A monumental, vastly influential figure is gone. I can't help feeling shock at the news — a world without Fischer-Dieskau seems foreign and unnerving. As it happens, I had been listening to his recordings constantly in recent days, while I worked on a column about Christian Gerhaher and Florian Boesch, two of his most distinguished younger successors. When I saw the first reports on the Internet, Fischer-Dieskau's book on the Schubert songs was on my desk and his 1962 Winterreise was in my CD player. I stopped the music and sat in silence for a long minute — it was an uncanny feeling. I'll say more in The New Yorker a week from Monday.
More: There will be an all-night LP vigil at a new Brooklyn space called JACK, on Saturday night. Worth reading are a Guardian obituary by the late Alan Blyth; a memorial from Ian Bostridge; appreciations by Tony Tommasini and Leo Carey; and Martin Kettle's quietly heartbreaking 2005 interview with the singer, in which he wonders if he will be forgotten. He will not.