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Franz Schubert - Goethe-Lieder (1999)

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Franz Schubert - Goethe-Lieder (1999)

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01. Wandrers Nachtlied I D 224       [1'47]  
    »Der du von dem Himmel bist« 
02. Wandrers Nachtlied II D 768      [2'33] 
    »Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh«   
03. Ganymed D 544                    [4'42] 
04. Jägers Abendlied D 368           [2'32] 
05. An Schwager Kronos D 369         [3'06] 
06. Meeres Stille D 216              [2'25] 
07. Prometheus D 674                 [5'34] 
    Gesänge des Harfners aus  
    Goethes »Wilhelm Meister« : 
08. Harfenspieler I D 478            [4'28]  
    »Wer sich der Einsamkeit ergibt« 
09. Harfenspieler III D 480          [4'57]
    »Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen aß« 
10. Harfenspieler II D 479           [2'10] 
    "An die Tüten will ich schleichen«
11. An den Mond D 296                [4'53]
12. Auf dem See D 543                [3'32] 
13. Erster Verlust D 226             [1'56]
14. Der Musensohn D 764              [2'02]
15. Rastlose Liebe D 138             [1'22]
16. Nähe des Geliebten D 162         [3'27]
17. Heidenröslein D 257              [1'46]   
18. Wonne der Wehmut D 260           [1'05]   
19. Erlkönig D 328                   [4'19]
20. Der König in Thule D 367         [3'00]   
21. Geheimes D 719                   [1'48]   
22. Grenzen der Menschheit D 716     [8'06]   
23. Am Flusse D 766                  [1'13]   
24. Willkommen und Abschied D 767    [3'17]

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Baritone 
Jörg Demus – piano (01-14) 
Gerald Moore – piano (15-24)


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


This collection of the Goethelieder is genuinely the "gold standard" against which all others should be judged. I say this because not only have I heard the majority of the works by other baritones (and "Der Erlkonig" performed by two mezzo-sopranos): however, I've followed the vocal development of Fischer-Deskau from the earliest CD I could find (from an EMI CD containing Der Erlko"nig from 1951 according to the booklet's timeline--with Gerald Moore on piano.) Another recording dates from the mid 1960's (Erlko"nig, for example, dated as 1965--again, Gerald Moore, pianist.) However, when I heard this collection of Schubert's Goethelieder, I was entranced. Selections 1-14 feature Jo"rg Demus as pianist (with whom Fischer-Deskau formed a close professional and personal relationxhip) and Gerald Moore as pianist on selections 15-24. Fischer-Dieskau's "Heidenro"slien" is so good that even I play it over and over (although I've heard it so much...Fischer-Deskau gives it a beautiful rendition.) His "Erlko"nig" is such that he gets the four voices of the narrator, the child, the father, and the Erlko"nig so well it is astonishing. Gerald Moore also performs the initial ascending triplet figures on the left hand in paralell octaves so well that it sounds like one pianist is playing the right hand triplet figures whereas another pianist is using two hands to play the left parallel octaves!! This is a MUST HAVE for Schubert/Fischer-Deskau/piano lovers!! --- Dr. Robert S. Bean, amazon.com

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 29 April 2014 10:37)


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