Helmut Krebs: The Patrician tenor/countertenor of the Second Half of Twentieth Century Europe
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Helmut Krebs Helmut Krebs Helmut Krebs 08-OCT.1913 - 30 AUG. 2007

The humble and dedicated Patrician tenor, HELMUT KREBS, over more than sixty years, helped bring the authentic tonal colors of the Early Baroque to 20th Century Western Europe; while still presenting [with unsurpassed taste] to his audiences, the modern [as well as more familiar] vocal-repertoire: Emphatically as an "interpreter" thereof; NOT as a "star" of....

Cameod in frame, yet handsome and well-built [sporting an uncanny resembalnce to Napoleon Boneparte*], with a most commanding speaking voice, Helmut Krebs possessed a singing voice of incredible range, accuracy, agility and beauty; and, always aware of content expression. He passed-on to the eternities on Thursday, 30 AUGUST 2007, in the Nursing Home for the Elderly on 11 Im Dol Straße, in Dahlem (where he lived the last ten years of his life). He left no children or surviving relatives....


*: It was widely thought that Napoleon was very short. However, it is possible the inaccurate translation of old French feet ("pieds de roi") to English is partly responsible. The French measure of five foot two (5' 2"), recorded at his autopsy, actually translates into five feet six and one half inches (5' 6.5") in English measure,...PRECISELY THE HEIGHT OF HELMUT KREBS... which was about the average height of the Frenchman of his day. It is also probable that the men of his Imperial Guard, with whom he was usually seen against were very tall, creating the illusion that Napoleon was short.


His funeral-Service was held on Friday, 14 September, 2007 at St. Anne's Church in Berlin, Königen-Luise-Straße, 14195. Then his body was cremated, and his bronze-Urn with his ashes were interred on 05 Oktober 2007, in the Cemetary of St. Annen-Kirchen, beside his two former wives, Elizabeth Berger (who was four years his senior [born 1909] and deceased in 1966), and Marion Hofmann, (thirty four years his junior), born June 1947 (who died in March of 2002).

Krebs(himself)was born on the birthday of Heinrich Schütz: the 8th of October 1913 in Dortmund, Westfalen. He had one older sister. He was baptized and raised in Dortmund; and still always considered himself a native of Dortmund!

He was educated at the Dortmund Conservatoire; and with his heart in the original Dortmund Cathedral von Maria Konigin [much destroyed in WWll bombings], his full intent was on being its chapel-master. Krebs [still in his teens] moved to the Ruhr district of Berlin to complete his studies at the University of Berlin, and receive his professorship. There his music instructor told him that never before had he heard such a perfect and "well-seated" tenor voice.
Then, as a Berlin Highschool student [when Franz Schreker was head master] between 1934 and 1937 Krebs followed the tradition of the Kapellmeisters: He was an apprentice of conductor Clemens in 1936, studied music-theory and composition under Paul Höffer, and also voice under the tutelage of Dr. Paul Lühmann [who quickly adopted the young man to be his class music assistant].

Calling himself a Kapellmeister from Dortmund , between 1933 and 1935 he publicly signed himself in solidarity with Paul Hindemith, signing and addressing himself to his cause in paper #6.] >hl>



2.file:///G:/UdK Universitütsarchiv, Blatt 6 des Faksimiles der Solidaritütsadresse für Paul Hindemith_files/hindemith6gr.jpg For a look at Helmut Krebs with Max Meili, see GO TO:3.



The [late] Swiss tenor, Max Meili, inspired Krebs to a new vocal technique which Krebs called "rübergesungen"; and he began his career at the "Kantstrasse Berlin Volksoper" in 1937 as Monosotos in the "Magic Flute". In 1938 he performed at the "Städtische Oper of Berlin". Also, he was hired-to-be [and supposed-to-be] engaged at the "Volksoper" until 1944; but, unfortunately, he was to be drafted into "war service" in 1939 (thus interrupting his plans for the year of 1941....)

Still, the year before he was officially a soldier, on the 10th of March 1940, in Berlin [at today's Maxim-Gorki Theater] with the "Singakademie am Kastanienwaeldchen & the Kirchenchor of St. Barthomaeus" OBM under the direction of Friedrich Rausch, Helmut Krebs was able to perform as the Evangelist in J.S. Bach's "Johannes-Passion".


"Hptm Helmut Krebs" [from 17 June through 15 July 1943] served as one of the Group Commanders making many reforms at Sturzkampfgeschwader 1 based in Kitzingen and Orel. But he immediately discarded his uniform and rank as soon as he knew the German front in Berlin was finished in May 1945. [A War he totally despised.(Rank:11 PzQrt Rgt1.CHH)]....

Krebs made his redebut without delay in 1945 at Duesseldorf. During this period at the "Spieloper" [until 1947], having a voice quite similar to Stuttgart's Richard Holm [who was a year and two months his senior], he sang the part of Fenton in Nicolai's "Merry Wives of Windsor", and played Chateauneuf in Lortzing's "Czar and the Zimmermann". In 1947 he went to perform at the "Städtische Oper" (the Municipal Opera House of Berlin). In 1948, he was tested for the "Berlin Staasoper" by Keilberth, as David in "Die Meistersinger".

In 1948 Krebs won a composition contest [Jubilaumsstiftung, Kunstpreis, Berlin]; and continued to compose Lieder, piano music and a good deal of chamber music. Later in 1949, he performed in Berlin, alongside baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.*1

They were regulars in a tradition of Saturday evening concerts held in St.Hedwig's Cathedral in Berlin.


From then on, his career became prominent vocal history. In 1950 Günter Raphael wrote the "Palmström" Sonate, Op. 69 for him. In performance, on Kassette Tonbeispiele 5, he was accompanied by Paul Blöcher on the Klarinette, Gunther Gugel on the Violin, Rolf Heisler on Kontrabaß, Siegfried Rockstroh (Trommel), and his buddy Felix Schröder on the 'Klavier. Then, beginning to have a reputation of a disarming high tenor with a captivating boyish grin, Georg Wildhagen in East Germany, [the year 1950], chose him to be the voice of Fenton for his 35mm movie of Nicolai's "Merry Wives of Windsor" under Walter Lehmann. In Berlin, for the 100th anniversary of the death of Albert Lortzing, he sang as Adolph vonReinthal, in the "Opernprobe" [20 Jan. 1951]. At the Salzbourg Festival in 1952 he sang as Ernesto in "Don Pasquale" with Hilde Güeden:
of Donizetti. Also in 1952, Herr Krebs won the Berlin State Music Prize.
*1:[On the 5th of May 1953, both Krebs and Fischer-Dieskau, over the South West German Radio, performed Nicolaus Bruhns' Easter cantata "Erstanden ist der Heilige Christ" , for tenor, baritone, 2 violins and bass continuo. This is but one of many performances they did together.]

The NWDR (Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk) was a union of the broadcasting houses of Cologne, Hamburg, Hannover and (West)Berlin, thus served the largest part of Germany with its programmes. RIAS ("Rundfunk im amerikanischen Sektor") in Berlin had an individual status. Finally, in 1953, the SFB ("Sender Freies Berlin") was founded and the Berlin dependance of NWDR ceased to exist. East German Radio, named "Berliner Rundfunk' (later 'Deutschlandsender"), was the Soviet-governed station which remained until 1950 in the "Haus des Rundfunks" in West Berlin's Masurenallee, then moving to East Berlin, taking large quantities of war-time and postwar-time tapes to the new residence in the Nalepastrasse. Both NWDR Berlin (and later the SFB) and RLKS used to transmit and/or to record live concerts from the Titania-Palast. Under the Northwest German Radio [NWDR], as well as the Berlin Radio, and the Southwest German Radio [SWDR], and the auspices of RIAS, supervised under Early Music conductor /restorer-editor Helmut Koch and with the Hungarian conductor Ferenc Fricsay (whom he quickly befriended in Salzburg 1949), Krebs performed the works of Glück (as Achilles in "Iphigenie in Aulis" recorded live under Arthur Rother and the RIAS with Fischer-Dieskau on Jan.12, 1951), Britten ("Les Illuminations" conducted by Arthur Rother and the German premier of "Albert Herring" in the title role), Hector Berlioz [the song cycle "Nuits d'Ete" in German, 1955, under conductor Hans Müller-Kray in Stuttgart], Carl Orff (as the Watchman in "Antigonae", live taped in Salzbourg, Aug. 9, 1949), Claude Debussy's "Pelleas & Melisande" (as Pelleas): , Rimsky-Korsakov (as the Astrologer in "Le Coq D'Or"), in Vienna under Heinrich Hollreiser, as "Oedipus, der Tyrann", Stravinsky ( 1951 onstage as Oedipus, and Fischer-Dieskau as the narrator, in "Oedipus Rex" . [But it was recorded under Stravinsky (07 OCT. 1951)*³ with tenor Peter Pears in the lead, in Latin/French. And then again later with Richard Lewis as Oedipus; because Stravinsky had a favoritism for the "heroic-tenor" voice of Richard Lewis. So therefore, Stravinsky used Krebs in both recordings only as the Shepherd.]), Werner Egk (Ferdinand in "Columbus" ), Schreker ("The Branded" [under Madame Winifried Zellig] as the hunchback Count Alvino Salvago ), Pfitzner (as Abdisu in "Palestrina" under R. Kraus), Richard Strauss (as Brighella in "Ariadne auf Naxos" in 1955 under von Karajan, and later as the Dancing Master , as well as in "Capriccio" & "Intermezzo" and in "Der Rosenkavalier" on the 23 December 1959 with the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, under Silvio Varviso on stage), von Weber (in "Oberon"), Monteverdi (Apollo and the First Shepherd, and later the title role in "Orfeo" under August Wenzinger: PLEASE READ THIS amazon.uk review:

"Helmut Krebs is the perfect Orfeo - lyrical and impassioned, but precise and perfectly controlled. You feel his joy when he tells you of his courtship and winning of Euridice, and share in his despair when she dies. And it seems entirely credible that Proserpina should be so moved by his music that she arranges for Euridice's liberation from Hades. The cornetti are played slightly less perfectly than in recent performances, and the age of the (mono) recording shows at times, but the quality of singing from Krebs and Wunderlich more than compensate for this. Wenzinger brings out Monteverdi's subtleties too - hear the return of themes from happier times when quoting Dante's words about the pain of remembering happiness when in the depth of sorrow. Buy this disc for Krebs, and to find out why Monteverdi operas came into the standard repertoire."),

Kodaly ("Psalmus Hungaricus" under Arthur Rother), Bartok ("Cantate Profana"), Schönberg (as Aaron in "Moses & Aaron"), and created an historical moment just days after the notorious building of the Berlin Wall in Verdi's "Requiem" (which soon after was repeated in Israel). He also sang on the 1st of May 1950 [with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau], as Jacquino in Beethoven's "Fidelio", and in the"9th Symphony" under Walter Göhr [in Frankfurt]. Shortly thereafter he was invited to sing at La Scala, Milan, the State Opera of Vienna, in Covent Garden, London, the State Opera House of Munich, and the State Opera of Hamburg.

