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Philips 50 - Schubert: Winterreise / Fischer-Dieskau, Brendel

Release Date: 12/18/2000 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 464739   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Performer:  Alfred BrendelDietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is Fischer-Dieskau's most personal and deeply felt Winterreise. His understatement in the final song is not enacted but chillingly internalized.

Recorded in July 1985, this is the sixth of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's seven commercially published versions of Schubert's Winterreise, and easily the finest of the baritone's recorded collaborations with pianist Alfred Brendel. Originally Fischer-Dieskau had rejected this performance for issue, but later relented. We can understand his initial reservations: the 60-year-old singer could not negotiate notes above the staff with his former, more youthful suppleness, while louder passages like the climaxes of "Die Wetterfahne" and "Die Post" are
Read more effortfully sustained. As a word painter, however, Fischer-Dieskau digs deeper than ever, rethinking old details and inventing fresh ones along the way. "Rückblick" is a case in point, where the vocal line proceeds with greater urgency and intensity, no doubt galvanized by the harmonic tension Brendel generates from the piano part. By contrast, Fischer-Dieskau's understatement in the final song is not enacted but chillingly internalized.

Brendel is every inch the singer's equal partner. His spiky staccatos and occasional jangling tone constitute different pianist priorities from Gerald Moore's luminous, bell-like accompaniments, or Daniel Barenboim's richer, bass-oriented sonority. Still, there's tremendous assurance and sense of purpose governing Brendel's opinionated and utterly absorbing preludes, interludes, and postludes. This may not be Fischer-Dieskau's best sung Winterreise, but it's his most personal and deeply felt, and we'd all be poorer without it. [5/30/2001]

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Winterreise, D 911/Op. 89 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Alfred Brendel (Piano), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1985 
Venue:  Berlin, Germany 
Length: 69 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: German 

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