pars media // films // Belcanto - The Tenors of the 78 Era // 10 Rosvaenge (1897-1972)

scene: A family party at the Rosv├ŽngeÔÇÖs house near Copenhagen. Even though Rosv├Žnge spent his formative years in Berlin and Vienna, he regarded himself throughout his life as a Dane.

music: Meyerbeer, Puccini, Hugo Wolf, Beethoven, Leoncavallo, (Rosv├Žnge), Wagner (Max Lorenz)

analysis: Der Feuerreiter (Hugo Wolf), 1938

When you saw him, you forgot you were in the theatre. It sometimes made your hair stand on end. (Luther) Rosv├Žnge is always particularly good in the very roles that do not demand decoration, or ornamentation, or a singer's elegance or subtlety. He could present a figure boldly, straightforwardly, rhetorically. (Kesting)

In Berlin and Dresden at about this time, Fritz Busch, Leo Blech, and others had already started the so-called German Verdi Renaissance. Fritz Busch brought the fiery, dramatic espressivo style to Germany which Toscanini had developed. Helge Rosv├Žnge's voice qualities made him the ideal protagonist of this style. (Kesting) He was enormously economical in breathing. He could sing a very long phrase without using much breath. The art lies not in breathing but in breathing out. (Gougaloff) You see someone in the street you haven't seen for ages. "Hi!" - that's enough for a whole phrase. You don't have to breath any more than that. Too much breath has to come out, and it spoils your note. The note must come out on its own. (Luther) Most of Rosv├Žnge's potential lay in the declamato and not in the agreeable cantabile of Italian singing. He had a kind of flaming energy. His espressivo was part of the theatrical diction of those years. Perhaps it was also the diction of politics. This could have been the origin or the basis. (Kesting)

I can hear a hero who is really broken. I think this is brilliantly presented by the breathing, by the great opening of the note, immediately dropped again. I have never heard any other singer who could do this. (Eckle) And with the change-over to more declamatory singing. (Fischer) It provided a lesson to Fischer-Dieskau and Gerhard H├╝sch. Incredibly, it leads to a new form of aesthetics. (Eckle) Getting away from the 'heroic tenor'. (Fischer) And getting away from singing as such. (Eckle) As Mahler said: "All singing is over." (Fischer)