The 20th of June 1954 saw Helmut Krebs performing, on the Hessichen Rundfunks, at the Musikhochschüle in Frankfurt, under Gustav König, as Onkel Pio in the Thorton Wilder/ Hermann Reutter: "The Bridge of San Luis Rey". He also triped to England, visiting London's "St.George the Martyr's" Church to perform under Arnold Goldsbrough, as the Evangelist in Schütz'" Die sieben Worte von Christos" and other Möteten (br) On the 2nd of February, 1955 in Duisburg, under conductor Georg Ludwig Jochum, with the String Orchestra there, Helmut Krebs performed the world premier of his own composition for tenor and orchestra, with the text of Wilhelm Busch called "Kleine Philosophie", Op. 1 #9. [You can purchase the score from Boosey & Hawkes.]

On the 26th of September 1955, in St. Hedwig's Cathedral [Berlin] under conductor Hans Rosbaud, Krebs performed as the Incarcerator and the Grand Inquisitor in Luigi Dallapiccola's "The Prisoner". Six months later he performed again as the Incarcerator and the Grand Inquisitor in another production of "The Prisoner"; this time under Hermann Scherchen at Bayreuth.

In 1957 Krebs began lecturing; but kept up his busy concert [going in March to the Evangelist-Kirche in Weinsberg] and operatic career as well. True to his past, in 1957, Krebs returned to his Alma Mater, the Berlin HighSchool of Music & the Academy of Music in Berlin, as a vocal-professor.
And also in 1957, under conductor Otto Matzerath, with the Orchester des Hessischen Rundfunks von Frankfürt, he performed as Baba Mustapha/Nureddin in Peter Cornelius' opera "The Barber of Bagdad". It was broadcast over Frankfürt Radio. Then on the 9th of September 1958 at the Festival of Darmstadt, under Ernest Bour, Krebs performed Pierre Boulez'
"Le Soleildes eaux
" with words by Rene` Char. Krebs sang the "Magnificat" of Andre Jolivet aired over the WDR Radio. With Rita Streich [Berlin 1953] he performed Liebermann's "Lenore" , Millöcker's "Gasparone", as well as "The 1001 Nights" of Johann Strauss. Then he performed in both Imre Kálman's "Coutess Maritza" and "The Czar Princess". Afterwards, he portrayed Bruno in the UA filming of Boris Blacher's "Rosamunde Floris", and in Blacher's "Die Flut".

With the Pro Arte Orchestra of Munich under Kurt Redel, Krebs toured performing the famous W.A. Mozart "Concert Arias" for high-tenor voice and solo songs, and comic-ensembles (originally sung by Mozart himself).


In 1949, when singing Mozart's "Abduction..." in Berlin, he sang the role of Pedrillo (recorded the 19-21 December). Gaining fame as an outstanding Mozartian tenor, Glyndebourne/Sussex Festival Opera House in 1953 then engaged him as Belmonte, under Alfred Wallenstein in the "Abduction from the Seraglio", Ferrando in "Cosi fan tutte", in "Bastien & Bastienne" under Walther Martin with the North-German Radio on 4th November 1956, as Tamino in "The Magic Flute", Don Octavio in "Don Giovanni", as Idamante with Ernst Häfliger as Idomemeo in "Idomeneo" (at Edenborough; later repeated at the Berlin Stätische Oper 1955/1956 season). He also appeared at the the European Festival in Salzburg as its star guest. On the 31st of March 1952 he performed the "Requiem in D " under Hans Ernst Schmidt-Imserstadt. On August 16th of 1952 Krebs sang the tenor solos of the "c-minor Mass" with the Mozarteum Choir & Orchestra and the Satzburger Liedertafel under Ernst Hinreiner in the Stiftskirche of St. Peter. Later he again performed in the "Requiem [K.626]" with the Berlin RIAS under Ferenc Fricsay; and then on the 14th October 1955, under Rudolf Kempe. On the 19th of October 1956 in Hanover he performed the part of Ramiro in the staging of "The Faithful Gardiner" with Margot Guilleaume and Heinz Hoppe under Mathieu Lange.

In recital, Krebs performed [impeccably] Schubert's "Die Schöne Mullerin", Schumann's "Dichterliebe" and Wolf and Brahms' lieder.... The famous concerts at St. Helwig's began also around 1949, and were to become what he became most famous for: the Evangelist roles in the Heinrich Schütz' Passions, "Die sieben Worte von Christos", oratorios and motets, as well as virtually all the Passions and major choral works of J.S. Bach [under Fritz Lehmann and FRITZ WERNER


including the "Mass in b minor", Cantati Nos. 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11 ("The Ascension Oratorio"), 13, 19, 21, 26, 30, 31, 34, 40, 43, 50, 55, 56, 61, 65, 67, 68, 70, 76, 78, 80, 85, 87, 90, 98, 104, 105 [twice], 110, 119, 130, 139, 140, 142 [actually composed by Kuhnau], 147 [First time at the Evangelist Church at Weinsberg March 1957; secondly in Ilsfeld during June 1963], 149, 151, 157, 160 [composed by Telemann*2], 166, 170, 174, 180, 182, 189 [composed by M. Hofmann *3], 211 as well as the "Cantata for the Feast of St. Michael","The Christmas Oratorio", and the "Magnificat". In this capacity, he toured Holland, Belgium and Switzerland. From Mr. Frank Forman, who calls Helmut Krebs his favorite singer, I print the following Bach information, written in October 1995:

WERNER reissues1

WERNER reissues2


1. Fritz Lehmann. ARC 3063m

4. Fritz Lehmann. ARC 3063m

6. Fritz Werner. MHS 653

8. Fritz Werner. MHS 561

13. Helmut Barbe. MHS 1316

19. Fritz Lehmann. ARC 3065m

21. Fritz Lehmann. ARC 3064m

26. Fritz Werner. MHS 516

31. Fritz Werner. MHS 1023

34. Fritz Werner. MHS 568

43. Fritz Werner. MHS 832

55. Kurt Redel. MHS 594m

61. Fritz Werner. MHS 516

65. Fritz Werner. MHS 653

67. Fritz Werner. MHS 526

76. Fritz Werner. MHS 661

78. Fritz Werner. MHS 526

80. Fritz Werner. MHS 666

85. Fritz Werner. MHS 823

87. Fritz Werner. MHS 666

90. Fritz Werner. MHS 1014

98. Fritz Werner. MHS 1001

104. Fritz Werner. MHS 559

105. Fritz Lehmann. ARC 3066m

105. Fritz Werner. MHS 1023

110. Fritz Werner. MHS 561

119. Diethard Hellmann. MHS OR 422

130. Fritz Werner. MHS 516

140. Fritz Werner. MHS 823

147. Fritz Werner. MHS 547m NOTE: THIS [MARCH 1957 Weinsberg] IS THE BETTER OF THE TWO PERFORMANCES; yet for years it was ONLY AVAILABLE AS A MONO Lp! Now it has been remastered on CD! but not on the "COMPLETE" WERNER/BACH CANTATAS reissued by Warner-Erato. They remastered it digitally on the end of the "St.. Matthew Passion", in the other 10-CD set of the "PASSIONS / ORATORIO / MASS" as CD 1 (a typo error!...biggie)...but at least it is there....It is performed at BAROQUE PITCH in Weinsberg's baroque Evangelist-Kirche, about a forth lower than the later June 1963 recording that was remastered at modern-pitch. Obviously, the Weinsberg Evangelist-Kirche gives an easier tessitura to the tenor....

147. Fritz Werner. MHS 1014 NOTE: although this performance is remastered on CD, it is NOT as fine as the "1957 Evangelist-Kirche of Weinsberg" performance above; and is performed in a modern Hall at Ilsfeld in JUNE 1963. One can readily hear the uncomfortable pitch difference in the tenor airs....

151. Kurt Redel. MHS 594m

157. Kurt Redel. MHS 594m

160. Fritz Werner. MHS 547m

166. Helmut Barbe. MHS 1316


http://www.freespace.virginnet.co.uk/simon.crouch/BCArchive/BW166... on page 3 (of 12) we read under 2.Aria - Tenor :

"The melody for this Aria comes from Bach's Trio in G Minor for Organ (BWV 584), which he must have composed prior to this Aria. The thought expressed is that the singer asks himself where he is going, whether he moves or stands. The step-motif continues here. His doubts concerning his destiny are reflected in the wavering tone of his singing. As a believer, he wants to think about heaven and not give his heart to the world; but, he still feels like a ship without a rudder."

"Hearing Krebs (with Barbe), one could think that Young's words above describe exactly what Krebs is doing. You may very well think so, because Barbe's recording was done before Young wrote his book, and, at that time, this was the only available recording of BWV 166. Krebs touches so deeply your heart, that I cannot imagine anybody does it more convincingly. This can be a model for good Bach singing - sensitivity to the words and sensitivity to the music...."

"....Comparison of his [PREGARDIEN, THE TENOR W/KOOPMAN]performance to that of Krebs, puts Pregardien in the shade...."

Then we read on page 5 of the 12:

"....It is quite a challenging task, because everytime I hear Barbe's recording, it seems to be improving, and the difference between him and the others seem to be growing. And the wonderful, memorable and touching Aria for Tenor in Helmut Krebs singing - I cannot tke it out of my head!...."]

174. Kurt Redel. MHS 566m

182. Fritz Werner. MHS 832

189. Kurt Redel. MHS 566m

211. Helmut Koch. Nonesuch H-1008m

Recording dates for the Cantati conducted by Fritz Lehmann:

1: 10 June 1952;

4: 31 July-2 August 1950;

19: 9 June 1952;

21: 11 June 1952;

105: 15 June 1952.



