Partner Victor Beigel
The Old Rectory, Steyning Rd, Steyning BN44 3DD, UK
Baron Raimund von zur-Mühlen (sometimes "Raymond", "Raimund von Zur Mühlen") (10 November 1854 in Uusna Manor (Neu-Tennasilm), Viljandi Parish (now in Viiratsi Parish), Viljandi County, Governorate of Livonia – 11 December 1931 in Wiston, near Steyning, England) was a celebrated tenor Lieder singer who also became a famous teacher of singing, instructing many famous artists. His Lieder-interpretations are legendary. He was a student of Auguste Hohenschildt, Felix Schmidt, Adolf Schulze, Julius Stockhausen and Clara Schumann. He made his debut in 1878, together with Hans Schmidt, in Riga. After this he continued working on his capabilities as a singer, above all with Manuel Garcia, Beniamino Carelli and Pauline Viardot. He is recognised as a founder of the Lieder-abend or evening recital of the German concert Lieder as a distinct performance entity. His interpretation of Lieder and his specialist study of Lieder interpretation were of the utmost importance in the evolution of the Lieder genre itself. He gave Schumann Lieder-recitals with Clara Schumann. She set him on the path to London, where he gave his first concert in 1883. At one of his concerts, Johannes Brahms shouted out, 'Endlich, endlich habe ich meinen Sänger gefunden!' (At last, at last, I have found my singer). Thereafter he spent much time in London.
Though Victor Beigel was born in London, his father was Hungarian, a diplomat employed in the service of the Hapsburg Empire; and, as he was growing up, the family seems to have spent many years at various postings in central and eastern Europe. Beigel's musical talent must have been discovered and nurtured in his youth, because even by his twenties he had won considerable fame as keyboard accompanist for Raimund von zur-Muhlen. Since it is reported that Beigel (who was born in 1870) played for von zur-Muhlen "for many years," but then "left hurriedly" for the USA (where news accounts place him in 1896), one almost has to assume that he was hardly less of a prodigy than his vocal sponsor and companion. When Raimund von zur-Muhlen was asked to participate in the inaugural program at the celebrated opening of London's Bechstein (now Wigmore) Hall in 1901, his former accompanist returned to play Schubert and Schumann for him.
In 1907 Raimund von zur-Mühlen emigrated to England, with homes in London and Steyning. His last stay in Germany must have been in 1913–1914 in Berlin, where he gave a course of Masterclasses. Thereafter he lived in England for the remainder of his life. Here he met for the last time Monika Hunnius, author and singing-teacher, who had regularly studied with him in 1904–1911 at the Schloss Fellin at Neuhäuser, and developed a deep friendship with him. In his younger days he usually appeared with his habitual accompanist and kindred spirit Hans Schmidt. Among his later accompanists were Victor Beigel and Coenraad V. Bos. Bos mentions him in his book: the singer gave his young accompanist no encouragement, but criticized him severely. After their fifth concert together he was told 'You must have played well today, for I did not notice you.' He was the teacher of Lula Mysz-Gmeiner (who taught Elisabeth Schwarzkopf), of Mark Raphael, Hans Lissman, Eva Jekelius-Lissman, Rose Walter, Eidé Norena, Martha Lipton, Georg A. Walter, Fanny Opfer, Naima Wifstrand, and Hermann Weißenborn, among many others. He was considered an ideal Lieder singer. He is also described as an eccentric. He was born of an aristocratic family. His valuable collection of documents, musical and artistic papers were destroyed in 1930 in a great fire at his house near Steyning.
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