Alexander Kipnis


Schubert Club Performance: April 11, 1944

Alexander Kipnis

A Ukraine-born artist who was forced by the Nazis to abandon his flourishing European career, Alexander Kipnis emigrated to the US after the annexation of Austria in 1938 and sang regularly at the Metropolitan from 1940 until his retirement in 1946. Universally acknowledged as one of the outstanding basses of all time, Kipnis was celebrated in opera and as a recitalist, as comfortable in Mozart as in Wagner. Here he is in a 1931 Berlin recording of Osmin’s touching aria from The Abduction from the Seraglio

In 1936, he made a famous series of Brahms song recordings in London with pianist Gerald Moore, who called Kipnis “the most comsummate musician of all the basses I have partnered”: 

And here he is in his most famous role, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. This spine-chilling recording of the “Clock Scene”, in which the tsar is tormented by guilty hallucinations, probably dates from around 1943:

Artist note by Richard Evidon

From the Schubert Club Archive:

page 2 of 1943-44 artist calendar listing Alexander Kipnis

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