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Subject: beautiful baritone voices
From: kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 18 Feb 2017 10:58:15 -0600

text/plain (27 lines)

We had a short thread a week or so ago about what we considered to be really beautiful baritone voices. Since then I’ve thought of three more I’d like to add to my list, all German speakers: Alfred Poell, Heinrich Schlusnus and Hermann Prey.

I first heard Poell’s voice when I was very young, as Falke in the Clemens Krauss recording of Fledermaus with Hilde Güden and Julius Patzak. The sound was very rich and, for want of a better term, baritonal.

Schlusnus was a terrific Verdi baritone even though he sang just about everything in German. I have only one complete opera recording of him, as Rigoletto, and wonder if there are any others available. I have a sizable collection of singles, mostly dating from the 30s but with at least on dating back to 1917 (the Nedda / Silvio duet with Mafalda Salvatini) and a few from the early 40s. For anyone unfamiliar with Schlusnus, I recommend seeking out some of his recordings.

As for Prey, I can only say that his sound was absolutely gorgeous. For me, the best example of the beauty of that instrument is the Pierot Lied from Did Tote Stadt. He recorded it as a single in 1957 (early in his career) and again in the complete performance of 1975. It’s one of the selections I play when introducing newcomers to great singing.

Kurt Youngmann

"I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the manmade sound never equaled the purity of the sound achieved by the pig." - Alfred Hitchcock.

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