George Jellinek's Song Comparisons

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For the month of June, we revisit The Vocal Scene with George Jellinek, a show that was a fixture on WQXR for 36 years.

George created a number of Vocal Scene episodes that offer side-by-side renditions of the same work, and such shows were big audience favorites. With a characteristic twinkle in his eye, George offers listeners one sweeping understatement about the performances in this program: “They will all be good. Otherwise you wouldn’t be hearing them.”

Among the highlights are recordings by historic figures like Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, as well as present-day artists like Ian Bostridge and Bryn Terfel.


1. Schubert/Goethe: “Gretchen am Spinnrade” Op. 2, D. 118
Elly Ameling, soprano; Dalton Baldwin, piano
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, soprano; Edwin Fischer, piano

2. Schubert/Collin: “Nacht und Träume” D. 827
Elisabeth Schumann, soprano; Gerald Moore, piano
Ian Bostridge, tenor; Julius Drake, piano
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Gerald Moore, piano

3. Schubert/Goethe: “Erlkönig” Op. 1, D. 328
Christa Ludwig, soprano; Geoffrey Parsons, piano
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Gerald Moore, piano

4. Schumann/Rückert: Myrthen: “Widmung” Op. 25, No. 1
Gerard Souzay, baritone; Dalton Baldwin, piano
Bryn Terfel, baritone, Malcolm Martineau, piano

5. Schumann/Heine: Dichterliebe “Ich grolle nicht” Op. 48, No. 7
Fritz Wunderlich, tenor; Hubert Giesen, piano
Wolfgang Holzmair, baritone; Imogen Cooper, piano
Richard Tauber, baritone;

6. Wolf/Mörike: “Nimmersatte Liebe”
Hans Hotter, bass; Gerald Moore, piano
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, soprano; Geoffrey Parsons, piano

7. Dvorak: "Russalka: Song to the moon"

Lucia Popp, soprano; Conductor, Kurt Eichhorn; Munich Radio Orchestra