The Fritz Werner Review by John Quinn:

The earliest of the major recordings assembled here is the B Minor Mass, which was set down in January 1958. Werner has some good soloists on his roster. Helmut Krebs is a huge asset, singing the Benedictus with his usual intelligence and style. Of Helmut Krebs, we have this to say: "His is a small voice but one which bring an unfailing nobility, poetry and genuine rhetorical discernment with which to illuminate Werner's perceptive journey into the kernel of a work. It's an approach to Bach performance which seems ever rarer these days, largely because it eschews all vanity." I have quoted these wise words because they tell us as much about Werner as about the two fine singers in question. Another comment by the same critic is equally pertinent. "[Werner's] rhythms are gently sprung and his declamations disarmingly direct but he also seeks an Elysian sound for the sake of sheer beauty.... This box contains 31 cantatas, including 15 for various Sundays after Trinity. There are also no less than three marking the feast of St, Michael and two others celebrate Reformation Day. Two of the cantatas, BWV 51 and BWV 140, come in two separate performances. A further three appear elsewhere in the series: an additional performance of BWV 147 is included in Volume Three and second versions of BWV 85 and BWV 104 appear in Volume One. Three of the works included, BWV 50, 53 and 200 are single movements only. It should also be noted that BWV 53, though long attributed to Bach is now believed to be the work of Melchior Hoffman (c 1678-1715). The solo cantata, BWV 160, is now known to be a composition by Telemann dating from the 1720s. However, I agree with the author of the liner note that Helmut Krebs' fine performance justifies its inclusion here.

On Werner's "St. Matthew Passion": this recording must be considered one of his finest achievements. The first thing to say is that the chorus sounds immeasurably better. Not only are they more clearly recorded but also their singing is incomparably better. They're clear, incisive and precise. Once again the orchestral support is first rate with some glorious obbligati to savour. And the solo team is good, led by the peerless Evangelist of Helmut Krebs.

His is a distinctive timbre, which will not be to all tastes. Furthermore, his voice is not all that big.... But it's what he does with the voice that's the key to it all. Every word is crystal clear and is invested with meaning. From his very first entry he is telling a story and his narration, perfectly paced, draws the listener in. Quite simply, he is superb. In particular he narrates the scenes in Part II where Christ is being interrogated by the High Priest with great commitment and imagination. Later on, as the story moves to the dénouement of the Crucifixion he is both involving and moving. Here is an Evangelist who believes every word he sings.

Krebs also sings the tenor arias, each of them cruelly demanding. He sings 'Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen' (No. 20) with beautifully heady tone. Later the cruelly exposed tessitura and difficult rhythms of 'Geduld' (No. 35) seem to faze him not at all while he presents a supremely eloquent and restrained account of the recitative that immediately precedes that aria.

If, with one glorious exception, no one else is quite on this exalted level the other soloists still do Bach (and Werner) proud. Werner's pacing of the whole work and his vision of it is compelling. The drama moves inexorably forward and the entire story is most movingly related. I had not heard this performance before (it has lain in the vaults for far too long) but I was very moved by it. This is an account of the St. Matthew that all lovers of Bach's music will want to hear and it is fit to be ranked with the very finest now before the public. Werner need fear no comparison and in many ways I prefer his reading. In particular, once heard, I would not want to be without Krebs' compelling Evangelist. The reappearance of this dedicated performance is a cause for rejoicing and, frankly, the whole set is worth buying just to possess it.

In the "St. John Passion" Krebs is, once again, an outstanding Evangelist. His voice is light and pliant. He tells the story vividly but without affectation or exaggeration and he draws the listener in through his conviction. He's imaginative too. Take as an example the highly chromatic passage describing Peter weeping after denying Christ (CD 1, Track 12, 1'29"). Unlike some distinguished tenors that I've heard Krebs is poignant rather than anguished here and the degree of restraint is highly effective. This also paves the way for the aria 'Ach, mein sinn' (No. 13) very well. Krebs sings the tenor arias, of course, and he delivers this highly taxing aria with sensitivity. The music is very hard to put across. When it begins it sounds a bit on the slow side but it's soon clear that Krebs and Werner have judged the tempo shrewdly for with them the syncopated rhythms don't sound snatched. In 'Erwäge' (No. 20) the soloist faces even greater demands but Krebs demonstrates what really distinguished Bach singing can sound like. With his lovely light voice he makes it all sound so natural. His articulation is clean and he's effortless at the top of his vocal compass. There is the humanity that's there for all to hear in Krebs' singing. There is also a fine viola da gamba obbligato from August Wenzinger, and a sublime flute obbligato, played, I suspect, by Jean-Pierre Rampal, no less. The performance of the Christmas Oratorio was the last of the major works to be set down in a recording that dates from 1963. This is a splendid and thoroughly enjoyable reading from start to finish. Krebs sings once again with the utmost distinction. As in the Passions, Krebs is an eloquent Evangelist. His aria singing is equally splendid. We find him beautifully relaxed in 'Frohe Hirten, eilt, ach eilet' (no. 15), for example. While the fearsome passagework of 'Ich will nur dir zu Ehren leben' (No. 41) holds no terrors for this assured soloist. He's joined by the peerless trumpeter, Maurice André. The chorus work is impressive. As usual Werner employs what sounds like quite a large choir. They launch the whole work impressively in 'Jauchzet, frohlocket' (No. 1), spurred on by the André-inspired festive trumpets. They're eager and joyful in the much more lithe chorus, 'Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe' (No. 21) while the chorus 'Herrscher des Himmels' that encases Part III finds them back in celebratory mood.

Werner leads a really fresh and joyful performance. At all times the music sounds completely unforced and natural. He succeeds in making Bach's re-telling of the familiar Christmas story sound new-minted. I thoroughly enjoyed this performance, which is one of the highlights of the whole box.

We also get Werner's earlier (1957) traversal of the cantata "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147". Among the soloists, Krebs is, predictably, very good. the finest interpreters of the previous generation, of which Fritz Werner is undoubtedly one of the foremost, have much to teach us about these masterpieces and we ignore recordings such as these at our peril. As I said at the start, Warner Classics earn our gratitude for reissuing these recordings. However, it cannot be taken for granted that they will remain in the catalogue indefinitely and Bach enthusiasts are strongly advised to snap them up while they can.

I have enjoyed these recordings enormously and recommend them with great enthusiasm, especially at such an advantageous price....In reviewing the 1957 account of BWV 147 Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, in Volume Three, I note that it is two minutes shorter than in the 1966 pace [8'18", vs. 6'18"]. In BWV 104 there are just two soloists in this cantata, a tenor and a bass. Krebs is the tenor in 1957. His light tone is as clear as a bell and he sings with his customary skill and intelligence (though the accompaniment is rather distantly heard).


He started a yearly traditon to sing the tenor solos in performances of J.S. Bach"s "St. Matthew Passion" at the Gürzenich Theater in Köln under Philip Röhl, first on Thursday the 4th of April, and Friday the 5th of April 1957; and continued to repeat the performances into 1960. [The exact dates were: Friday the 7th of March at 7:30 PM and Saturday the 8th of March at 7:30 PM in 1958; Saturday the 7th of March at 8 PM and Sunday the 8th of March at 7 PM in 1959, and Thursday the 12th of March at 8 PM in 1959 at Leverkausen, Erhalungshaus; and finally the three-day weekend of Friday the 25 of March at 7:30 PM, Saturday the 26th of March at 7:30 PM, and Sunday the 27th of March at 7:30 PM in 1960.]

On the 23rd April 1958 in Aachen, with the State Opera Orchestra, Helmut Krebs performed four songs of Werner Egk. On the 5th of June 1959 at the Vienna Festival ["Neufassung"], in tribute to his earlier mentor Max Meili [who originally perfomed this "fable" on the 19th of May 1930 at Munich's Town-hall with Radio-Bayreuth] Krebs sang Egk's "Furchtlosigkeit und Wohlwollen". Also in 1959, Krebs sang the tenor solos of J.S.Bach's "Mass in b" under Hans Grischkat. On the 23rd of December in 1959 he performed under conductor Silvio Varviso at the Deutsche Oper [Berlin] in Richard Strauss'"Der Rosenkavalier".

On Tuesday the 15th of November, and Wednesday the 16th of November 1960, under the direction of Philip Röhl, with the Siegerland Orchestra, at 7:30 PM, at the St. Agnes Cathedral in Cologne, Helmut Krebs sang the tenor solos in a German language performance of Händel's "Messiah". About this time, Krebs also recorded some very beautiful Italian alto arias of Händel for Erato from his live concerts under Kurt Redel. Krebs was also doing studio recordings extensively for the DG Archiv label in authentic early-music reconstructions of Lassus [at the Aachen Cathedral, under Rudolph Pohl], Prätorious, Scheidt [under Mauersberger], Eccard, Crappius, [some of the most engaging solo cantati of] Dietrich Buxtehude, and the early Italian Baroque masters such as Caccini, Cima and Viadana.

Not leaving his post at the "Berlin Hochschule für Musik", he was constantly performing in J.S. Bach performances there [particularly from December 1961 through November 1963 with the "Sing-Academie zu Berlin"] in the "Christmas Oratorio", "Johannes Passion" and "Mass in b". But he also went to the Evangelist-Kirche in Weinsberg to perform two more Telemann Cantati again as he had in 1957; and most important [early in 1960 and 1961] to the Paris "Church of the Maronites", to perform [and record for Erato/Barclay under Louis Fremeaux], the French Baroque masterpieces [exclusively for countertenor] by Couperin, Fathers Brossard and Andre Campra, etc....So much so was his voice perfectly suited for this French-baroque repertoire, that the beauty of the performances breathed life-to a whole new breed of natural-voiced countertenors to try their hand at interpreting the Chapel-music of the Sun-King!

Still, Krebs found time to perform the traditional lyric-tenor repertoire. In 1963, he sang Dimitri Kabalevki's "4 heitere Lieder" with Herbert Seidemann accompaning him at the piano over Radio Bremen's program hosted by Hans-Peter Raiß. In 1964, over Produktion Radio Bremen, with his accompanist, Felix Schröder, Helmut Krebs sang "Drei Lieder" of Carl Maria vonWeber, as well as vonWeber's "Die vier Temperamente beim Verluste der Geliebten", Op. 46.
Earlier, on stage in Hamburg, Helmut Krebs joyously played the Helmsman in Wagner's "Flying Dutchman" [1951 under Wilhelm Schuchter], and as Alfred (Feb.8, 1949) in Johann Strauss' "Die Fledermaus" (later recorded under von Karajan). [In later years, he has played Spalanzani in Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffmann", and other miniature roles.]
In 1961, Krebs joined the Deutsche Oper of Berlin. On the 24th of June of that year, Rafael Kubelik chose him to be "Mönch" in his special presentation of Schönberg's "Gurrelieder" tale of "Jacob's Ladder". [1963, photo by Walther Roth]
At the Deutsche Oper Berlin, on the 19th of APRIL 1964, Helmut Krebs portrayed Teuthlilli (Montezuma's Ambassador) in Roger Sessions opera, "Montezuma" [German libretto by Leo Haardt].
Helmut Krebs premiered in Berlin, three Henze masterpieces: "King Hirsche"[23rd September 1956], and the fine comic-tenor role as Prof. von Mucker [1965] in "Der Junge Lord " which was also (for the Deutsches Fernsehen) in technicolor filmed.) Later, as late as 1988, he performed in Henze's "Wir erreichen den Fluss". On the 3rd of October 1965 under Ferdinand Leitner and Radio Cologne with the West-Deutsche-Rundfunk, he portrayed the Drum Major [but personally Krebs preferred the role of Andres] in Berg's "Wozzeck". More than any other styles, in the 1960's Krebs was performing the 17th century hautecontre repertoire in natural voice [when most others were singing in falsetto] which proved to be musicologically correct. The singers, most closely matching Helmut Krebs' repertoire and timber, in today's vocal-scene would be Marcel Beekman of the Netherlands, Marco Beesley of Italy, and the German Ekkehard Wagner.

