ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The World's Greatest Tenors - Fritz Wunderlich

Updated on November 13, 2012

Fritz Wunderlich

Fritz Wunderlich Poster
Fritz Wunderlich Poster
Fritz wunderlich Museum
Fritz wunderlich Museum
Inside the Museum
Inside the Museum
Inside the Museum
Inside the Museum
Inside the Museum
Inside the Museum
Kusel, Germany - Birhplace of Fritz Wunderlich
Kusel, Germany - Birhplace of Fritz Wunderlich


The World’s Greatest Tenors – Fritz Wunderlich


A survey in the April 2008 issue of the BBC Music Magazine rated Fritz Wunderlich as the fourth greatest tenor of all time yet many Americans have never even heard of him.


One reason is because he died young at age 35 and the other is because he sang most of his operas in German rather than the language in which they were written.


I might never have heard of him, either except that a good friend of mine, who had been born and raised in Germany, told me about him and played some of his records for me.


This was the same person who had previously introduced me to Richard Tauber and Josef Schmidt. ( I featured them in two prior Hubs). Since I enjoy listening to great tenors and since I understand a little German, I immediately went out and bought some of his records.


I could try to describe how he sounds and discuss his strengths and weaknesses, but I prefer to let his voice do that instead. To start out I have selected the following two recordings;


"Dein ist mein ganzes herz" from the Operetta The Land of Smiles by Franz Lehar, and

"Ach, So Fromm" from the Opera Martha by Von Flotow


"Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" by Franz Lehar

"Ach, So Fromm" from Martha by Von Flotow


Friedrich "Fritz" Wunderlich was born in Kusel, Germany in 1930. His father was a choirmaster and his mother was a violinist. He started out working in a bakery. His friends and neighbors insisted that he study music after hearing his beautiful voice.


He managed to gain a scholarship to the Freiburg Music Academy where he studied voice and also the French horn. His crystal clear voice and intelligent interpretation soon led him to reach the full range of the lyric tenor.


Initially he stood out in Mozartian rolls, but he soon added Verdi, Schubert, Schumann, Bach and even Wagner to his repertoire.


During Fritz Wunderlich’s career, it was the custom for German theaters to perform operas in German rather than the language in which they were originally written. When you listen to some of his recordings, try to concentrate on the music rather than the words.


Unfortunately, Fritz Wunderlich died at age 35 in a fall from a stairway in a friend’s country house while on a hunting vacation in Oberderdingen, Germany. (his hobbies included hunting and fast cars),


I would like to close this Hub with two classic arias by Puccini:

"Che gelida mania" from La Boheme, and

"E lucevan le stelle" from Tosca

Both of them are sung in German.


Che gelida manina by Puccini (in German)

E lucevan le stelle by Puccini (in German)

Kusel, Germany (Between Frankfurt and Freiburg)

Kusel, Germany:
Kusel, Germany

get directions

Freiburg, Germany:
Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

get directions

Frankfurt, Germany:
Frankfurt, Germany

get directions

Oberderdingen, Germany:
Oberderdingen, Germany

get directions


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Without a doubt a beautiful voice. Just listen to him sing Mozarts Die Zaubeflote, none better.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      6 years ago from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

      He is great. Up, Useful, Interesting, Awesome, and shared

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for the introduction to this tenor. I've never heard of him before. He has a beautiful voice! What a shame that he died so young.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I never heard of Fritz, either, until now. Thanks for doing this piece.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)