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Friedrich Schorr

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Friedrich Schorr set the standard for Wagnerian heldenbariton singing for the two decades between 1920 and 1940. His mahogany-colored bass-baritone may have lacked ultimate freedom in the highest reaches of the great heroic roles, but its beautiful, firmly knit timbre and absolute steadiness (and the singer's mastery of legato) made mockery of the notion that Wagner must be barked and not sung. Whether in the reflective moments of Hans Sachs, Vanderdecken's despair or Wotan's angry outbursts, his control of dynamics and clarity of utterance made his characterizations both riveting and complete. In an age of great Wagnerian singing, he stood at the very forefront. Schorr's father, an attorney, hoped for a career in law for his son. Friedrich won a compromise: if he continued studying law, he could study music as well. Enrolling at Vienna University, he trained under Adolph Robinson, who had been the first to recognize Schorr's vocal gifts. In a year's time, Schorr was heard by the intendent of the Graz Opera who invited him to make his debut in that venue. At the age of 23 and having disclosed nothing about the performance to his parents, the young singer sang the exacting role of Wotan. Armed with the positive reviews, Schorr traveled to Vienna to show his father the contract that had been his reward. The budding heldenbariton was given his father's blessing to become a professional singer and his career began in the deepest waters of the bass-baritone repertory. Schorr remained at Graz from 1911 to 1916, appearing often as a guest at the Vienna Opera where he quickly became a favorite with its discerning public. From 1916 to 1918, he was a member of Prague's National Theatre, after which he spent five years at Cologne. From 1923 to 1932 (and the rise of Hitler), Schorr was a leading artist in Berlin not only in the Wagnerian wing, but in such other roles as Busoni's Faust, Cardinal Borromeo in Pfitzner's Palestrina, and Barak in Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten. During this same period, beginning in 1925, Schorr was a frequent performer at the Bayreuth Festival. Even though his being a Jew was tolerated by Nazis prior to their ascension to power, Schorr ended his affiliation with Bayreuth in the same year he took leave of Berlin. Meanwhile, Schorr visited the United States in 1924 with a company presenting a season of Wagner operas at the Manhattan Opera House. Metropolitan Opera manager Giulio Gatti-Casazza heard him and offered a contract, beginning an association that lasted until the singer's retirement in 1943. Following his debut on February 14 as Wolfram, Schorr offered his Hans Sachs, described by Lawrence Gilman as a "truly great performance" and similarly praised by the other New York critics. London, too, benefited from Schorr's artistry in the years from 1924 to the outbreak of WWII. After eliciting enthusiasm for the Rheingold Wotan which served as his debut, he roused the London audience to fervent applause for his superlative Walküre Wotan, both wrathful and ruminative, sung throughout with the utmost beauty of tone. Though no complete role of his was recorded during his prime, Schorr left an estimable legacy of Wagnerian excerpts, performed with such other titans as Frida Leider and Lauritz Melchior. His single contribution to Walter Legge's Hugo Wolf Society Lieder recording series, Prometheus (performed in the orchestral version), would alone secure Schorr's reputation among the immortals.
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Stations Featuring
Friedrich Schorr


