Zum Konzert am 26. November 1964 in New York

New York Times, 27. November 1964    

Fischer-Dieskau Heard in Concert

Steinberg Leads Program With Philharmonic

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau sang with the New York Philharmonic for the first time last night at Philharmonic Hall and contributed to an evening of the solidest kind of music-making.

The term "music-making" is used advisedly. Usually it applies to what small chamber groups do together in the home - playing for pleasure, that is. It is not always apt in describing a large highly organized symphony concert.

But with William Steinberg conducting, the German baritone singing and the orchestra very much on its toes, the pleasure of the participants in what they were doing came across. The audience loved it.

Phrasing With Care

Mr. Fischer-Dieskau was heard in Hugo Wolf’s "Harfenspieler Lieder" ("Songs of the Bard") and in Mahler’s "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen" ("Songs of a Wayfarer"). Both are groups of songs in which highly charged moods are communicated in the rich, sustained style of lieder.

The baritone sang them with perfect enunciation, extremely clear quality of tone and with most careful phrasing. He has a powerful voice that he keeps in reserve, so that when he does need it, he can knock you right back in your seat with it.

He pays particular attention to the text, both its sound and underlying meaning, and so the deepest dramatic kind of projection follows.

His singing was remarkably direct in the Wolf songs. He chose to communicate by vocal power and musical sense alone, without mannerisms.

Warmth Comes Through

The Mahler has a few, more relaxed interludes and in these the warmth of Mr. Fischer-Dieskau’s singing came through.

In both Mahler and Wolf, Mr. Steinberg was an extremely sensitive collaborator. He wrapped Mr. Fischer-Dieskau’s voice in a seething, shifting, orchestral texture that emphasized every note and every episode.


Theodore Strongin

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