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Fischer-Dieskau at 75
. The Mastersinger
Lieder and Scenes from Operas, 1964-78
Deutsche Grammophon 469 097-2. 2CD [79' & 75'27"]
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Der Vogelfanger bin ich ja. Ein Madchen oder Weibchen wunscht Pagagena sich. Pa Pa Pa Pagagena! Wahn! Wahn! Uberall Wahn! Selig wie die Sonne. Entry of the Gods into Valhalla. Ombra mau fu. Va tacito e nascosto. Che faro senza Euridice? Soave sia il venta. Omnia Sol Temperat. Estuans interius. Vedro mentr 'io sospira. Le nozze di Figaro Finale Act IV. Di Provenza il mar il suol. All' anglo contra me v'unite! Cortigiani vil razza dannata. Dio che nell' alma infondere. Per me giunto e il supremo (Death Scene). Tre shirri una carrozza (Te Deum). Holde Gattin dir zur Seite. La ci darem la mano. Deh vieni alla finestra. Fin eh han dal vino. Mir anvertraut dass ich sie hege. Und du wirst mein Gebiester sein. Wer bist denn du? Wird dir nicht bange. Tochter der Herodias? Im Fruhling. Stanchen. Am Silvia. Die Forelle. Erlkonig. Der Musensohn. Heidenroslein. Ruckert Lieder - Ich bin der welt abhanden gekommen.

This generous celebratory compilation for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's 75th birthday is fascinating for its glimpses of the great singer in his prime. The tracks were bound to be good, with so very many to choose from, and the sequences make enjoyable listening. Conductors for the operatic excerpts include Bohm, Jochum, Karajan, Fricsay, Kubelik, Solti & Maazel, a roster of greats through the decades. Towards the end of the second CD there are seven famous songs by Schubert, all demonstrating Fischer-Dieskau's impeccable diction and imaginative word colouring and emphases, with Richter, Demus and, of course, Gerald Moore (the 'Unashamed Accompanist') as his partners. These performances leave no room to doubt that the popular Schubert lieder are popular for good reason.

Fischer-Dieskau, more than most lieder singers of the preceding generations, raised to a new height the appreciation of the importance of realising texts in their most subtle shades of meaning. Fischer-Dieskau's delivery of the opera excerpts too predictably gives equal emphasis to the dramatic situations and the words of the libretti. With opera audiences now expecting sur-titles, the time has come to give opera buffs who are CD collectors (most of them) a similar facility.

DG's presentation is very basic, as is common with these recycled collections. No texts at all are supplied in any language. Despite that deplorable economy, this CD is a good memento of the younger Fischer-Dieskau and a good bargain, which is bound to give great pleasure.The words of nearly all the Schubert songs (Standchen D957/4 excepted) are to be found in the The Fischer-Dieskau Book of Lieder (Gollancz). I have recently been shown an invaluable song-texts website, a great profit-free public service and a valuable discovery:

Does anyone know an equivalent website with texts of at least the most well known scenes and operatic arias, which reappear so frequently on compact disc?


Peter Grahame Woolf


Peter Grahame Woolf

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