(b Borissovo, 10 July 1913; d Vienna, 31 Aug 1996). Austrian soprano of Bulgarian birth. After studying in Vienna with Theodor Lierhammer she made her début at the Sofia Opera in 1936. She appeared at Graz (1937–40), Hamburg (1941–3) and Munich (1943–6), and then joined the Vienna Staatsoper. She first sang in England in autumn 1947 during the Staatsoper visit, dazzling London audiences with the passion, vocal purity and compelling force of her Salome – her most famous role (which she first sang under Strauss in 1944 and also at her Metropolitan début in 1949). She was a renowned Tosca, Aida and Musetta, and enjoyed great success in other such widely differing roles as Donna Anna, Jenůfa, Minnie (La fanciulla del West), Nadja (Salmhofer’s Iwan Tarassenko) and Rosalinde (Fledermaus). Her rise to international fame was meteoric but, sadly, ill-health and insufficient care of her voice denied her continued success in her grandest roles, although she still appeared in a number of character parts in Vienna.
Welitsch’s was one of the most exciting voices to appear in the years immediately after World War II. Impressive in dramatic utterance and in soft, sustained lyrical passages, she displayed a total dedication to and absorption in every aspect of her roles. Her few recordings, including versions of the closing scene from Salome, reveal her remarkable vocal qualities.
Earl of Harewood: ‘Ljuba Welitsch’, Opera, iv (1953), 72–7
(b Velbert, 27 Oct 1941). German bass-baritone. He studied initially for a technical career, but took up singing in 1972. After making his début at Aachen in 1974, he was a member of the ensemble there until 1980, followed by three years at Karlsruhe. Welker made his début at La Scala, Milan, in 1982 as Telramund, at Covent Garden in 1986 as Pizarro and at the Metropolitan Opera in 1990, also as Pizarro. The dark, cutting timbre of his voice, allied to a strong stage presence, has made him an equally demonic Alberich and Caspar (Der Freischütz). His recordings include Pizarro, Telramund and lesser-known works such as Schubert’s Fierrabras, Schmidt’s Notre Dame and Korngold’s Wunder der Heliane.
(b Munich, 23 Feb 1953). German musicologist. After completing a degree in medicine at Munich he studied musicology at the universities of Basle (with Arlt and Oesch) and Zürich (with Lichtenhahn and Lütolf), 1972–9. After working for two years at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, he was an assistant teacher at the Schola Cantorum of Basle (1982–8) and at the University of Basle (1988–90) while completing the doctorate in medicine at Zürich (1988). In 1990 he joined the department of musicology at Heidelberg and took the doctorate in musicology at Basle in 1992, with a dissertation on Renaissance performing practice, and the Habilitation in 1993 with the study Musik am Oberrhein im späten Mittelalter. He was appointed professor at the University of Erlangen in 1994 and became professor at Munich University in 1996. His main areas of expertise are the musical tradition of the late Middle Ages, performing practice during the Renaissance and the instrumental music of the Baroque period. He was awarded the Henry E. Sigerist prize in 1988 and the Dent Medal in 1994.
‘“Alta capella”: zur Ensemblepraxis der Blasinstrumente im 15. Jahrhundert’, Basler Jb für historische Musikpraxis, vii (1983), 119–65
‘Das Taghorn des Mönchs von Salzburg: zur frühen Mehrstimmigkeit im deutschen Lied’, Schweizer Jb für Musikwissenschaft, new ser., iv–v (1984–5), 41–61
‘New Light on Oswald von Wolkenstein: Central European Traditions and Burgundian Polyphony’, EMH, vii (1987), 187–226
‘Die Melodien des Burkhard Mangolt’, Einführung zum Faksimile des Codex Palatinus Germanicus 329 der Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, ed. F.V. Spechtler (Wiesbaden, 1988), 47–60
‘“… per un chitarone, fagotto, ouero altro istromento simile, pronto alla velocità”: Chitarrone, Theorbe und Arciliuto in der italienischen Ensemblemusik des 17. Jahrhunderts’, Basler Jb für historische Musikpraxis, xii (1988), 27–64
‘Claudio Monteverdi und die Alchemie’, Basler Jb für historische Musikpraxis, xiii (1989), 11–29
‘Bläserensembles der Renaissance’, Basler Jb für historische Musikpraxis, xiv (1990), 249–70
‘Questions of Form, Genre and Instrumentation in the Venetian Instrumental Works of Giovanni Legrenzi and Johann Rosenmüller’, Giovanni Legrenz e la Capella ducale di San Marco: Venice and Clusone 1990, 351–82
‘Some Aspects of the Notation and Performance of German Song around 1400’, EMc, xviii (1990), 235–46
‘Ein anonymer Mensuraltraktat in der Sterzinger Miszellaneen-Handschrift’, AMw, xlviii (1991), 255–81
‘Heinrich Laufenberg in Zofingen: Musik in der spätmittelalterlichen Schweiz’, Schweizer Jb für Musikwissenschaft, new ser., xi (1991), 67–77
‘Die Musik der Renaissance’, Musikalische Interpretation: Neues Handbuch der Musikwissenschaft, ed. H. Danuser, xi (Laaber, 1992), 139–215
Studien zur musikalischen Aufführungspraxis in der Zeit der Renaissance ca. 1300 bis 1600 (diss., U. of Basle, 1992; Munich, 1992)
‘Johann Rosenmüllers venezianische Vokalmusik’, Claudio Monteverdi und die Folgen: Detmold 1993, 359–91
Musik am Oberrhein im späten Mittelalter: die Handschrift Strasbourg, olim Bibliothèque de la Ville, C.22 (Habilitationsschrift, U. of Basle, 1993)
‘Dufay Songs in German Manuscripts’, Music in Renaissance Germany, ed. J. Kmetz (Cambridge, 1994), 3–26
‘Konstituenten der Form in Jan Dismas Zelenkas Triosonaten’, Zelenka-Studien II: Dresden and Prague 1995, 201–16
‘Monteverdi, Tasso und der Hof von Mantua: Ecco mormorar l'onde (1590)’, AMw, liii (1996), 194–206
‘Polyphonic Reworkings of Notre Dame Conductus in fr.146’, Fauvel Studies: Allegory, Chronicle, Music and Image in Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS français 146, ed. M. Bent and A. Wathey (Oxford, 1998), 615–36