For this week’s AMD, I listened to Mahler’s seminal work “Rückert-Lieder.” I encourage you all to listen to it, as it is so overwhelmingly beautiful, and some of the best music you will ever hear. To make it educational, I listened to two different versions, German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and American baritone Thomas Hampson, and compared their pronunciation, word stress, and understanding of the text. As you can hear, native speaker Dieskau has it perfect, but Thomas Hampson, being the god that he is, has near perfect diction. Enjoy!

AMD 4 – Justin

For the past two weeks, I have been working on “Waldesgespräch” by Robert Schumann, with text by Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff. It is the third song in Schumann’s cycle Liederkreis, Op. 39. The song cycle has a strong connection to Germany, as they originated in Germany with composers such as Schumann, Schubert, and Brahms. Song cycles are collections of art songs that are pieced together to tell a story. The story of Liederkreis is of a wanderer who becomes trapped in the woods. “Waldesgespräch” is about the wanderer coming across a beautiful woman in the forest, who he soon recognizes as the witch Loreley, who damns him to the forest forever.

Here is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who is known as the most important interpreter of German Art Song, with Günter Weissenborn on piano.