- J.B. Steane
(b Vienna, Jan 27, 1890; d Baden, nr Vienna, March 6, 1971). Austrian baritone. A singer with a thorough musical training (he studied the piano and the organ, as well as singing, at the Vienna Music Academy), he is remembered principally as the first artist to make complete recordings of Winterreise and Die schöne Müllerin. His career in opera, though it lasted from 1910 to 1940, was largely confined to Vienna and Salzburg where in addition to the usual baritone roles in Mozart he sang Pedrillo in Die Entführung. He made his début at Troppau and joined the Vienna Staatsoper in 1914. At the première of Ariadne auf Naxos (1916, revised version) he doubled as the Music-Master and Harlequin. He was especially admired in Mozart and Lortzing, but the overuse of his light baritone voice in operas such as Die Meistersinger led to vocal difficulties and encouraged him to concentrate on lieder and teaching (among his pupils was the baritone Hermann Uhde). In later years he worked as stage director, conductor and composer. Recordings show a voice limited in colour as well as volume, though used with skill and intelligence....