In Memoriam: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (May 28 1925 - May 18 2012)
With the passing of the great German baritone DietrichFischer-Dieskau, the music world has lost a true giant, arguably the most important exponent of the song literature in the second half of the 20th Century. He had the exceptional ability to illuminate the song text, bringing the piece to life with his beautiful lyric baritone. The voice in its prime was a lovely instrument to be sure, but many other baritones had perhaps even more gorgeous voices. But none of them could equal the textual insight and nuanced interpretations of Fi-Di, as he was affectionately called. Despite the limitations of his instrument, Fischer-Dieskau ventured into the Verdi Baritone repertoire in roles such as Falstaff and Macbeth, with mixed success. He is often cited as the most recorded singer in classical music history, a claim that has never been challenged. The general consensus is that he remains supreme in the art song. To remember this great artist, here is Fi-Di singing the most sublime of the Ruckert-Lieder by Gustav Mahler - "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen."
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