Gert Lutze

Picture of  Gert Lutze
Gert Lutze, born September 30th, 1917 in Leipzig, had a surprising career in East Germany. Actually, he was a dermatologist, and always kept working as such; tenor was his second job. He had been an amateur chorister in Leipzig's famous Thomanerchor from childhood (actually from nine years old), first as a boy soprano, then as a bass, then as a tenor, and started his solo career incidentally by stepping in for a sick tenor in Bach's Johannespassion in June 1945.

Though he couldn't of course appear on stage (he had already been a medical doctor since 1944, and singing was restricted to his spare time), he gained prominence in the German Democratic Republic as a concert singer (mainly oratorio, and specializing in Bach), on record (again, mostly Bach), and on the radio, where he sang more or less everything and made a huge amount of broadcasts – a countless number of tapes being still preserved (actually a total of 486 recordings, many complete operas among them), though Lutze is completely forgotten now and almost all of his recordings unavailable to the collector. For light music, Lutze used "Charles Geerd" as an alias. His astonishing number of radio recordings (as well as records) was all made in merely 14 years, and it's about the same recording output that Rudolf Schock (another prolific recorder) achieved in 40 years! Just 14 years for Lutze, because in 1960, he did not return to communist East Germany from a concert tour abroad, and settled near Stuttgart in West Germany, where he continued working as a dermatologist, but no longer as a singer.

Lutze was "rediscovered" by Gottfried Cervenka, the long-term host of the Austrian radio's then incomparable weekly historical opera program. Lutze was still healthy on his 90th birthday in September 2007, and so was his voice, according to Mr. Cervenka. But then he died all of a sudden on November 6th, 2007.

Lutze's singing is characterized by outstanding musicality, secure vocal technique, a phenomenal top, and amazing stylistic versatility – a Bach expert who was at the same time a top-rank Arnold interpreter, that's most probably unique. Lutze is for sure one of the most unjustly forgotten and most underrated tenors ever.

Gert Lutze sings Halka: I ty mu wierzysz...I skądże ty...Powolutku, pomaleńku, with Rita Meinl-Weise, Hans Löbel, and Johannes Oettel in German

Gert Lutze sings Requiem (Verdi): Ingemisco
Finally someone who pronounces Latin properly, and not like some strange variety of Italian!

Gert Lutze sings La bohème: Sind wir allein?, with Irma Hofer (Mimì), Erna Roscher (Musetta), Martin-Matthias Schmidt (Marcello), Otto-Willi Gelhausen (Schaunard) and Helmut Eyle (Colline)

Gert Lutze sings Euryanthe: Wohlan, du kennst mein herrlich Eigentum, with Rudolf Gonszar and Herbert Rößler

Gert Lutze sings Guillaume Tell: Er fiel, er starb der heil'gen Sache ... Der Freiheit Sieg, with Theodor Horand and Werner Stüvecke

Gert Lutze sings Guillaume Tell: Du meiner Väter Hütte ... Zum Kampf! Zum Streit!

Gert Lutze sings Wegen Renovierung geschlossen (Ott): Das Meer ist meine Heimat
GDR operetta!

Gert Lutze sings Adelaide

Many thanks to Anton Bieber for the Adelaide recording and label scan.
All other recordings have been generously provided by the late Gottfried Cervenka.

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