In 1963 he won a coveted "Kammersänger" award in Berlin.

Occasionally from 1963, and then formally in 1966, Krebs [with the appearance of a long-haired William F. Buckley, Jr., and wearing his strawberry-blond hair quite long at this time] became a professor at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt.

[Detail above is from a 1796 portrait of Napoleon at the Bridge of the Arcole by Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, currently on display in the Louvre, Paris]

On 06th of February 1965, under Heinrich Hollreiser, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Krebs sang the rôle of Altoum (Kaiser von China) in Giacomo Puccini's last opera, "Turandot".

In 1966, Krebs' wife, who was more than four years older than he was, died. She was buried in St. Anne's Churchyard Cemetary. She was 57 years-old, born in 1909. .

Under Erich Leinsdorf with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, he performed in Richard Strauss' "Feuersnot", Op.50 from the 5th to the 15th of May 1978.

In 1981, Krebs performed the part of the old prisoner in Janacek's "From the House of the Dead" at the Deutschen Oper Berlin. He also performed as the Simpleton in "Boris Godunov" of Modeste Moussorgsky. Retiring from opera, Krebs began in 1987 performing with the "ENSEMBLEMITGLEID" as its chief Kammer-sänger, in der Ruhenstand. . After leaving public performance, under the auspices of Bote & Bock, and the Berlin Astoria Verlag, Helmut Krebs, became an active composer. In 1982 (the most notable of his compositions) modeled after Heinrich Schütz, was his "Small Holy Concerto for Soloist, Violin and Organ, Op. 24 #1 with Primary or Boyschoir" . [CATALOGUE# 2103.3.K72, Op.24 #1] His "Concertino for oboe and strings, Op. 17b", with Lajos Lences oboe soloist, was broadcast under Helmut Müller-Bruhl,(und der Kölner Kammerorchestra), on WDR 3 on 10 October 1985.

In America, Northwestern University has some of his compositions under #M; 2103.3; and B78G4. More references can be found also in the files of the BBC Online Radio 3.

In 1982, Helmut Krebs co-authored the multi-chaptered radio "Hörfunkproduktion" programs on Friederich Hölderlin, with Harald Gerlach entitled "Wohin denn ich?" [for the long nights in Theaterlandheim, before the fireplace in the House of the Zimmermanns in the Black Forest where it was produced].


On December 8th-2000, at the Berlin Gala "Emüttiges Wohlwollen fur den neuen Ehrenbürger", Helmut Krebs made a special honorary appearance along with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Lauren Driscoll and other Berlin dignitaries of past repute....

In March of 2002, Krebs second wife, Marion Hofmann, almost 34 years younger than himself [born on 05 June 1947] died. He buried her beside his first wife, Elizabeth, at St. Annen-Kirche!

On the 23rd of May 2002 [at Berlin's Tonträg 2002 Festival], in tribute to the centennial of Mark Lother's birthday [he who died on the 6th of April 1985], Helmut Krebs sang his "Oboen-Lieder, Op.47" [after the poems of Georg Schwarz], with Karl Steins at the oboe, and his friend Kurt Kiermeir at the piano. These SFB pieces ran a straight thirteen minutes and thirty-six seconds; and, were originally given through the RSO of Berlin in 1959. The concert can be downloaded on Adobe Reader at
http://sftp://www.rieserler.de/Tontraeg2002.pdf&fs=212 or go to site: for details on page 33.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was also on this concert.

Afterwards, devastating himself of all wordly goods, Krebs entered a Nursing Home in Dahlem.

On the left side of this photo, Helmut Krebs is seen standing-by/facing his white-automobile, at his Nursng Home driveway,* wearing a blue shirt and tan pants...(his white hair prominent), on 09MARCH 2007: *: [Herr Krebs lived his last years at Im Dol 11 A Straße, at 14195 Dahlem-Berlin.] On 08 SEP.07 his sleeping body was found by Heidi and Drs. Wendler who determined he passed-on the 30th of August. [near his favorite of "GRUNEWALD-Lake"]


alt="Helmut mit Valerie von der Noriswand 04/03/2003" breite="420" hoehe="315"> alt= Helmut Krebs as Spalanzanni the sly creator of Olympia in the "Tales of Hoffmann">

Partial Discography

All LPs, except where indicated.

