Discovered by Herbert von Karajan, the Berlin-born Janowitz became one of his favourite sopranos and recorded a vast amount of the lyric repertoire. Embracing music from Monteverdi to Hindemith, Janowitz possessed a pure, creamy soprano voice which might have been made for Mozart and Strauss.
Tribute by Brigitte Fassbaender:
Gundula Janowitz possesses one of those voices where you have only to hear a couple of notes and you immediately know who it is. Her elegant timbre and unmistakably instrumental way of forming the phrases is unique. An opera, concert and song recitalist with a wide repertoire, she was unforgettable in Mozart roles such as Donna Anna and Fiordiligi, or as a matchlessly witty Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, a wonderfully introverted Fidelio-Leonore and a funny, cryptic Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, just to mention a few of the roles she breathed life into. In concert, she was a perpetual inquirer, always immersed in the task at hand, which she would fulfil with the greatest dedication and discipline. The clarity and spirituality of her voice predestined her for the studio and she has left us a legacy of wonderful recordings. Though never satisfied herself, she can look back and relish the abundance she has contributed to the world of singing.