Aureole etc.




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Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

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Haydn and Mozart Discoveries
Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Un cor sì tenero (Il disertore) [3:39]
Spann’ deine langen Ohren (La vera costanza) [2:34]
Tergi I vezzosi rai (Acide e Galatea) [6:06]
Dice benissimo (La scuola de’ gelosi) [2:34]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Männer suchen stehts zu naschen, K.433 [2:11]
Ich möchte wohl der Kaiser sein, K.539 [2:48]
Nach der welschen Art (La finta giardiniera [German version]) [3:07]
Mentre ti lascio, K.513 [8:01]
Così dunque tradisci … Aspri rimorsi atroci, K.432 [4:19]
Un bacio di mano, K.451 [2:05]
Hai già vinta la causa … Vedrò mentr’io sospiro (Le nozze di Figaro) [4:56]
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)
Wiener Haydn-Orchester/Reinhard Peters
rec. October, 1969, Vienna
DECCA 475 7169 [42:56]

This was the only recital Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (b.1925) ever recorded for Decca. Its reissue on CD is welcome, but it has to be said that Decca’s presentation is dreadful. The front of the original LP sleeve is reproduced, which is pleasant; also reproduced is the reverse of that sleeve, which contained notes by Christopher Raeburn. Reduced to CD size – the print is absolutely tiny and not very well printed – it is near enough illegible. My own great difficulty in reading these notes has been shared by others whose eyes are a good deal younger and better than mine. A web address is given where we are told that these liner notes can be found - a tacit admission that they are illegible on the CD – but I couldn’t find them at the address given.

There are no texts or translations. The miniaturised LP sleeve contains the words ‘Insert Included’, so presumably the original LP did have texts/translations. This is presentation which shows scant respect for the performers and the paying customer.
 
It is a pleasure to turn to the music itself. Quite a number of the items included are insertion arias, written by Haydn or Mozart for performances of operas by others or for use in revised productions of their own operas. The recital begins, for example, with an aria written by Haydn in 1787 for inclusion in an Esterhazy performance of  Bianchi’s Il disertore francese; it also includes Haydn’s ‘Dice benissimo’, written for another Esterhazy production, this time of Salieri’s La scuola de’gelosi. The Mozart items include arias written for productions of Paisiello’s La disfatta di Dario (‘Mentre ti lascio’) and Pasquale Anfossi’s Le gelosio fortunate (‘Un bacio de mano’).
 
There is much to enjoy in this recital, such as  Haydn’s beautiful ‘Un cor si tenero’ (the aria written for Bianchi’s opera) and the same composer’s charming ‘Dice benissimo’, a piece to grace any opera buffa. ‘Tergi I vezzosi rai’ is from Haydn’s second version of Acide e Galatea and gives the singer the chance for some florid display – a chance which Fischer-Dieskau doesn’t neglect. Mozart’s ‘Ich möchte wohl der kaiser sein’ is an engaging oddity, a Turkish-flavoured setting of warlike sentiments in unsophisticated verse; ‘Nach der welschen Art’ was written for the singspiel version of La finta giardiniera, an aria in which Nardo explains how a lady should be wooed in Italy, France and England – each explanation/demonstration being in the relevant language and distinctively styled, musically speaking.
 
Some of the playing of the Wiener Haydn-Orchester now sounds rather dated. Nor, of course, is Fischer-Dieskau’s vocal style quite what we have now largely come to expect in such material. Yet it would surely be very foolish to give too much weight to ‘historical’ quibbles here – Fischer-Dieskau’s control of dynamics, subtlety of phrasing, general attractiveness of tone and, above all, the intelligence with which he interprets text are such as to overcome all such matters. Musicianship of such a quality and perceptiveness is rare and it makes for a thoroughly rewarding collection.
 
Glyn Pursglove
 

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