Gotthelf Pistor

17 October 1887 Gdańsk/Danzig (other sources: Berlin) – 4 April 1947 Cologne

Picture of Gotthelf Pistor

with US tennis champion Helen Wills
I wish to thank Daniele Godor for the Helen Wills picture.
Gotthelf Pistor sings Parsifal: Nur eine Waffe taugt
In RA format
Pistor was an actor in Brandenburg and, after fighting WWI, in Berlin; when he had to sing a song in Schiller's Wallenstein's camp, his voice was discovered by baritone Juan Luria, who also became his first teacher. The same year, 1919, Pistor made his debut in operetta (at the Neues Operettentheater Berlin), and sang at the Hamburg operetta theater 1920–22. In 1923, he became an opera tenor in Nürnberg. Via Würzburg, Darmstadt, Magdeburg, Hamburg and Cologne, he reached the Städtische (Deutsche) Oper Berlin in 1932; he stayed until 1944, and from 1939 worked also as a stage director.

He was primarily a Wagner singer; already in 1925, he had made his Bayreuth debut as Froh, and returned often (Tristan, Siegmund, Siegfried, Parsifal). At the Zoppot summer festival, he sang almost every year from 1930 to 1938 (Max, Rienzi, Lohengrin, Stolzing, Siegmund, Parsifal, Pedro). Guest appearances in Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Dresden, at the Staatsoper Berlin, in Barcelona, Brussels, Liège, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Paris, London.

After WWII, he didn't resume his career and taught voice.

Nobody could be blamed for finding Pistor's recordings less than inspired and less than thrilling; on stage, however, "thrilling" was obviously what described him best – he must have been a phenomenal actor. The duel scene in Tiefland, with him as Pedro and Deutsche Oper director Wilhelm Rode as Sebastiano, was a celebrated showstopper; it was so exciting that on one occasion, a spectator died from a heart attack.

Reference: Kutsch & Riemens


Parlophon, Berlin, 14 September 1927
20338         Die Walküre: Was gleißt dort hell               P-9809-II, O-7811
20339-2       Siegfried: Der dumme Knab'                      P-9164-I, O-7802
              with Pfahl-Wallerstein
20340-2       Siegfried: Wie sah mein Vater wohl aus          P-9164-II, O-7802

Parlophon, Berlin, 20 September 1927
29347         Parsifal: Vom Bade kehrt der König heim         P-9155-I, O-7642
              with Andrésen

Parlophon, Berlin, 9 January 1928
20337-2       Die Walküre: Ein Schwert verhieß mir            P-9809-I, O-7811
20345-2       Parsifal: Nur eine Waffe taugt                  P-9817-I, O-7679
20346-2       Parsifal: Amfortas! Die Wunde!                  P-9817-II, O-7679
20557         Tiefland: Schau her, das ist ein Taler          P-9228-II, O-7818
20559         Siegfried: Nothung, Nothung                     P-9828-I, O-6964
20560         Siegfried: Schniede, mein Hammer                P-9828-II, O-6964

Grammophon, Berlin, October 1928
CLR4598-2     Parsifal: Heil mir, dass ich dich wieder finde  2-044043, D1538, AB431, EJ374, ES562
              with Hofmann
CLR4600-2     Parsifal: Niemand kommt uns Botschaft mehr      2-044044, D1539, AB432, EJ375, ES563
              with Hofmann
CLR4601-1     Parsifal: Mir ahnt, ein hohes Werk              2-044045, D1539, AB432, EJ375, ES563
              with Hofmann
CLR4602-2     Parsifal: Gesegnet sei, du Reiner               2-044046, D1540, AB433, EJ376, ES564
              with Hofmann
CLR4603-1     Parsifal: Wie dünkt mich doch die Aue           2-044047, D1540, AB433, EJ376, ES564
              with Hofmann
CLR4611-1     Parsifal: Ich sah sie welken                    2-044048, D1541, AB434, EJ377, ES565
              with Hofmann
CLR4613-1     Parsifal: Wer hat ihn gefällt                   2-042064, D1542, AR435, EJ378, ES566	
              with Hofmann
CLR4615-1     Parsifal: Enthüllet den Gral                    2-044049, D1543, AB436, EJ379, ES567
              with Brongeest
CLR4616-1     Parsifal: Oh, welchen Wunders                   2-042066, D1544, AB437, EJ380, ES568

Parlophon, Berlin, 16 June 1930
21728         Die Walküre: Siegmund! Sieh auf mich!           P-9540-I, O-7581
              with Bäumer
21729         Die Walküre: So grüße mir Walhall               P-9540-II, O-7581
              with Bäumer
21730         Die Walküre: Wo wäre der Held                   P-9541-I, O-7582
              with Bäumer
21731         Die Walküre: Ich sehe die Not                   P-9541-II, O-7581
              with Bäumer
Reference: Gesellschaft für historische Tonträger, Wien

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