‘It was altogether shocking how absolutely wonderful his voice sounded … so unique, so individual, so clear and authentic – a voice that could be compared to no other.’ Rolando Villazón
‘What he did – there was no one who came close to him. I don’t think he will ever be surpassed.’ Nicolai Gedda
‘The sheer quality of his incredible voice is unique and will always be unique. Fortunately, there is the medium of the gramophone record.’ Peter Schreier
During the eleven years of his career, Wunderlich became a versatile lyric tenor who combined opulence of tone with intellectual weight. After some deliberation he turned to the heavier types of heroic roles before being invited to sing Walther von Stolzing in Wieland Wagner’s production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at Bayreuth. Although his repertoire included Rossini, Donizetti, Strauss, Pfitzner, Stravinsky, Egk, Orff and many oratorio parts, he is chiefly remembered, in the recordings bequeathed to posterity, as a singer of Lieder and an exponent of Mozartian roles (Belmonte, Tamino, Don Ottavio, Ferrando). He breathed fascinating life into these roles with his cultivated tone, refinement, stylistic awareness, intensity and intelligence.
These recordings – partly ‘live’ (Beethoven, Haydn), partly studio (Strauss) – enshrine many of Wunderlich’s quality as a Lieder singer par excellence. Although previously released on Philips CD, for this Eloquence release, the recordings were remastered from the original tapes.