Fritz Wunderlich's lyricism, boundless musicianship and exquisite diction made him one of the great tenors of the 20th century. In September 2016, DG will commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death with the release of Complete Studio Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon, a comprehensive 32CD box set of sacred works, opera and operetta, lieder and popular song. The collection includes Decca, Philips and Polydor recordings as well, several appearing internationally for the first time.
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This recording is the first official release in any format of this once-in-a-lifetime concert performance featuring Dame Joan Sutherland and Fritz Wunderlich. In 1959 performances of Handel were just beginning to embrace the original instrument movement making this recording an invaluable historic record of performance practice. In addition to musicological interest, the CDs present Joan Sutherland at the beginning of her illustrious career in the full bloom of youth. She was flown in as a last minute replacement for the scheduled soprano and proceeded to give a virtuoso performance of the demanding title role. Full of Handel's gorgeous melodies and with vocal fireworks in bountiful supply, it is no wonder that Sutherland completely awed the German public. She is joined by Fritz Wunderlich, the acclaimed German tenor, in their one-and-only collaboration. He as well was a last minute replacement and rises to the exacting demands of Handel. His rich and pliant tone is perfectly suited to the technical and dramatic demands of the opera.
2008 digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition of this long-deleted classic from the British Ambient House outfit, originally released in 1994. Features a bonus disc containing five rare and previously unreleased remixes compiled by main Orbman, Dr. Alex Paterson: 'Sausage Tats Mit Gravy' (Dom Mix # 1), 'Star Twister' (Pomme Fritz & Apple Sauce Mix), 'Potato Fields of Electric Gliding Blue' (Ambient Mix), 'Eastern Hot Dogs in Gardens of Dub' (Lx Mix) and 'Wrapped With Salt & Vinegar' (Thomas Fehlmann Mix). Enhanced packaging contains previously unseen tour photographs, screen grabs from the 'Pomme Fritz (Meat 'n' Veg)' video and sleevenotes by long time Orb collaborator, Kris Needs.
Despite his premature death at age 35, Fritz Wunderlich was one of the great lyric tenors of the century, equally at home with Mozart's Magic Flute and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. Why, then, does Schubert's great song cycle about disappointed love so often elude him? Though he brings his usual vocal splendor and gratifying lyricism to the music in ways that few tenors can dream of, both Wunderlich and his accompanist have a strangely club-footed sense of rhythm. What should often be an intimate expression is extroverted and even labored. – David Patrick Stearns