Notes and Editorial Reviews
Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit:
Phantasie aus Don Juan; Frühlingsmorgen; Erinnerung; Zu Strasburg auf her Schanz.
Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder; Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen.
Songs of a Wayfarer. Des Knaben Wunderhorn:
Das irdische Leben; Nicht wiedersehn!; Scheiden und Meiden; Des Aotonius von Padua Fischpredigt; Ablösung im Sommerl Um schlimme Kinder artig zu machen; Selbstgefühl
Fischer-Dieskau (bar); Daniel Barenboim (pn)
AUDITE 95.634 (60:52
German only) Live: Berlin 9/14/1971
Very little that Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau ever sang was perfunctory and, over a career spanning more than 40 years, it was usually well sung, but the years before 1975 caught him in fresher, brighter voice. Thus, this 1971 Berlin concert of Mahler songs finds him in particularly good form, and his interaction with Daniel Barenboim produces interpretations of great sensitivity as well as drama. For some reason I’ve never understood, Barenboim always played better when he accompanied Fischer-Dieskau than at any other time or in any other venue, and such is the case here.
The programming is a bit odd: three of the early
Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit,
then the two Rückert songs, the complete
Songs of a Wayfarer,
then one more of the
Lieder und Gesänge,
ending with the seven excerpts from
Des Knaben Wunderhorn.
It works, but I don’t see why he didn’t do all four of the
Lieder as a group. Fischer-Dieskau is in excellent voice—this was a year or two before the voice really began to dry out—despite one or two pushed high notes early on. The sound quality is stunning, the voice and piano having natural hall acoustic and reverberance. You almost feel as if you are in the hall when listening to this disc.
Interpretively, there are no surprises except that most of the songs are taken at leisurely tempos that allow him to make some particularly interesting points in the lyrical sections. It’s an excellent recital all round. The liner notes, as usual, exalt the singer to a pedestal above all other Lieder singers as the epitome of German art, a pedestal that Fischer-Dieskau himself always found an uncomfortable perch (see his autobiographies). As I’ve mentioned in earlier reviews, yes, he was wonderful, but Karl Erb, Aksel Schiøtz, and Hans Hotter all preceded him as Lieder singers who combined sensitive word coloring with a clean, unmannered musical approach. It was Walter Legge who turned him from a very fine Lieder singer into an icon who was supposedly
sina qua non
in the history of singing.
FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
Works on This Recording
Applause by Recorded Sound
Length: 0 Minutes 29 Secs.
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