Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau 1925-2012
All of us, with our composers, at Schott Music are united in our commemoration of the incomparable Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who passed away on 18 May 2012 shortly before his 87th birthday. He was one of the select few singers who not only gave regular performances of major works from the contemporary music repertoire, but was also responsible for initiating numerous significant new compositions. Fischer-Dieskau initially gained a reputation with his interpretations of Romantic lieder, but also delivered outstanding performances in the theatre.
It was Fischer-Dieskau’s recommendation to Aribert Reimann to produce a work based on the stage play King Lear which proved a major impulse for the repertoire of contemporary music theatre. He undertook the title role of Lear at its première in Munich in 1978 and, as significantly, made the first recording of the work for Deutsche Grammophon, thereby setting a benchmark for all subsequent singers performing this role. The work became a milestone of contemporary music theatre and also established Reimann’s international profile as an opera composer.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (right) with composer Aribert Reimann
The part of the poet Mitterhofer in Hans Werner Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers (1961) was absolutely tailor-made for Fischer-Dieskau and became another of his classic roles. Fortner’s The Creation (1955), Henze’s Fünf neapolitanische Lieder (1956), Hartmann’s Gesangsszene (posthumous 1964) and Tippett’s The Vision of Saint Augustine (1966) are only a few among the wealth of contemporary works which were brought into the world in performances by Fischer-Diskau.