Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Walter Pierce on Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Walter Pierce

People recall times when they were fortunate to attend events that became cherished memories and of near folk-legend status. Such were the lieder recitals of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, the German baritone, for cognoscenti who flocked to his concerts filling venues like Symphony Hall to capacity. In the years that Fischer-Dieskau performed in the Celebrity Series, his partner of choice was the distinguished pianist Jorg Demus; together they thrilled audiences with recitals of works by Schubert, Schumann, Wolf, Brahms and others.

Much has been written about his towering genius and contributions to the craft, but I was especially taken by the quotation in the New York Times of a review by the British music critic John Amis: "Providence gives to some singers a beautiful voice, to some musical artistry... but to Fischer-Dieskau Providence has given both. The result is a miracle, and that is about all there is to be said about it... Having used a few superlatives and describing the program, there is nothing else to do but write 'finis,' go home, and thank one's stars for having the good luck to be present."

I, too, feel lucky to have been present.

Walter Pierce

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (1925-2012)


The great German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau has died at age 86. He performed a total of 6 Celebrity Series recitals between 1962 and 1978. Greatly admired and loved by legions of fans, he enjoyed an unusually long singing career. Richard Cattani, reviewing Fischer-Dieskau's 1968 Symphony Hall recital for The Christian Science Monitor, wrote, "If Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau were to give only one more concert, it would be worth crossing a continent or an ocean to hear him."

New York Times

The Guardian

The Washington Post

The Baltimore Sun (TIm Smith's Clef Notes)

The Telegraph

BBC News