JOHANN SABASTIEN BACH Cantati #s: 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 19, 21, 26, 30, 31, 34, 40, 41, 42, 43, 50, 56, 61, 65, 67, 68, 70, 76, 78, 80, 85, 87, 90, 98, 104, 105, 110, 119, 130, 140, 147, 149, 160, 180, & 182. ALL FRITZ WERNER (20 CDs) Erato 2564-61401/61402-2 [re-digitalized 2004 in 2 sets]
Cantata # 211 Nonesuch (7)1008
Cantatas # 1 & 19 DG Archiv 3065 / Am Decca DL 9671
Cantatas # 1 & 4 [Lehmann] DG Archiv 3063 / Am Decca DL 7523
Cantati 4 & 34 [Werner] Musical Heritage Society MHS 568
Cantatas # 21 DG Archiv 3064 / Am Decca DL 9673
Cantati # 19 & # 79 DG Archive 3065
Cantata # 105 DG Archiv 3066 / Am Decca DL 9682
Cantatas # 76 Epic LC 3857
Cantatas # 26, 61 & 130 Musical Heritage Society MHS 516
Cantatas # 55, 151 & 157 [Kurt Redel] Westminster / Erato XWN 18768
St. John Passion [WERNER, Fritz and Heinrich Schütz Chorale, Heilbronn Pforzheim Chamber Orchestra Singers: Friederike Sailer (soprano), Marga Höffgen (alto), Helmut Krebs (Evangelist, tenor), Franz Kelch (Jesus, bass), Hermann Wedermann (Pilate)] Musical Heritage Society MHS 542/3 and ERATO 9060 2CDs [OCT.1960] also remastered 10 CDs 29 NOV. 2004 WARNER/ERATO 2564 61403-2
Magnificat in D, BWV 243 [Kurt Redel, Pro Arte of Munich] Westminster 18465; ERATO EFM 8031
Magnificat [Fritz Werner,1958] Lp DRA 50-09225; 2CD DocumentClassics 2216508362 [with Cantati released 29 April 2003]
Mass in b [Lehmann]1953 Urania URLP 236(2) /MUSIC TREASURES OF THE WORLD MT 38 /UR RS 21/SAGA XID 52080/2 Bach Guild 527/8
Mass in b [Werner,Jan.1957] ERATO & Musical Heritage Society; ERATO/ WARNER remastered 10 CDs 2564 61403-2
Cantatas # 43 & 82 Epic LC 3876 (BC 1276)
St. Matthew Passion [Lehmann] Vox PL 6074(4) / Westminster 402(1951)
St. Matthew Passion [1957/Werner] ERATO ASE-5005/8 [Oct.1958] remastered 10 Cds WARNER/ERATO 2564 61403-2 [30 NOV. 2004]
Christmas Oratorio [1966 /Werner] Erato STU701401/2 & Book of the Month Club RL 6213 10 CD reissue set# 2564 61403-2
Cantati # 6, 31, 67, 76, 80 & 87 Erato 4509-98525-2 (2 CDs) remastere #76 on WARNER/ERATO asin: B0002JNLOQ
Cantati #s 80 & 87 Musical Heritage Society MHS-666
Cantati # 8, 26, 43, 61, 85,130, [Apex 19 May 2003] & 182 Erato 4509-97407-2 (2 CDs) APEX 0927 49804-2 [Single CD]
Cantati #s 26, 61, 130 Musical Heritage Society Lp MHS 516
Cantati #s 182 & 43 Musical heritage Society Lp MHS 832
Cantati # 19, 40, 70, 140, 149 & 180 Erato 0630-11223-2 (2 CDs); # 140 remastered on WARNER/ERATO [29 Nov. 2004] B000ZM1DE8
Krebs sings Bach Misc. Oratorios & Cantati #s 11, 104, 30, 68 & 7 & Moteten & Cantati # 85 & 140 [1st Werner set] Erato 0630-12978-2 (2CDs); remastered 29 Nov. 2004 CDs on WARNER/ERATO asin: B000ZM1DE8; Musical Heritage Society MHS 823
Cantati # 147 & 160 [composed by Telemann, see below*2] [Southwest Orch. of Baden-Baden in the Evangelist-Kirche of WEINSBERG, 1957] THIS #147 "Hertz und Mund und Tat und Leben" IS THE ONLY WERNER/BACH RECORDING NOT REMASTERED ON "COMPLETE" CANTATAS 10-CD set... Instead they reissued it on the other Werner/Bach 10 CD-st of the "PASSIONS/ ORATORIO / MASS"....SEHR WICHTIG: THIS IS THE PREFERRED SUPERIOR RECORDING! BACH ONLY ADVAILABLE on Lp of Musical Heritage Society MHS 547; RE-MASTERED DIGITALLY on WARNER/ERATO 2564 61403-2....They remastered the Telemann ONLY on 29 Nov. 2004 on WARNER/ERATO #2564 61402-2 as CD #2 [#160]
Cantata # 104 [Werner] Musical Heritage Society MHS 559; remastered CDs on 29 Nov.2004 on WARNER/ERATO asin: B000ZM1DE8
Cantata # 76 Musical Heritage Society 661 [orig. ERATO]; remastered CDs on 29 Nov. 2004 on WARNER/ERATO asin:B0002JNLOQ
Cantati# 78 & # 67 Musical Heritage Society MHS-526 originally on ERATO; remastered #78 on 29 Nov. 2004 for WARNER/ERATO asin:B000ZM1DE8
Cantati # 119 [Bach Choir of Mainz, under Diethard Hellmann, 1968] Cantate Lp; also BACH COLLECTORS 1118S; OR 422S; DaCamara DaCa94019
Cantati # 90 & 147 [also under Fritz Werner][different from above; this one, at modern pitch, is Pforzheim Orch. in Ilsfeld June 1963; BUT IS NOT AS WELL PERFORMED AS IN THE 1957 WEINSBERG performance which was in Baroque-pitch!] MHS-147 [Lp] and ERATO 3984-28166-2(2 CDs) reissue 2001; remastered CDs on 29 Nov. 2004 for WARNER/ERATO asin:B000ZM1DE8
Cantata #13 "Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen" [First solo lasting 8 & 1/2 minutes in-length], and Cantata #166 "Wo gehest du hin?"[second aria of 6 minutes & 22 seconds: "My thoughts are Heavenward"](Helmut Barbe, cdr.of the Spandau/Berlin Bach Ochestra) Vanguard Stereo Bach-Guild SRV 244SD; LUMEN CANTATE 640.229[651 205; 641 205 and 657.607]
Cantata #50 (Fritz Werner, cdr) Musical Heritage Society 780
Cantati # 53 & amp; #98 (Werner) Musical Heritage Society 1001
Cantata #6 & #65 Epic BC 1261 & Musical Heritage Society 653; #65 remastered on 29 Nov. 2004 for WARNER/ERATO asin: B0002JNLOQ
Cantati # 174 (Kurt Redel) Westminster XWN 18755; Musical Heritage Society 566
Cantati # 140 & 85 (Werner) Musical Heritage Society 823; remastered CDs 29 Nov. 2004 for WARNER/ERATO asin: B000ZM1DE8
Cantata # 104 Musical Heritage Society MHS 559; remastered CDs on 29 Nov. 2004 for WARNER/ERATO asin: B000ZM1DE8
Cantati # 182 & 43 (Werner) Musical Heritage Society 832 S (1968)
Cantati # 31 & 105 Musical Heritage Society MHS 1023; #105 remastered CDs on 29 Nov. 2004 for WARNER/ERATO asin: B000ZM1DE8
Cantata # 4 (peculiar rendering: normally a chorale; but under cdr. Fritz Lehmann, now here a remarkably strong tenor solo) DG "The Originals" 449-756-2 (CD reissue); also on Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau set# 477-5270-7
St. Matthew Passion (Live April 1949, Berlin Radio)
Note: "Gerhard Viguhr" is really Helmut Krebs, and "Nicolaus Herfeld"is really Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; pseudonyms were used on the illegal Royale and Gramophone LP issues.
Vox DLP6070; Pantheon ALB-2 [4Lps]
Royale 1290-1293
Gramophone 20167-20170; CD reissue on LYS 619-621 [redigitalized 16 Sept. 2000]
Mass in b (Berlin Radio 1949)
Note: "Gerhard Viguhr" is really Helmut Krebs, and "Nicolaus Herfeld" is really Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; pseudonyms were used on the illegal LP issue.
Gramophone 2037; Urania URLP 236; Saga XID 5280/82 [3 Lps, 1966];
Vanguard Bach Guild BG 527/28;
Music Treasures of the World MT 38
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248
August 1955, Berlin recording, Fritz Lehmann
Deutsche Grammophon 2GCC 459-067; also on "Christmas" CD set 477-5752-2[orig.LPset#Dgg19212] 45RPM Dgg Archiv 27 187
"Centenary Collection, Vol.3: 1945-1957" 10 CDs
[gesamliche edition on 3 Lps
Archive 14101/103]
Cantata for the Feast of St. Michael DG Archiv 14005
Cantati BWV 110 & BWV 8 Musical Heritage Society MHS 561; remastered CD on 29 Nov. 2004 for WARNER/ERATO asin: B0002JNLOQ
Christmas Oratorio (again 1955) Deutsche Grammophon 459-017-2 (CD separate reissue)
Cantatique vocale profane
(avec Manfred Clement, cdr. and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baryton)
Deutsche Grammophon 429-572-2 (CD reissue)
Cantata BWV 1, "Wie schön leuchtet der Morganstern"
[Fritz Lehmann, cdr.]
Deutsche Grammophon (CD reissue 12 Sept. 1995)
Mattheus Passion; Christmas Oratorio; Magnificat; Mass in b;Motet ("Singet dich Herrn ein neues Lied"); var. cantati "BEST 12 CDs"
Werner (Leitung)#s 4,5,6,7 &10
Warner 256463712
BARBE Canticum Simeonis (1958) Cantate 657 607 (Juni 1962)
BARTOK Cantata Profana (Benedikt Szabolczi) DGG 445-402-2 (1951) CD Reissue
BEETHOVEN 9th Symphony [Göhr] (Budget label with all 9 Symphonies] LPO969; Musical Masterpiece Society M 2245/ AUDIO FIDELITY FCS 2
ALFONS BLUEMEL / ARNO HOLZ "Er zörnt dem Cato" [Dafnis] (with Kurt Kiermeir at the piano)taken from the [multisectional ...set in chapters... hearing] radio-production on Hölderlin of Harald Gerlach and Helmut Krebs "Wohin denn ich?" � 78rpm in the BlackForest home of the Zimmermanns [from 1982 when author Peter Weiss and Wolfgang Mettenberger visited them]- link to recording
BRAHMS Songs (12): Op 58 (all 8): 1, Blinde Kuh; 2, Während des Regens; 3, Die Sprïäde; 4, O komme Sommernacht; 5, Schwermut; 6, In der Gasse; 7, Vorüber; 8, Serenade. PLUS: Op. 106, 1: Ständchen. Op. 47.4, O liebliche Wangen. Op. 48: 1, Der Gang zum Liebchen. Op. 47: 1, Botschaft. (with György Sebök) FONO-RING FGLP 77 511M; ERATO LDE 3110 SEITE "A"
BRITTEN Les Illuminations Urania URLP 7104
BUXTEHUDE 5 Sacred Cantati DG Archiv 3096
Ich Suchte des Nachts, BUX WV50 Deutsche Grammophon 463-517-2 (CD reissue)
BROSSARD & F. COUPERIN Solo Countertenor Motets DG Archiv (7)13193; 10" # 14193
CACCINI, CIMA & VIADANA Early Venetian Canti DG Archiv (7)3217
CAMPRA Cantati
Musical Heritage Society (orig. Barclay) 515/ ERATO STU 50065
more Cantati Musical Heritage Society (orig. Barclay) 613
Motets for Soloists [same as above] Erato STE 50078 (LP)
CORNELIUS Barber of Bagdad (Anneliese Rothenberger, Julia Costa as Scheherezade, Max Noack as the Sultan, Benno Kusche as Der Kalif, Helmut Krebs as Baba Mustafa, Gisela Litz as Bostana, Richard Holm as Nurredin, Josef Greindl as Abu Hassan, W/ Frankfurt Radio, Leitung: Otto Matzerath.) [Frankfurt, April 1957] WLCD0211 Walhall 2CDs reissue; Unique Opera Records Corporation UORC 307 (reissue Nov.1977)
Matrix lp-4050...SIDE 2, ACT 2, 3c
FRANCOIS COUPERIN Offertoire Sur Les Grands Jeux, Elevation Audite Omnes Et Expanescite (w/ Krebs, Helmut (Tenor)/ Senn, Kurt Wolfgang (Organ)/ Wenzinger, August And Muller, Hannelore (Viole Da Gamba)/ Muller, Eduard) Dgg Archiv Lp #198437 EX/NM. Size: *; Gatefold sleeve
DALLAPICCOLA The Prisoner ("Il Prigionero") Stradivarius 10034 (re-issue 1992)
Arkadia 770 [1955]
HUGO DISTLER Choral Passion, Op. 7 [as the Evangelist] for 5 voices, mixed a-capella choir and 2 soloists after the 4 Evangelists of the Holy Scriptures [with the Westfälische Kantorei and Paul Gumner, bass as Jesus] Cantate T 72083/4 (1960; Wilhelm Ehmannn, conductor) 10" 642 205/6 and TELEFUNKEN Lp 7075
EBART Motet: "Misere, Christe, mei" (under Fritz Werner) ERATO LDE 3079M
GLUCK Iphigenie in Aulis Melodram 48 (Jan. 12, 1951) CD on 2GLA 712
HÄNDEL Opera Arias (10) [Guistino: All'armi, guerrieri and Il piacer della vendetta. Lotario: Vi sento si vi sento and Regno e grandezza. Arminio: Al lume di due rai and Mira il ciel. Radamisto: Alzo al volo di mia fama and Stragi, morti. Atalanta: Lascia qu'io parta solo and Non sara poco] (under Kurt Redel) ERATO LDE 3062M
HENZE Der Junge Lord [Prof. vonMucker] Dgg 139257/59; 2CD REISSUE DG 449 875-2; DVD+R HOUSEOFOPERA DVDZZ382pad
M.HOFMANN *3: "Meine Seele Ruhmt und Priest" [solo tenor
Cantata mistaken as J.S.BACH BWV 189]
Musical Heritage Society MHS 566
KODALY Psalmus Hungaricus Urania URLP 7014
LASSUS 7 Penitential Psalms of David: Psalm #3 DG Archiv (7)3134/5 [CD] DG Archive 439-958-2
LORTZING Opernprobe [20 Jan. 1951] Walhall 0 0090 WL
MONTEVERDI Vespro della beata Virgine; Magnificat [NBC SO, Cantelli / 1952]Live recording, Maria Stader, Hertha Topper, Marga Höffgen, Richard Holm, Helmut Krebs, Bayr. RSO, Eugen Jochum: LIVE RECORDING, 1957] Andromeda ADD/52-57 [2008 reissue]
Orfeo [Koch, 1949] Haydn Society 30.001 / Vox PL 6440(30) (1949); rereleased on 2 CD Berlin Classics Documents 2001 # 0094342BC
Orfeo [Wenzinger] DG Archiv 3035/6 / CD REISSUE 453-176-2
W.A. MOZART Songs & Comic Ensembles DG Archiv Lp 14524 (3061); CD 2-2894745762 [2 Comic Ensembles rereleased 10 November 2003]w/ Fritz Neumeyer, KV5 & KV441 tracks 18 & 19
2 Solo tenor Songs, Plus 2 Ensembles: SEE ABOVE w/ F. Neumeyer ["The Singles" TRACKS 16 & 17: 1) "Zufriedenheit" KV349/367A; 2) "Kom, liebe Zither" KV 351,367B both with Adolf Hartmann, mandolin] Deutsche Grammophon 2 CD 2894745762
Tenor Concert Arias Westminster / Erato 18663 LDE3045
Abduction from the Seraglio CD REISSUE Myto 2MCD 923.61 (Dec. 19/21, 1949)
"Die Entführung aus dem Serail". Deutsches Singspiel in drei Aufzügen KV 384: 1953. Live/Glyndebourne (Sussex), Opera House, Glyndebourne Festival Orchestra, Glyndebourne Festival Chorus Carl Ebert (Regie), Alfred Wallenstein (Dirigent), Sari Barabas (Konstanze), Helmut Krebs (Belmonte), Fritz Ollendorff (Osmin), Murray Dickie (Pedrillo) *(161 ) 18254/video Mozarteum Ton und Film Archive 1953.
. "Bastien und Bastienne". Singspiel in einem Akt Text von Friedr. Wilh. Weiskern und Andreas Schachtner nach "Les amours de Bastien et Bastienne" von M.-J.-B. Favart, Ch.-S. Favart und H. de Guerville KV 50; 46b: 11 April 1956, Symphonieorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunks Walter Martin (Dirigent), Melitta Muszely (Bastienne), Helmut Krebs (Bastien), Hermann Prey (Colas) (110) 14822/audio Mozarteum Ton und Film Archive 1956-04-11. /o.O.
"La finta giardiniera" oder "Die verstellte Gärtnerin". Dramma giocoso in drei Akten Text: Giuseppe Petrosellini, dt.übers.: Johann Franz Joseph Stierle dür KV 196 Rundfunk-Symphonieorchester Hannover Mathieu Lange (Dirigent), Hubert Weindel (Il Podestör (Don Anchise)), Rosl Schwaiger (Sandrina (Violante)), Heinz Hoppe (Il Contino Belfiore), Marlies Siemeling (Arminda), Helmut Krebs (Il Cavalier Ramiro), Margot Guilleaume (Serpetta), Robert Titze (Nardo (Roberto)), Gottfried Weisse (Cembalo) (250) 6699/audio Mozarteum Ton und Film Archive 1956-10-19. /o.O.
Mass in C (Coronation) London DL985 / Dgg 18626 (1956); CD REISSUE Dgg 457-383-2
Requiem Mass in d [#19] (K626) 31st March 1952 under Hans Ernst Schmidt-Imserstedt; 1952-03-31/Hamburg Symphonieorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunks, Chor des Norddeutschen Rundfunks Hans Ernst Schmidt-Isserstedt (Dirigent), Max Thurn (Choreinstudierung), Lisa della Casa (Sopran), Maria von Ilosvay (Alt), Helmut Krebs (Tenor), N.N. (Baür) Mozarteum Ton und Film Archive 15986/audio [of the "Internationalen Stiftung Mozarteum", Salzburg]
Requiem in d, K.626 14 October 1955 under Rudolf Kempe PICKWICK Budget Lp;EMI Classice CDH 5652022; 047-00128; Electrola E80006;
HMV HLP 1444
Requiem in d, K.626 :[Ferenc Fricsay, 31 March 1952, Hamburg, Elisabeth Grümmer (Sopran) Gertrude Pitzinger (Alt) Helmut Krebs (Tenor) Hans Hotter (Bassbariton) RIAS-Kammerchor Chor der St. Hedwigs-Kathedrale Berlin RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin Ferenc Fricsay Deutsche Grammophon CD 445 408-2, ("SACRED WORKS" 2005 reissue 4775811)
Mass K.317 Deutsche Grammophon "10 inch Artisque" DGG 16096; 571106
NICOLAI Merry Wives of Windsor [voice of Fenton] VHS Icestorm DEFA 20069 (1998);1997 Progress Film-Verleih Gmba; 25 Febr.2003 on DVD 9577
ORFF Antigonae CD Stradivarius STR 10060 (complete; Aug.9, 1949)
PFITZNER Palestrina [1952 under Richard Kraus as Abdisu] MYTO 021.H060
PRAETORIUS, ECCARD, CRAPPIUS & SCHEIDT "The Annunciation"[with Margot Guillaume]and other Marian devotions: "Wie schön singt uns der Engelschar" DG Archiv (7)3216 [Scheidt portion CD reissued on Deutsche Grammophon "Archive Pro" 439-646-2]
RAPHAEL Palmström Sonate, Op. 9 KASSETTE TONSPIELE 5 (on the 100th BIRTHDAY of Günter Raphael in Berlin) 05 ' 39 - 07 ' 04 equalling 1 '25
REUTTER, HERMANN Die Brücke von San Luis Rey [20 June 1954] BUT HELMUT KREBS (as ONKEL PIO) IS NOT ON this reissued CD of ONLY scenes 8 & 9 !!LINK

