Last edited by montesquieu; 18-05-2012 at 04:33 PM.
I believe he was the finest male singer of the 20th century. His singing illuminated the music of Wagner and Mahler, in particular, for me. All the efforts I'd previously made with those composers had been fruitless - incomprehensible doom, gloom, and murky darkness were all I heard. Fischer-Dieskau's musicianship first brought the light. It has never gone out.
I agree, he was extraordinary. I have collected his recordings for years. His 50s recordings are fabulous - when he was in his vocal prime; there's a creamy, full quality in his voice which over time became a bit thinner (though I think he compensated for this in all sorts of miraculous ways). But of course it's not just a beautiful voice, it's what he does with it, and there are many moments in his recordings (particularly live ones) which really illuminate the text and make the hairs stand up... E.g. a recording of Winterreise recorded at Prades in 1955 on INA - his interpretation of the (repeated) final words of the last song on the first set (Einsamkeit) - 'so elend.. nicht' - he absolutely nails it.
Like Heifetz and Kreisler, two other musical giants, he died just short of his 87th birthday.
Very very sad about this. He was one of my most important musical heroes and his work with Gerald Moore is surely the greatest lieder partnership of all time.
Got to be realistic though. He had a very good innings - more than most of us will enjoy. My mother is 81 now. She heard him singing in Lubeck as a young teenager (and Schwarzkopf as well). I am well into my fifties, so this man's professional career has spanned the lives of both of us.
And he leaves an enormous legacy of recordings which will remain in many cases the benchmark by which other performances will be judged.
RIP DFD. You will be missed, but never forgotten. Oh - and I've got his lieder book - absolutely essential when preparing for a recital.
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His recordings were my introduction to lieder, so an essential part of my music education. That must be true for many, and his musicianship was of a high standard to match his vocal quality. A life to celebrate.
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