Bäumer, Margarete

German soprano, 1898 - 1969

Biographical notes:

She was born in Düsseldorf and showed an early interest in music and theatre. After having studied in Düsseldorf and Cologne she made her first operatic appearance at the age of 29 at the opera house of Barmen-Elmerfeld. The singer accepted  an offer from Düsseldorf’s opera house in 1923,  but went to Zürich only one year later. From 1925 to 1928 the soprano appeared regularly in Stuttgart. Bruno Walter and Heinz Tietjen invited her to Berlin’s Städtische Oper where she shared the dramatic soprano repertoire with Helene Wildbrunn. She also appeared in Barcelona, Prague, Geneva, Paris, Copenhagen, Riga and Amsterdam. In 1930 the singer became a member of the German Grand Opera Society in New York and was heard on all major North American stages. Returning to Germany in 1931 she accepted an offer from the Opera House of Nürnberg and sang during the following season in Mannheim. As a result of her appearance as Kundry she became Leipzig’s leading dramatic soprano for over two decades until 1953. Apart from that she began to teach at Leipzig’s Music Academy. In 1969 Margarete Bäumer retired and died shortly afterwards.

 

Recordings:

Recital (Arias by Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, d’Albert)

Hamburger Archiv

Wagner - Tannhäuser (Heger 1951/Seider, Schech, Paul)

Acanta

Wagner - Tristan und Isolde (Konwitschny 1950/Suthaus, Frick, Wolfram, Westenberger)

Melodram

Four German Sopranos of the Past (Käte Heidersbach, Emmy Bettendorf, Else Gentner-Fischer)

Preiser - LV

Comment:

Margarete Bäumer made comparatively few recordings. She was quite neglected by the recording studios when she was in her prime. The later recordings (Tannhäuser, Rosenkavalier and Tristan) were made when her voice showed signs of a decline (wobbly voice).

In my opinion, Margaret Bäumer in one of the very good Wagner sopranos on records. Her voice is a beautifully warm and dramatic instrument, combined with much brilliance and a strong attack in the upper register. The color of her voice reminds me of a young woman. This “girlish” tone is very suitable to Brünnhilde and Elisabeth. It is a pity that she had to sing some duets opposite the “mature” tenors Walther Kirchhoff, Reimer Minten and August Seider. Only Gotthelf Pistor is up to her task.

I love her opposite Gerhard Hüsch in d’Albert’s “Tiefland.” She is a superbly dramatic Donna Anna (not at all innocent) and Fritz Wunderlich would have been a great Ottavio to her...

My favorite recordings:

- Zurück von ihm (Elisabeth in Tannhäuser / Wagner / Parlophon 1929)

- Heil dir, Sonne! Ob jetzt ich dein with Reimer Minten (Brünnhilde in Siegfried / Wagner / Parlophon 1930)

- Siegmund, sieh’ auf mich with Gotthelf Pistor (Brünnhilde in Die Walküre / Wagner / Parlophon 1931)

- Meine Liebe, mein Glück with Gerhard Hüsch (Marta in Tiefland / d’Albert / Odeon 1932)

 Ach, Octavio, ich sterbe with (?) Schupp (Donna Anna in Don Giovanni / Mozart / Parlophon 1932)