When Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau died last week, his career as a singer was dissected and analysed in meticulous details. The loss of his once incomparable voice was rightly lamented. However, as with many individual of prolific talent and intellect, a rare voice was not his only gift.
As well as being a writer, (he wrote 10 books including his memoirs translated as Echoes of a Lifetime published in 1989) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was also an accomplished painter. He worked with a variety of media and painted portraits as well as landscapes. His portraits are an exciting insight into some of the musicians with whom he worked and was friends – Britten, Hindemith, Gerald Moore, Svatislav Richter as well as portriats of himself.
Fischer-Dieskau’s first exhibition was held in 1980, and in 1985, Deutsches Grammophon commemorated his 60th birthday with a re-issue of his recordings for which some of his water colours were used as the art work for the cover.