Saturday, May 19, 2012

"A Born God Who Has It All."

I don't normally do many music posts here but in this case I must make an exception. The great German baritone, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, was a familiar figure growing up. He may not be as familiar to most as say, Pavarotti, but he should be. I was saddened to learn of his death yesterday.  He sang the first recordings I ever heard of Beethoven's 9th Symphony along with Schubert's lied 'Der Erlkonig'.  Perhaps his voice lacked the power of others but he was a joy to listen to.  His recording of 'Erlkonig' became for me the standard by which I judged all others.  As a budding musician growing up, he seemed to be one of those people who was around forever.

He sang everything, from Bach to Wagner and I can think of few others who could boast such a wide repertoire.  From opera to lieder to large-scale vocal works, from performing to conducting and teaching, Dieskau did it all and had a remarkable career.  He truly was, in the words of the late Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, "a born god who has it all."

Alas, a great voice falls silent.

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