Zum Liederabend am 26. Oktober 1971 in London

Daily Telegraph, 28. Oktober 1971  

Ideal performance by Fischer-Dieskau

Faultless unity of style and an almost uncanny ability to identify himself with the mood and situation of each song were perhaps the most striking features of Fischer-Dieskau’s Schumann recital at the Festival Hall.

This identification showed itself not only in modifications of tone-colour and the shaping of phrases, but also in stance and facial expression.

No doubt this is a result of the displays of emotion that operatic experience has brought to his art as a lieder singer.

In "Mein Wagen rollet langsam," for instance, the shadowy apparitions of Heine’s poem were brought vividly before the listener by a composite art in which voice and piano were subtly seconded by dramatic tension expressed through the singer’s whole body.


At the other extreme, he could create the effect of perfect stillness – uncanny in "Ich wandelte unter den Bäumen" and dreamlike in "Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen" – by sustaining through a whole song a single, hardly modified dynamic level.

Nothing was more impressive than the absolute stillness and clarity of his pianissimo recitative in "Ich hab’ im Traum geweinet," or the astonished-sounding Ritardando with which he finished the sequel "Allnächtlich im Traume." His whole treatment of the "Dichterliebe" transposed the work from the plane of everyday reality to the dream-world which Heine’s poems and Schumann’s music miraculously unite to create.

Martin Cooper

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