50 years on from his tragically early death, Clive Paget talks to Barbara Wunderlich about her father’s golden legacy.

Barbara Wunderlich was less than three-years old when her father died, but she remembers his voice. Rehearsals for his legendary recording of Schumann’s Dichterliebewith pianist Hubert Giesen happened at home and little Barbara used to hang out in the music room. “He didn’t mind having his children around during work,” she tells me. “He was raised the same way, in a musical family, so for him it was very normal.”

Normal is a word that crops up a lot when talking about Fritz Wunderlich the man. Colleagues adored him for his easy-going charm and seemingly boundless energy. Normal, however, seldom crops up when discussing the voice. Wunderlich, who would have been 86 this year, was one of the most glorious voices in what is now regarded as a golden age of singing. A German tenor who was equally at home in Viennese operetta and Neapolitan song, he was also an intensely gifted musician with a repertoire that stretched from Bach to Berg. Name-checked as one of the inspirational greats by today’s finest – people like Jonas Kaufmann and Stuart...

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