(b Reading, PA, 31 Dec 1899; dSan Francisco, 6 Sept 1977). American flautist. He began studying the violin at the age of nine and took up the flute at 15, learning first with André Maquarre, then with Georges Barrère. In 1924 he joined the Detroit SO and remained there until 1937, when Toscanini invited him to join the NBC SO at its inception. From 1942 until he retired in 1965 he was principal flautist with the New York PO. He was uncommonly active as a chamber musician, playing with the Busch Chamber Players and the Budapest String Quartet, the New Friends of Music and other ensembles. He was on the faculty of both Columbia University and the Mannes College of Music. Although best known for his skill in the standard orchestral repertory, he gave first performances of several works, including Boris Koutzen’s Morning Music.
(b Kusel, Rheinland-Pfalz, 26 Sept 1930; dHeidelberg, 17 Sept 1966). German tenor. During his short career Wunderlich was Germany’s leading lyric tenor. He studied at the Freiburg Musikhochschule, sang Tamino there in 1954, and was engaged by the Stuttgart Opera in 1955, making his début (apart from some appearances in small parts) in the same role. In 1958 he joined the Frankfurt company, and at the Salzburg Festival in 1959 he sang Henry in Strauss’s Die schweigsame Frau, conducted by Böhm. In 1960 he joined the Staatsoper in Munich and from 1962 also spent part of the year with the Vienna Staatsoper.
Wunderlich’s voice was well formed, clear and firm of timbre; his style was unaffected, manly and sensitive. At the time of his death from a fall, Rodolfo in La bohème and Wagnerian roles were on the horizon. His singing of Mozart was internationally famous: he sang Don Ottavio at Covent Garden in 1965 (his only appearance there), while his ardent, lyrical Tamino and Belmonte can be heard on the recordings with Böhm and Jochum. In Munich he also undertook such parts as Alfredo and Lensky, and in Vienna the title role in Palestrina. He created the role of Tiresias in Orff’s Oedipus der Tyrann (1959, Stuttgart) and of Christophh in Egk’s Die Verlobung in San Domingo (1963, Munich). His last appearance was as Tamino during the Stuttgart Opera’s visit to the Edinburgh Festival; a Metropolitan début, as Don Ottavio, was planned for October 1966. Wunderlich was also an admired Bach singer, excelling as the Evangelist in both the Passions, and brought a unique sensuousness and youthful fervour to the tenor solos in Das Lied von der Erde, as revealed in the famous recording with Klemperer. He came to lieder relatively late in his short career, but was in demand as a recitalist at the Salzburg Festival and elsewhere, and left unaffected, immaculately sung recordings of Die schöne Müllerin and Dichterliebe.
J.B.Steane: The Grand Tradition (London, 1974/R), 545–6
W.Pfister: Fritz Wunderlich: eine Biographie (Munich and Mainz, 1993)
ANDREW PORTER/RICHARD WIGMORE
(b Leipzig, 25 April 1919). German organist, church musician and composer. He studied the organ with Karl Straube and composition with Johann Nepomuk David at the Leipzig Hochschule für Musik (1935–41). In 1943 he gained a teaching post at the Halle School of Church Music. When the Halle Musikhochschule was founded in 1947 he became its first, and for some time its only, lecturer in organ and harpsichord. He was also Kantor and organist, then director of church music, at the Moritzkirche. In 1958 he moved to Hamburg to become organ teacher at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst and Kantor and organist at the Jacobikirche. In 1963 he became a professor at the Hochschule and in 1972 he took a professorship at the Hochschule für Musik, Frankfurt, a post he held until his retirement in 1990. Wunderlich gave organ interpretation courses in the USA in alternate years and appeared as an organist and harpsichordist in almost all European and many other countries. His cyclic performances of Bach and Reger were widely acclaimed, and he also performed music by Michelsen, Fiebig, David and Brönner. Among his compositions, organ and choral works predominate.
(b Bayreuth, ?2 Feb 1755/6; d Paris, 1819). German flautist and composer active in France. He was the son of an oboist in service to the Margrave of Ansbach. He studied the flute with his father and at the age of 20 went to Paris to study with Félix Rault, a flautist at the Concert Spirituel. Wunderlich appeared as a soloist as early as 1776. He was a member of the Concert Spirituel orchestra from 1778 to 1783, performed a solo concerto there on 7 June 1778 and appeared regularly as a soloist in 1779. He joined the Opéra orchestra in 1781 as second flautist and rose to principal in 1787, by which time he had entered the king’s service. At the end of the century he was one of the most famous flautists in France. In 1795, on the founding of the Paris Conservatoire, he became a professor of flute, teaching such celebrated flautists as Berbiguier, Camus and Tulou. Wunderlich continued to play in the Opéra orchestra until 1813 (when he was succeeded by Tulou) and remained at the Conservatoire for three more years. His flute method (actually a completion of sketches left by Hugot) was influential on the Continent throughout the 19th century.
published in Paris unless otherwise stated
Duos, 2 fl: 6 duos, bk 1; 6 duos concertants [? same as preceding]; Duettini progressivi [? same as preceding]
Solo fl: 3 grandes sonates, fl, b, op.1 (1802); 3 [ = 6] solos … à 5 clefs, opp.5, 6; 3 grandes sonates, fl, bn/vc; 6 divertissements; 9 grands solos in 2 collections; études, caprices, variations
Pedagogical: Méthode de flûte du Conservatoire (1804/R1975 with introduction by D. Jenkins), collab. A. Hugot; Principes élémentaires et gradués pour la flûte (c1815); Principes de flûte, incl. 39 petites pièces (collab. Hugot)
MGG1 (G. Ferchault)
R.S.Rockstro: A Treatise on … the Flute (London, 1890, 2/1928/R)
H.M.Fitzgibbon: The Story of the Flute (London, 1914, 2/1929)