Albums by
Friedrich Schorr

Top Songs by
Friedrich Schorr

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg: Euch macht ihr's leicht
  3.   Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg: Abendlich glühend in himmlischer Glut
  4.   Der fliegende Hollaender: Die Frist ist um
  5.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Act III, Scene 5: Verachtet mir die Meister nicht (Sachs' Panegyric – Finale, Act III)
  6.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Act III, Scene 1: Gleich, Meister! Hier!
  7.   Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg: Jerum! Jerum!
  8.   Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg: Verachtet mir die Meister nicht
  9.   Die Meistersinger: Schusterlied
  10.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Act III, Scene 2: Grüss Gott, mein Ev'chen!
  11.   Die Walkuere: Wotans Abschied und Feuerzauber
  12.   Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg: Gut'n Abend, Meister
  13.   Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg: Was duftet doch der Flieder
  14.   Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg: Aha! Da streicht die Lene schon um's Haus - Selig wie die Sonne - Quintett
  15.   Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg: Wahn! Wahn! Überall Wahn
  16.   Don Giovanni, opera, K. 527~Feinsliebchen, komm ans Fenster
  17.   Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), opera, K. 620~Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen
  18.   Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), opera, K. 620~Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen
  19.   Fidelio, opera, Op. 72~Ha, welch ein Augenblick
  20.   Euryanthe, opera, J. 291, (Op. 81)~Wo berg' ich mich?
  21.   Les Huguenots, grand opera in 5 acts~Vom Krieg, der uns bedroht
  22.   Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), opera, WWV 63~Wie? Hört' ich recht?
  23.   Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), opera, WWV 63~Wie aus der Ferne
  24.   Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), opera, WWV 63~Versank ich jetzt
  25.   Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), opera, WWV 63~Wirst du des Vaters Wahl nicht schelten?
  26.   Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70~Wie Todesahnung Dämm'rung
  27.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96~Was duftet doch der Flieder
  28.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96~Jerum! Jerum!
  29.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96~Wahn! Wahn! Überall Wahn!
  30.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96~Verachtet mir die Meister nicht
  31.   Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b~Leb' wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind
  32.   Mass in B minor, for soloists, chorus & orchestra, BWV 232 (BC E1)~Et in spiritum Sanctum Dominum
  33.   Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons), oratorio, H. 21/3~Schon eilet froh der Ackersmann
  34.   Elijah (Elias), oratorio, Op. 70~Herr Gott Abrahams, Issaks & Israels
  35.   Elijah (Elias), oratorio, Op. 70~Ist nicht des Herrn Wort wie ein Feuer?
  36.   Elijah (Elias), oratorio, Op. 70~Es ist genug!
  37.   Der Freischütz, opera, J. 277 (Op. 77)~Wer legt auf ihn so strengen Bann?
  38.   Die beiden Grenadiere ("Nach Frankreich zogen zwei Grenadier"), song for voice & piano, Op. 49/1
  39.   Prometheus ("Bedecke deinen Himmel, Zeus"), song for voice & piano (Goethe Lieder)
  40.   Am Meer ("Das Meer erglänzte"), song for voice & piano (Schwanengesang), D. 957/12
  41.   Wanderlied ("Wohlauf! noch getrunken den funkelnden Wein!"), song for voice & piano, Op. 35/3
  42.   Du bist wie eine Blume, song for voice & piano (Myrthen), Op. 25/24
  43.   Ich grolle nicht, song for voice & piano (Dichterliebe), Op. 48/7
  44.   Traum durch die Dämmerung ("Weite Wiesen im Dämmergrau"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 29/1 (TrV 172/1)
  45.   Im Abendrot ("O, wie schön ist deine Welt"), song for voice & piano, D. 799
  46.   Aus Heliopolis I ("Im kalten, rauhen Norden"), song for voice & piano, D. 753 (Op. 65/3)
  47.   Biterolf ("Kampfmüd und sonnverbrannt"), song for voice & piano (Sechs Gedichte)
  48.   Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), opera, WWV 63~Die Frist ist um
  49.   Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70~Als du in kühnem Sange uns bestrittest
  50.   Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70~Blick' ich umher in diesem edlen Kreise
  51.   Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70~O du mein holder Abandstern
  52.   Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold), opera, WWV 86a~Abendlich strahlt der Sonne Auge
  53.   Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b~Nun zäume dein Ross, reisige Maid
  54.   Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b~O heilige Schmach
  55.   Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b~Wo ist Brünnhild', wo die Verbrecherin?
  56.   Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b~Du zeugtest ein edles Geschlecht
  57.   Die Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), opera, WWV 86d~Hast du, Gunther, ein Weib?
  58.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96~Gut'n Abend, Meister
  59.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96~Grüss' Gott, mein Junker!
  60.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96~Abendlich glühend in himmlischer Glut
  61.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96~Sieh', Ev'chen! Dacht' ich doch, wo sie bleib'!
  62.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96~Hat man mit dem Schuhwerk nicht seine Not!
  63.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96~Aha! Da streicht die Lene schon um's Haus
  64.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96~Selig wie die Sonne meines Glückes lacht
  65.   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera, WWV 96~Euch macht ihr's leicht
  66.   Der fliegende Hollander, WWV. 63: Wie aus der Ferne (Recorded 1927)
  67.   Don Giovanni, K. 527: Ständchen (Deh, vieni alla finestra) (Recorded 1924)

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