Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Missed opportunities

I first saw Dietrich Fischer Dieskau in 1977 at the Edinburgh Festival. If memory serves me correct he appeared in Mozart operas at the Festival in 1976 and 1977 but I didn't see him in those. However, as 1977 was Peter Diamond's final year as festival director, all sorts of favours seem to have been called in. So besides the amazing Carmen with Berganza and Domingo, I saw Berganza, Ryland Davies and Dieskau in a complete performance of Stravinsky's Pulcinella (rather luxurious casting that!) and Dieskau again in the Brahms Requiem, which a truly memorable performance.

Some years later I caught up with him in lieder in an evening of Richard Strauss lieder, which proved that even Dieskau could not disguise the fact that the songs really worked best on a woman's voice. No amount of intelligence in the world could hide that fact that no baritone should be singing Morgen.

So its mainly missed opportunities. I could have seen him in lieder or in Mozart, but didn't because, at the time, my interest lay elsewhere.

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