Gramophone August 2000

Lieder, 1850-1950
Apostel Nacht, Op 3 No 4 Bartok Songs,Sz61 - In the valley Beck Herbst Berlioz Auf den Lagunen 1Op 7 No 3 Blacher
Aprèslude, Op 57 - No 1, Gedicht; No 2, Worte Cornelius Sonnenuntergang. Liebe ohne Heimat Debussy Chansons de France,
-Rondel I: Le temps a laissié son manteau; Rondel II: Pour ce que Plaisance est morte Dessau Noch bin ich eine Stadt. Such nicht
mehr, Frau Einem Songs from the Chinese, Op 8 - No 2, In der Fremde (after Li-Taibo); No 4, Ein junger Dichter denkt an die Geliebte
(after Sao-Han) Eisler Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente - An die Hoffnung. Fünf Anakreontische Fragmente - In der Frühe. Spruch 1939
Eulenburg Liebessehnsucht Fortner Abbitte. Hyperions Schicksalslied. Lied vom Weidenbaum Franz Auf demMeere, Op 5 No 3.
Wie des Mondes Abbild, Op 6 No 3 . Gewitternacht, Op 8 No 6. Bitte, Op 9 No 3. Für Musik, Op 10 No I. Abends, Op 16 No 4.
Auf dem Meere (An die bretterne Schiffswand), Op 26 No 6. Auf dem Meere (Der Himmel hat seine Perlen), Op 36 No 1.
Lieder, Op 33 - No 1, Wonne der Wehmut; No 3, Mailied Grieg Songs, Op 48- No 2, Dereinst, Gedanke inein; No 3, Lauf der Welt.
Songs, Op 4 - No 2, Morgentau; No 3, Abschied; No 4, Jägerlied; No 6, Wo sind sie hin? Hör'ich das Liedchen klingen, Op 39 No 6
Hauer Hölderlin-Lieder, Op 23 - No 2, Der gefesselte Strom; No 4, An die Parzen Hiller Gebet, Op 46 No 1 Hindemith Fragment
A Jensen Lehn deine Wang'an meine Wang', Op 1 No 1 Kirchner Lieder, op l - No 2, Frühlingslied (Leise zieht durch mein Gemüt);
No 3, Sie weiss es nicht; No 4, Frühlingslied (In dem Walde spriesst und grünt es); No 9, Frühlingslied (Ich lieb'eine Blume) Krenek
Lieder, Op 19-No 1, Erinnerung; No 5, Die frühen Gräber Liszt Es rauschen die Winde, S294. Wieder möcht' ich dir begegnen, S332.
Ständchen. Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh, S306 Mahler Lieder aus 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn' Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen
Mattiesen Heimgang in derFrühe, Op 2 No l. Herbstgefühl Milhaud Lamentation, Op 34 No 8 Nietzsche Nachspiel. Wie sich
Rebenranken schwingen.Verwelkt Pfitzner An den Mond, Op 18 Mailied, Op 26 No 5. Hussens Kerker, Op 32 No I Raff Unter
den Palmen Reger Warnung, Op 104 No 2. Sommernacht, Op 98 No 5 Reutter Johann Kepler, Op 64 No 5. Meine dunklen Hände
- Trommel; Lied für ein dunkles Mädchen Ritter Primula veris, Op 10 No I Rubinstein Es blinket der Tau, Op 72 No l Schillings
Freude soll in deinen Werken sein, Op 16 No I Schoeck Abendwolken, Op 20 No 6. Reiselied, Op 12 No l. Peregrina II, Op 17 No 4
Schoenberg Warnung, Op 3 No 3. Traumleben, Op 6 No 1 Schreker Die Dunkelheit sinkt schwer wie Blei R Strauss Wer hat's
gethan? AV84a Streicher Ist dir ein getreues, liebevolles Kind beschert Tiessen Vöglein Schwermut, Op 2 3 No 3 Wagner Der
Tannenbaum Webern Lieder -Erwachen aus dem tiefsten Traumes-schoße; Kunfttag I: Dein bist du Kind, dem Freund; Trauer I: So
wart bis ich dies dir noch künde; Das lockere Saatgefilde lechzet krank Weingartner Liebesfeier, Op 16 No 2 Wetzel An meine
Mutter, Op 3 No 5. Der Kehraus

