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TMT said----- “It appears I'm the only one here who has noticed that DFD has just died!” dietrich-fischer-dieskau-dead-t1880.html
Not so, Rod! I immediately read up your links , and then Googled and read up a whole heap more online announcing his death , or giving a biography/resumé of his career.
Then last night I bethought myself to find the videos from the DVD of his life-”---13 in number, I think that it was--- “Autumn Journey “---which I had enjoyed viewing a couple of times, quite some time ago, and before my CMM membership. Alas, I was foiled in this as YouTube clips had been withdrawn and it can now only be found for sale on Amazon and the like!
A pity, as I had found it fascinating, seeing excerpts from performances and his interaction with the “greats” , like Leonard Bernstein and Karl Richter, as they discussed performance matters---and interposed by family titbits and master-class sessions---and so on. DFD’s English was fluent and his manner was relaxed and easy as he explained both music and his attitude---and what drove him.
I was especially interested in his performance with Peter Pears , at the premier of Benjamin Britten’s “A War Requiem” on the occasion of the inauguration of the new Coventry Cathedral, in 1962. I must find out the material I have and see if it was performed at the actual opening ceremony, as my aunt, (Miss Florence Lucas), was one of the invited guests of the latter. I also was inwardly amused at DFD’s pronunciation of “ Coventry” as “Curventry”, very much in the manner of Oxford and Cambridge dons---and quite unlike the simple “Coventry” we native born folk called it.
Dietrich Fischer Dieskau charmed me with his singing, and the flexibility and tonality of his voice. He had great talent but worked extremely hard preparing his performances and seeking to understand what he was going to sing. I knew him mostly as a singer of lieder and oratorio, although I know that he sang in opera too. He has bequeathed a wonderful gift to the world, through his concerts and appearances----and some were fortunate to hear him “in the flesh”. However living in the electronic age we have also been able to share in this through his recordings.
I am sorry that Dietrich Fischer Dieskau is no longer with us, but his memory will live on. In particular I remember his dramatic” Der Erlkönig”,which he brought to life, and his special rapport with accompanist, Gerald Moore. Also other Schubert lieder, which he sang so beautifully.
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:24 am Posts: 21205 Location: London, England
DFD was supreme in Schubert lieder and Bach oratorios as seen here:
FD was less at home with Italian prose from what I've heard. That said, I prefer his effort in the video I posted to Bach's rather ungainly solo vocal writing as aptly demonstrated in that church cantata vid.
Hi TMT & Digiti, Digiti, I so enjoyed the Bach excerpt that you attached. DFD sang it well I thought, with such beautiful inflexion within the text and the subtle variations of the timbre of his voice. It always gives me such pleasure to hear words spoken or sung beautifully, as with the greatest of actors or singers. So many folk do not appreciate the great beauty of our English language and tend to demean its value. So it is especially pleasurable to hear it sung in such a way---and by a foreigner at that! ( I hope that remark is not taken as non-PC; it is infact an accolade!).
TMT, I enjoyed your earlier video, too, but confess to liking the Bach better! But of course you know that I am a lover of (most) of Bach’s music and disagree with you on his tunefulness etc. I appreciate that, to you, he falls short of the melodic Handel and Beethoven. It is a pity that Bach is really “not your cup of tea”, ---but there it is, and can’t be helped!
By now I am used to you needing action, “Now---if not before”---as you have caught me out several times! In my old age I am a bit like Father Time---with the “mills grinding slowly”, as my mind begins to process the current interest!!! I get there , eventually!
Thankyou for attaching the link to the interview with DFD. I have read it and mostly enjoyed it, although his erudition "lost" me at times! What an amazingly complex man.
The loss of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskow is still very much on my mind, and tonight I felt that I would browse further to see what You Tube offered in the way of videos.
