Saturday, April 29, 2017

Franz Schubert - Goethe-Lieder (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau)


Information

Composer: Franz Schubert
  1. Wandrers Nachtlied I, D. 224 'Der du von dem Himmel bist'
  2. Wandrers Nachtlied II, D 768 'Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh'
  3. Ganymed, D. 544
  4. Jägers Abendlied, D. 368
  5. An Schwager Kronos, D. 369
  6. Meeres Stille, D. 216
  7. Prometheus, D. 674
  8. Harfenspieler I, D. 478 'Wer sich der Einsamkeit ergibt'
  9. Harfenspieler III, D. 480 'Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen aß'
  10. Harfenspieler II, D. 479 'An die Türen will ich schleichen'
  11. An den Mond, D. 296
  12. Auf der See, D. 543
  13. Erster Verlust, D. 226
  14. Der Musensohn, D. 764
  15. Rastlose Liebe, D.138
  16. Nähe des Geliebten, D. 162
  17. Heidenröslein, D. 257
  18. Wonne der Wehmut, D. 260
  19. Erlkönig, D. 328
  20. Der König in Thule, D. 367
  21. Geheimes, D. 719
  22. Grenzen der Menschheit, D. 716
  23. Am Flusse, D. 766
  24. Willkommen und Abschied, D. 767

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone
Jörg Demus, piano (1-14)
Gerald Moore, piano (15-24)

Date: 1959-1969
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/cat/4577472


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Review

Fischer-Dieskau enjoyed the services of many fine accompanists in his career; and though Gerald Moore is the name linked most closely to his, he made some of his best Lieder recordings with Jörg Demus. DG has already reissued, in its "Originals" series, the 1965 Winterreise, a performance of the cycle as close as possible to deserving the adjective "definitive." Now we have the 1959 recital of 14 Goethe settings, recorded when the baritone was at his vocal peak. He begins audaciously, with the two Wandrers Nachtlieder, not grabbing us by the throat but coaxing us gently into his world. The beauty of his soft singing is spellbinding and continues to be so through the first four songs, and yet there are still reserves of sweetness he doesn't tap until he comes to the stanza-endings of Jägers Abendlied. With the more extrovert An Schwager Kronos, he begins to delve further into his arsenal of tonal resources. The variety here is astonishing, the third verse contrasting tellingly with the first two; Demus is particularly sparkling in the fifth, capturing to perfection the evocation of the "sea of fire foaming in my eyes." Meeres Stille is, once again, all repose, but then Prometheus strides heroically onto the stage, proud and defiant without exaggeration or bluster. The third and second Harfenspieler songs (sung in that order) are again staggering in their range of vocal color. When the baritone repeats "Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen ass" for the second time, the tender raptness of the tone is really surprising, even though we should have known what to expect. Auf dem See is serenely simple, except for the sudden glow at the line "Goldne Träume, kommt ihr wieder — it becomes the jewel at the heart of the poem. Even Der Musensohn, which F-D would attack rather too heartily later in his career, is blithe and unstrained, an upbeat ending to an absorbing program.

To fill out the disc, 10 Goethe songs are borrowed from the huge 1969-70 Schubert collection made with Moore and already reissued. It might have made more sense to rescue from oblivion the six songs with Demus that filled out the LP issue of Winterreise, but I can understand why DG wanted to extend the Goethe theme with such favorites as Nähe des Geliebtens, Heidenröslein, and Erlkönig (though the 1969 account of the last-named is not Fischer-Dieskau's—or Moore's—most exciting and confident).

-- Ralph V. Lucano, FANFARE

More reviews:
https://www.amazon.com/Schubert-Goethe-Lieder-Fischer-Dieskau-Demus-Moore/dp/B00000J9HB

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Franz Schubert (31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828) was an Austrian composer who was extremely prolific during his short lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the late Classical era and early Romantic era and is one of the most frequently performed composers of the early nineteenth century. His music is characterized by pleasing tunes while still has "a great wealth of technical finesse".

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Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (28 May 1925 – 18 May 2012) was a German lyric baritone and conductor of classical music, one of the most famous Lieder (art song) performers of the post-war period. He was described as "one of the supreme vocal artists of the 20th century" and "the most influential singer of the 20th Century" Fischer-Dieskau recorded an array of repertoire (spanning centuries): opera, lieder and oratorio in German, Italian, English, French, Russian, Hebrew and Hungarian. At his peak, he was greatly admired for his interpretive insights and exceptional control of his soft, beautiful instrument.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Fischer-Dieskau

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