Sunday, March 10, 2013

Richard Tauber

Richard Tauber
16" x 12",
oil on canvas board, 2013
Dein ist mein ganzes Herz is the opening track of an LP, a sort of greatest hits album with the same title as the opening song, by the Austrian born lyrical tenor Richard Tauber (1891-1948). Of course I was familiar with the name Richard Tauber, but I had never bothered to listen to him before. Operettas in fact had always been a genre I avoided. But as it goes with so much music you think you don't like (without ever even considering it with an open ear), it comes back at you and blow you away. It seems to happen mostly with music that I have the strongest aversions to. I don't know what got into me, why I decided to buy this Tauber record at a second hand store but yet I did it anyways. It could have been this rather sympathetic face looking at me from the photo on the sleeve, or because of my occasional infatuation with German language art songs (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was once in the my Top 100), or it could have been that there was nothing else of interest for me in the store to buy, I don't know. I was still so disinterested in the record that I don't think I even played it for several weeks after I bought it. And then when I finally did: Wow! I knew Tauber was a well known singer but I had no idea that he is acclaimed as one of the greatest singers of the 20th century. Not only that, he was also the author of many of his best known songs. Dein ist mein ganzes Herz was written by Franz Lehár though, the famous opera and operetta composer who wrote many lieder just for Tauber. The song comes from the operetta Das Land des Lächelns. Lehár is also the conductor of Das Orchester der Staatsoper Berlin heard behind Tauber in this historic recording from 1929.

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