Who is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau?

The Guardian has an interview with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Who is he, you may ask. He is one of the finest living performers of lieder. When I was in college, I wrote a paper on Schubert for my music history class. In preparation, I listened to Fischer-Dieskau’s wonderful performance of Schubert’s Der Erlkonig and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s perfect version of “Gretchen am Spinradde”. My father is a big fan of Fischer-Dieskau, and I strongly recommend buying one of his CDs of lieder. I have yet to do so, and my CD collection is really lacking.

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0 responses to “Who is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau?

  1. I like your new site very much. It’s so clean and shiny and new.

  2. I’ve heard Fischer-Dieskau sing on some opera CDs. I really like hearing Schwarzkopf better. She really is perfect on the recording of the St. Matthew’s Passion I have.

  3. I have CD’s of the complete Schubert recordings by Fischer-Dieskau made in the 1950s when he was at the top of his voice. By now, you probably know that in addition to being a “Liedersinger,” Fischer-Dieskau is also an opera singer, producer, orchestral and choral conductor, and a scholar devoted to the romantic German art songs known simply as “Lieder.” He is an acknowledged expert on Schubert’s life and works, and his absence from the 1978 conference on Schubert and Vienna here in Detroit was quite consipicuous; unfortunately, it couldn’t be helped as he had a previous engagement.

    I first heard Fischer-Dieskau on a recording of Schubert’s “Staendchen” (“Serenade,” the one that goes “Leise flehen meine Lieder/Durch die Nacht zu dir . . .) in German class back in college. I listened to other recordings and developed a great appreciation for his vocal prowess and his wonderful interpretations of those great songs. You can just see him in that recording studio, haning on to the mike for dear life as. for the moment, he becomes Wilhelm Mueller’s lovelorn “Wanderer,” pouring out the agony that comes with unrequited love as only a true romantic can, You can understand why Fischer-Dieskau has also appeared often as a headliner in various operatic productions. He is a wonderful actor in every song he sings. His voice can be a little harsh or overbearing sometimes, but you can’t take away his wonderful sincerity and total understanding of his material. Those are obvious in both his voice and his phrasing.

    By the way, I heard Elizabeth Soederstroem sing much of that material in the very pleasantly intimate setting of the Detroit Institute of Arts Recital Hall as part of the above-mentioned Schubert conference. She was accompanied on piano and guitar by William Katz, a local musician who specializes in rehearsal and accopaniment work. It was a memorable experience for me and also for my girlfriend at the time, who is now my wife. Chris’ mother was born in Germany, and she speaks the language like a native, so she really understood and apprecatied what was going on. By the way, Soederstroem is a wonderful Liedersaengerin in her own right.

    Well, that’s about it. Write me back if you have any questions!