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Stephen Fry pays tribute to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

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May 25, 2012 | 5:00am EDT

The baritone, once called the "most influential singer of the 20th Century", died in his sleep at his home in Berg, Germany on 18 May (12).

Fry grew up listening to Fischer-Dieskau's music, and has written a blog post remembering the singer after learning of his death.

He writes, "I know of course that he had to die some time, but I never thought it would be soon. Heavens, he had reached his 87th year and had every right to leave the party. It is just that I can't remember a time when his voice hasn't been a part of my life and the idea of his not being on the planet is going to take a bit of getting used to.

"When did I first hear that miraculous instrument? My father often had him playing on his gramophone or wireless set. It must have been around the age of seven or eight when I first became fascinated with this tenor who wasn't quite a baritone and this baritone who wasn't quite a tenor. He was one of a simply remarkable generation of German musicians who straddled the war years... and who quite simply transformed the way music was recorded in studios."

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