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Helmut Koch conducts Bach: Cantata BWV 205 'Der zufriedengestellte Aeolus'
04.05.2015, 02:43

Helmut Koch
Born: April 5, 1908 - Wuppertal-Barmen, Germany
Died: January 26, 1975 - Berlin, Germany
The German conductor, Helmut Koch, studied conducting from 1926 to 1928 with teachers including Fiedler, Fritz Lehmann, and Hermann Scherchen while training to be a Tonmeister (sound controller).
In the ensuing years, Helmut Koch directed the Berlin Schubert Choir and works as sound engineer and recording director for radio and various recording companies. He also led workers’ choruses for many years. After World War II, he was active in East Germany and quickly gained reputation as a choral and orchestral director. He was founder-conductor of the Kammerorchester Berlin from 1945, founder-conductor of the Berlin Radio (Large) Choir from 1948, and director of the Berlin Singakademie from 1963. He led the first two ensembles until he died in Berlin in 1975. He was also a guest conductor at the Berlin State Opera from 1960. In 1951 he was appointed a professor.
Helmut Koch was widely known in East Germany for his performances of the music of Georg Frideric Handel. He was greatly acclaimed for his work with the Kammerorchester Berlin. He made numerous arrangements of German folk songs.

Anny Schlemm
Born: February 22, 1929 - Neu-Isenburg by Frankfurt am Main, Germany
The German soprano and mezzo-soprano, Anny Schlemm, was the daughter of Franz Schlemm, who was a chorister at the Frankfurt Opera. She was trained by Erna Westenberger in Berlin.
Anny Schlemm made her debut in 1946 as Zerline und Susanna (or in 1948 as Bastienne in Bastien und Bastienne by Mozart) at the Stadttheater of Halle (Saale). In 1949 she came to the Berlin's Staatsoper, whose member she was until 1961 and at the same time was also engaged by the Komische Oper Berlin. Here she worked in the famous productions of Walter Felsenstein as Desdemona in Verdi's Othello (1959) and as Boulotte in Ritter Blaubart by Offenbach (1963). The latter role became her big glossing role, which she sang in the following 19 years 257 times on the stage, 40 times of which in Frankfurt a.M. and in 1992 again at the Komischen Oper Berlin.
Anny Schlemm was 1950-51 at the Opera House of Cologne and since 1951 she was engaged at Opera of Frankfurt a.M.. She appeared as a guest at the State Operas of Munich and Hamburg, at the Deutschen Oper Berlin and at the Staatstheaster Hannover. At the Festival of Glyndebourne she sang in 1964 Zerline in Don Giovanni. In 1957 she appeared at the Opera House of Cologne in the premiere of the opera Bluthochzeit by W. Fortner in the role of the bride, and in 1964 at the Frankfurt Opera in the premiere of Dame Kobold by G. Wimberger. She made guest appearances also at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples (1954), at the State Opera of Stuttgart (since 1964), at the Holland Festival, at the Grand Opéra Paris, at the State Opera of Dresden (1986) and with the ensemble of the Komischen Oper Berlin in Moscow, Stockholm and Prague.
If Anny Schlemm had sung first lyric soprano parts, then she inserted later dramatic soprano and mezzo-soprano parts in the course of her long stage career into her very extensive repertoire. She was admired over and over again for her shining playing talent. At the Bayreuth Festivals she appeared in 1978-1982 and 1984-1985 as Mary in Fliegenden Holländer. She performed this role also in 1990 at Munich State Opera. In 1981 she appeared at the Opera of Cologne as Küsterin in Janácek's with great success; in 1978 she sang at the Netherlands Opera Amsterdam Herodias in Salome and Klytämnestra in Elektra by R. Strauss; in 1984 at the Covent Garden Opera in London Madelon in Andrea Chénier by Giordano. In 1988 she appeared as guest in Frankfurt, in 1989 in Stuttgart and in 1991 in Toronto Klytaemnestra in Elektra, in 1990 at the Wiener Volksoper Palmatica in the Operetta Der Bettelstudent by Millöcker; in 1992 at the Staatsoper Berlin Filipjewna in Eugen Onegin; in 1993 at the Wiener Staatsoper the old Gräfin in Pique Dame.
In 1994 she could be heard at Komischen Oper Berlin as Amme in performances of the opera Der gewaltige Hahnrei" by Berthold Goldschmidt; in 1996 at the State Opera of Dresden as old Buryja in Janácek's Jenufa, at the Theatre of Halle/Saale (its honour member she was appointed in 1996) as Babricha in Rimsky Korsakov's Märchen vom Zaren Saltan. In 2001-2002 she sang with great success Starenka Buryjovká in 'Jenufa' at the Wiener Staatsoper. She was temporarily married with the conductor Wolfgang Rennert (born 1922).

