Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau/Alfred Brendel – “Der Lindenbaum” -Die Winterreise

I think my appreciation for Alfred Brendel, first discovered as I listened to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau accompanied by him instead of Gerald Moore, as had so often been the case, can be summed up in Brendel’s own comment,

“I am responsible to the composer, and particularly to the piece.”

That one simple, but extremely difficult, committment is why Brendel is so very good in finding the “voice” of his instrument–the piano. His committment to getting as close as he possibly can to the composer’s intention is fiendishly difficult, especially in a society where almost all artists seek to place their own thoughts, feelings and personalitiews above that of the desires of the composer, even when a composer may have explicitly stated directions and commentary for performance guidelines.

“I am responsible to the composer, and particularly to the piece.”

I can appreciate that, especially since in attempting to be responsible in such a way it results in such excellence of performance as Brendel’s.

Once again, one of my very favorite Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau performances, accompanied by Alfred Brendel:

2 Replies to “Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau/Alfred Brendel – “Der Lindenbaum” -Die Winterreise”

  1. I couldn’t help but notice the similar structure to a hymn, Behold tis Eventide. Even though this is all about Winter, the theme of the close of day, close of year is similar as well.

    1. TF, Die Winterreise is becoming more and more clear to me as I embrace my “old fartedness”. *heh* The “Winter’s Journey” we all must talke eventually, if we live long enough, can mean many different things to different folks. “Der Lindenbaum” is one of the most touching pieces of the Schubert song cycle for me, and I’m not quite sure why, as I don’t have experiences that directly parallell the lyrics. But somehow, it just seems to speak to me more and more as time goes by.

      And, of course, Fischer-Dieskau… and Alfred Brendel… their work on the whole song cycle just takes my breath away. Sure, as I’ve noted elsewhere, Fischer-Dieskau’s vocal aparatus was stronger and more fluid in his younger years, but the depth of emotion he embues the notes with at the age of 60 (as he was 26 years ago when he performed in this video) is just so very much more Schubertian to my ears/gut.

      Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,
      To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.

      –William Congreve, in The mourning bride, 1697

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