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Ira Siff
Opera News, August 2017

By the time of this visual document, Fischer-Dieskau had been singing the cycle for more than three decades, working with many different pianists, constantly rethinking, reexamining and reworking this staggeringly moving cycle of rejection, loss and heartbreak. …One advantage this video document has, is the ingredient of the artist’s facial expressions and body language; his engagement has a directness and honesty that compensates for this singer’s tendency to take detail to a level approaching, or even embracing, mannerism. Remember that Fischer-Dieskau, like Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, is the product of his time. And in that era, lieder singing was being rethought, promoting a style of presentation that balanced the emotional with the intellectual. At its best, it delivers an intensity and depth of interpretation that is unmatched; at its less-than-best, it seems overcooked.

This particular outing finds Fischer-Dieskau in superb voice at fifty-four, his vocal flexibility and ability to shade phrases entirely intact. Brendel plays superbly from beginning to end. His tone matches that of the baritone in terms of warmth and color, while avoiding the self-conscious or precious. Both artists reach a level of interpretation at a number of points that merit acquiring this disc—and watching it repeatedly. …Brendel achieves breathtaking details, such as the delicate, leafy figures in “Der Lindenbaum,” and wonderful pacing, as in the tricky “Rückblick.” © 2017 Opera News Read complete review



Huntley Dent
Fanfare, July 2017

…it was the appearance of Alfred Brendel on the scene that made the most impact, …Brendel and F-D partnered in Winterreise many times between 1975 and 1989, so their collaboration is a meeting of the minds, …Fischer-Dieskau declaims each song with authority, often at loud volume; there isn’t much attempt at tenderness or even an inward gaze. When Brendel plays solo in a song’s prelude or postlude, his milder manner is obvious.

For all of its best features, including the visuals, I’d give this a high ranking among Fischer-Dieskau’s harvest of Winterreises. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Richard Wigmore
Gramophone, April 2017

Fischer-Dieskau’s voice—a shade lighter and more tenorish than in younger days—is in far finer condition than when he made his CD recording with Brendel a few years later. His breath control, enabling him to sing so many phrases in a single span where most singers take two, remains a miracle. He lives each phase of the wanderer’s plight, too, in his telling but unexaggerated facial and bodily gestures. From the intermittent shots of the pianist, Brendel likewise suffers alongside him.

While I would have liked to hear more of him, Brendel’s pianism is a model of rhythmic and textural clarity, and matches Fischer-Dieskau all the way in dynamic and colouristic range. Tempos are never allowed to sag, and not for a moment is there a whiff of self-indulgence. © 2017 Gramophone




Guy Wagner
Pizzicato, February 2017

Two masters of their art give a fascinating account of Schubert’s Winterreise. The documentary with excerpts from the rehearsal is one very enriching lesson. © 2017 Pizzicato





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