Die schöne Müllerin
Schubertiade, Feldkirch, Austria, 1991
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone András Schiff, piano
With interviews with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Schubertiade 1985
Release Dates Europe: April 2005 / USA: June 2005
Item Code (PAL) DV-CODSM Item Code (NTSC) DVUS-CODSM
EAN Code (PAL) 5450270012657
UPC Code (NTSC) 824121001223
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau will turn 80 in May 2005. To celebrate the event, TDK has joined forces with the Schubertiade and Austrian Television to present a very special concert on DVD.
In 1991, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau finally agreed to perform Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin at the Feldkirch Schubertiade - he had not sung the song-cycle in public for twenty years. The great baritone belonged to the innermost circle of artists who give this unique, Austrian festival of chamber music its distinctive character. He had performed Schubert there on many occasions, but never Die Schöne Müllerin. The pianist András Schiff was another long-standing member of the inner circle, but this was the artists’ first collaboration in Feldkirch – and so Austrian Television (ORF) recorded the concert. The documentary importance of this film was enhanced by Fischer-Dieskau’s retirement from public performance two years later.
During another Schubertiade a few years earlier, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was interviewed by music journalist Franz Zoglauer. The resulting documentary of singer, painter and private person augments the concert presented on this DVD. The singer speaks of his affinity to Schubert and the composer’s influence on the whole Lieder repertoire. With regard to his many recordings, Fischer-Dieskau declares that he has always considered these as “snapshots” of a particular situation and never as definitive statements on the repertory. He states that an interpretation should always be able to react to the surrounding situation, the accompanist and the audience and that, to keep a composition alive and meaningful, a performer must always be ready to approach a work afresh.
Returning to Die Schöne Müllerin for this Schubertiade, and working with András Schiff, the singer’s approach was fresh indeed! Fischer-Dieskau had often sung the song cycle early in his career, and he had made various studio recordings of the work, the last of these formed part of a set of all of Schubert’s songs recorded with Gerald Moore in 1971. Then he let the work rest for twenty years.
Looking back on the Schubertiade performance, Fischer-Dieskau says that, for the first time really, he tried, to sing these songs as he had always thought of them: led more by narrative than by emotion and responding to the wealth of colour and expression in the piano part (which calls for a pianist as sensitive as András Schiff) with curiosity and openness rather than concentrating on the vocal line. It was a unique occasion, not only for the listeners in the hall but also for the two artists, who experienced their collaboration on the podium as something quite exceptional. The viewer can see this in the artists’ animated give and take, their spontaneous mutual reactions, the creative excitement and a rare artistic vivacity. Both remember the evening as a special event, and without any hesitation consented to the recording being issued on DVD to make it available to a wider public.
Sound Formats PCM-STEREO / Picture Format 4:3 PAL / Subtitles GB, D, F, I, E, / Region Code 0 / Disc Format DVD9
Number of Discs 1 / Running Time 82 mins / Booklet Lang. GB, D, F, / Classification 0 / TDK
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