Blast from the Past: Richard Tauber
Maybe it's all the rain we've been having lately in dear old Baltimore, but I just had to hear something sunny for my weekly trip down Nostalgia Lane. And that made me think of the ever-sunny voice of Richard Tauber, the German-born tenor who had one of the sweetest, warmest tones ever documented on recording.
I could hear this guy sing anything -- and he sang just about anything, too, from lieder to Broadway. I'll start with some Schumann, sung by Tauber portraying a certain Herr SteigIer in one of his films. Then an example of the lighter fare he sang so charmingly. After much internal debate, I settled on "They Say It's Wonderful" from Irving Berlin's "Annie Get Your Gun" -- not the first thing you might associate with Tauber. I think it's a gem of a performance, recorded in 1947, a year before the tenor's death.
Finally, since Tauber knew his way around a podium, I thought I'd include a non-vocal example of his artistry, too, conducting of the overture to Johann Strauss' "Die Fledermaus." Note the number of his idiosyncratic touches, especially the very slow tempo for the waltz (starting at 2:23 on the clip) and the deliciously gradual move into tempo for the Act 1 trio (at 4:51).
Here, then, three cloud-lifting blasts from the past: