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Wolf: Lieder (DG Collectors Edition) Box set, Collector's Edition

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Mar. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set, Collector's Edition
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B0033QC0XI
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,440 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Cute 'n Cuddly Bartok on 29 May 2010
Format: Audio CD
This 6-CD set comprises about 150 of Hugo Wolf's finest songs, to settings by, amongst others, Morike, Goethe, Lenau, Heine and Eichendorf. Not included are either the Italian, or Spanish Songbooks, which are probably the songs by which he is best known; not to worry, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau has recorded both, with Elizabeth Schwarzkopf and Gerald Moore as accompanist, and are available elsewhere.

In many ways Wolf's work represents the very summit of the German Lied. Wolf's genius lies in the concentration of the expression, reverence to the words and an intimacy that debatably outstrips that of the other great Lieder composers. And although the vast majority of his songs are brief and deceptively simple, he was probably not merely a small-scale thinker; settings such as the Morike-Lieder actually make very satisfying cycles, despite only seeming to be linked by no more than a shared poet.

To criticise Fischer-Dieskau in any way is probably pointless. True, some may prefer other singers, and one could argue that he has produced so many recordings that surely they cannot all be of the highest standard? Nonsense! There is absolutely no hint of any of these songs being sung as a routine job. The voice is at close to its freshest throughout, these being recordings from the mid `70s. And although Gerald Moore is maybe the first accompanist one may associate with German songs, Daniel Barenboim is a thoughtful and unobtrusive player here. He accompanies, makes few if any interpretative points, which is exactly what Hugo Wolf's songs demand. And the recording standard is what one would expect of Deutsche Grammophon.

This set was re-released only recently (February 2010) and comes without the words or translations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DPO on 9 Mar. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Previously made available by DG in a (much) higher-priced edition, these recordings are now offered in this within-reach budget set. The recordings are, of course, precisely the same as in the more expensive edition; the only obvious reduction being in packaging and the omission of lieder texts. Many buyers of this set will, I venture, already have at least some of the texts (if not scores) available in any case and, for those who do not, they are available via DG's web site, as well as in other versions widely available on the web. Not that I always bother with the meaning of the words: one of the enchantments of listening to lieder is to hear the voice as pure instrument, and the words as articulations of sound, with music (rather than literary content) conveying the meaning. (Yes, I know this rather flies in the face of what Wolf has accomplished; but there you have it -- I enjoy a little perversity now and again!)

Wolf is a Marmite sort of a composer: love him or hate him. He was introduced to me in the form of his setting of Morike's Verborgenheit by my singing tutor in the early eighties and, after some struggling to come to terms with what was very unfamiliar to me at the time, I grew to love him. Like (I suspect) others, I have various recordings of Wolf, and each has their merit. For me, though, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's performances here are thoroughly engaging and, though I am a little less enthusiastic about Barenboim's accompaniment, it is the set of recordings I would choose to have above all others.

All of which is very personal, of course. But then that, I tend to think, is rather the point of such an intimate art as lieder.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
One of the best things from the mature Fischer-Dieskau 2 April 2010
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format: Audio CD
By 1976 Fischer-Dieskau had been performing before the microphone for almost thirty years and was approaching the end of his vocal prime -- he turned 51 that year. Yet his mastery of Wolf's intricate, concentrated, turn-on-a-dime idiom was at its height. You can buy any number of individual recitals by him that feature Wolf, and 175 songs on six CDs is a lot to absorb. Nonetheless, this budget repackaging is a must-listen. The singer got a new lease on his artistic life by taking up partnerships with noted pianists like Brendel, Richter, and Barenboim. Frankly, no musician is great enough to find an original interpretation of this many songs, but Barenboim has a real personality, and needless to add, so does F-D. Their general level of excellence is very high.

