Ulf Bästlein

Ulf Bästlein

“Art is a form of knowledge - as the other knowledge does not provide a full understanding of the world.” Goethe



“Beauty is nothing other than freedom in appearance.”


Press reviews

Ulf Bästlein's voice continues to be immensely rich in substance and flexible; piano singing is his particular strength... The fact that the singer also recites Leitner poems marks the range of his interpretative potency. Hats off to this impressive CD release. (Leitner songs CD) - Fono Forum

Ulf Bästlein succeeded in the superior interpretation of Elijah, in which inwardness and dramatic furioso outbursts kept the balance. - Stuttgarter Nachrichten

 The first volume of Schubert’s Goethe Lieder sees bass-baritone Ulf Bästlein as a sound-poet, tasting and scenting out both the mysteries and the wit within Goethe’s words and Schubert’s responses to them. (Schubert-Goethe-Lieder CD) – Classical-music.com (The official website of BBC Music Magazine)

In any case, the CD with twenty-one songs by Anselm Hüttenbrenner, all trouvailles, released by Gramola is a real deed, for which the bass-baritone Ulf Bästlein and the accompanist Charles Spencer deserve high praise. Bästlein's interpretation avoids the theatrical operatic, only rarely shows off, mostly confining itself to a kind of crooning and thus ideally captures the tone of Hüttenbrenner's songs. - Opernwelt

One of the most convincing Lied records of the last years! Ulf Bästlein undertakes here with sonorous, in the cantabile as well as in the rhetorical responsibly used material (secure depth, unpressed height) a vocal Heine wandering. (Heine-Lieder CD) - Fono Forum

Ulf Bästlein shapes Hüttenbrenner's lyrical-emotional melodies with a multifaceted palette of creative moments. Longing, humor, grief, sorrow, joy and anger always find their own deeply felt tone. (Hüttenbrenner Songs CD) - Kieler Nachrichten

The expert Ulf Bästlein sings with that great passion that immediately captivates the listener. In terms of style and vocal style, he is reminiscent of Gérard Souzay ... With an unparalleled variety of nuances and personal appropriation, Bästlein is finally convincing and makes the 36 songs on the CD an entertaining listening pleasure. (CD with songs based on poetry by Johann Heinrich Voß) - Der Merker

Ulf Bästlein gave an impressive performance in the narrative and vocal passages... A clear articulation, a gripping performance and an earthy sound combined with the Hof Symphony Orchestra to create an exciting listening experience. (Orchestral version of Mussorgsky's "Songs and Dances of Death") - Main Post

Perfect! The critic should be very careful with this word. But for the song recital of baritone Ulf Bästlein with pianist James Tocco it is appropriate. (Winterreise) - Lübecker Nachrichten

Ulf Bästlein proves himself to be a versatilely gifted songwriter. The noticeably thoughtful interpretation and textual clarity of the pleasantly timbred bass-baritone leaves nothing to be desired. (Heine-Lieder CD) - Neue Musikzeitung

In the inflationary discography of "Winterreise", this is a recording that attracts attention because of the excellent singer. Ulf Bästlein's performance deserves to be emphasized first of all for its enormous vocal technical versatility: soft tonal approach, even vibrato, excellent register balance, effortless response and good projection of the voice even at low dynamic levels, plus precise articulation. Building on such skills, a fascinating interpretation succeeds, especially in the lyrical songs - which predominate here - due to their simplicity and naturalness. (Winterreise CD) - Fono Forum

Arnold Schoenberg's "A Survivor from Warsaw" for speaker, male choir and orchestra became an experience through Ulf Bästlein's performance. He read the poignant text excellently... - Lübecker Nachrichten

Dominatrice, la voce del baritono Ulf Baestlein dà splendido relievo alla musica di Giovanni Sollima. Coinvolgente nella seconda Aria, di sfumata mestizia da nenia funebre, nell’ultima. – Giornale di Sicilia

Bass-baritone Ulf Bästlein not only won over the audience with his very warm-sounding, cultivated voice, but was also convincing with his deep expression and meaningful modulation of Owen's poetic language. (Britten: War Requiem) - Hildesheimer Allgemeine

