Other Matters: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (1925-2012)

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, a musician whose artistry erased categorical boundaries, died last week at 86. In his appreciation of Fischer-Dieskau, New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini wrote of the great baritone’s “seemingly effortless mix of vocal beauty and verbal directness.” Here is a gem-like example of what Tommasini described—Fischer-Dieskau and Sviatoslav Richter in 1978, having a great time with Franz Schubert’s “Fischerweise.”

Fischer-Dieskau was perhaps the definitive interpreter of Schubert’s lieder masterpiece “Wintereisse.” To hear and see him with pianist Alfred Brendel in all 73 minutes of “Wintereisse,” go here.

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, RIP.

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  1. says

    He loved listening to Ella Fitzgerald & Frank Sinatra. He even rushed to the airport after one of his own concerts for attending a concert with Ella in time. Master Fischer-Dieskau was probably the most versatile of all classical vocalists. His repertoire ranged from baroque music, over Viennese Classic & the romantics, to the new music from the early and mid-20th Century.

    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s perfection was the reason for why I focussed on playing the trumpet, rather than seriously continuing with classical vocal training. His interpretation of Gustav Mahler’s “Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen” saved me (as did Mahler’s 5th Symphony on the very same LP).

    I was very lucky to get tickets for one of his last performances as a vocal artist in Cologne’s Philharmonie, in the late 1980’s. He sang Schumann’s “Dichterliebe”.

    R.I.P. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, we will dearly miss you.

    The sound of this video is not too brilliant, but it’s another example of his mastery: