Franz Schubert: Winterreise
The privilege of performing Schubert’s Winterreise at the Salzburg Summer Festival is reserved for only remarkable artistic personalities. In 1978, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Maurizio Pollini came together for the first and only time as a lied duo in order to perform this great cycle. We must be all the more grateful that the Austrian Radio recorded their encounter. The fact that this interpretation remained unrepeated is perhaps only explicable in that something so unique should perhaps remain thus. Fischer-Dieskau’s balance of words and music remains unsurpassed – here he also succeeded in creating a mighty, continuous arc of tension from the first to the last of the 24 songs. With his accents and details in the tempi and dynamics – at times quite startling – Pollini proved that the piano part in Schubert’s songs is far more than a mere “accompaniment”. It is not least Festival documents such as this that prove how great musicians often bring forth extraordinary things on unusual terrain.