Zum Konzert am 9. März 1963 in London

The Times, 11. März 1963

Mr. Fischer-Dieskau as Handel’s Apollo

[…] The young Handel, however, inspired by a text of more than usual merit, poured such a wealth of fresh invention into this account of Apollo’s infatuation with the votaress of his chaste sister Diana, his pursuit of her and her timely metamorphosis into a laurel-tree, as to transcend the convention altogether.

The aptness of his musical characterization brings the mythological figures to life, so that Apollo, in particular, seems like some eighteenth-century seigneur insisting on his rights – the grandfather, perhaps, of Mozart’s Count, but with a less sophisticated victim than Susanna. For this impression Handel must share the credit with Mr. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, whose own easy authority and vocal delivery has something godlike about it, but Miss Heather Harper brought real purity of line and style to Daphne’s arias if less radiance of tone than we expect from her; her first aria, "Felicissima quest’ alma", with its inexhaustible obbligato oboe melody, was especially memorable.

The earlier part of the programme had proved less happy. Mr. Fischer-Dieskau had appeared briefly to sing the aria "Herr, so du willt" from Bach’s cantata No. 73, and not even his charm of manner (indeed, especially not his charm of manner) could persuade us to accept as a party piece what should be a deeply felt acceptance of death. But the real disappointment was Mr. Karl Richter’s direction of a section of the Philharmonia Orchestra (the strings were balanced in music by Handel, Bach, and the latter’s son John Christian. It was full of energy, admittedly, but energy of a generalized kind; the music was kept bustling briskly on, but with no clear sense of formal direction.


Autor unbekannt


     Daily Telegraph, 11. März 1963     


Spontaneous early Handel

Finely-sung Apollo of Fischer-Dieskau


It was only with Handel’s cantata "Apollo and Daphne," which comprised the second half, that Saturday evening’s concert at the Festival Hall by the Philharmonia Orchestra under Karl Richter really came to life.

The spontaneity of this youthful work was admirably captured in the singing of Heather Harper and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

Mr. Fischer-Dieskau was occasionally inclined to over-characterise the music – notably in the final aria, which requires no more than seductive beauty of tone. But his finely controlled reading of Apollo’s part was mostly a delight.

To the part of Daphne Miss Harper brought a clear, sweet voice, and her first aria was a tour de force of sustained expressive singing.

In the first part of the programme Karl Richter did little to enhance his reputation as an 18th-century specialist.

His tempi in the fast movements of a J. C. Bach symphony were unhappily precipitous, while in a Handel concerto and a Bach suite he gave devitalised performances.

Autor unbekannt

zurück zur Übersicht 1963
zurück zur Übersicht Kalendarium