When I was in the Academy I kept getting back, in the 'Lieder' genre, to singing Schubert, almost exclusively. Maybe not smart per se but I couldn't help it.

Recently, a friend reminded me of this song: Der Leiermann (The Hurdy Gudy Man), the final song of Die Winterreise. 

Watch my heart crack as I listen and watch the Elvis of Schubert singers: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

Apart from feeling - should I call if floored or blown away ? - I had some takeaways:

  • Fischer-Diskau is like a top movie actor in the way he can express the meaning of the song with his face. His expression changes in many nuanced ways.
  • He uses the basic tools of a singer with minimum necessary force and maximum effect. All he is doing is freeing his instrument, and then basically reciting the text and visualizing the story. With his talent and the preparation he no doubt put into it, this does a powerful job.
  • There were some hints of vocal technique that is more often found in pop singing than in classical singing. Some added air, some non-vibrato sounds. All for dramatic effect.

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