8. Mai 2008

Remembering the Era Karl Richter in Munich: Year 1973 ff [EN]

Claes H. Ahnsjoe

In September 1973 I came to Munich to take up a permanent engagement at the Opera, although I had been there often enough for rehearsals, etc. A meeting had been arranged for me with Professor Richter. I made my way to the Academy, I was very nervous and excited, because I knew what an incredible personality he was. He showed me into a room with piano and asked: "Which music have you brought with you?" I answered: "Mass in B-minor, the Schoepfung and Johannes Passion". "Yes, Johannes Passion is good."

Claes H. Ahnsjoe during our interview on May 22, 2004

I had been told previously, that the Professor had very little time and that I should concentrate on a few recitatives and one aria. I began with the first recitative and went on and on. After about a quarter of an hour he cut me short and said: "You know if you breathe here a bit earlier, we can see what happens, and then we can do it all over again." I did just as he had said and then he stopped playing, looked at me and said: "Yes my dear friend, that’s how it works."

Claes H. Ahnsjoe in Paris 1981

In 1975 Bach’s Matthews-Passion was performed in the Stiftsbasilika, Julia Hamari sang contralto.

1976 The Stabat Mater from Antonin Dvořák was on the program for Ottobeuren. One year earlier Richter had presented this impressive work in Munich. Beside Julia Hamari and Wolfgang Brendel, Peter Schreier and Edda Moser also took part.

Friedemann Winklhofer

I have always had pleasure in playing the Basso continuo; even during my school years it was a very special love of mine. And I had always liked the way Karl Richter played the continuo, I had filtered this out of the many Gramophone Records available. My biggest wish all through the years was to play one time with Karl Richter, a rather difficult wish, because he only let his own pupils play on the continuo. Otto Buechner and many others had often said to him: "Take Winklhofer, he plays very well." To which he had always replied: "I know that, but he is not my student."

Friedemann Winklhofer during our interview on August 1, 2005

Then came my 26th birthday in 1977, to which I had treated myself to a concert in Innsbruck featuring the Bach-Orchestra. When I arrived, I was told to go at once to Professor Richter, Richter asked me, if I would be able to play the B-minor Mass in Schaffhausen at the Bach-Woche in May. "Of course I can", I replied, "that is a very nice birthday present", which pleased him as well.

Friedemann Winklhofer in the 80’s