Lebendige Vergangenheit - Joachim Sattler

Artist Joachim Sattler
Title Lebendige Vergangenheit - Joachim Sattler
Release Date Sunday, September 3, 2006
Genre Classical > Choro
Composer Richard Wagner
Songwriters Städtisches Orchester Berlin / Joachim Sattler, Erna Schlüter / Joachim Sattler, Joachim Sattler
Copyright © Preiser Records

Promotion Text

Lebendige Vergangenheit

"Actually, I never had a choice. Siegfried was my destiny.", Joachim Sattler related in an interview in 1957. "My parents' house laid within a stone's throw of the spring where Siegfried is said to have been killed by grim Hagen. Siegfried was always my favourite role, even at a time when I had not yet spent a thought on singing. As children we did not play "Cowboysand Indians" but the old Nibelungen-legends - and I always played Siegfried, of course. Near this historic spring I definitely died Siegfried's death a hundred times more often than on the opera stage." Of course, it took a little more than that to turn a boy into a heldentenor. Sattler was born on July 21th 1899 in Affolterbach/Odenwald - which was, as a matter of fact, only few kilometers away from the famous "Siegfriedspring" near Gras-Ellenbach which in the middle of the 19th century was declared the place of Siegfried's assassination by privy councillor Dr. Knapp from Darmstadt. Like with many great singers Sattler's musical talent became obvious at a very early age. He was taught piano and organ and at the age of twelve acted as a substitute for the organist at the local church. Since it was. his intention to become a teacher he had been attending a training seminar at Bensheim from 1913 on. By 1917 he was old enough tobe drafted into the Army - shortly before the armistice on August 9th 1918 he was taken prisoner by the Americans and spent two years in the prison camp of Langre an der Marne. In 1920 he finally was able to finish his studies and taught at the Liebig-Secondary School at Darmstadt until 1924. In the meantime he had discovered his voice and started to give both public and private concerts. On one of these occasions in Darmstadt he aroused the at­ tention of several patrons of the fine arts, such as the Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Baron Max von Heyl who recommended him to Siegfried Wagner who sugggested he should study seriously with Carl Beines. On Easter of 1925 Sattler gave his debut performance as Third Page in "Parsifal" at the Landestheater Darmstadt. In September 1925 the young Seaman in "Tristan" became his second Wagner-role. To improve his performance as an actor the general management in the beginning mainly assigned to him small stage-play roles. After his first year at Darmstadt he was "borrowed" to Elberfeld-Barmen to build up his repertory. From there he came to Bayreuth in 1928. Siegfried Wagner planned to follow the old traditions of the "Stilbildungsschule" by assigning to Sattler roles such as Gralsritter, Melot and Froh in order to turn him into a real Heldentenor. But Sattler was a "genuine" tenor and did not belong to the heavyweight voice type with baritonal roots, such as Lauritz Melchior and Gotthelf Pistor. Choosing a voice like Sattler's might have been an indication that Siegfried Wagner planned to turn away from "weighty" interpretations in favour of a more flexible voice-type - a tendency which was finally realized by Heinz Tietjen with the singers Max Lorenz and Franz Völker. Sattler's future as a Wagner-singer seemed to be ensured, all the more so as, following a performance of "Un Ballo in Maschera" at Barmen in 1930, he was re-engaged at the Landestheater Darmstadt where, after guest performances as Manrico, Don Jose and Lohengrin, he established himself as the leading tenor. Siegfried Wagner's death in the summer of 1930 was a serious set-back to Sattler's career. The singer did fulfill the engagements made by Wagner as Gralsritter, Melot and Heinrich der Schreiber in the 1931 season but in 1933 the newly assigned Heinz Tietjen brought his own ensemble with him and prolonged the contracts of only a handful of singers of the Siegfried-Wagner-era. Joachim Sattler was not among them. In the meantime he had become the undisputed leading tenor at Darmstadt. Among the 49 roles he both studied and sang were Florestan, Max, Canio, Calaf, Cavaradossi and some operetta-roles. From Wagner s operas he was heard as Tannhäuser, Stolzing, Loge, Parsifal; his first young Siegfried in 1932 was followed by older Siegfried in "Götterdämmerung" in 1934. Richard Strauss heard him in 1935 at Darmstadt in the local premiere of "Die Frau ohne Schatten" and recommended him to Vienna for the role of Menelas in "Die Ägyptische Helena". From this year on until 1942 he regularely made guest appearances in Vienna and became a stable member of the ensemble from 1942-44. Sattler completed his repertory of heroic roles in 1936 with Tristan, Otello and Rienzi and made guest appearances as Otello in Hamburg where he remained as leading Heldentenor until 1952. Under the baton of Wilhelm Furtwängler Sattler was the partner of the great Germaine Lubin as Tristan and Siegfried in June 1938 at the Grand Opera in Paris. His name started to spread internationally and he was engaged at the leading opera houses in France, Spain and Italy. He was just about to make his worldwide breakthrough by introducing himself to the United States when his career suffered a second, even worse set-back. lt was the year 1939 and he had just signed contracts with both the Metropolitan Opera and Covent Garden but with the outbreak of War all these plans came to a sudden end. From then on his career was limited to the European continent Apart from his assignments at Hamburg from 1939 on he appeared at the Dresden State Opera, from 1942 on at the Vienna State Opera and was heard regularely in Berlin and Munich. 1941 brought his debut as Tannhäuser and Stolzing at the open-air Waldoper­ Zoppot which during the times of War had to cope with drastic scenic restrictions. The Zoppot-production of "Der Fliegende Holländer" …