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Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau Sings Baroque Arias

Stolzel / Fischer-dieskau
Release Date: 08/28/2012 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 94218   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachFranz TunderDietrich BuxtehudeNicolaus Bruhns,   ... 
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

DIETRICH FISCHER-DIESKAU SINGS BAROQUE ARIAS Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (bar); Helmut Krebs (ten); Erika Winkler (mez) HÄNNSLER CD 94.218 (74:09)

STÖLZEL Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr zu Dir. TUNDER Da mihi Domine. BUXTEHUDE Ich suchte des Nachts. BRUHNS Erstanden ist der heilige Christ. De Read more profundis clamavi. KRIEGER An den Wassern zu Babel sassen wir

Of all the labels releasing archive tapes of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s formative years, Hännsler has been the best at not just releasing more Schubert, but also more Wolf. This current issue is the third in a series that has seen the baritone titan tackle Schütz and rare Bach, neither of which he’s recorded elsewhere. This disc also expands his vast legacy rather than saturates it. All recorded in the early ’50s, these Stuttgart sessions of rare 17th-century German composers were made when Fischer-Dieskau’s voice was at its freshest best; a sweet, trufflely rich column of sound, with a flawless legato, miraculously uninterrupted by his crystal clear diction. The nearest vocal comparison to a young Fischer-Dieskau really is Ella Fitzgerald.

1950s? Ella? Already, most early-music fans will run away screaming. Yes, this is music all untouched by the sandal-wearing, ‘Vegetarian’ brigade. The instrumental ensembles, while not ridiculously big, play with real sweetness and vibrato. Yet we are not talking about Klemperer’s Bach or Franco Corelli’s Handel here; not one of the three soloists sounds overly romantic or imprecise, and all the pieces here are delivered in a pure, unaffected way.

In fact, apart from Buxtehude’s Song of Solomon setting, Ich suchte des Nachts (as the notes explain, with a cheeky reference to searching in the bedroom, cleaned up for 1952 listeners!) and the opening Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, zu Dir by Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel, which he recorded later on for DG, the whole disc contains works that Fischer-Dieskau never revisited. None of the works are especially ground breaking, but the florid vocal writing throughout is a delight. Especially enjoyable is Nicolaus Bruhns’s Erstanden ist der heilige Christ . A pupil of Buxtehude, Bruhns’s writing is very text aware, cutting back superfluous accompaniment to leave the two voices to shine out. Here the mellifluous Helmut Krebs is silver toned partner to Fischer-Dieskau’s bronze voice. They are joined by mezzo Erika Winkler for Adam Krieger’s formal, stately biblical setting, An den Wassern zu Babel sassen wir. Another rarity is Franz Tunder’s motet, Da mihi, Domine , a plea to God, for wisdom, with a very Purcellian feel to its accompaniment. The disc ends with Bruhns’s delicate Psalm 130 setting, De Profundis Clamavi , where (supported by just two violins and bass continuo), the baritone’s line interweaves like some additional violin: intricate chamber music-making at its finest.

Hännsler has obviously done a nice tidy up of the mono sound, but it remains boxy and voice fixated. Notes are rather brief, if to the point, but it is a struggle to find out who else is performing. Also, texts really are needed with such unusual repertoire. Nevertheless, this does Fischer-Dieskau fans proud. There is still so much out there that he didn’t record elsewhere, so keep it coming, Hännsler.

FANFARE: Barnaby Rayfield
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Works on This Recording

Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir, BWV 131 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1707; Mühlhausen, Germany 
Da mihi Domine by Franz Tunder
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Germany 
Ich suchte des Nachts, BuxWV 50 by Dietrich Buxtehude
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Erstanden Ist der Heilige Christ by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone)
Period: Baroque 
An den Wassern zu Babel sassen wir und weineten by Adam Krieger
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone)
Period: Baroque 
De profundis clamavi by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone)
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1689-91; Germany 

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