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Hermann Schey - Die Nacht (Strauss)

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Published on Jul 1, 2009

with orchestra.
Ultraphon master 10031-1, rec. Berlin, March 1929.
Hermann Schey was a legend of the concert stage, almost an institution. For decades a St. Matthew's Passion without him singing the bass part was automatically a second class event, especially in the Netherlands, the country the Jewish singer emigrated to in 1934. Schey was born in Bunzlau (Silesia) in 1895; he studied with Henry von Dulong in Berlin, but was drafted in 1915 and thus forced to postpone his further studies for three years. In the early 1920s his fame began to spread from Berlin through the whole of Europe, and he began to tour extensively. He first appeared in Amsterdam in 1929, singing Mahler's Kindertotenlieder under Mengelberg, and so great was the impression he made that from that year on he annually toured the Netherlands, singing in Mengelberg's performances of St. Matthew's Passion in every year from 1930 to 1939. In 1936 he was made a professor at the Amsterdam conservatory. Schey made long and succesful tours through Eastern Europe, France, and Great Britain, and continued to appear in concerts of the "Jüdische Kulturbund" in Germany at least until 1935.
After the Netherlands were occupied by German troups in 1940, Schey went into hiding, but managed to survive these dark times with the help of his friends and supporters. After the was he was back immediately, singing at the big international festivals as well as appearing in numerous concerts not only in the Netherlands, but also again in Germany and Austria. Even in later years Schey's voice retained many of it's former qualities; a concert tour in Israel in 1968 was a triumphant success. Schey still was occasionally heard as Jesus in his beoved St. Matthew's Passion when he was over 80 years old. He died in 1981.

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