MUSIK in d (BMG) RCA Red-Seal 74321 73647 2 ASIN: B0001D0N0
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV The Golden Cockerel,[Astrologer]. 1954-Benno Kusche (King Dodon), Joachim Stein (Prince Gwidon), Hans Herbert Fiedler (Prince Afron), Hermann Rieth (General Polkan), Hildegard Büchel (Amelfa), Helmut Krebs (Astrologer), Colette Lorand (Queen of Shemacha) and Susanne Herz as The Golden Cockerel. NWDR Chorus & orchestra under Walter Süßkind. Gramophone 20148-50
SCHUBERT Die Schöne Mullerin Westminster 18815/ Erato LDE 3052
Ständchen in F for tenor and men's chorus, Op. 135, D. 921. (with Karl Schmidt, hammarKlavier) ETRNA 20112 / 45 RPM
SCHÖNBERG Moses and Aaron 3 Columbia K3l-241; 3 Philips 01505/6
Moses und Aaron: Act One Stradivarius 10008 (CD reissue)
Moses und Aaron: Dance of the Golden Calf [12 March 1954] Stradivarius 10022 (CD reissue
Jacob's Ladder [under Rafael Kubelik, WDR Simfonieorchester Cologne] as Mönch [16 & 24 June 1961] [NRR]16.06.1961 Uraufführung Wien, Groüer Konzerthaussaal (Deutsche Erstaufführung am 02.10.1962 iln)Köln Ilse Hollweg (S) Josef Traxel (T) Julius Patzak (T) Helmut Krebs (T) Thomas Stewart (Bar) Günter Reich (BBar) Hans-Herbert Fiedler (B) Kölner Rundfunkchor Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester archived radio broadcast presented over WDR 3 Thursday, July 19-2001 [9-10 PM]live recorded on Dgg 447-370-2
SCHREKER Die Gezeichneten (with Evelyn Lear and Thomas Stewart, Walther Hauck, Hans Herbert Fiedler and Donald Grobe) VOCE 68
SCHÜTZ Easter Oratorio DG Archiv (7)3137; Heliodor H25055 [MGM]
(1)Cantata, "Saul, Saul, was verfolgst du mich?" 1954 mit cdr. Arnold Goldsbrough ["St. George, the Martyr" Church of London], et al. (2)Passion, "Die sieben Worte von Christos": excerpt. Arnold Goldsbrough. RCA VICTOR.LM 6030m (History of Music in Sound, Vol. 5 (Opera and Church Music)), 2-disc set
Motets (4): "Herr, unser Herrscher"; "Ich werde nicht sterben"; "Cantabo domino"; "O misericordissime Jesu" (under Fritz Werner) ERATO LDE 3079M
Kleine Geistliche Konzerte: O Quam tu pulcha es; Veni de Libano Cantata 11 10
SCHUMANN, ROBERT Dichterliebe, Op. 48. (w/Felix Schröder, piano) ERATO EFM 42018M
Myrthen, Op.25 (w/ Felix Schröder, piano) ERATO EFM 42019M
J. STRAUSS Die Fledermaus Angel EMI 3539 / CD REISSUE 69531
Die Fledermaus [8th Febr. 1949] CD Historical Pressing Melodram 29001
Die Fledermaus (Fricsay #2, 1955) DGG 447-370-2 (2 CDs)
R. STRAUSS Ariadne auf Naxos AngelEMI 3532/CD REISSUE 69296 (1954)
Der Rosenkavalier, Op.59; 23 Dec. 1959, Berlin Deutsche Oper under Silvio Varviso House of Opera CDAAA444; Gala GLA 619-3 CDs
Feuersnot, Op.50 6-15 May 1978 Berlin RSO, RIAS C.C. under Reich Leinsdorf Ponto/Netherlands PTO 1034-2 CDs
STRAVINSKY Oedipus Rex (08 OKT. 1951)GERMAN (same as two following) CD RE-issue ARCHIPEL Desert Island Collection MX7TDQ
Oedipus Rex [as the Shepherd, October 1951, with Radio Cologne in French, and again 19 Sept. '58, with the RSO North German Radio] CD Reissue CDGI 766.2 (Originally on Columbia in French/Latin, 1951) ODYSSEY Y-33789 (prior on COLUMBIA Lp ML 4644 and 61131)
TELEMANN Gott will Mensch und sterblich werden; Was Gleicht dem Adel wahrer Christen Cantate T72088K
"I Know My Redeemer Lives" *2:[mislisted under J.S.Bach: Cantata #160] MARCH 1957 Evangelist-Kirche von Weinberg Musical Heritage Society MHS 547; CD remastered on WARNER/ERATO VOLUME 2 , 10-CD set # 2564 61402-2 [CD #2] [BUT ONLY THE TELEMANN; NOT THE BACH #147, which was reissued at the end of the "St. Matthew Passion" on Warner/Erato 2564 61403-2]
Cantata, "Zum dritten Österfeirtig" (w/ Fritz Werner, cond.) ERATO LDE 3079
VARIOUS 16th & 17th Century Love Songs, with H. Teuchert (lute) Discoton 73983
Provencale Masters of the Motet, 17th & 18th Centuries Musical Heritage Society [1963]
VERDI Requiem Am Decca DX 118(2) Dgg 18 155-6/ CD REISSUE Dgg 447-442-2
WAGNER Flying Dutchman (1951 Hamburg; as Steurmann, & Wilhelm Schüchter, cdr.) Walhall Eternity 2CD F 0038WL
WOLF, HUGO Lieder (11): Mörike: Der Feuerreiter; Lied eines Verliebten; Zur Warnung; Abschied. Eichendorff: Der Scholar; Unfall; "Der Musikant"; "Der verzweifelte Liebhaber". Goethe: "Genialisch Treiben"; "Der Schöfer"; "Der Rattenfänger".(w/György Sebök, piano) FONO-RING FGLP 77511M; ERATO LDE 3110 SEITE "B"
Lieder (2). Goethe: "Die Rattenfänger"; "Ganymed". (w /Raymund Schlesier at the piano). ETERNA 20 112 [45 RPM]
UNKNOWN (ANONYMOUS) In 1957, among other 45RPM recordings on "Schallplaten ver Deutsche" some "Weihnachslieder"...auf NORMALSPIELPLATTEN 78U (w/ Raymund Schlesier). ETERNA 2201/02 (ET 3 20 16)
10 CD GREAT RELIGIOUS VOCAL WORKS Mixed Boxed-set BX 467 Weton Wesgram IECC 10015

BY BROADCAST ONLY RECORDINGS (some entered by Mr. Frank Forman):

HAYDN, Franz Josef (1732-1809)

Lieder (8). Felix Schröder, p. R13 3 (???). Mr. Forman has a tape, of a broadcast on 03 November 1992 on an unknown station, of this.

