Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Celebrating Carl Loewe's Birthday with the Amazing German Bass Hans Hotter

Carl Loewe and the great Hans Hotter

Carl Loewe (Löwe im Deutsch) was a German composer, baritone singer and conductor. In his lifetime he was dubbed the "Schubert of North Germany." A number of his 400 or so songs are still performed and he wrote beautifully for his own voice range.

The beauty of Lowe's music earned him a grant from Jerome Bonaparte, then king of Westphalia, which allowed him to continue his studies in music and theology at Halle University. While living in Stettin (Szczecin) he did most of his work as a composer, setting a version of Goethe's Erlkönig in 1824 which some say rivals Schubert's far more famous version. He went on to set many other poets' work, including Friedrich Rückert, and translations of William Shakespeare and Lord Byron. He also wrote a number of operas, oratorios and instrumental works.

His treatment of long narrative poems, in a clever mixture of the dramatic and lyrical styles has been copied by many composers since his day.

Hans Hotter (1909 – 2003) was a German bass-baritone, admired internationally after World War II for the power, beauty, and intelligence of his singing, especially in Wagner operas. He was extremely tall and his appearance was striking because of his high, narrow face, wide mouth, and big, aquiline nose. His voice and diction were equally distinguished.

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