Friday, July 10, 2009

Marian Anderson and Franz Rupp - The Tall and the Short of It

Just once; as a child, I was taken to a recital given by the legendary contralto Marian Anderson, who was at that time in the twilight of an unparalleled career.
I remember stifling a giggle when she appeared on the stage with her accompanist, Franz Rupp - Miss Anderson was very tall, and Rupp was quite short, attaining a height ending just above her shoulder, as they both bowed their 'hello' to the audience.
However, the comedy ended as soon as the first sounds of their collaboration reached out to me.
I learned afterward about the parallels in their experiences; that is, Rupp's leaving Germany before Hitler's persecution of the Jews got underway with a vengeance. And Marian Anderson's early encounters with racism until she became an undeniable star of the first magnitude.
I think of those two side by side at that recital, each a victim of baseless hatred; both sharing their experiences with one another through their immortal collaboration, which lasted about twenty five years - each gaining their ultimate victories through their genius.
I should add that before Rupp and Anderson came together, Rupp and the fabled violinist Fritz Kreisler became world - renown, especially for the Beethoven Cycle for violin and piano, which I believe is available now on CD, especially for those of you who may have known about Rupp and Anderson, but not about Rupp and Kreisler.
Franz Rupp was quite a guy.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Reference Services said...

Your blog is terrific!

Here is a blog post about Marian Anderson from the Archives of the Sandusky Library:

http://sanduskyhistory.blogspot.com/search?q=contralto

August 13, 2009 at 8:57 AM  

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