Hans Nachod

Though he is completely forgotten as a singer, there are few tenors holding a more important place in musical history than Hans Nachod. He was Arnold Schönberg's first cousin, and his estate (the Hans Nachod collection, now at the University of North Texas) as well as the two cousins' correspondence are among the most eminent sources on the founder of dodecaphonism.

Nachod was born 2 July 1883 into a family of Jewish cantors in Vienna (some sources are giving Prague, but that's a mixup with the city where the greater part of his career took place), and died in 29 July 1965 in London. From 1907 to 1910, he was a very successful first tenor of the Vienna Volksoper, and then (after engagements in Mainz and Kiel) for many years equally successful in Prague. Guest appearances in Munich, Wiesbaden, Graz, Amsterdam or Den Haag. After retiring in 1925 (the last year of his career was spent in Stettin), Nachod moved to London, where he taught voice.

His merits for the work of Puccini were such that he and Puccini even made friends; and at the same time, he sang a leading part in the 1913 world premiere of Arnold Schönberg's "Gurrelieder"! This heterogeneous but impressive career is all the more puzzling if you listen to Nachod: his phrasing is, let's say, highly individual... Rare records on Favorite, obviously made during his Volksoper period.

Hans Nachod singsRigoletto: Freundlich blick' ich
In RA format
Picture source

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