Part III: Rare and unknown voices. Please open the bar to read more!
Franz Fehringer, Tenor (1910-1988)
Ralph Benatzky - IM WEISSEN RÖSSL (The White Horse Inn)
Die ganze Welt ist himmelblau (this song was composed by Robert Stolz)
With Herta Talmar, Soprano (1920-2010)
Willy Hofmann, Tenor (1909-1984)
Conducted by Franz Marszalek
My personal opinion: It was another time, another age. Long time ago, the german post-war audience yearned for distraction in hard times during the rebuilding of their homeland. In these days, music played a major part and some singers soon were specialized in broadcast transmissions. Although they appeared on theatre stages, first of all they became famous radio-singers. And no surprise, delightful operettas rose up to new reborn popularity. One of the leading conductors was Franz Marszalek (1900-1975), a close friend of composer Eduard Künneke (1885-1953). In war years he worked for the 'Reichsfunk' and after he became a leading figure in operetta. His recordings with german tenor Peter Anders are legendary (and some say, they were more genuine than the equivalents made the same time with Schwarzkopf and a very young Nicolai Gedda). Another favorite Marszalek-singer beside Anders was Franz Fehringer (1910-1988), a tenor with a small, almost tiny voice but a lovely timbré. On stage, he sang among others Ottavio, Almaviva and Hoffmann - but his name is familiar with operetta highlight-recordings he made with Marszalek for the Polydor-label in the 1950s and early 1960s (all of them reissued on CD).
Fehringer's singing was folk-like: Pleasant, hearty and unaffected in a natural way. And obviously he was a down-to-earth person: He never forgot his little hometown near to Heidelberg. Some years ago I visited his grave, and an elderly woman said to me: "Here is the resting place of our beloved Franz!". He was born in Nussloch and 78 years later he died in the same little town!
Franz Fehringer studied with two teachers in Karlsruhe and gave his debut as a concert singer in 1934. One year later he performed his first opera: SERSE by Handel. During the war years he was a member of the theatre in Wiesbaden where he sang in the first performance of Fried Walters musical comedy DORFMUSIK. After the war, Fehringer sang in Mannheim and at the same time, he made his first broadcastings in Cologne, Frankfurt and Hamburg (NWDR). He became very popular with this and even the radio stations in Paris and Hilversum called him. Beside this, he continued to perform as a concert- and Lieder singer. With the beginning of the 1960s he taught at the conservatories of Mainz and Heidelberg (one of his most famous pupil was Harald Stamm).
Franz Fehringer was an exponent of a different kind of tenor. He did not have the charisma of a di Stefano or the persuasive power of a Corelli. He wasn´t telegenic like Schock, and he didn´t play in the same league like his contemporary Fritz Wunderlich (with whom he recorded DIE FLEDERMAUS). Fehringer was the right man for small theatres and intimate atmospheres (and so you can compare him with Herbert Ernst Groh, Heinz Hoppe or Rupert Glawitsch - all of them tenors with chummy attitudes). Fehringer made some interesting opera recordings (including RODELINDA, OBERON, GENOVEVA by Schumann and the very rare LES DRAGONS DE VILLARS by Louis-Aimé Maillart). You can also hear him in live performances of DIE TOTEN AUGEN by d' Albert and SALOME with Inge Borkh, but undoubtful he was best in operettas.
I would like to present you the little love-duet from IM WEISSEN RÖSSL (The White Horse Inn). The soprano is austrian born Herta Talmar (1920). IMHO nowadays no one is able to sing operetta in such a charming way...
THE COMPLETE OVERVIEW: GO TO ALL SINGERS IN THIS LIST