Classical Album of the Week

Classical Album of the Week

With this week’s Classical Album selection, my engagement as TIDAL’s Classical Editor unfortunately ends. So for the last Classical Album of the Week, I will present one of my favorites. —Morten Ernst Lassen

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The famous German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was one of the great interpreters of German Lieder.

He worked with many different pianists over the years – Brendel, Schiff, Moore and Barenboim, to mention just a few – and this gave him much inspiration. Fischer-Dieskau said that every time he sang with a new accompanist, the songs got new a life.

On this specific album D F-D works with the Russian “über-pianist” Sviatoslav Richter, who it is said could play so loud and temperamental that he could make the earth shake. Richter’s original and greatest musical passion was opera, and his brilliant ability to read and play music-scores secured him an early career as a vocal-coach at the opera-house in Odessa.

But it is as a solo pianist, he is known and loved. And to this day – 100 years after his birth in 1915 – Richter towers as one of the greatest pianists the world has ever known. Fischer-Dieskau, who cooperated with Richter on several occasions, said that he could perform a two-hour recital without a single error.

The album, first released in 1978 on the legendary label Polydor, has long stood as a milestone in recording history, as well as in the musical partnership of these two fine artists.

They perform a selection of 16 of Franz Schubert’s incredibly beautiful songs:

· Des Sängers Habe
· Wehmut
· There Strom
· Das Zügenglöcklein
· Abendbilder
· Auf der Donau
· There Schiffer
· Totengräbers Heimwe
· Am Fenster
· Die Sterne
· Fischer Weise
· Liebeslauschen
· The Wanderer
· Auf der Bruck
· Im Frühling
· Aus ‘Heliopolis’ II

One of the reasons why I have chosen this as the final Classical Album of the Week is that it features two outstanding soloists exemplifying what musical collaboration is really all about. Neglecting themselves while channeling a selfless energy, perfection and commitment, the music simply melts together as one. I find that a beautiful metaphor.

I myself was a student of Fischer-Dieskau in Berlin for some years and I got the chance to sing some of these songs for him.

Standing in front of him and singing Schubert was almost like meeting the composer himself. This I will never forget!

With that, there is not left for me to say. I wish you the best of luck – and the best of good music. Thanks you all, and in the words of Hans Christian Andersen, ”Where words fail, music speaks.”

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Photo: © Siegfried Lauterwasser / DG)

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