Zum Liederabend am 22. März 1967 in New York

New York Times, 23. März 1967

Fischer-Dieskau in "Winterreise"

Gerald Moore Accompanies in Great Schubert Cycle

For the second of their three current lieder recitals in Carnegie Hall, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone, and Gerald Moore, pianist, last night turned their attention to the greatest of song cycles, Schubert’s "Die Winterreise."

The set of 24 songs has occupied the two artists for many years, both in public performance and in several recordings. They have arrived at a point where their interpretation is such that one cannot imagine its being bettered.

Schubert’s music has no sentimentality in it; but it is easy for performers to get sentimental about the extraordinary moods and the tragic power the composer evoked. The superb quality of the presentation by Mr. Fischer-Dieskau and Mr. Moore was its freedom from excessive emotion. Despite a surface of colorful detail, the interpretation had an elemental starkness and purity that made it an ennobling - as opposed to a moving - experience.

This does not mean that singer and pianist did not sound involved in the music and spontaneous in communication. There were many of the hallmarks of their vision of the cycle - the savagery the baritone gives to the sibilant sounds in "Erstarrung," the drawn-out, sinuous phrasing he brings to "Einsamkeit."

All in Proportion

But nothing was overdone. It was as if the two artists knew the work so thoroughly that they could stand outside it and present it in all its perfection without touching it with their own personalities.

Thus, from a simple, rather wry statement of the opening song, "Gute Nacht," to a full realization of the terrible bleakness of the final song, "Der Leiermann," the cycle progressed with overwhelming inevitability. The most tender melodies that Schubert composed to make more poignant the thought of the winter traveler were sung and played with a beautiful clarity and simplicity.

The cycle was presented without interruption, and the audience obeyed the request to refrain from applauding until the performance was over. At that point, however, the audience, which overflowed onto the stage of Carnegie Hall, gave Mr. Fischer-Dieskau and Mr. Moore a standing ovation. They recalled the artists again and again. Encores would have been anticlimactic; none were given. Anything more would have seemed like tinsel after pure gold.

Raymond Ericson

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