Tenor Peter Anders in Arias & Duets 1950-53 (Preiser)

by | Jun 2, 2005 | Classical Reissue Reviews | 0 comments

Peter Anders, tenor = Arias and Duets, 1950-1953

Preiser 93436  78:36  (Distrib. Albany)****:

When tenor  (Emil) Peter Anders (1908-1954) died in a car
accident, the world lost a great lyric instrument from the world of
German opera and lieder, coming as he did out of the war years after
Richard Tauber and being a generation ahead of his no less tragic
successor, Fritz Wunderlich. Having conquered the roles of Florestan,
Stolzing and Otello, Anders had extended his lyric range to include
more spinto roles, like Hermann in The Queen of Spades, Siegmund,
Andrea Chenier, and Lohengrin. He would have made his Metropolitan
Opera debut in 1955, along with a performance of Parsifal at Bayreuth.

The fifteen selections on this Preiser collation offer us an abundance
of Anders’ gifts, without repeating those same cuts we find on the
Acanta (43268) label, while complementing the historical material
available on Telefunken (8573-83023). To hear Anders portray the
emotionally wounded Don Jose in the Flower Song from Carmen (1952, with
Otto Ackermann) is a rare treat, for even in the unidiomatic German we
can feel the character’s vulnerability. Even more rare are the two
excerpts from I Pagliacci, this time with Leopold Ludwig and Heinrich
Hollreiser from 1953, again in German, but with no loss of the verismo
sobriety of approach. The duets – from Otello, Madame Butterfly, La
Boheme, and The Bartered Bride – feature soprano Sena Jurinac. Of
these, the most impassioned is the absolutely ardent love-scene from
Butterfly, with Pinkerton’s Komm, mitt mir! substituting for the
Italian Veni, veni but still as willful and passionate. 

The excerpts from Die Meistersinger, from 1953, are the DGG
inscriptions Anders made with veteran Ferdinand Leitner. The opening
cut, from Weber’s Der Freischuetz with Artur Rother from 1952, sets the
tone for grand projection and elegant flexibility of the vocal line.
For all of Anders’ vocal power and infallible tessitura, there is
always a wonderful delicacy in his voice, an attractive timbre of
youth, that was no less Wunderlich’s great resource, and the two
artists shared much of the same repertory. If Peter Anders remains the
lesser-known light, this recital can do much to re-establish the
stellar quality of his talents.

–Gary Lemco

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