The great German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau has died, just a few days shy of his 87th birthday. He had a wonderful voice, but, more than that, he was a great singer. His vast repertoire ranged from Mozart and (pre-eminently) Schubert to Wagner and Mahler. Alex Ross chooses the right word, calling him a “monumental” figure in twentieth-century music making.
His recording of Schubert’s Die Winterreise, with Jorg Demus on the piano, was one of the first classical music recordings I ever bought, and I have treasured it ever since. His classic recording of Mahler lieder is another desert island disc for me. And just these past few months I have been slowly working my way through the massive set of Schubert lieder that he did with Gerald Moore; I will now continue that listening project in a more sober mood.
Requiescat in pace.