FISCHER. A family of singers of the 18th and 19th centuries. The founder was Ludwig, a Bass, of whom Otto Jahn (Mozart, 2nd ed. i. 661, 630) speaks as 'an artist of extraordinary gift, for compass, power, and beauty of voice, and artistic perfection both in singing and playing, probably the greatest German bass-singer.' He was born at Mayence, 1745, and well known at the theatres of Munich (1778), Vienna (79), Paris (83), Italy (84), Berlin (88), etc. He died at Berlin, July 10, 1825. He was the original Osmin in the 'Entführung,' and had a compass of two octaves and a half 'all round, even, and in tune' (Reichardt).
Fischer was a great ally of Mozart's, who wrote for him 'Non so, d'onde viene,' and often mentions him with affection—'A truly splendid voice, though the Archbishop told me he sang too low for a bass, and I assured him he should sing higher next time' (Sept. 26, 81); 'A man whose loss is irretrievable' (Feb. 5, 83); 'I went to see the Fischers; I cannot describe their joy, the whole family desire to be remembered to you' (March 17, 81). The others of the family were his wife Barbara, a more than respectable singer and actress; his son Joseph (1780–1862), also a bass of renown, but more known as an Impresario than a singer; his daughters Fischer-Vernier—who in 1835 founded a singing school of great repute for girls in Vienna—and Wilhelmine, and Joseph's adopted daughter, Fischer-Maraffa, all good efficient intelligent artists.