Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz

Picture of Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz

Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz singsDas Rheingold: Immer ist Undank Loges Lohn
In RA format

Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz singsDas Rheingold: Über Stock und Stein zu Tal, with Michael Burt, Ildikó Szőnyi, Juraj Hurny (Froh) and Ludovic Könya
In RA format

Ernst-Dieter Suttheimer singsDas Rheingold: Wer hälfe mir, with Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz (Loge)
In RA format

Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz singsDas Rheingold: Ihrem Ende eilen sie zu, with Michael Burt, Eva-Maria Barta, Fran Lubahn and Melanie Sonnenberg

Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz singsDie Walküre: Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond
In RA format

Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz singsDie Walküre: Siegmund! Sieh auf mich!, with Johanna-Lotte Fecht
In RA format

Ernst-Dieter Suttheimer singsSiegfried: Zwangvolle Plage ... Als zullendes Kind, with Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz (Siegfried)

Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz singsSiegfried: Hier hilft kein Kluger ... Nothung! Nothung! ... Schmiede mein Hammer ... So schneidet Siegfrieds Schwert, with Ernst-Dieter Suttheimer (Mime)

Ernst-Dieter Suttheimer singsSiegfried: Willkommen, Siegfried!, with Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz (Siegfried)

Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz singsSiegfried: Mein Vöglein schwebte mir fort, with Michael Burt

Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz singsGötterdämmerung: Helle Wehr! Heilige Waffe!, with Johanna-Lotte Fecht

Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz singsGötterdämmerung: Brünnhilde! Heilige Braut!

It may be surprising, but Wolfgang Müller-Lorenz was a tenor I actually liked very much. Surprising because he hardly ever sang one beautiful phrase; but as far as characterization and intelligence, I've seen few singers able to compete with him. In many ways, he was Wolfgang Windgassen's successor – a superb interpreter with a far below-average voice and technique, though Müller-Lorenz had both the better voice than Windgassen (larger and more heroic) and the poorer technique. Both singers had an exemplary German diction, Müller-Lorenz even more so – he was capable of singing Wagner's weird texts (texts that are often hardly understandable even for German speakers, and even when reading them, so crazy and clumsy is Wagner's use of language) in a way that made them basically comprehensible for the listener: a terrific achievement that required, apart from the clear diction already mentioned, impressive intelligence. What Müller-Lorenz actually did was picking out the more intelligible parts of Wagner's long and winding sentences, and treating them as parole sceniche in the Verdian sense; as a result, it was easy to follow the libretto to the extent of always knowing what's going on (and that's far more than can be hoped for, in Wagner's operas). Also Müller-Lorenz' acting on stage was outstanding.

Any music remotely cantabile, though, let alone Italian music, was beyond Müller-Lorenz' capacities, and resulted in plain ugly singing. But whenever sprechgesang was what the music required, it was a joy to watch Müller-Lorenz; this included, other than Wagner, also Janáček (he made a great impression as both Laca in Její pastorkyňa and Tichon in Káťa Kabanová). His best role, as far as I can judge from personal experience, was Loge – a truly memorable achievement without much competition, not even on record.

Born November 24th, 1946 in Cologne, he was originally a baritone (singing, for instance, Papageno or Barbiere, and not least specializing in contemporary music). After eight years, he switched to heldentenor (following Hans Hopf's advice). An important part of his career was spent in Graz, but he also sang at more famous theatres, such as Covent Garden, Tokyo, Munich, Dresden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Stockholm, Marseille, Zürich, Vienna State Opera and so on.

In the late 1990s, the last time I heard him in opera, he was in poor vocal shape as Erik, but he continued his operatic career (no longer in Graz) as long as 2007 – and in 2010, he was back once more for an operetta rarity (Winzerbraut by Oscar Nedbal) at a small off-theater in Vienna, and was excellent!

Picture source: musicaforte.at (defunct)

Müller-Lorenz as a baritone

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