Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Happy birthday, Theo Adam -- and don't worry, we're not going to "Check Criminal Records in Seconds"


by Ken

So on Monday, as part of a sustained effort to avoid doing the mountain of stuff I should have been doing, I answered an e-correspondent's question about what I was doing, and I wanted to mention that I had just done a free download of a compilation of broadcast material over at Opera Depot featuring the German bass-baritone Theo Adam.

Only I couldn't remember which birthday of the singer it was in celebration of, so naturally I paused to look it up, because what could I have had to do that was more important than that? And I found the above.

Now I should say that there aren't a lot of recordings of Theo Adam that I would listen to for purely vocal pleasure (though there are some, like his King Heinrich -- from a lightish bass-baritone angle -- in the1954 Bayreuth Lohengrin broadcast), but I don't think even the driest and shakiest of them qualifies as a crime.

In this rousing performance of the final stretch of Wagner's Die Meistersinger, from a 1988 Wagner concert in the rebuilt Leipzig Gewandhaus with Kurt Masur conducting the Leipzig Radio Chorus and Gewandhaus Orchestra, the 62-year-old Theo Adam cranks out -- one more time -- the Mastersinger Hans Sachs's peroration "Verachtet mir die Meister nicht" ("Don't disparage the Masters to me").



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