Wolf can bring out extremes of expression in any singer, so intense is his musical voice. You'd think that Fischer-Dieskau would fall back on his worst traits of underlining the text too heavily, spitting out consonants, and barking through the loud, fast passages. Happily, there's a minimum of that, perhaps because Barenboim is so unflashy and restrained. I am not a great fan of F-D, yet I felt here that he was quite strong in his ability to characterize each song, so many of which evoke characters in intense psychological states -- this is world-weary, self-conscious late Romanticism on the verge of Freud. I also appreciated the sweetness of the singer's lyrical moments. Even when a reading feels a bit too plain, it's never faked, generic, or rhetorical. All to the good, then, in a box set that every lover of Wolf won't want to miss.

P.S. - See one of the comments below for how to access the texts for the songs online.

The program, by general groupings, is as follows:


Der König bei der Krönung

Gedichte von Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Songs (3) on poems by Michelangelo Buonarroti

Wanderers Nachtlied


Lieder nach Heine

Lieder nach Lenau

Ein Grab

Andenken (Text: Friedrich Matthisson)


Der Schwalben Heimkehr



Auf einer Wanderung (No. 15 from Mörike-Lieder)

26 Ja, die Schönst'! Ich sagt' es offen

Nach dem Abschiede

Über Nacht Lieder aus der Jugendzeit

Zur Ruh, zur Ruh!


Wächterlied auf der Wartburg

Wohin mit der Freud? (No. 1 from Reinick-Lieder)

Liebchen, wo bist du? (No. 2 from Reinick-Lieder)

Nachtgruss (No. 3 from Reinick-Lieder)

Frühlingsglocken (No. 4 from Reinick-Lieder)

Ständchen 'Komm in die stille Nacht!' (No. 5 from Reinick-Lieder)

Liebesbotschaft (No. 6 from Reinick-Lieder)

Frohe Botschaft (No. 9 from Reinick-Lieder)

Lied des transferierten Zettel

Drei Gedichte von Robert Reinick

Keine gleicht von allen Schönen

Sonne der Schlummerlosen
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful performances, but no texts and translations 25 Feb. 2014
By J. Musick - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A disturbing trend among record companies is to reissue choral and song recordings without printed texts and translations. This is a disservice to consumers who are not fluent in the language being sung.

DG does offer the consumer the option of downloading the texts and translations from the Internet. However, there are 152 songs in this album. Printing off the text and translations for these many songs would consume a lot of time and paper, would require a lot of space to store the printouts, and the printouts are of poor quality to boot. I was so disappointed by this presentation that I returned this album, and purchased a used copy of the original CD release which had a booklet containing the German texts and English translations. Even though the used copy was significantly more expensive than this reissue, it was worth it.

These highly-regarded recordings were initially released 35-40 years ago, and the recording costs have been amortized many years ago. A booklet with the German text and English translations could have been enclosed at minimal cost. Hopefully the record companies will abandon this short-sighted practice.

An album like this, without texts and translations, should be sold only in German-speaking countries. Either that, or a warning label should be placed on the case.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Definitive Collection of the Songs of Hugo Wolf 23 May 2012
By Grady Harp - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Sad that at times it takes the passing of a great artist to return to older recordings, but in the case of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau such a revisiting of the great lieder singer's repertoire is more than justified. This set of six CDs recorded in 1974 and 1976 find Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with his near perfect piano collaborator Daniel Barenboim were so well recorded technically that as CDs they remain a gold standard.

More important than the technical aspects of course is the fact that these recordings were made after Fischer-Dieskau had been performing them for years in concert halls around the world. His delivery is elegant, his voice is lustrous, and his probing of the poetry of the texts is penetrating. Barenboim likewise finds just the right touch to bring out the lyricism and the furor of the various songs and his balance with the singer is always at the level Wolf probably only dreamed would happen.
These are all of the Hugo Wolf songs and the spread of the works over the discs is logically planned and beautifully executed. Especially now, after the death of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, it is advisable to purchase this set. It is a collector's item of the first rank. Grady Harp, May 12
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