The History of the Tenor
Is an archive of the greatest Operatic Tenors including narration and sound clips from 1900 until 1990.


Search The Tenor


Recently Added


Karel Burian - Carl (Karl) Burrian

Karel Burian Karel Burian - Carl (Karl) Burrian

Born: 12th January.1870 Rousínov by Rakovník

Died: 25th September 1924 Senomaty, Cz

Czech

He was one of the greatest singers of his time, a true-hearted hero both on stage and in life. He sang at the Royal Opera in Dresden, at the Grand Opera in Paris, at the Covent Garden and the Metropolitan, and everywhere he won the recognition and admiration of the audience, composers and conductors.

He played a part of the first Herodes in Strauss’ Salome, Parsifal in Bayreuth and was sought after for their plays by Ernest von Schuch, Hans Richter, Gustav Mahler or Arturo Toscanini, who considered him the most rhythmical singer in the world. In France, he was honored a Knight of Honorary Legion, became a Royal Chamber Singer in Saxony, Würtemberg and Bavaria, and won the “King of the Singers” title in the great contest of the best singers in Paris.

Karel Burian mastered a perfect technique and soulful expression that was brilliant even without the effusiveness typical for the Italian singers, together with his flawless German and Czech pronunciation (he could also sing in French, Italian, and Hungarian). Paradoxically, he was hampered by the difficult repertoire that was centered around Siegfried, Tristan, and Tannhäuser, that is “ineffective” Wagnerian roles that were still to be promoted in his time.
However, he succeeded to infuse these mythological figures with his own hot blood and breathed new life into them as can rarely be seen or heard up to this day. His conception was nonetheless unique and original in his own time.

He was also an excellent interpreter of Smetana and thus we can only regret, as his contemporaries did, that he never appeared together with Emma Destinová on the stage of the National Theatre in Prague (unlike in Berlin or Paris). pametni deska KBThe Czech musical tradition was mostly influenced by his vocal recitals. The National Theatre turned him down at the beginning of his carrier, and similarly he was ousted from several other shorter contracts and guest undertakings.

The majority of the Czech critiques also rejected him, mostly because of his “singing to Germans.” However, it was rather his open telling to the Czech patriots what he really thought of them what mattered and also the fact that Burian cared more for his artistic independence than for his good name in Czech public life, full of petty intrigues.
Nevertheless, one has to admit that his haughty canceling of performances in the last moment professionally harmed him more. It is a miracle that two figures of such quality as Burian and Emmy Destinn appeared in this country at the same time.
These two cosmopolitans never forgot that they come from Bohemia, where they both returned to but were in turn not allowed even to teach at the conservatory. Burianove pomnikWhen Burian died, the National Theatre did not display his coffin, only a torn black flag was hung out at the back wing.

The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra played the funeral music from the Dawn of the Gods – the first Czech heroic tenor died.


Listen
Scene
Listen
Tenor Aria Opera Date Time
n04-01 Burian Narrative   3.15
a04-02 Burian Solenne w Plasche La Forza 1908 4.02
n04-03 Burian Narrative   2.40
a04-04 Burian J'Aurais Sur Ma Poitrine Werther 1906 2.20
n04-05 Burian Narrative   2.54
a04-06 Burian Selig Sind D/Evangelliman 1911 3.05


Please Help

If you enjoyed the contents of this website and wish to show your appreciation Please find a few pennies to donate to world hunger HERE.

Progress

Currently: Act #23
Cleaning master tape
Researching Tenor information.


Act 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 completed

Act 24 to 28 TBA


Visitors

free counters