The Singing Baton – Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau conducts Brahms
With almost 20 solo and chamber discs already issued on the Edelweiss Emission Label, Argentinean-born pianist, polymath and author Daniel Levy has brought out a new account of Brahms’ defiant First Piano Concerto. Much praised for his CDs of seminal Romantic repertoire, Levy is no stranger to Brahms, having partnered Nicolas Chumachenco in the violin sonatas, and recorded the Schumann Variations, Op.9, the Intermezzos, Op.117 and the Klavierstücke, Op.118.
Levy’s keyboard credo aims to define the living essence of music: ‘Time, space and music’, he says, ‘are inseparable… our task is to penetrate them.’
For his fist concerto recording, Levy’s choice of podium partner was bound to be crucial.
Unlike other grandi voci Schreier and Domingo, who took up the baton fairly late in their singing careers, Levy’s collaborator, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, has conducted regularly for over half a century. ‘I studied conducting intensively during my youth’, he recalls, ‘originally with a view to accompanying singers. When I conduct an orchestra, my landscape is still that of the human voice.
‘It was Mr. Levy’s personal wish that I should conduct on this record, and I was very happy to work once again with the Philharmonia. I first conducted them back in 1951 or ’52, when I took over from Otto Klemperer. They were recording two Schubert symphonies when Dr.Klemperer was taken ill. The producer telephoned me: “I hear you want to conduct – get over here straight away”.
This new recording signalled a unique meeting of minds: ‘Daniel Levy is striving for an ideal, and we both see this work in a very personal context.’
Fischer-Dieskau maintains that ‘one always needs new insights, and novel perspectives, especially today when it is becoming increasingly difficult to create a completely original interpretation.’
BBC Music Magazine, UK