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Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau (Bass-Baritone)
Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works
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See: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Short Biography

 

BWV 159/157 Fischer-Dieskau

Francis Browne wrote (March 4, 2002):
Following Tom Braatz's very enthusiastic recommendation of Fischer-Dieskau's performance of Es ist vollbracht I made a point of finding the disc(EMI References ) on a recent visit to London.

Tom did not exaggerate .These are outstanding, revelatory performances not only of the aria from BWV 159 but also, among much else, of the bass aria from this week's cantata BWV 157 Ja, ja ich halte Jesum feste. There is a rightness, a quality of intelligent musicality about the singing that gives constant illumination and delight. As an added bonus the playing of the instrumentalists is also outstanding. Many thanks Tom.

As somebody who is exploring most of the cantatas for the first time through the Leusink cycle I find it most useful to hear such performances as Fischer-Dieskau's that reveal far more of the beauty in the cantatas than the Leusink performances generally achieve. Even an imperfect performance of Bach's music gives such delight that I suspect that in listening to CDs I am not alone in often taking what is for what can or should be . I shall continue to listen with much pleasure and gratitude to Leusink but it is good to be reminded of what a really excellent performancer can reveal.

Tom wrote that 'among all the recordings of Bach arias that I have heard, this one certainly would be at the top of my list of all-time favorites'. I would be very interested to know what recordings other members of the list would nominate for such an accolade.

 

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (May 18, 2012):
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/may/18/dietrich-fischer-dieskau?newsfeed=true

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 18, 2012):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] Four wives!! That's a lot of lieder!

Warren Prestidge wrote (May 19, 2012):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] Thanks very much for this link, Malvenuto. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is simply the greatest singer I have ever heard, and that includes his performances of Bach. I have recordings of him in cantatas BWV 4, BWV 56 and BWV 82, and of course his incomparable renditions of Christ in Karl Forster's St John Passion and especially in Klemperer's St Matthew Passion. I very much appreciate being informed of his death and directed to that fine tribute. I don't imagine our media will pay much attention - but I may be wrong.

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 19, 2012):
Warren Prestidge wrote:
< Thanks very much for this link, Malvenuto. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is simply the greatest singer I have ever heard, and that includes his performances of Bach. I have recordings of him in cantatas BWV 4, BWV 56 and BWV 82, >
There are fine compilations of his work in many formats, including a reissue of the Bach cantatas led by Rilling, specifically including DFD.

Indeed, a major artist, and as Doug suggests, a memorable man, as well.

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 19, 2012):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< There are fine compilations of his work in many formats, including a reissue of the Bach cantatas led by Rilling, specifically including DFD. >
This is accurate, but perhaps a bit misleading. I had conflated two separate issues in my mind:

(1) Hanssler CD of BWV 56 and BWV 82 (only), led by Rilling

(2) EMI CD of various other works, led by Karl Forster

See BCW biography and discography for details of these and other available recordings of DFD performing Bach.

Joseph Fry (R.H. Freeman) wrote (May 19, 2012):
[To Ed Myskowski] I have been inspired to contribute (for the first time) by the passing of a unique talent.

For those who are not aware there is a fine channel of 130 videos devoted to DFD on YouTube covering lieder and operatic performances, together with a handful of Bach contributions: http://www.youtube.com/user/FiDiTanzer528?feature=chclk

In particular DFDs controlled, velvety performance of Mache dich Mein herze rein (preceded by recitative) under the baton of Karl Richter and the Munich Bach Orchestra is an aural miracle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM16AYlGP7g&feature=plcp

RIP DFD

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 19, 2012):
R H Freeman wrote:
< In particular DFDs controlled, velvety performance of Mache dich Mein herze rein (preceded by recitative) under the baton of Karl Richter and the Munich Bach Orchestra is an aural miracle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM16AYlGP7g >
What a marvel his voice was, a seamless range that it is never forced above the staff and even has a solid low G in the recitative! This kind of singing isn't fashionable anymore, but, goodness, his lovely hairpins on the sustained "rein" show a matchless technique. I grew up on Richter's tempos, so it is a treat to be reminded of how important he was to the post-war Bach peformance revolution. Thanks for this link.

