In the top echelon of world-class singers for many years was Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Born 28 May 1925 in Germany's Zehlendorf, he sang both opera and lieder, in which there's a fine legacy on record. First heard in England under Beecham in Delius' Mass of Life in 1951, he was the first baritone to sing in Britten's War Requiem. He took up conducting in 1975.
Fischer-Dieskau died at home in Berg, Upper Bavaria, on 18 May 2012, aged 86.
CD Spotlight. Every Album an Event in Itself - Gerald Fenech listens to soprano Júlia Várady's recordings for Orfeo International. '... in disc after disc one can revel in all the beauty of her characterization ...'
On Fischer-Dieskau's Schubert - Patrick Maxwell investigates the German baritone's legacy
CD Spotlight. Unerring Beauty - Praga Digitals' tribute to Victoria de los Ángeles, heard by Roderic Dunnett. 'De los Ángeles herself is, needless to say, enchanting. The purity, the innocence of the voice, as one can hear here, is simply unique to her.'
Ask Alice - On the poor coverage of Fischer-Dieskau's death, with Classical Music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. A High-level Production - 'The Merry Widow', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. A Forthright Approach - J S Bach's St Matthew Passion, recommended by Howard Smith. '... the Ex Cathedra performance is a triumph.'
Ensemble. Tonal Luxuriance - Lawrence Budmen reports from Tanglewood 2009
CD Spotlight. Consistently Solid - Kurt Masur and others conduct Mendelssohn, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... too often short on graciousness, charm or buoyancy.'
CD Spotlight. Superbly Cogent - A new recording of Schubert's 'Winterreise', reviewed by Howard Smith. '... Steve Davislim and Anthony Romaniuk have earned a place among the highest achievers ...'
DVD Spotlight. Understandably Controversial - Derek Jarman's 'War Requiem', reviewed by Howard Smith. '... cutting room virtuosity.'
Ensemble. An acquired taste - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Munich, by Tess Crebbin and Sissy von Kotzebue
Many happy returns - Tess Crebbin pays tribute to German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, eighty today