Fritz Windgassen

Picture of Fritz Windgassen
Fritz Windgassen was born on February 9th, 1883 in Lennep, near Remscheid.

Following the wish of his parents, Windgassen took up a career in the German navy as a machinist's mate. Only after Prince Heinrich of Prussia praised his singing ability, did he embark on a singing career. After vocal studies at the Bernuth Conservatory in Hamburg, he made his debut in 1909 in Harburg. Further engagements took him to Bremen, Hamburg and the Hoftheater in Kassel, where he met the coloratura soprano Vally van Osten (1882–1923), whom he married in 1916. From 1923 to 1945, he was a member of the Staatsoper in Stuttgart. Beginning in 1919, he increasingly specialized in heldentenor roles and became a renowned Wagner singer.

He was also much in demand as a concert and Lieder singer. He gave his farewell concert in Stuttgart in 1949, featuring works by Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, and Hugo Wolf where his son, Wolfgang Windgassen, also took part.

After his retirement from the stage, Windgassen taught at the Stuttgart conservatory. He died on April 17th, 1963 in Murnau.

Fritz Windgassen singsTannhäuser: Dir töne Lob
In RA format

Polyphon, Berlin, August 1910
2255	   Walküre (Wagner): Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond	2292

Grammophon, Berlin, November 1924
2099ax     Über Nacht (Wolf)					62498
2100ax     Heimliche Aufforderung (Strauss)			62497
2101ax     Traum durch die Dämmerung (Strauss)			62497
2103ax     Der Rattenfänger (Wolf)				62499
2104ax     Heimweh (Wolf)					62498
2105ax     Ännchen von Tharau (Silcher)				62499
Source: Gesellschaft für historische Tonträger, Wien
I wish to thank Daniele Godor for the picture.

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