Sunday, January 6, 2013


This time sung by Franz Crass, a bass

The same words. The same music, but somehow radically different.
It's not a question of which version is better, but of what qualities each brings out in Goethe's poem and Wolf's song. Part of the fascination of classical music is to learn to appreciate the different touches different artists bring to unvaried notes and text. 


  1. So no one has listened since this posted today a noon -- six full hours ago?

    Never mind, Franz, at least I appreciate you, and was glad to discover your robust interpretation of the Wolf.

    ~ FT

  2. Hey cut me a break! I just got here and had to listen to both!

    Then I got distracted by them mixing up the gold, the myrrh, or the lyrics, I'm not sure which.

    Since no one had to translate Goethe for either of them, it may just be one of those maddening idiosyncrasies of German.

    Both excellent renditions though on first hearing I think I prefer Schwarzkopf's. Have to listen again to see why.

  3. The contrast between the lyric soprano and a basso profundo is great, Viburnum.

    Franz Crass had a wonderful voice, but lacked the insight and sense of humor that Schwarzkopf brings to it. The poem of course, is whimsical -- gently humorous. The bass takes it all a bit too seriously -- or suds as though he does.

    Notice the subtle changes in Schwarzkopf's vocal timbre as she portrays the narrator and each of the three kings. It's delightful. Franz Crass leaves most of that up to the accompaniment, which is, of course, a BIG part of it anyway.

    The lady too is accompanied by Furtwaengler who was one of THE most distinguished and universally revered musicians of the last century.

    I'm very glad you listened. Few did I suspect. Maybe these "foreign" things seem too much like work? To me they are part of a world of enchantment and always have been.

    No one can love or understand everything, but we could never know anything if we didn't make make constant attempts to bridge the gaps in our knowledge.



  4. Wish I could have heard you sing Wotan, Franz. You had the perfect voice for it and looked the part as well. The same with Sarastro.



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