Great Performances - Dietrich Fischer Dieskau Sings The Erlking

This chilling performance by baritone Dietrich Fischer Dieskau and pianist Gerald Moore has been hailed on Youtube as one of the best interpretations of this German lied.


Franz Schubert based this "Der Erlkönig" (The Elf King or "Erlking") on a poem by Goethe of the same name. In a nutshell, the singer portrays four characters: the narrator, a young boy, his father and the Erlköning. Dieskau superbly captures the nuances each character while Moore gallops through those triplets with an enviable pinnache. They paint us a soundscape of a young boy as he rides on horseback in the dark and of his encounter with the Erlking.


The duo are completely in sync, which is a feat considering I read once that the two hated each other.


Dieskau's word painting is stellar. Every time I listen to this, I get shivers when the Erlking becomes forceful and the young boy meets his fate.



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