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Gerhard Hüsch (Baritone)

Born: February 2, 1901 - Hannover, Germany
Died: November 23, 1984 - Munich, Germany

The esteemed German baritone and pedagogue, Gerhard Hüsch (Heinrich Wilhelm Fritz), received his training from Hans Emge in Hannover.

In 1925 Gerhard Hüsch made his operatic debut as Liberau in Lortzingís Der Waffenschmied in Osnabeück. After singing in Bremen, he was a member of the Cologne Opera from 1927 to 1930. He then went to Berlin and sang with the City and State Operas froom 1930 to 1942. He also appeared in Dresden, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, Milan, Bayreuth (1930-1931). He made his debut in London at Covent Garden as Falke in Die Fledermaus in 1930 in a starry cast conducted by Bruno Walter. He returned there in 1931 and 1938.

Gerhard Hüsch had an exceptionally beautiful baritone voice. He was a supreme Papageno in his day, an eloquent Wolfram in Tannhäuser at Bayreuth, and an inimitable Falke in Die Fledermaus.

With his honeyed baritone, superb musicianship, and high intelligence, Gerhard Hüsch was among the most admired Lieder interpreters of the 1930ís. He was the first to record both of Schubertís song cycles - Winterreise and Die schöne Müllerin - complete, producing landmark interpretations that remain benchmarks for many listeners. His recorded performances are characterised by flawless enunciation of the text and an unwillingness to over-dramatise. Hüsch could be accused of too straightforward an approach to the songs, but "interventionist" approaches were not a feature of his time, and the calibre of his singing can be measured by the difficulty that subsequent singers have had in matching his performances.

After 1945 Gerhard Hüsch retired to Munich and made second outstanding career as a master teacher of vocal interpretations, latterly also in London.


Source: Liner notes to the Album The Hugo Wolf Society 1931-1938 (EMI, late 1970ís); Schubert Singers Website; Bakerís Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2001)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




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Gerhard Hüsch (Schubert Singers)


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