Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

"The magisterial German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, whom I memorialize at the beginning of my column in this week’s New Yorker, made almost too many recordings to count. Monika Wolf, the keeper of his discography, lists five hundred and forty-two items in the latest edition of her catalogue; several of these are boxed sets containing hundreds of songs. When radio and television activity is taken into account, there are, in total, fifty-one hundred and ninety-nine entries. It is a staggering achievement, and not only because of the sheer quantity of the work.   ...  Fischer-Dieskau’s early maturity coincided with the golden age of the LP, and he shows up on at least a dozen indisputably historic recordings of the fifties and early sixties. For example, there he is singing Kurwenal on Wilhelm Furtwängler’s studio account of “Tristan und Isolde,” which would appear on almost anyone’s short list of the greatest opera records ever made" (Alex Ross, "The Fischer-Dieskau Record," New Yorker, 5/29/12).

View catalog record here!