Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

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Fischer-Dieskau, Dietrich

Fischer-Dieskau, Dietrich (dēˈtrĭkh fĭshˈər-dēsˈkou), 1925–2012, German baritone. Possessed of a sensitive voice capable of a wide variety of range and expression, Fischer-Dieskau was the 20th cent.'s finest interpreter of art songs, or lieder. He was particularly noted for his interpretations of the songs and song cycles of Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, and Wolf. He also performed in German and Italian opera. He made his concert debut in Berlin in 1943, singing Schubert's Winterreise, won sudden fame with his performance of Brahms's German Requiem in 1947, and made his operatic debut at the State Opera in Berlin in 1948, singing Rodrigo in Verdi's Don Carlo. He gave his farewell concert in 1992. Fischer-Dieskau was also a conductor and a longtime teacher. In addition, he wrote a number of books, including studies of Wagner and Nietzsche, and was a widely exhibited painter.


See his memoirs, Reverberations (tr. 1989); biography by H. A. Neunzig (1995, tr. 1998); study by K. S. Whitton (1981).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fischer-Dieskau, Dietrich


Born May 28, 1925, in Berlin. German (Federal Republic of Germany) baritone.

Fischer-Dieskau graduated from the Higher Music School in Berlin. He was a student of G. Walter and H. Weissenborn. Fischer-Dieskau’s highly expressive voice has an exceptionally wide range. His masterly technique, excellent musicianship, and sense of style allow him, with an equal degree of perfection, to perform roles from classical and contemporary operas; many contemporary works owed their success to his interpretation. Fischer-Dieskau is a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts and an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Fischer-Dieskau has performed at many important European music festivals. His superb recordings, including his collection of songs by F. Schubert, have received popular acclaim.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
German lyric baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (1925-2012), recognized as one of the greatest singers of German songs (Lieder), is featured in this two-part recital program of works by Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann, recorded at the Opera Theatre of Nuremberg.
Britten's partner Peter Pears was the obvious choice for the tenor and the great German singer, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, was selected as the baritone.
There is an extensive bibliography, a general index, an index of Britten's works and an index of correspondents, reading rather like a musical Who's Who including Aaron Copland, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Zoltan Kodaly, George Malcolm, William Walton and those closely associated with his work such as William Plomer, Donald Mitchell and--of course--Peter Pears.
Nomura has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including a four-year Fulbright Grant to study with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hermann Prey and Gerard Souzay.
I cherish Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in the early songs, and Kathleen Ferrier and Bryn Terfel in AoSongs on the Death of ChildrenAo.
The works included span music history from Monteverdi to Part, in performances by some of the world's most highly respected musicians: the legendary Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing Schubert's Winterreise, the preludes of Debussy performed by famed pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Martha Argerich in a signature performance of Chopin's preludes, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Herbert von Karajan, Le Sacre du Printemps conducted by Pierre Boulez, the Piano Concerto #2 by Rachmaninoff played by Sviatoslav Richter, Leonard Bernstein conducting his own West Side Story, and so many more memorable performances of music by the world's preeminent composers.
In which South American country did Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau achieve fame?
Renowned Turkish Huseyin Sermet will also appear in a concert conducted by Martin Fischer-Dieskau, the son of noted German singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with the Presidential Symphony Orchestra.
(My favorite recording of Die Schoone Muullerin is by the Danish tenor, Aksel Schiotz, accompanied by Gerald Moore--but there is also a fine 1961 performance by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, also accompanied by Gerald Moore.)
Along with German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Schwarzkopf was instrumental in popularizing this rarified musical form, to which she lent not just beautiful tone but nuanced textual insights.
(Some five years later Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau would put Barenboim's forthright manner to brilliant use, when the baritone brought him in to record the Olympian piano parts of Hugo Wolf's Goethe Lieder.) Reading of Barenboim's upbringing in 1950s Israel, however, helps to put this in perspective: