wondering after all these years’.”

- Vivien Schweitzer, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 21 Oct., 2021



“Fritz Wunderlich was discovered for the opera stage at a student production of ZAUBERFLÖTE. At the age of 25 he was engaged at the Württemberg Staatstheater in Stuttgart, one of the most renowned opera houses in Germany at the time. Erich Schäfer was its General Manager, Ferdinand Leitner its conductor, and Wieland Wagner and Günther Rennert created very interesting productions. Wunderlich never broke off relations with Stuttgart completely, not even when he was engaged by the Munich Opera in 1958. Here he was influenced by Rudolf Hartmann, Günther Rennert and Josef Keilberth. In 1959 he made his début at the Salzburg Festival (Henry Morosus in Strauss’ DIE SCHWEIGSAME FRAU). He soon became the leading lyrical tenor and he was particularly admired in the Mozart repertoire. He also sang Alfredo, Lenski, Palestrina, and the Steersman in DER FLIEGENDE HÖLLANDER. He loved to sing Egk, Liebermann and Orff and was an eminent operetta singer. He sang operettas on stage only at the outset of his career in Freiburg and Stuttgart. He regularly appeared in oratorios and has been unsurpassed as Evangelist. With his fatherly friend Hubert Giesen he worked on Lieder and he soon was very much in demand as a recitalist. His career was one of the most successful after World War II. He died tragically of an accident, a few days before his 36th birthday. It is pointless to speculate what direction he would have taken if he had been granted a longer career. With the natural power of his voice he would have been able to move into heroic regions.”

- Andrea Shum-Binder, subito-cantabile





“Fritz Wunderlich spent five years in Stuttgart before he became a world figure.....The voice is young and fresh. There has hardly ever been a more beautiful tenor voice, and his career lasted only ten years because he died young.”

- Donald R. Vroon, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, July/Aug., 2004