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Heinrich Knote

Heinrich Knote (November 26, 1870 – January 15, 1953) was an outstanding German dramatic tenor with an international reputation.

Born in Munich, he studied in that Bavarian city with Emmanuel Kirschner before joining the Munich Opera in 1892, debuting in Lortzing's Der Waffenschmied. Munich remained his base for the rest of the 19th century, although he did also appear at other German opera houses during this period.

Gradually Knote's voice, which had begun as a light lyric tenor, grew in size and stamina. By 1900, he was able to undertake Manrico in Verdi's Il trovatore as well as heavy Wagner roles.

The seeds of Knote's international reputation as a top-flight exponent of Wagnerian operatic parts were planted in 1901 when he sang for the first time at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Although his debut season was not an unqualified success, he showed considerable promise, and he was invited back by Covent Garden's management, appearing there again in 1903, 1907–08, and 1913. During these subsequent Covent Garden seasons he sang even more impressively than he had during his first London season, and was now much admired in the Wagnerian roles of Tristan, Siegfried, Tannhauser, Erik, Walther and Lohengrin.

Knote made his American debut at the Metropolitan Opera on 3 December 1904 in Die Meistersinger. He was so successful in this and other Wagner operas that during his three seasons with the Met company, his popularity was said to have almost rivalled that of the Met's superstar tenors Enrico Caruso and, from the previous generation, Jean de Reszke.

Surprisingly enough, Knote never sang at the Bayreuth Festival. (His legato-based method of singing would not have been a good fit in any case with Bayreuth's then favoured sprechgesang style of vocalism.) He did, however, enter into a contract with the artistically esteemed Dresden Opera; but this was cancelled suddenly in 1909 after a dispute with management. Knote spent the First World War period in Germany and became the principal tenor of the Charlottenburg Opera in 1917. After the war, Munich once again became his artistic home although he was engaged for a short time by the Hamburg Opera. He sang in the United States for the last time in 1923-24, appearing as Tristan, Walther and Rienzi with a German opera company.

He retired from the operatic stage in Munich in 1932 and taught singing. At the age of 82, he died in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Knote had a handsome stage presence and possessed a strong, smooth, resonant voice with a lively, but rarely intrusive, vibrato. He was additionally praised by music critics of the day for the clarity of his diction. Vocal historians regard him as being one of Germany's best ever Wagnerian tenors.

Birth and Death Data: Born November 26th, 1870 (Munich), Died January 12th, 1953 (Garmisch-Partenkirchen)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1911 - 1912

Roles Represented in DAHR: tenor vocal

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Edison 706 12-in. approximately July 1911 Preislied Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 707 12-in. approximately July 1911 Inbrunst im Herzen Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 708 12-in. approximately July 1911 Am stillen Herd Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 716 Not documented approximately July 1911 Schmelzlied Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 728 Not documented approximately July 1911 Fanget an! Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 729 10-in. June 1911 Main lieber Schwan Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 730 Not documented approximately July 1911 In fernem Land Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 731 10-in. June 1911 Ständchen Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 732 Not documented approximately July 1911 Heimliche Aufforderung Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 733 Not documented approximately July 1911 Winterstürme Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1348 10-in. Nov. 1912 Preislied : Morgenlich leuchtend Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1349 10-in. Nov. 1912 Durch die Wälder Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1350 10-in. Nov. 1912 Gralserzählung Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1351 10-in. Nov. 1912 Deserto sull terra Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1352 10-in. Nov. 1912 Am stillen Herd Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1353 Not documented Nov. 1912 Höchstes Vertrau'n Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1354 10-in. Nov. 1912 Main lieber Schwan Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1355 Not documented Nov. 1912 Inbrunst im Herzen Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1356 Not documented Nov. 1912 Ah, sì, ben mio Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1357 Not documented Nov. 1912 Blumenaria Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1358 Not documented Nov. 1912 Allmäch'iger Vater Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1359 Not documented Nov. 1912 Erstehe, hohe Roma, neu Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1360 Not documented Nov. 1912 Bildni aria Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  
Edison 1361 Not documented Nov. 1912 Mit Gewitter und Sturm Heinrich Knote Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, tenor vocal  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Knote, Heinrich," accessed July 30, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107221.

Knote, Heinrich. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 30, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107221.

"Knote, Heinrich." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 30 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107221

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