German classical singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau dies

18th May 2012, Comments 3 comments

German baritone singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, hailed as one of the greatest lyrical vocalists of the last century, has died at the age of 86, the Germany DPA news agency said on Friday.

Fischer-Dieskau, a music teacher, opera singer and playwright, was famed for his interpretation of Schubert's "Winter's Journey".

DPA cited his wife Julia Varady who confirmed his death shortly before his 87th birthday.

Fischer-Dieskau, whose career started in 1947, was a regular fixture at the Opera House in Berlin, as well as in Vienna, London's Covent Garden and New York's Carnegie Hall.

One of the highlights of his career was his participation in the first performance of Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem", commissioned for the reconsecration of Coventry Cathedral, destroyed during World War II.

He played a major role in invigorating the Salzburg festival before ending his career at the end of 1992.

News weekly Spiegel said: "His interpretation of Schubert's Winter's Journey is still now considered the standard. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was one of the greatest classical singers of the 20th Century."

© 2012 AFP

3 Comments To This Article

  • Dorothea Hamilton posted:

    on 18th May 2012, 19:07:38 - Reply

    Though I never met Fischer-Dieskau personally, I attended many of his concerts, and experience his passing as a very sad and personal loss. Indeed, for me, that was a central part of his genius: the intensely personal way his voice came across. I especially treasured his Schubert Lieder. He seemed to embody the music and poetry. Another special attribute was in the very timbre of his voice: he combined both masculine and feminine qualities. We will never his like again. Of course we have tapes and DVD's, but I treasure my memories. Janet Baker says she was awe struck by by his singing. Yes indeed. But I literally loved listening to him sing!
  • penelope and roger birnstingl posted:

    on 18th May 2012, 18:44:44 - Reply

    we are sad to hear this news. What a wonderful singer and musician he was. a favourite of us both. How fortunate we were to have heard him
  • Terry Lamont posted:

    on 18th May 2012, 18:27:42 - Reply

    R.I.P. A unique combination of a beautiful vocal instrument allied to supreme musical intelligence and artistry. A huge influence on generations of singers, myself included.