The great, near-legendary German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau died today at his home in Bavaria at age 86. Celebrated worldwide as the foremost lieder singer of his generation and a world-class opera performer and first-rate musician, he was also an influential teacher and one of the 20th century's most prolific recording artists. We knew his work mostly through his recorded roles in the operas of Wagner and Mozart and through his recorded performances of Schubert's lieder and quickly came to appreciate his great artistry as both actor and singer. He was one of those rare performers who, over time, one comes to think of as living perpetually, the thought of his death at some point almost a thing beyond consideration. He immeasurably enriched the world of music and we should all be thankful that he lived at a time when his artistry could be faithfully preserved for us all and for unnumbered future generations to relish. The New York Times obituary can be read here and a lovely tribute by tenor Ian Bostridge can be read here. Atque in perpetuum, Dietrich, ave atque vale.