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Schubert's Songs: A Biographical Study Paperback – March, 1984

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Text: English, German (translation)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 333 pages
  • Publisher: Limelight Editions; 1st Limelight ed edition (March 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879100052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879100056
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,125,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, lyric baritone, was born in Berlin in 1925 and was one of this most important and widely acclaimed singers in the post-war era (was drafted in 1945, captured by the Americans in Italy and spent two years as a prisoner of war). He sang a great deal of opera in a huge range styles from Classic to Romantic to Wagner to opera of the Twentieth Century such as Berg and Britten. He was able to do all of this because of his great technique, natural vocal gifts, and keen intelligence. Above all, however, Fischer-Dieskau is remembered as a great singer of Lied, especially of Schubert. He actually sang all of Schubert's more than 600 songs in recital!

It is natural that a talent and a mind with such a close affinity to Schubert would also have studied the composer's life deeply enough to write a book such as this. It is a book with grace and charm that helps us understand Schubert's life on a very personal, even intimate (emotionally) basis. The author carefully connects the music with the life without the fatal mistake of the amateur of making the music biographical. We understand what was happening in Schubert's life, what he was writing at the time, and how that music involved those around him.

The musical detail never gets too technical, but only serves to illuminate the beauty and significance of the song and helps the reader understand its musical poetry and its illumination of the text. There are no musical examples or pictures, but plenty of excerpts of the texts of the songs so they may be discussed.

There is also a wonderful immediacy to the writing. We are taken to concerts, recitals, parties, and share in Schubert's triumphs and disappointments.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another phenomenal book I borrowed from the Uni library 10 years ago, when I should have been borrowing boring stuff on Sociology, that I bought from Amazon anyway a couple of years ago.

The only thing that needs to be said about this book is that no-one knows Schubert and sings Schubert like Dieterich Fischer-Dieskau, so when he speaks on him, we should listen. To truly understand Schubert, you have to listen to his lieder. To truly hear his lieder, you have to listen to Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore. To truly understand Schubert, you have to read Fischer-Dieskau's little book. 'nuf said.

I don't know if it's required reading in Conservatory's around the world when studying Schubert or songs in general, but it should be.
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