Diana Eustrati
Born: October 22, 1916 - Andors, Greece
The Greek mezzo-soprano, Diana Eustrati, studied singing at the Royal College of Music in Athens.
Diana Eustrati made her operatic debut at the Royal Opera House, Athens in 1940, remaining there until 1948. She sang at the Berlin Comic Opera for many years and between 1950 and 1959 was a member of the Berlin State Opera. Eustrati was well-known to European audiences, appearing in recitals and concerts in Cologne, Frankfurt, London and at the International Händel Festival, Göttingen. Her operatic roles included Carmen, Eboli in Don Carlo, Leonora in La Favorita, Dalila in Samson and Dalila, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Meg Page in Falstaff, Fricka in the Der Ring des Nibelungen, and Octavian in Rosenkavalier. Eustrati appeared in the premiere of Paul Dessau's The Trial of Lukullus at the Berlin State Opera in 1951. Important conductors with whom Eustrati worked included Abendroth, Fritz Lehmann and Fricsay.

Gert Lutze
Born: September 30, 1917 - Leipzig, Germany
The German tenor, Gert Lutze, studied medicine, passed the medical state examination, attained a doctorate in medicine, and operated as assistant in the university clinic for skin diseases in Leipzig. Simultaneously he in the Thomanerchor Leipzig, to which he had already belonged since 1928 as a boy. When in the performances of the Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) in Karfreitag in 1946 the tenor, which was planned to sing the Evangelist, failed, he replaced him and had in this demanding role under the Thomaskantor Günter Ramin a sensational success.
After this spectacular debut, Gert Lutze became a soloist in oratorios and cantatas, as well as a Lieder singer. Then he participated also in opera productions, particularly in th broadcasting stations of Leipzig and Berlin, and took over roles for lyric tenor, like Rodolfo in La Bohème, Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, and the title role in Sadko by Rimsky-Korssakov. He was to be heard also in operetta productions (Czardasfürstin).
However, the centre of Gert Lutze's artistic work were the oratorios, and especially the Bach singing. He belonged to the most important artists in this area of his generation. In 1950 he sang at the International Bach Festivals in Schaffhausen (Switzerland), in 1952 in Zürich, Basel and Berne, in 1953 in Copenhagen and Helsinki, in 1954 in Paris, Rouen, Nancy, Brussels and Luxembourg. During the same year 1954 he was admired as the Evangelist in Johannes-Passion (BWV 245) by J.S. Bach in Leningrad and Moscow, then also in Milan, Turin, Genova, Florenz and Bologna. In 1955 he appeared in Prague as a guest, and undertook an extended concert tour in the People's Republic of China. In 1957 he could be heard in Bologna and Florenz in the Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244). In 1960 he participated in a television production Tannhäuser in Wartburg. During 1960 he shifted he his centre of activity from Leonberg to Stuttgart. Here he established himelf as a skin physician, but continued far his career as concert and oratorio singer.
Gert Lutze became known by radio broadcasts and by his records. These appeared first on Eterna, then under the label of Telefunken Decca, including beautiful performances of Bach Cantatas under the Munich conductor Karl Richter. The richness and beauty of his voice, the technical accomplishment, the impeccable pronounciation, his expressive singing style, and the feeling and the refinement of the text penetration, are to be admired thereby again and again.

Karl Wolfram
Born: 1913 (?) - Berlin, Germany
The German baritone, Karl Wolfram, received his training at Musikhochschule Berlin.
Karl Wolfram made his debut in 1936 in a concert in Berlin. In 1937 he won a big international singing competition in Vienna. From 1937 to 1938 he sang at the Stadttheater of Innsbruck, then successively at the Opera Houses of Königsberg (East Prussia, 1938-1941) and Leipzig (1941-1943) and in 1943-1944 at the Deutschen Opernhaus Berlin. After World War II, he belonged from 1946 to 1951 the Berliner Staatsoper, where he appeared successfully, among other things, in 1950 as Golo in Pelléas et Mélisande. From 1951 to 1955 he was engaged at the Opera House of Düsseldorf, and from 1955 to 1959 at the Opera House of Wuppertal. In Wuppertal he could be heard in 1955 in the title role of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck. He appeared from 1959 to 1963 at the Stadttheater of Krefeld, and from 1962 to 1964 at the Deutschen Gastspieloper. Expanded appearance activity all around Europe: at Milan’s La Scala, at the Grand Opéra Paris, at the Teatro Liceo Barcelona (1954), at the Wiener Staatsoper, in Helsinki and Gent, as well as at the Salzburg festival.
On the stage Karl Wolfram sang a repertoire, which covered altogether 80 roles. He was estimated particularly in roles as: Hans Sachs, Wotan in Ring-Cycle, Fliegenden Holländer (Flying Dutchman), Amfortas in Parsifal, Kurwenal in Tristan, Scarpia in Tosca, Don Giovanni, Jago in Othello and Pizarro in Fidelio.
In the concert hall Karl Wolfram had great successes in the areas of oratorios as well as Lieder singing. Thus he sang at the Salzburg Festival 1951 the bass-solo in Schöpfung, 1952 in Messiah by Händel, in 1957 in a concert with sacred music of Mozart. He was married with the mezzo-soprano Veronica Peuser.

Cantata BWV 205
Zerreißet, zersprenget, zertrümmert die Gruft
Der zufriedengestellte Aeolus

Text: Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander)

Soprano [Pallas]: Anny Schlemm 

Alto [Pomona]: Diana Eustrati 

Tenor [Zephyrus]: Gert Lutze

Bass [Äolus]: Karl Wolfram

Chœur et Orchestre de Chambre de Radio-Berlin

Conductor: Helmut Koch

Rec. Early 1950’s (?)

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