Romantic Duets / Fischer-dieskau, Varady
Várady, Júlia; Höll, Hartmut; Fischer-Dieskau, Dietrich
Is it not a bit out of proportion to announce yet another album world premiere for a singer with such a vast discography as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau? No, it truly is not. That is because the “undoubtedly most important singer- alongside Maria Callas and Enrico Caruso- of the twentieth century” (according to Die Welt newspaper) had originally forbidden a release of this live recording. The most likely reason is that this recording made on February 26, 1989 in the Deutsche Oper in Dusseldorf and featuring his fourth wife, soprano Julia Varady, born in 1941, included songs that the baritone, who was to retire from active performance in 1992, planned to record in the studio. There are therefore really no feasible artistic grounds why this splendid Lieder matinee performance to mark the tenth anniversary of the Robert Schumann Society should remain “unheard-of” on any sound carrier. And so these are Fischer- Dieskau/Varady gems which we can now enjoy long after the event. Even when it comes to the repertoire there are works rarely encountered. “Romantic Duets” may well sound like a run of the mill selection of this artform, yet the composers of the Romantic era whose works are represented here were far more productive when it came to solo Lieder.