Julius Patzak (1898-1974)
Another exemplary modest voice. Vocally even less gifted than Schipa, for example, he could be considered somewhat a German Schipa as far as his musicianship and his vocal line are concerned. Entirely self-taught as a singer although he had studied music before, Mozart, Palestrina and at the end of his career Florestan were the pillars of his operatic repertoire. Operetta and Lied were his other big loves.
Rarely have I heard such a nuanced, inward and heartfelt „In des Lebens Frühlingstagen“ than by the 52 year old Patzak. From „ … und spür ich nicht linde, sanft säuselnde Luft“ he is audibly pretty much coming close to his limits – yet he SINGS it without cheating or simplyfying the vocal line, without making a virtue out of necessity like many singers who are wheezing their way through this final part of the aria gasping for the breath that they have wasted before.
Patzak was also a Viennese from head to toe and known for his wit and humour. One of the most telling stories, however, is the one when a movie actor who had a singing part in a certain film, came to Patzak to have his voice trained. The actor was rather worried about his modest vocal resources, but Patzak reassured him: „You don´t need a voice, my son – you must know how to SING!“