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Gerhard Hüsch



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Gerhard Hüsch (Hanover, February 2, 1901 – Munich, November 23, 1984) was one of the most important German singers of modern times. He specialized in Lieder, and to a lesser extent in opera.
Between 1925 and 1942, Hüsch sang regularly at several German (as well as British and Italian) opera houses, primarily in Berlin from 1930 onwards. The role for which he is best remembered is that of Papageno in Wofgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”, but his repertoire included most of the standard lighter baritone roles, including Wagner’s (he appeared at Bayreuth most notably as Wolfram in “Tannhäuser and Richard Strauss’ “Intermezzo”). Lacking the sheer devastating vocal amplitude of his contemporaries Hans Hotter and Gottlob Frick, Hüsch concentrated on beautifully lucid diction and an unfailingly smooth vocal line.
Nowhere were these qualities better displayed than in his pioneering prewar Lieder records. Here he shows the art which conceals art. He gave us the first more-or-less-uncut versions of Franz Schubert’s “Winterreise” and “Die schöne Müllerin” song cycles, not to mention Ludwig van Beethoven’s “An die ferne Geliebte”.
After World War II, Hüsch, whose political naïveté during the Third Reich (and, in particular, closeness to Rosalind von Schirach, the sister of Nazi youth leader and convicted war criminal Baldur von Schirach) was unlikely to endear him to the Allies, mostly abandoned concert and operatic appearances, preferring to concentrate on teaching.

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