Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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R. Koopmans: ‘Guus Janssen: the Interaction of Composing and Improvising’, Key Notes, no.7 (1978), 20–21

H. Emmer and G. Janssen: ‘Kind Regards: a Musical Correspondence’, Key Notes, no.22 (1985), 18–22

E. Schönberger: ‘String Quartet or “String Quartet”’, Key Notes, no.23 (1986), 13 only

F. van der Waa: ‘Guus Janssen and the Skating-on-Thin-Ice Feeling’, Key Notes, no.28 (1994), 8–13

P.U. Hiu and J. van de Klis, eds.: Het HonderdComponistenBoek (Bloemendaal, 1997)


Janssen, Herbert

(b Cologne, 22 Sept 1892; d New York, 3 June 1965). German baritone. Having served as an officer in World War I, he studied with Oskar Daniel in Berlin and made his début there at the Staatsoper on 5 May 1922 as Herod in Schreker’s Der Schatzgräber; he remained with the company until 1938, singing a wide variety of lyrical roles, especially in the works of Verdi and Wagner, parts that soon brought him world fame. At Covent Garden (1926–39) and at Bayreuth (1930–37) he was regarded as a notable exponent of the Dutchman, Wolfram, Kurwenal, Kothner, Gunther and Amfortas, all of which he performed with a warm and sympathetic timbre, fine legato, clear enunciation and vivid acting. He was also a remarkable Prince Igor and Orestes (Elektra). Distaste for the Nazi regime having caused him to leave Germany in 1938, he sang that year in Buenos Aires and thereafter regularly at the Metropolitan, where he was a mainstay of the German wing from 1939 to 1952. After the retirement of Schorr in 1943, he was persuaded to take over the heavier roles of Wotan and Hans Sachs, to which his voice was not so happily suited. His gifts as a lieder singer were mainly shown in his recordings, notably those made for the Hugo Wolf Society. Reissued on CD, these reveal the interior nature of his interpretations. His Wagner singing is preserved in several off-the-air recordings from the Metropolitan and in the virtually complete Bayreuth Tannhäuser of 1930.

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