DALLIPICCOLA, Luigi (1904-75)

"Il prigioniero". German premiere, Frankfurt Radio 30 June 1951 Hans Rosbaud w/ Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 26 September 1955

FORTNER, Wolfgang (1907-87)

"Isaaks". World premiere, SWF-SO 12 October 1952


"Missa" für Soli (ST), gemischten Chor (SATB) und Orchester (1958). BA 3984, Aufführungsmaterial leihweise

Orchester: 1, 2, 2, 2 - 2, 2, 2, 0 - Schlg (1) - Cemb - Str / 34 Minuten

Uraufführung am 1. Dezember 1961 in Basel: Erna Spoorenberg (Sopran), Helmut Krebs (Tenor), Basler Kammerchor, Basler Kammerorchester, Musiker der Basler Orchestergesellschaft, Leitung Paul Sacher

LIEBERMANN, Rolf, b. 1910

"Leonore 40/45". SWF-SO. 30 October - 05 November 1952

MOZART, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756-91)

"Con ossequio, K. 210". SWF-SO 02 December 1955 "Or che il dover, K. 36". SWF-SO 01 December 1955 "Se al labbro mio, K. 295". SWF-SO 01 December 1955

NONO, Luigi (1924-90)

"Le tera e la compagna". World premiere, Hamburg RSO 13 January 1958

PETRASSI, Goffredo, b. 1904

"Quatro Imni Sacri". German premiere, SWF-SO 11 October 1952

SEIBER, Mátyás Gyrorgy (1905-60)

"Ulysses", Kantate für Tenor-Solo, gemischten Chor und Orchester. German premier, SWF-SO (Baden-Baden) und verstärkter Chor des Hessischen Rundfunks (Frankfurt a.M.), Ltg.: Hans Rosbaud, 30 June 1951.




3 X: 28 April 1951 (Rch Köln, Ferenc Fricsay), 17 JUNE 1952 (St.-Hedwig-Kathedrale, Ferenc Fricsay), & 27 MAY 1957 (SO des NDR, Gustav König). Also mit Der Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks - Igor Stravinsky zum 125. Geburtstag (VII)

Mélodrame in drei Teilen

Maria Wimmer, Sprecherin; Suzanne Danco, Sopran; Ira Malaniuk, Alt; Helmuth Krebs, Tenor; Heinz Rehfuß, Bass; Knabenchor des Wittelsbacher Gymnasiums; Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks: Paul Sacher


"Canticum sacrum ad honorem Sancti Marci nominis, Kl 86," für Tenor, Bariton, Chor und Orchester

Text: Bibel

Helmut Krebs, T.; Kieth Engen, Bar

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks München

Josef Kugler

SO des BR

Hermann Scherchen, lat

08 March 1957


"In Memoriam Dylan Thomas" Dirge Cannons and Song für Tenor, Streichquartett und vier Posaunen (1954] with the Symphonie-Orchester un Chor des Hessischen Rundfunks, Ltg.: Ernest Bour, on 09 SEPT. 1958.

WEILL, Kurt Julian (1900-50)

"Der Bürgschaft". Scherchen, NDR Hamburg. 1960 live. (Mr. Frank Forman owns on tape.)


Written by:

ChriStella Bernardene Krebs, of Port Ewen, NY USA
mail: 173 Schultz Lane, Kingston NY 12401-8833 USA
[845] 340-0951 [oder] (845) 399-0296

see also: - POSTWAR



DIE DEUTSCHE ÜBERSETZUNG: Helmut Krebs abscheidet in die Ewigkeit an Donnerstag, 30 Aug. 2007 haben.

In Dortmund erhielt Krebs die erste Gesangsausbildung am Konservatorium und wirkte mit im Chor der Kirche Maria Königin. Als seine Familie nach Berlin zog, setzte er dort die Gesangsausbildung fort.

1934 bis 1937 studierte er Komposition bei Paul Höffer, Dirigieren bei Clemens Schmalstich und, ab 1936, Gesang bei Paul Lohmann an der damals von Franz Schreker geleiteten Berliner Musikhochschule. Dort traf er auch auf den Schweizer Tenor Max Meili, der ihm jene Stimmtechnik nahe legte, mit der ohne Falsett jene hohen Töne zu erreichen sind, die in der Lage des Countertenors liegen. Helmut Krebs nennt diese Technik „rübergesungen“.

1937 debütierte Krebs an der Großen Volksoper Berlin als Monostatos in Mozarts Zauberflöte. Ein Jahr später trat er bereits in der Städtischen Oper Berlin auf, wurde aber 1939 zum Militärdienst eingezogen. Dennoch konnte er seine erste Partie in einem Bach-Oratorium am 10. März 1940 singen (Evangelist in der Johannespassion unter Friedrich Rausch mit der Singakademie am Kastanienwäldchen und dem Kirchenchor von St. Barthomaeus).

Als Hauptmann der Wehrmacht gehörte er Juni/Juli 1943 dem Sturzkampfgeschwader I an, das in Orel und Kitzingen stationiert war.

Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg nahm er das Opernfach wieder auf an der Düsseldorfer Spieloper mit Rollen wie Fenton in Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor von Otto Nicolai und Chateauneuf in Albert Lortzings Zar und Zimmermann. 1947 bis 1948 gab die Berliner Staatsoper ihm ein Gastengagement, bei dem er den David in Wagners Meistersinger gestaltete. Joseph Keilberth engagierte ihn daraufhin fest an das Haus, dem er über 40 Jahre lang verbunden blieb.

Um 1949 herum schloss er mit dem Bariton Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau Freundschaft und spielte mit ihm zusammen sowohl Opern von Mozart und Gluck als auch Kantaten (unter Fritz Werner) und Passionen von Bach ein. In den Samstagabend Konzerten der Sankt-Hedwigs-Kathedrale zu Berlin waren beide oft zu hören.

In den ersten Jahren nach Kriegsende komponierte er zudem Lieder, Klavier- und Kammermusik und gewann den Kunstpreis der Jubiläumsstifung Berlin. Seine kompositorische Tätigkeit nahm er später wieder auf (etwa 1982 mit op. 26, dem Kleinen Geistlichen Konzert für Tenor, Violine und Orgel und nach Heinrich Schütz und mit op.17b, dem Concertino für Oboe und Streicher).

Seit den späten 40er Jahren des 20. Jahrhunderts wurde er als Gast an viele Opernhäuser in aller Welt verpflichtet, wie etwas an die Scala, Covent Garden, Bayerische, Hamburgische und Wiener Staatsoper. 1950 engagierte ihn der Produzent Walter Lehmann für seine Verfilmung der Oper von Otto Nikolai (DEFA 1950, Regie: Georg Wildhagen).

Günter Raphael komponierte 1950 seine Palmström Sonate op. 69 für Helmut Krebs. 1952 hatte Krebs sein Debüt bei den n (in Don Pasquale von Donizetti) und gewann den Berliner Musikpreis. Ein Jahr später sang er den Belmonte in Mozarts Entführung aus dem Serail beim Glyndebourne/Sussex Festival. 1956 trat er als Idamante aus Mozarts Idomeneo neben Ernst Häfliger beim Edinburgh Festival auf.

Seine hohe Tenorstimme prädestinierte ihn besonders für ausgefallene Rollen jenseits des Heldentenors oder Tenorbuffos. So sang er in der deutschen Erstaufführung von Benjamin Brittens Oper den Albert Herring, in der Uraufführung von Arnold Schönbergs Moses und Aron den Aron, in den Uraufführungen der Henze Opern Der junge Lord (die komische Partie des Prof. von Mucker) und König Hirsch (1956) und den Großinquisitor in der deutschen Erstaufführung von Luigi Dallapiccolas Il Prigioniero (30. Juni 1951 im Radio Frankfurt, sechs Monate später unter Hermann Scherchen in Bayreuth).

Sein Konzert-Repertoire hat Schwerpunkte in den Kantaten und Oratorien Johann Sebastian Bachs und Heinrich Schützens, pflegt aber ebenso die zeitgenössische Musik, Lieder von Schubert und Brahms und französische Barockkomponisten wie Sébastien de Brossard, François Couperin und André Campra.

Er wird 1957 zum Professor für Gesang an die Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Berlin berufen und ist seit 1961 Mitglied der Deutschen Oper Berlin. Zwei Jahre später wird er offiziell zum Kammersänger ernannt. 1966 erhält er eine Professur an der Musikhochschule Frankfurt.

Noch 1981/82 tritt er als alter Gefangener in Janáčeks Aus einem Totenhaus und als Schwachsinniger in Mussorgskis Boris Godunow auf der Opernbühne auf. Zu seinen letzten öffentlichen Konzertauftritten zählt das Konzert zum 100. Geburtstag von Mark Lothar, in dem er dessen Oboen Lieder op. 47 singt (am 23. Mai 2002). Krebs lebte in Berlin-Dahlem haben.

[translation COURTESY OF CHRIS FRIEDRICH at de.Wikipedia]

Teilweiser Discography Alle Langspielplatten, ausgenommen, wo angezeigt.

HELMUT KREBS abscheidet in die Ewigkeit am Donnerstag, 30 AUG. 2007 haben.

FROM Pfarrer Oliver DEKARA:

Die Trauerfeier findet am Freitag, dem 14. Sept. 2007, um 13.00 Uhr in der St. Annen-Kirche, Königen-Luise-Straße 55, 14195 Berlin statt.

Der Tod ist freundlic gekommen. Als die letze Kraft verloren ging, war es kein Sterben, war es Erlösung.

Sargfeier von Helmut Krebs (14.09.07), 13.00 Uhr, St.Annen.




L: Geboren am 8 Oktober 1913 in Dortmund, gestorben am 30. August 2007 in Berlin. Das ist die Lebensspanne von Helmut Krebs.

Wir feiern diesen Gottesdienst, um uns von ihm zu verabschieden und wir leihen uns dabei die Bilder und Worte der biblischen Tradition aus.

