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May. 20 2012

RIP: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

By Kati Harrison | Posted in Host Blogs, Vocalise | 2 Comments

Last Saturday’s Vocalise was dedicated to the legendary baritone, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau who died at his home in Bavaria this past Friday.  In most cases “Legendary” is a worn out term which has been used to posthumously describe someone whether he or she deserves it or not.  Fischer-Dieskau was called a legend, and rightfully so, within his own lifetime of 86 years.

The first time I heard Schubert Lieder was as a child on my mother’s scratchy, well loved records of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.  The experience was a little dark, muted and somber.  As an adult my next exposure to Schubert’s multifaceted art songs was with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.  This was a new and magical world!  Fischer-Dieskau possessed a great instrument, but there was something else as well that allowed him to convey the essence of these songs in a compelling way.  Fischer-Dieskau maintained that he loved the written word and poetry was fuel for him.  I wonder though about the effect his early life had on his profound understanding and empathy for the text and music he chose to perform.

I speak only for myself, in a small but heart felt way, knowing that there is a multitude of individuals all over the world who were, are and will be deeply touched by the legacy of this legendary baritone.

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing Ständchen from 1958 watch?v=DKULM9s5iKg


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Kati is WBJC's Operations Director and weekend host. Her full bio can be read here.

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