Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A great artist's 'last words'

Here I go again with my preoccupation with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. You know how YouTube tempts you away from your work by tossing up various videos you might like? That is what happened in this case.

I see "Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau: Last Words" and that is it for me.

About whether these were close to his last words, I am not sure about that. Whoever posted the video naturally put everything else in the "about" section except what everyone wants to know, which is when the video was made. Well, I am still grateful to that person for posting. I imagine it was in the singer's last couple of years and I guess that is good enough for me.

It is cute how Fischer-Dieskau stayed so youthful looking. You can't see it in the still but if you watch the video, he's still very handsome, and very animated. He laughs a lot and he has a great laugh. He seems very... mirthful, is a word that comes to mind. I got that idea about Leonard Pennario, too, talking with him at the end of his life. He had had his share of emotional difficulties too but he was still laughing, and you got the idea he had laughed a lot. Very important in life, you know? I mean, look at these great artists. They needed something to power them through their lives and a sense of humor certainly helped.

 Tremendous laugh in this video when Fischer-Dieskau recalls the great Wagnerian singer Kirsten Flagstad. He recalls her in "Tristan and Isolde" -- these memories must date to when, as a young man, he sang Kurvenal in that opera, in the same production with her. Anyway, she would be sitting there backstage, knitting something for her grandchildren, and then came her cue, and she stood up (he stands up, imitating her), puts down her knitting and ... "dann kam Isolde!" Then came Isolde.

Hahahahahaha! He bursts into that tremendous laugh.

Anyway, I love this. And I have to agree with the top comment on the list.

"Rest in Peace," somebody wrote. "You were the best."

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