ICON: BIRGITTE FASSBAENDER - THE GREAT LIEDER RECORDINGS
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 centers including London, Milan, Vienna, New York and Tokyo and continued singing the role for over 20 years. Fassbaender says that, in her operatic repertoire, she wanted to be as wide-ranging as possible, while always respecting her limitations. Running parallel to her appearances in the theatre, Fassbaender developed her career in the concert hall and on the recital platform. Her discography is even richer 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 looked 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.'