So feiern wir im Namen Gottes, des Vaters, aus dessen Hand wir alle stammen, im Namen Gottes des Sohnes, der unser Erlöser und Bruder ist, und im Namen Gottes des Hl. Geistes, der unser Tröster und das verbindende Band ist.

Wir halten diesen Abschied in der Gewissheit der Hoffnung, die Christen durch die Auferstehung Jesu Christi haben.


Lasst uns beten mit den Worten des 96. Psalms:

1 Singet dem HERRN ein neues Lied; singet dem HERRN, alle Welt!

2 Singet dem HERRN und lobet seinen Namen, verkündet von Tag zu Tag sein Heil!

3 Erzählet unter den Heiden von seiner Herrlichkeit, unter allen Völkern von seinen Wundern!

4 Denn der HERR ist groß und hoch zu loben, mehr zu fürchten als alle Götter.

5 Denn alle Götter der Völker sind Götzen; aber der HERR hat den Himmel gemacht.

6 Hoheit und Pracht sind vor ihm, Macht und Herrlichkeit in seinem Heiligtum.

7 Ihr Völker, bringet dar dem HERRN, bringet dar dem HERRN Ehre und Macht!

8 Bringet dar dem HERRN die Ehre seines Namens, bringet Geschenke und kommt in seine Vorhöfe!

9 Betet an den HERRN in heiligem Schmuck; es fürchte ihn alle Welt!

10 Sagt unter den Heiden: Der HERR ist [a] König. Er hat den Erdkreis gegründet, daß er nicht wankt. Er richtet die Völker recht.

11 Der Himmel freue sich, und die Erde sei fröhlich, das Meer brause und was darinnen ist;

12 das Feld sei fröhlich und alles, was darauf ist; es sollen jauchzen alle Bäume im Walde

13 vor dem HERRN; denn er kommt, denn er kommt, zu richten das Erdreich.

Er wird den Erdkreis richten mit Gerechtigkeit und die Völker mit seiner Wahrheit.

Psalm 96



Es scheint so, als habe der Tod das letzte Wort, aber die Bibel lehrt uns, daß der lebendige Gott das letzte Wort spricht. So heißt es im 8.Kap. des Briefes des Paulus an die römische Gemeinde: (Röm 8,35-39)

"Was kann uns scheiden von der Liebe Christi? Bedrängnis oder Not oder Verfolgung, Hunger oder Kälte, Gefahr oder Schwert? In der Schrift steht: Um deinetwillen sind wir den ganzen Tag dem Tod ausgesetzt; wir werden behandelt wie Schafe, die man zum Schlachten bestimmt hat. Doch all das Überwinden wir durch den, der uns geliebt hat. Denn ich bin gewiß: Weder Tod noch Leben, weder Engel noch Mächte, weder Gegenwärtiges noch Zukünftiges, weder Gewalten der Höhe oder Tiefe noch irgendeine andere Kreatur können uns scheiden von der Liebe Gottes, die in Christus Jesus ist, unserem Herrn."


EG 351,1.9.12 („Ist Gott für mich, so trete“)

Predigt zu Ps 96,1.13b

Liebe Familie Wendler, liebe Trauergemeinde Helmut Krebs ist tot. Er ist mit 93 Jahren vor gut 14 Tagen verstorben und hat damit ein Alter erreicht, das trotz der hohen Lebenserwartung unserer Tage als beachtlich bezeichnet werden kann.

Es war das Leben eines großen Sängers oder besser das Leben eines großen Musikers. Denn, was viele vielleicht nicht wissen, Helmut Krebs war nicht nur ein außergewöhnlicher Tenor, sondern er war auch Komponist und Dirigent.

Was liegt also näher, als in dieser Stunde des Gedenkens und des Gottesdienstes ein Wort aus dem Liederbuch der Bibel auszulegen, aus dem Psalter. Die Psalmen sind gesungene Gebete, oder auch geistliche Lieder für die uns keine Noten mehr vorliegen. Aber in ihnen trifft sich die Freude an der Musik mit der tiefen Frömmigkeit des Beters.

Wir haben eben den Psalm 96 gebetet und aus ihm möchte ich noch einmal den ersten und den letzten Vers lesen: „Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied; singet dem Herrn alle Welt! Er wird den Erdkreis richten mit Gerechtigkeit und die Völker mit seiner Wahrheit.“

Aus diesen Zeilen spricht die große Leidenschaft am Singen und an der Musik überhaupt, die auch Helmut Krebs ausgemacht hat.

Am 8.10.1913 in Dortmund geboren hat er bereits als Gymnasiast erste Kompositionsversuche gestartet und mit dem Schulorchester aufgeführt.

Wir wissen kaum etwas über seine Kindheit, über die Eltern und die Jahre, die er mit seiner Schwester zusammen im Ruhrgebiet aufwuchs.

Aber wir ahnen, dass die Musik auch in dieser Zeit bereits eine große Rolle gespielt haben muss.

Und wenn wir den Psalmen entnehmen, dass Singen und Gott loben eine wichtige Form ist Gott nahe zu sein, so kann man mit Fug und Recht behaupten, dass Helmut Krebs sein Leben lang Gott nahe war.

Denn wie viel geistliche Musik hat er in seinem langen Leben zu Gehör gebracht.

Er war einer der profiliertesten Oratorientenöre seiner Zeit und stellvertretend für vieles andere sei hier auf eine Aufnahme verwiesen, die er im September 1953 mit seinem musikalischen Mentor Ferenc Fricsay nur wenige Meter entfernt in der Jesus Christus Kirche eingesungen hat. Das Requiem von Verdi, das noch heute als Referenzaufnahme gehandelt wird.

Und dieser Hinweis auf eine Totenmesse zeigt schon, dass das Singen wahrlich alle Bereiche des Lebens umfasst, so wie der Glaube alle Bereiche des Lebens umfasst.

Deshalb ist in diesem Psalm nicht nur von Gottes großen Werken in seiner Schöpfung die Rede, sondern auch von dem Heil, das er der Menschheit schenkt und von der Gerechtigkeit, die alle am Ende von ihm erwarten dürfen.

Es geht um Lebensfreude, aber es geht auch um Wahrheit.

Wenn wir heute Helmut Krebs die letzte Ehre erweisen so erleben wir auch diese beiden Seiten.

Wir loben und danken Gott, für das Leben und die Begabung, die er uns in Helmut Krebs geschenkt hat, wir schauen aber auch auf das Ende und die Sterblichkeit, die uns alle miteinander verbindet und auf die Frage, wie Gerechtigkeit bereits hier auf Erden und dann am Ende vor Gottes Thron aussehen wird: Er wird den Erdkreis richten mit Gerechtigkeit und die Völker mit seiner Wahrheit.“

Hier werden wir ehrlich sagen müssen, dass der Verstorbene als internationaler Künstler wohl einen Blick für die ganze Welt hatte, nicht aber unbedingt unter dem Blickwinkel der Gerechtigkeit.

Und ich bin auch nicht sicher, ob das Bild von Gott und dem Glauben, das er hatte, so ohne weiteres den Zeilen dieses Psalmes entsprachen.

Aber im Blick auf das Ende des Lebens und das Ende der Zeit sind wir ohnehin alle auf Gottes Entgegenkommen angewiesen.

Schon im Leben sind wir es, und wir können dankbar sein, wenn menschen uns zur Seite stehen.

Sie liebes Ehepaar Wendler waren über 30 Jahre enge Nachbarn von Helmut Krebs.

Sie haben auch viel gegeben in diese besonderen Nachbarschaft, wofür ich Ihnen an dieser Stelle danken will, denn Helmut Krebs war am Ende ohne Angehörige, er war alleine.

Auch insofern war er auf das Entgegenkommen Gottes angewiesen, der ihm Menschen geschickt hat.

So hat Helmut Krebs viel gegeben an Leidenschaft und Arbeitskraft für die Musik, er hat viel gegeben an Zuwendung für seine beiden Ehefrauen, Edith Berger und Marion Krebs, er war humorvoll und nahbar zu allen Menschen, noch im Pflegeheim war er sehr beliebt, aber er konnte auch eigenwillig und exzentrisch sein, er ist manchem Menschen auch manches schuldig geblieben.

Das können wir heute so ehrlich nebeneinander stellen, weil es uns am Ende nicht anders ergehen wird. Auch wir werden den Menschen und damit auch Gott etwas schuldig bleiben. Und es macht keinen Sinn, da etwas aufrechnen zu wollen.

Es ist vielmehr gut, sich dann ganz auf Gott verlassen zu können. Nicht nur die Kammersänger auch wir, die weniger guten Sänger dürfen Gottes Lieder immer neu singen, weil sie immer aktuell bleiben.

So wie er Helmut Krebs eine Stimme gab, die ihn über 40 Jahre zum großen Opernsänger machte hier in Berlin an der Dt. Oper, aber auch bei vielen Auftritten in der Ganzen Welt, so hat jeder von uns seine Gaben mitbekommen, die wir am Ende wieder zurück in Gottes Hände legen, um in einem neuen Licht bei ihm versammelt zu werden.

Allerdings bin ich mir mit dem Zurückgeben da beim Singen nicht so sicher, denn manch biblischer Text vermutet, wenn wir nichts weltliches im Himmel brauchen, so wir doch in jedem Fall an Gottes großer Tafel gesungen ihm zur Ehre. Und da hat Helmut Krebs dann sicher einen Platz in der ersten Reihe.

Lied EG 376 ("So nimm denn")


(im Stehen!)


Lasst uns beten:

Herr, wir beklagen dieses Lebens Ende und können uns gemeinsamer Jahre freuen.

Wir sind traurig und können doch dankbar sein.

Wir stellen uns vor, was noch hätte sein können - damit ist es vorbei.

Wir merken, was uns zugute gekommen ist - das wird uns bleiben.

Wir verlieren, aber wir sind nicht verloren.

Wir vertrauen auf das Wort, das mit Jesus beginnt.

Dieses Wort laß wahr werden, Herr, wenn die Erwartungen anderer sich uns zuwenden, wenn unser Zuhören oder Reden, unsere Freude oder unser Ernst gebraucht werden.

Dann laß uns finden, was uns verbindet.

Laß uns aus dem Tod zum Leben kommen.


Vater unser...




So nehmen wir nun Abschied von Helmut Krebs. Wir geben ihn aus unseren Händen. Wir befehlen ihn den Händen des lebendigen Gottes.

Gott behüte deinen Ausgang und Eingang von nun an bis in Ewigkeit.

Und er segne auch uns ...



Auszug(ohne Sarg)


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