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Dietrich Fischer-dieskau - Bach And Brahms

Release Date: 07/19/2005 
Label:  Profil   Catalog #: 5013   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachJohannes Brahms
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-DieskauHertha Klust
Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Motet ChoirKarl Ristenpart Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

When one listens to contemporary musicians of accomplishment, it seems as if they are very much the masters of their style and message, that technical and artistic choices are theirs and theirs alone. Yet, when we reach back in time, the role of history appears to hold more and more sway in these matters. For example, as the Second World War and the few years following become farther distant from us, one becomes increasingly aware of its impact upon the sensibility and performances of Germany’s important artists. Wilhelm Furtwängler’s two versions of Ein Deutsches Requiem, for example, seem to emerge as a statement of homage, whether conscious or unconscious, to the souls of those who suffered through the terrible war days. The Read more Stockholm concert of 1948, despite some poor intonation from soprano choristers, is one of the most thrilling and visionary events that we have the good fortune to find preserved on disc. We may say the same about this present reading of what is sometimes called Brahms’s second Requiem. The young Fischer-Dieskau, only six years out of prison camp, sings the Vier ernste Gesänge with the depth of a sage and the candor of youth. His technique is not as secure as it was to become, as evidenced by occasional stridency at the top of his range, but there is no other recording so much at the heart of these monumental works as this. Although the sound reproduction is rather poor and his accurate and dutiful accompanist does not bring much dramatic scope to her playing, the message remains clear and profound.

The two Bach cantatas recorded in 1951, just a year later, have far superior sonics, and the vocal work is more solid. The pieces lie slightly too low for this baritone, but are nevertheless deeply effective, and delivered with the polish that was to be his signature. As an ensemble musician, he is at one with Karl Ristenpart’s virtuoso Chamber Orchestra, which appears to have come to a happy compromise between ever-elusive “authenticity” and the performance practices of the times. As a boy in the 1950s, I heard Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in an appearance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and learned that his singing was much more straightforward and believable on the concert stage than on record. I have also come to feel that his most profound artistry dates from this earlier period, when his intuition was on more equal terms with his analytical mind. Perhaps the most wonderful example of it would be the live performance of Lieder eines fahrenden Gessellen, conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler, but this early version of the Vier ernste Gesänge, albeit a studio recording, rings with the same emotional depth and power.

Raymond Beegle, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen, BWV 56 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Bass)
Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Motet Choir,  Karl Ristenpart Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
Ich habe genug, BWV 82 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Bass)
Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Karl Ristenpart Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Cöthen, Germany 
Serious Songs (4), Op. 121 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Hertha Klust (Piano), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Bass)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Austria 

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