Günther Wilhelms

  • 1956GuntherWilmelmsSlide1
  • GuntherWilmelmsSlide2
  • GuntherWilmelmsSlide3
  • GuntherWilmelmsSlide4
  • GuntherWilmelmsSlide5

Virtually nothing is know about the German bass Günther Wilhelms, other than that he had an extensive career in Germany, and appeared on a number of fascinating live recordings, such as the 1951 Lohengrin with Peter Anders, Trude Eipperle, Helena Braun and Josef Greindl, under Ferenc Fricsay, Cologne 1951. Wilhelms was one of the four Noblemen of Brabant, a small role but for a beginning bass it was already an achievement to sing with such an illustrious cast in a South German radio broadcast. In the same year he appeared as Silvano (Christiano?) in the complete German language recording of Verdi’s Un ballo in Maschera, with Lorenz Fehberger, a very young Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Walburga Wegner, Anny Schlemm, and Martha Mödl, under Fritz Busch. He also had a very small part in the legendary 1951 recording of Pfitzner’s Palestrina, with former IVC jury member Julius Patzak in the title role. In 1967 he again appears in the ‘Magnificat’ of Schütz, recorded with the Spandauer Kantorie under Helmuth Rilling. What we know of him to date is what H. Hn. wrote in De Tijd about his participation in the IVC 1956 semi finals:

‘And there was Günther Wilhelms from Münster, a light and gracious baritone with a pointed, perhaps slightly over-mannered aria from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro’.

Schütz: ‘Magnificat Anima Mea Dominum'
Günther Wilhelms (bass), Elisabeth Speiser (soprano), Kurt Huber (counter-tenor), Josef Schmalhofer (tenor), Spandau Kantorei, Helmuth Rilling, 1967.