23 maio, 2012

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was a revolutionary performer

Fischer-Dieskau reorientated our listening experience, writes Daniel Barenboim in a personal tribute to the great baritone.

Retirado do Guardian, um tributo de Daniel Baremboin a Fischer-Dieskau.

There are many wonderful composers whose works we appreciate greatly but who did not make a significant impact on the historical development of music. Only a select few were able to at once sum up everything that had existed in music before them, and to pave the way into the future. Bach, Schoenberg, Wagner and Beethoven are outstanding examples of such revolutionaries. The situation is similar when it comes to performers of classical music: before Pablo Casals, for example, it was widely accepted that a cello just could not play in tune. Casals changed this widespread perception mainly through his interpretation of the Bach Cello Suites, and thus achieved a significant reorientation in our listening experience.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was another such a revolutionary performer. He gave his first song recital as a 22-year-old, and the next year made his debut as Posa in Verdi's Don Carlos at the Städtische Oper Berlin. This was far from common at the time. In those days, a singer was supposed to sing opera, or song, but not both. Fischer-Dieskau broke through these barriers and showed that he was able to deliver extraordinary performances in different musical styles. He sang Mozart's and Verdi's operas as well as oratorios, song and contemporary pieces such as Reimann's Lear. Today, we accept implicitly that great artists are equally at home in opera and song, but Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was the first of his kind.
When I was ten years old, I witnessed his first, or maybe second, recital in Vienna. I had never experienced anything like it and was completely mesmerised. It was the first time I heard a piano and voice recital; the intimacy and sincerity of the performance just blew me away.
His greatest achievement as an artist is maybe that he has given us an answer to the eternal question "prima la musica vs prima le parole"? (music, or words first?) He showed us that question in itself is false: in his interpretations, he created a unity between text and music unlike few before or after him. He set the benchmark in enunciation, and he emphasised key words through changing the sound of the note on which the word was sung. Thus, he not only clarified the sense of the word, but he let every syllable and every note sound together and thereby created a unity of harmony and colours unlike anyone else. For the word "death", for example, he didn't only use a different colour when pronouncing it (because he knew it was an extraordinary word), no, he also knew which colour to use for the note on which "death" was sung. He created a new dimension of the comprehensibility and understandability of the text.
We made music together for 25 years and I learned so much from him – he opened my eyes and ears to Brahms, Liszt, and especially Wolf. Through our work on Wolf's music, I was able to achieve a better understanding of Mahler's and Wagner's music. He gave me the means to work with singers in a precise and focussed manner. Our work together has been and always will be a benchmark for me. To work with him on anything was a privilege, but the Wolf Lieder set and Schubert's Winterreise stand out particularly.
He was one of the first German artists to perform in Israel, and perhaps more importantly, he sang a concert in Israel in German when he performed two recitals with Schubert, Schumann and Mahler songs with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in the early 70s. Until then even Beethoven's Ninth Symphony had exclusively been performed in English. Through his unique art, he enabled the German-Jewish population in Israel to once again appreciate the German language in music.
We had a very special friendship, and if I have already missed him on stage in the past 20 years, his loss now is even more painful.

Sem comentários:

Enviar um comentário