R. Strauss: Kramerspiegel, Lieder / Fischer-dieska
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Jorg Demus, Karl Engel
This wide-ranging selection of Strauss lieder is performed by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in peak form in the early and mid-1960s. Krämerspiegel (Shopkeepers in the Mirror), Op.66, is a biting satire of music publishers, with virtuoso demands on the singer and tricky passages for the pianist. Strauss composed the songs to fulfill a lingering contract obligation to publishers Bote & Bock; when Bote & Bock saw the songs, they sued Strauss for breach of contract. Strauss responded by composing Op. 67, aus den Büchern des Unmuts (Rendsch Nameh) (from the Book of Ill Humor) based on poems from the West-östlicher Diwan by Goethe. Three of these rarefied songs close out this set. In between are eight songs drawn from compositions from various periods in Strauss's long career. This collection is an excellent display of Fischer-Dieskau's unsurpassed ability to project the character of a song, as well as his superb musicianship. Fisher-Dieskau recorded Krämerspiegel twice. At least one reviewer - Peter Schenkman in The Classical Music Guide - has stated a preference for this earlier of the two recordings.