Randy Lane wrote (May 21, 2012):
[To Douglas Cowling] Don't forget his contributions to the recently released 9 CD set from Audite The RIAS Bach Cantatas Project under Karl Ristenpart See C-5 on this page : http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Ristenpart.htm for a listing of the works he sings in.

I have a special attachment to the relatively younger DFD, like mid 1940s to early 1960s. When this box arrived I could not put it away for over a week.

Richard Raymond wrote (May 21, 2012):
[To Randy Lane] http://youtu.be/6kZXttJ_Gwk

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Charles Francis wrote (May 21, 2012):
With apologies for the off-topic element, I found this video of Fischer-Dieskau singing Mahler's 'Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen' pertinent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=587P3LMhkJg

In this clip, the late Yehudi Menuhin discusses Fischer-Dieskau: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO_W6TFwmEo

And here a Bach / Fischer-Dieskau masterpiece - BWV 159, 'Es ist vollbracht', Berliner Philharmoniker, Karl Forster: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w3B7C7BQVY

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 21, 2012):
Charles Francis wrote:
< And here a Bach / Fischer-Dieskau masterpiece - BWV 159, 'Es ist vollbracht', Berliner Philharmoniker, Karl Forster: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w3B7C7BQVY >
Thanks for the links, tracking and reporting on those exceeds my technical capacity. BWV 159 with Forster is also available on the CD I mentioned. Not to be missed by either Bach or DFD aficionados. I expect that is all of us?

For next week, a comparison of the DFD versions of BWV 56 with the one (?) by Thomas Quasthoff would be welcome. Not to attempt to assign homework, but a few words from pub pal Harry would be especially appropriate, since he introduced me to the Quasthoff rendition a few years back.

Ah, the good old days. Or as Sun Ra put it, today we are ancient to the future.

 

Bach/brook and other ephemera

Continue of discussion from: Bach Family - Discussions [General Topics]

Peter Smaill wrote (May 23, 2012):
Bach/brook and other ephemera

[To Ed Myskowski] The helpful University of Alberta search function http://webdocs.cs.ualberta.ca/~wfb/bach.html gives the following appearances of the word "bach", perhaps intended eponymously in the second instance:

BWV 245 St John Passion: 2a Jesus ging mit seinen jungern ueber den Bach Kidron

from John's Gospel 18;1; "[After saying these things ], Jesus crossed the Kidron stream with his diciples"

BWV 524 Ein andre moechte Kippen mit dem Backtrog in Bach

This is the wedding-quodlibet whose text is sometimes attributed to Gottsched (not very likely in 1707!) can be rendered as

"[Were I King now in Poland, why then should I care, ]
Let someone else tip over the dough-trough in the brook,"

In addition we have in BWV 81/3, "Belials Baechen", the streams of Belial.

While thinking of Gilles Cantagrel- he notes in his voluminous "Les Cantates de J-S Bach" a private correspondence confirming that Dietrich Fischer -Dieskau was descended through his mother's line (Dieskau) from the von Dieskau landlord, Carl Heinrich, who is the subject of the Peasant Cantata BWV 212. But as far as I know D F-D never performed in this work; perhaps rather as with Glenn Gould, who despite being related in blood via the Scottish maternal line to Edvard Grieg, (original family spelling Greig) loathed the Grieg Piano concerto and refused to record it. Or so they say.

Warren Prestidge wrote (May 23, 2012):
[To Peter Smaill] I have an LP of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in the Peasant Cantata (BWV 212) (and the Coffee Cantata (BWV 211)), conducted by Karl Forster, World Record Club label, TZ 260, produced in the early '60's, by the look of it.

