Thank you, Ms. MacDonald, for this wonderful piece. It is certainly the best of the remembrances of Fischer-Dieskau that I have yet read (though Terry Teachout's comes close).
You should know that the Deutsche Grammophon set does, in fact, have an index. It is included in the all-inclusive boxed set version (21 CDs) released some years ago (and recently re-issued). This set replaces the 3-volume boxes originally released.
As the "big box" came out some years ago, I'm surprised that you seem unaware of it (and of the index). In any case, though, a wonderful article!
Thank you for this sensitive analysis of a great artist's style. I only saw Fischer-Dieskau perform once in person. That was in Boston, about 1979. Whenever I want to experience Schubert's genius in song, I turn to Fischer-Dieskau's recordings.
What a finely drawn account of the iconic baritone, whose essayings of Schubert lieder are unsurpassed. Thank you once again, Heather, for uncovering essential truths about Art and artists, and for weaving
your sublime literary tapestry of erudition and explication on these themes.
I understand the need to underscore the peeerless accomplishments of Fischer-Dieskau in the baritone Schubert repertoire. But please let's not forget the great post-war soprano, Elly Ameling, the Dutch master of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms lieder. She wss my ideal. That she is still alive, tending her garden in Holland, is no reason to forget her sublime musical accomplishments.
Joyous, erotic, angelic genius. Sweet, uplifting. Astounding.
When you said, "The nearness of Fischer-Dieskau’s breath and the still, hovering hush of his pianissimo are almost too intimate to bear," I remembered the first time I heard one of his recordings—around 1960. I had the distinct feeling that he was singing only to ME.
Wonderful article made even moreso by the hypertexted examples. Thank you!
"What a wonderful, well-reseached tribute to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau!"
Well, @Sylvia has said it all for me.
I was very fond of Fischer-Dieskau's performance in Carmina Burana. Otherwise, I'm not enough of a music critic to say much about him.
Except that he had a very strong facial resemblance to William Shatner.
This is a name from my childhood.
What a wonderful, well-reseached tribute to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau! I was fortunate to hear him and Gerald Moore in March 1963 at the Festival Hall in London, sitting by chance next to the famous English singer Dame Eva Turner. At the end of the recital Gerald Moore informed the audience that in honour of Dame Eva's 75th birthday, "Mr. Fischer-Dieskau will sing "An die Musiek"! Dame Eva turned to me and said, "He made a mistake, I am only 71!" Up until that moment I hadn't realised who she was. She invited me and my husband to speak to the two artists afterwards but the audience was barred from the Green Room, except for Dame Eva! I have many recordings of theirs but mainly Hugo Wolf which I purchased around 1956 in the then Rhodesia. Being an accompanist with no hope of hearing such great artists live, I needed some guidance which I found par excellence in these recordings!Later, living in England, this lack of background was remedied.
A great singer and a great man. I was hooked by his Winterreise with Demus on vinyl back in the early 70s... And I was delighted to find out that he performed in the War requiem directed by Britten in the early '60s (and which I immediately bought.. ;).