Icon: Brigitte Fassbaender, The great lieder recordings

Notes & Reviews:

Brigitte Fassbaender rose to worldwide fame in the role of Octavian in the Strauss/Hofmannsthal comedy Der Rosenkavalier. Fassbaender took her Octavian to all the major repertoire, she wanted to be as wide-ranging as possible, while always respecting her limitations. Running parallel to her appearances in the theater, Fassbaender developed her career in the concert hall and on the recital platform. Her discography is even ricer in oratorio (Bach, Handel, Rossini, Schumann) and lieder than in opera. For Brigitte Fassbaender, there is more description of her performances and interpretations than of her actual sound. This 8-CD set focuses on her interpretative leider recordings. Alan Blyth has spoken of 'a very personal, no-holds barred manner of singing', while Richard Wigmore wrote that 'her bold, bronze timbre, with its dash of astringency, was not conventionally beautiful. Yet beauty was never her prime concern.' In a recent interview Fassbaender loaded back on her career in its time. 'It was very different then - there was much less stress and competition... And we had more opportunities to sing for recordings and to take more risks in our work. I feel gratitude, but also amazement, for all the wonderful, strenuous, many-sided nerve-wracking things that I was allowed to experience.'

The ICON series returns to pays homage to some of the greatest recording artists with these elegantly-packaged multi-CD sets devoted to their finest recordings. The next installment in the series offers five titles which showcase the artistry of Arturo Toscanini, Boris Christoff, Brigitte Fassbaender, Constantin Silvestri, and John McCormack.

MusicWeb International, 27th June 2013
The set provides a very good survey of the most representative sections of her output...This set will act as a compendium of treasures for those who already know and love Fassbaender's art. It could serve also as a welcome introduction for those who do not.



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