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau bar Aribert Reimann, Herrnann Reutter pfs
EMI CMS5 67349-2
(246 minutes: ADD). From EMI originals, recorded 1970-74


An impressive set - in quality and quantity - featuring many songs that are unavailable elsewhere. A great pity about the lack of texts

This is such an important collection that it seems a pity to begin with a reservation, but it's a serious one. There are 88 songs here, most of high
quality, the great majority little known and many otherwise unavailable. Their quality, of course, as to do with the relationship between text and
music, but no texts or translations are provided. This is a disastrous impedance to appreciating not only these songs but Fischer-Dieskau's artistry.
To mark his 75th birthday in this way and to charge full price for it is outrageous.
Some of the most striking songs are by unknown composers. Theodor Kirchner emerges as an accomplished member of Schumann's circle, with
abundant melodic appeal and subtle harmonies. Theodor Streicher sounds like a German John Ireland, and a charming one. Alexander Ritter, an
important influence on the young Richard Strauss, makes one's hair stand on end with his tonally adventurous, startlingly original 'Primula veris'.
Emil Mattiesen provides memorable accompaniments (slumberous and hypnotic in one song, prowling staccato in the other) to chromatic but
strong vocal lines. Hermann Reutter portrays the astronomer Johann Kepler in clean, dry counterpoint; the result is like the very best Hindemith.
Wolfgang Fortner, described in the not very useful booklet as 'the Leipzig-born 12-tone composer' contributes three songs, none serial or even
atonal, including a weird little setting (in English) of Desdemona's 'A Willow Song' and a beautiful, very simple one of Hölderlin's Abbitte.
Of the better-known figures, Robert Franz has an often simple charm to which Fischer-Dieskau's intensity is not ideally suited, but he finds dark
eloquence as well as lyric freshness in Grieg's settings of German texts and both grace and ardour in Liszt; his ‚Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh' has a
magical stillness. Some of the choices cast light on the singer himself.. he chooses two of Peter Cornelius's bigger songs, not the more familiar
folksong-like pieces, and his scholarly interest in Nietzsche leads him to select three that give an idea of that talented amateur composer's range:
an effective romantic number, an odd little epigram and a song that few other singers would have undertaken because of the vast vocal range it
demands. Schoeck, Reger and Pfitzner are only sampled, but each is strongly represented. The very early Wagner song is scarcely characteristic
(the booklet talks nonsense about it pre-echoing Act 3 of Die Walküre) but the Strauss, unpublished when this recording gave it its first performance,
has since deservedly joined the canon. Among the curiosities Felix Weingartner's 'Liebesfeier', a hit in its day, sounds like a poor man's Strauss
(more precisely a cheap substitute for 'Zueignung').
Apart from the intensely expressive Webern and Eisler pieces and Hans Erich Apostel's 'Nacht' none of the modern songs entirely eschew tonality,
though Hermann Reutter nears the brink with effective vehemence in two settings (in English) of Langston Hughes, and Josef Matthias Hauer
demonstrates that his form of scrialism is by no means incompatible with lyricism or drama. The 'conservative' Gottfried von Einem uses what
one might call a radical simplicity to arresting effect; so does Paul Dessau (his songs described quite wrongly in the booklet as 'cabaret-tinged').
Both of the Krenek songs (in one of them a folk-like tune turns in unexpected directions and encounters quirky harmonies) are well worth discovering;
so are the two bony little epigrams by Boris Blacher. A rich and absorbing survey of the latter history of the Lied, but the vessel has been spoiled for a
ha'p'orth of printer's ink. Michael Oliver