Technically highly virtuosic and with a sure sense of style, Ulf Bästlein mastered the coloratura-laden role of the servant Dandini with his soft, melodious baritone. (Cenerentola) - Kieler Nachrichten

Bästlein sang impeccably beautifully, with a soft-flowing, modulation-rich voice and thoughtful diction - without having to bother with the slightest operatic attitude, hauntingly simple and yet overwhelmingly expressive. Twenty stellar minutes. (Bach's Cross Staff Cantata) - Erlanger Nachrichten

 Quand au baryton Ulf Bästlein (Simon) c’est la splendeur de l’etoffe vocale plus la qualité stylistique du chant et une articulation exemplaire. (Haydn: Jahreszeiten) – Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace

Among the voices a Mozart discovery: Ulf Bästlein's Count is appealing in all registers, effortlessly manages the upswings and even has an erotic timbre. (Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro) - Lübecker Nachrichten

First and foremost, bassist Ulf Bästlein earned himself the rating "stunning". His mighty voice, even in the deepest bass cellar, was still full and balanced, and he shaped his parts with the expressive power of Shakespearean drama. The highlight was certainly the "The trumpet shall sound" aria in the third part, where Bästlein earned unexpected interludes of applause. (Handel's Messiah) - Westfälische Nachrichten

As Papageno, Ulf Bästlein has chances to become a new audience favorite with his acting talent. Singing: impeccable! (Papageno, Hamburg State Opera) - Die Welt

The surprise of the evening was the extremely powerful and majestic baritone: Ulf Bästlein gave new content to this vocal range with the description "full sounding". With eruptive energy, he defied and mocked the "dull Pfaffenchristen" as the demon. (Mendelssohn's First Walpurgis Night) - Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

He moved in as a stranger, he moved out again as a star... Bästlein possesses a technically excellently developed, lyrically grounded voice, which reveals considerable dramatic potential in the unforced attacks. But he never flaunts his pithy, masculine, darkly timed bass-baritone, which he uses mainly in the subtly nuanced piano range. ... His performance, which captivates the audience, avoids theatricality and pathos, knows no mannerisms, does not exaggerate any detail, but always keeps the big picture. It is characterized by exemplary clarity of words and yet never runs the risk of declaiming. (Winterreise) - Kleine Zeitung

Da sottolineare, infine, come la potenza e il pieno controllo della voce facciano di Ulf Bastlein uno dei migliori baritoni della scena internazionale. – Gazzetta del Sud

Ulf Bästlein declaimed almost overwhelmingly from the pulpit the report about the horrible events in the Warsaw Ghetto. (Schönberg: A Survivor from Warsaw) - Kleine Zeitung 

Although Ulf Bästlein is slowly approaching 60, his voice continues to be immensely rich in substance and flexible; piano singing is his particular strength ... the fact that the singer also recites Leitner poems not set to music marks the range of his interpretative potency. Hats off to this CD, which also impresses with its rich booklet. (CD: Songs after poems by Karl Gottfried Ritter von Leitner) - Fono Forum

Ulf Bästlein's song programs are the best example of the results that can come from the interaction of research and the art of singing. - Fono Forum

Bästlein ... is able to create an intimacy rich in tension, which traces the nuances of words in the penumbra of sounds. (CD with songs by Gustav Jenner based on poetry by Theodor Storm and Klaus Groth) -... Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Bästlein sings these songs with passionate expression without ever outrushing or even falling into false pathos. In lyrical moments he is able to elicit beguilingly beautiful tones from his baritone. (CD with songs by Gustav Jenner based on poetry by Theodor Storm and Klaus Groth) - Opernglas

One understands every word in a double sense: because the articulation succeeds exemplarily, but also because the melancholic - rapturous expression is hit. Bästlein dares everything from pale pianissimo to thunderous emphasis. (CD with songs by Gustav Jenner based on poetry by Theodor Storm and Klaus Groth). Kieler Nachrichten

Intoxicating: bass-baritone Ulf Bästlein ... He bubbles over with a wealth of knowledge and vocal joy ... Each song is given its own individual character ... Bästlein can inspire because he combines enthusiasm and reason. ( Conversation-concert with songs of Walther von Goethe in the German National Theater Weimar) - Neue Musikzeitung