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Schwetzinger Festspielreihe - Liederabend 1965 / Fritz Wunderlich, Et Al


Release Date: 05/12/2009 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 93701   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz SchubertLudwig van BeethovenRobert Schumann
Performer:  Hubert GiesenFritz Wunderlich
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCHUMANN Dichterliebe. BEETHOVEN Adelaide. Resignation. Der Kuss. SCHUBERT Der Einsame. Nachtstück. An die Laute. Lied eines Schiffers an die Dioskuren. An Sylvia. Der Musensohn Fritz Wunderlich (ten); Hubert Giesen (pn) HÄNSSLER 93.701 (58: 09)


Fritz Wunderlich and Hubert Giesen toured with this program in 1965, along with some additional Schubert songs, and it will Read more already be familiar to listeners from recordings on DGG and Orfeo. Hänssler’s performances come from archives of the Schwetzingen Festival, which began in 1952 with funding from the Süddeutscher Rundfunk public broadcasting company. All of the festival’s concerts were recorded for radio broadcast and the sound of this Hänssler release is excellent. Collectors will want to hear Wunderlich, the paragon of German tenors, in Schumann’s greatest song cycle but will also want to explore more than one recording of Dichterliebe in order to hear different interpretations, particularly to experience more potent collaborations between singers and pianists.


Wunderlich never shows off his glorious sound for its own sake. He gives a heartfelt performance with wonderful diction and very natural sounding phrasing. As the liner notes observe, there is no sense that he is an opera singer making an adjustment to singing Lieder. Not long before his untimely death at 36 in 1966, he considered that his career might turn in a direction away from opera and toward song recitals.


Hubert Giesen doesn’t do anything particularly wrong and his ensemble with Wunderlich is precise; reportedly, the two worked on the first line of the first song of Dichterliebe, “Im wunderschonen Monat Mai,” for an entire day, perhaps resulting in Wunderlich’s subtle elongation of the first syllable of the word “Monat”—but he misses opportunities to fully characterize the accompaniment figures and all-important piano postludes that can give an added dimension to most of the songs. (The pedestrian playing of Kurt-Heinz Stoltze, Wunderlich’s pianist in his beautifully sung Die Schöne Müllerin, similarly limits that performance.)


My notes in the score for some of Giesen’s postludes read: “lacks impulse” (“Ich will meine Seele tauchen”), “indecisive rhythm” (“Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome”), “lacks presence” (“Ich grolle nicht”), “sounds garbled rather than fully articulate” (“Und wüsten’s die Blumen, die kleinen”), and he gives a clunky performance of his part in “Das ist ein Flöten und Geigen,” a song whose postlude sounds uncannily like the ending of Mahler’s “Des Antonius von Padua,” from Des Knaben Wunderhorn and also adapted as the third movement of the Second Symphony.


In comparing Dichterliebe s, I turned to a 1996 performance by Wolfgang Holzmair, a light baritone. He has a less attractive voice than Wunderlich, to be sure, but offers a deeper interpretation, partly because of his musical partnership with the pianist Imogen Cooper. For example, at the cycle’s turning point in the song “Ich grolle nicht,” Holzmair and Cooper create an insistent, bitter irony that Wunderlich and Giesen don’t achieve. Of course, there are many other outstanding Dichterliebe performances, ranging from the recent Gerald Finley/Julius Drake version on Hyperion to the oldest, Charles Panzera singing exquisitely French-accented German with Alfred Cortot’s inspired piano-playing from 1935. (Listen to this with a glass of absinthe and Roland Barthes’ essays on Schumann on hand for a peak experience of the French affinity for Schumann.)


Beethoven’s almost sentimental little scena, Adelaide , receives a fine performance by Wunderlich, one that is not much different from that of another great German tenor who died young, Peter Anders; but neither performance equals Jussi Björling’s version for sheer beauty of sound. The concluding Schubert group includes one lesser-known song, the substantial, introspective Nachstück . Wunderlich’s performances have what you would expect: beautiful tone, thorough involvement with the words, and no vocal mannerisms whatsoever. Giesen muddies An Sylvia by pedaling bass notes that should be played staccato. The disc ends with what may be the best performance that I’ve ever heard of Der Musensohn , radiantly sung with subtle changes of inflection in each verse.


FANFARE: Paul Orgel
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Works on This Recording

1.
Der Einsame, D 800 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Hubert Giesen (Piano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Nachtstück, D 672 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Hubert Giesen (Piano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1819; Vienna, Austria 
3.
An die Laute, D 905/Op. 81 no 2 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Hubert Giesen (Piano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Lied eines Schiffers an die Dioskuren, D 360/Op. 65 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Hubert Giesen (Piano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
5.
An Sylvia, D 891/Op. 106 no 4 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Hubert Giesen (Piano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Der Musensohn, D 764/Op. 92 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Hubert Giesen (Piano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
7.
Adelaide, Op. 46 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Hubert Giesen (Piano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1794-1795; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Resignation, WoO 149 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Hubert Giesen (Piano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
9.
Der Kuss, Op. 128 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Hubert Giesen (Piano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Period: Classical 
Written: ?1822; Vienna, Austria 
10.
Dichterliebe, Op. 48 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Hubert Giesen (Piano), Fritz Wunderlich (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 

Sound Samples

Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 1. Im wunderschonen Monat Mai
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 2. Aus meinen Tranen spriessen
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 3. Die Rose, die Lilie, die Taube, die Sonne
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 4. Wenn ich in deine Augen seh'
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 5. Ich will meine Seele tauchen
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 6. Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 7. Ich grolle nicht
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 8. Und wussten's die Blumen, die kleinen
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 9. Das ist ein Floten und Geigen
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 10. Hor' ich das Liedchen klingen
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 11. Ein Jungling liebt ein Madchen
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 12. Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 13. Ich hab' im Traum geweinet
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 14. Allnachtlich im Traume
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 15. Aus alten Marchen winkt es
Dichterliebe, Op. 48: No. 16. Die alten, bosen Lieder
Adelaide, Op. 46
Resignation, WoO 149
Der Kuss, Op. 128
Der Einsame (The Solitary), Op. 41, D. 800
Nachtstuck, Op. 36, No. 2, D. 672
An die Laute, Op. 81, No. 2, D. 905
Lied eines Schiffers an die Dioskuren, Op. 65, No. 1, D. 360
Gesang, Op. 106, No. 4, D. 891, "An Sylvia", "Who is Sylvia"
Der Musensohn, Op. 92, No. 1, D. 764

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