Stephan Moesch reviews Dietrich Fischer-Dieskaus
latest book, TIME OF A
Fischer-Dieskau's New Book
Bitter and polemical tones are also not foreign
to Fischer-Dieskau's new book; here, however, they have personal
overtones. "My artistic achievement (....) has almost never
been appreciated as it deserved to be," he says on page
133. The number of his "opponents, who, for understandable
reasons, have never been in short supply" has "doubled
and tripled in recent years" (page 137).In fact, he has
"always felt himself to be a stranger in this time"
(page 157). There is no doubt: Fischer-Dieskau is honest in this
book, which, unlike REVERBERATIONS, published twelve years ago,
is focused less on his career and personal encounters and more
This book becomes important when it deals
with art, whose greatness Fischer-Dieskau defines as "the
overcoming of isolation" (page 96). His instructions for
conducting are a significant complement to those of Richard Strauss,
and whenever he deals with musical experience it is in a deeply
felt and precisely formulated way. Fischer-Dieskau has no intention
of dispelling contradictions, especially those of his own character.
On the contrary, he exposes them mercilessly, and thereby approaches
as an author the same radicality that characterized him as a
singer: "What's the point of a work of art if it isnt demanding?
Either it is demanding or it is just perfume" (page 125).
Fischer-Dieskau's achievements don't need to
Translation by © Celia A. Sgroi, May 2000.