on 26 July 2011
These famous performances caught Fisher-Dieskau at the height of his powers. His dramatic voice combines both beauty of utterance as well as excitement when called for. And there is far less evidence here of a hectoring quality that could inform some of his singing later on in his distinguished career. The combination of one of the twentieth century's most beautiful voices, hand in hand with the interpretative insights of a rare sensibility, makes this very special indeed. I would have parted with the money for the Ruckertlieder alone.
on 27 July 2012
Some people criticise Fischer-Dieskau for being overemotional, but these performances of Mahler Lieder display his incomparable ability to communicate the essence of the music in such an intimate way and that his singing goes beyond the realm of emotional expression, to touch the other-worldly.
on 4 January 2012
It's nothing short of a delight to hear this disc again. Fischer-Dieskau recorded it when his voice was in its fullest bloom. Every nuance of every phrase is clearly to be heard without anything being over-emphasised (in the way that sometimes disfigured some of his later recordings, e.g. of Wolf songs). The orchestral accompaniments are also impeccably balanced.
You can certainly find newer recordings of these works, and some will prefer the timbre of a soprano or mezzo-soprano in some cases. But I would never wish to be without these versions - they are timeless.
on 16 September 2012
I had always enjoyed Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's performances: he was such an expressive singer but was associated in my mind most strongly with Schubert lieder. This collection of songs, though, has been a revelation to me. Listening to them for the first time had me wondering why I had not heard him singing Mahler before, and regretting that I had not done so.
His vocal technique is, as ever, impressive and his great sympathy with both the words and the emotion of the music make for a beautiful experience.
This is a great find for me, and like the other reviewers here, I enthusiastically recommend it.
on 22 May 2012
This is one of the finest recordings of Fischer-Dieskau's distinguished career, and in the wake of his recent death, must stand as a fitting memorial to one of the greatest singers of all time. His vocal control, the godlike beauty of his instrument, the deep intelligence behind his interpretations, all of these combine in this recording of Mahler's most heartfelt music to create a cd of utter perfection. With the addition of Kubelik and Boehm's conducting and the fine playing of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic, we are lucky enough to have this performance captured forever. I would recommend any singer to listen carefully to these interpretations to learn how words and music can combine to produce such sublime beauty. At the end of my favourite of these songs, "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen", DFD sings "I am dead to the bustle of the world, and repose in tranquil realms. I live alone in my heaven, in my devotion, in my song." Sadly, the great artist has now gone from us, and one can only hope that we who survive him can keep burning the eternal flame of his genius.