Fischer-Dieskau - Salzburger Liederabende 1956-1965

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"The Orfeo issue is an absolute ‘must’ for any Fischer-Dieskau collection... Comprising all the recitals Fischer-Dieskau gave with Moore at the Salzburg Festival over 10 years starting in 1956, it is a rewarding compendium of his interpretations of all the most important composers of Lieder. Most have already appeared as separate issues, when I have lavished generous praise on them (and encores have been added that were not on the original issues). Much of the repertory was recorded at least once by the singer throughout his career in the studio, but – as I have frequently pointed out – these offerings have just that extra response an audience engenders.

The two Wolf recitals have not appeared before: one is a delightful CD of songs from the Spanish Songbook, shared in 1960 with Seefried and Werba, a rewarding pairing. The other ‘new’ Wolf CD, also from 1960, can serve as a template of every recital here by virtue of its complete command of every aspect of the Lieder singer’s art. It is devoted entirely to Goethe settings, beginning with a deeply thought-through account of the ‘Harfenspieler’ songs from Wilhelm Meister in which, right at the start of a programme, Fischer-Dieskau is entirely at his ease, piercing to the soul of these mysterious and wonderful pieces. That’s followed by a suitably mellifluous and ecstatic account of the heaven-seeking Ganymed. A sharply characterised Der Rattenfänger, a ruminative Anakreons Grab and a challengingly powerful Prometheus – all masterly settings and all played by Moore with exemplary understanding – are at the very heart of this programme. Among the five encores, the suitably eager Begegnung and a properly cynical Abschied find the singer and pianist at their most relaxed and outgoing.

The first (1956) recital, which I don’t think I had heard before, is another winner. Devoted entirely to Heine settings by Schubert and Schumann to mark the centenary of the poet’s death, it contains some of the greatest Lieder ever written, ideally delivered – Schubert’s six settings included in Schwanengesang and Schumann’s Dichterliebe, in readings as immediate as any by the singer, followed by a treasure-store of encores: soft-grained, warm accounts of Du bist wie eine Blume and Mondnacht among them, followed by a light, wistful Erstes Grün. I shall leave the remainder of these superb offerings (discs devoted to Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and post-Romantic composers) for the reader to discover.

Alan Blyth, The Gramophone

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: ORF-C339050

  • UPC: 4011790339023

  • Label: Orfeo

  • Composer: Ferruccio Busoni, Franz Schubert, Gustav Mahler, Hans Pfitzner, Hugo Wolf, Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Strauss, Robert Schumann

  • Performer: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Erik Werba, Gerald Moore, Irmgard Seefried