George Bromley wrote (May 23, 2012):
[To Warren Prestidge] Yes, I had this LP and I must have purchased it in 1957 when I was 16.

Peter Smaill wrote (May 23, 2012):
[To George Bromley] Delighted to stand corrected- it is indeed the case that Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau performed BWV 212- did the sleeve notes make anything of the Dieskau connection? Rgds to all the lucky respondents who have this rarity.

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 23, 2012):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< Delighted to stand corrected- it is indeed the case that Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau performed BWV 212- did the sleeve notes make anything of the Dieskau connection? >
A bit like Prince Charles playing Macbeth as a student and declaiming the witches' vision of the unbroken line of British monarchs in the future -- including presumably himself.

Warren Prestidge wrote (May 23, 2012):
[To Peter Smaill] No, there is no mention of the connection with D F-D on the sleeve notes of my LP, although the notes do say the cantata was written in honour of Carl Heinrich von Dieskau. On my LP the year stated beneath the sleeve notes for copyright purposes is 1962. However, my LP is a World Record club reissue and so presumably it's quite possible, George, that the original LP was recorded earlier. D F-D's rendition of the exasperated father in the Coffee Cantata (BWV 211) is particularly outstanding. And what a great masterpiece of musical comedy that opening aria is!

 

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Lyrical and Powerful Baritone, Dies at 86

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (May 19, 2013):
Unfortunate news today.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Lyrical and Powerful Baritone, Dies at 86 (NY Times)

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 19, 2013):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< Unfortunate news today.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Lyrical and Powerful Baritone, Dies at 86 (NY Times) >
I hope they play this recording during his obsequies ..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVWxUb4FhQg

He has been THE baritone all my life.

Julian Mincham wrote (May 19, 2013):
[To Kim Patrick Clow] He died a year ago.

Either the news travelled slowly or this email came via Neptune!

Paul Beckman wrote (May 19, 2013):
[To Julian Mincham] NYT holding out on us. There should definitely be an investigation into the delay - some kind of coverup.

Julian Mincham wrote (May 19, 2013):
[To Paul Beckman] Is Rupert Murdock behind it do you think?

Elizabeth Schwimmer wrote (May 19, 2013):
[To Julian Mincham] I live at the end of the world (Bolivia), I even shed a few tears last night, until a friend told me Fisher-Diskau died last year.

George Bromley wrote (May 19, 2013):
[To Elizabeth Schwimmer] Many years ago I remember purchasing an LP of Dietrich singing the Peasant (BWV 212) and Coffee cantatas (BWV 211) ( I was then 15!) what shear joy to listen.

Evan Cortens wrote (May 19, 2013):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< Is Rupert Murdock behind it do you think? >
No need for conspiracy theories--the NYT article is dated May 18, 2012 (last year).

George Bromley wrote (May 19, 2013):
If you care to go in to Google you you see the man died in may 2012, so who is out of date?

Julian Mincham wrote (May 19, 2013):
[To Evan Cortens] Yes it was simply a quip--I read the original a year ago but wondered why the email came around recently

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 19, 2013):
[To Evan Cortens] Yes, but just because conspiracy theories are not needed (i.e., not the only possible explanation), does not mean that a conspiracy theory is not in fact accurate!

The enemy is everywhere.

Paul Beckman wrote (May 19, 2013):
[To Ed Myskowski] Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean someone isn't after you.

Alan Bruguieres wrote (May 21, 2013):
[To Julian Mincham] I guess the WH tried to hide this from the public. Obviously they meant to get the OVPP act passed in Congress, before the Commity on Oversight even figured out what the initials stood for.

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 21, 2013):
[To Alain Bruguieres] I always thought that OVPP was a Republican austerity measure.

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 21, 2013):
[To Douglas Cowling] Apparently Democrats are now getting on the austerity band (or chorus?!) wagon, as well? A penny saved is a penny earned, eh? Especially if the penny was spent on art or education.

 

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau: Short Biography | General Discussions

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Last update: October 10, 2013 22:19:46