I came across this first video, uploaded in tribute by Waechter59 on the 20th of May 2012. It was an appropriate choice I thought, as I read the English translation of the text. The video clip was----“Schlummert ein ihr matter Augen”, BWV 82, Aria 3.The original was originally written for a bass, but later Bach added a soprano verson, too. DIetrich Fischer-Dieskow sings this with sensitivity, very expressively, and with beauty of tone . There are no details given of the ensemble/orchestra who provide such a supportive and pleasant accompaniment.
Side-tracking a little, I also found a version that I know well, sung by David Daniels, the countertenor, accompanied by the English Concert and directed by Harry Bickett. There is a rapport between the conductor and soloist that is very evident and the rendition is very good---a beauty of voice /tone/ interpretation with excellent conducting and instrumental accompaniment. It was interesting to listen to these recordings by two great singers---but I am not tempted to compare the performances by voices at the opposite end of the scale!
I also found “Der Müller Und Der Bach”, from ‘Die Schöne Müllerin” by Schubert, and enjoyed listening to it so much, that I thought that it would be an excellent example of his Lieder work to remember him by. DFD’s singing of this song is expressive and his vocal tone is lovely. It was recorded in 1962, with Gerald Moore at the piano -----both singer and accompanist were in great form
I hope, that you will enjoy these remembrances of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskow an outstanding singer and musician.
You choice of the Ferenc Fricsay Beethoven recording with DFD in the bass role ,( and joined by the choir), was great! I thought that DFD did rather well with what is written for a bass soloist! His excellent techniques enable him to sing the lowest notes adequately enough not to spoil the general effect.
I remember , the other day , when listening to him singing an aria I became aware that he had to work harder to sing some very low notes---which were really not in the baritone range, but he did achieve it.
He was very fortunate to be able to sing easily and quite happily, in the higher registers---overlapping with the tenor range---and also his pianissimos were “something-else!”,
I am glad that you enjoyed that beautiful recording of “Schlummert ein.” When it has ended the YT screen divided into further choices and I hovered the cursor over them. My attention was caught by Karl Richter conferring with DFD, so I played it. It was a lucky choice as the video was a rendition of ‘Ich habe genug,” with a lovely instrumental oboe, (or clarinet), solo accompanying the singer. There were photos of facets from DFD’s career accompanying it . TMT---When I have a moment I mean to browse amongst the basses singing the Beethoven role. I’ll let you know what the results are!!!
Thankyou for including the long video of the Beethoven lieder. I have just listened to and viewed it with great enjoyment. What a compatible pair DFD and Gerald Moore make, which adds further dimension to their performance.
Whilst listening to the video I was delighted when “Maileid” came up, as it has been a favourite of mine since you first attached a video clip some time ago, Rod. It is a song which always lifts my mood!
The filming of this video is superb, as the expression and body language are captured so accurately. You are able to see that he has immersed himself in each of the songs and “lives’ them as he sings----which poses no difficulties for him as he’d always had acting ability.
Browsing further , I found an article by a critic which discussed his career in the terms of his characteristics and foibles. “Dietrich Fischer Dieskau:Imperfect Greatness “.by Terry Teachout. The following paragraph describes his performance much better than I can------
"Why, then, did so many listeners have such strong reservations about the man whom Time magazine dubbed "the world's finest lieder singer" in 1967? Because Mr. Fischer-Dieskau's style of singing was so individual, even idiosyncratic, that it left some people cold. Unlike the generation of recitalists that preceded him, he sang like an actor, not a storyteller. In his hands, each song became a first-person monologue, a confession of supreme intensity. Individual phrases, sometimes individual syllables, were subtly inflected so as to bring out their meaning. The effect was almost kaleidoscopic in its richness of dramatic nuance, and a listener who was used to the "simpler" style of an older singer like, say, Lotte Lehmann or Richard Tauber might easily find it oversophisticated, even—yes—mannered".
I had hoped to attach the complete article, which is well worth reading, but I could not get it to copy the URL which I could then paste in situ!
Many thanks for providing such a pleasant interlude.
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