LISTENING: Hermann Jadlowker, Tenor

Tenor Hermann Jadlowker had a distinguished career at the beginning of the twentieth century, eclipsed only by the luminescence of Enrico Caruso.

Jadlowker’s repertoire was extraordinary. Imagine a tenor today (Juan Diego Florez or Lawrence Brownlee?) singing the roles of Count Almaviva in Barber of Seville, as well as RadamesCanio, LohengrinFaust, but also Don Ottavio, and Belmonte.

The diversity of Jadlowker’s voice can only be due to the fact that his vocal instrument had been unlocked and liberated by a technique predicated upon freedom. He was not the victim of any kind of Fach system, free to move through a variety of repertoire without any fear of categorization or vocal labels.

Below are several audio examples of this illustrious tenor demonstrating the versatility of his artistry. Several things to listen for (besides the astonishing flexibility) are the way the tenor goes about singing VOWELS. They sound much brighter and clearer than anything we’re used to in the 21st century. At the same time, the purity of the words is exemplary. You can almost take dictation! They are not lost to vocal ‘posturing’ or over-culture.

Enjoy this marvelous tenor as an example of what has been lost to time by ‘specialization’ and the fach system. A tenor of such vocal diversity would be unknown today.

Perhaps a re-evaluation of our pedagogy is warranted if such singing, recorded and left to history, was once possible?

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