Thursday, June 21, 2012

Transcendent Mozart & Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; Help us choose our fall catalog cover?

Well, Mozart was our hands-down winner in yesterday's choice of three opera composers whose works one would take to a desert isle. We currently have two pertinent items that are special in two ways: the rarity and the singer. They are Haydn & Mozart Discoveries (a recital of lesser known arias) and L'Oca del Cairo; Lo sposo deluso (two early comic operas by Herr Mozart)—both featuring the famed German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who recently died. Alex Ross marked the passing of this "magisterial" singer in The New Yorker with these observations: "He was an explosively nuanced interpreter of Lieder, oratorio, and opera.... He refined the singing profession, shaping his career as an intellectual quest.... As with Maria Callas, the act of re-creation became a form of creative genius." The New York Times characterized him thus:
"a lyrical, introspective singer whose effect on listeners was not to nail them to their seat backs, but rather to draw them into the very heart of song…. Onstage he projected a masculine sensitivity informed by a cultivated upbringing and by dispiriting losses in World War II: the destruction of his family home, the death of his feeble brother in a Nazi institution, induction into the Wehrmacht when he had scarcely begun his voice studies at the Berlin Conservatory. His performances eluded easy description. Where reviewers could get the essence of a Pavarotti appearance in a phrase … a Fischer-Dieskau recital was akin to a magic show, with seamless shifts in dynamics and infinite shadings of coloration and character."
“One of the most remarkable voices in history—honeyed and suavely expressive” (pianist Gerald Moore); "a born god who has it all" (soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf). Fischer-Dieskau in a publicity still for a 1968 recording of Hindemith's Cardillac. © Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Classics.
 Mozart had a turbulent, tragically short life, and you can fill in the gaps in your knowledge of this complex and engaging composer with Julian Rushton's illuminating biography, which also features an introduction to the major works.

12 comments:

  1. The second photo of Fischer-Dieskau, where he's holding the chain, is kind of hilarious. He looks a bit like an over-dramatic Shakespearian actor.

    Also, it's really cool that Daedalus customers will have a hand in picking the next catalog cover! Will it be some sort of contest, or a poll?

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    1. The photo does seem to call out for a humorous caption! All the rest were so stuffy though.

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    2. haha I totally see that!! He's looking at the chain like it holds some mystical power. I think it's cool too that people get to pick the cover :-)

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    3. Are the bespectacled animals a clue? My cat doesn't need them, but he does read.. enough to know "tuna for cats" (swat with paw) from tuna for people (That one! That one!)

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    4. The photo does seem to call out for a humorous caption!

      Or a song. "Chain, chain, chain. Chain of fools...."

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  2. Emmeline's right, that picture is sooo heavy-handed! With talent like that, however, all is forgiven!!

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  3. I can't tell if the second photo of Fischer-Dieskau, shows a man who takes himself too seriously or not seriously at all, either way i love it!!!!

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    1. Well, I'm sure DG set up the whole thing. He probably didn't have a lot to do w/ it!

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    2. I love/hate when the explanation behind certain things could be either of two extremes...

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    3. That picture totally gives me the creeps!!!

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