Over the a two and a half year period I worked with the late Fred Maroth, the man who founded the Music and Arts label. This California non-profit produces recordings from the past. Since I wanted to see some rare Lehmann (often “live”) recordings in print, this was a perfect match. Mr. Maroth asked me to act as producer for this Lehmann Rarities Project and this meant, besides accumulating the actual recordings, that I  had the honor to work with the master Audio Restoration Engineer, Lani Spahr. You can find the liner notes and the translations at the bottom of this page. CDs 2-4 are on separate pages.

After the preparation for the Lehmann Rarities Project was finished, Lani Spahr sent the master CDs to Music & Arts and the liner notes and translations made it to the hands of the appropriate people at Music & Arts. The 4 CD set (plus a CD-ROM with the notes and translations) is ready for sale now, as of February 2014. It is called “Lotte Lehmann: a 125th Birthday Tribute.”

Frank Black, conductor of the Magic Key orchestra.

Lehmann Rarities Introduction 

Translations: CD 1 (below) CD 2 CD 3 CD 4

It’s difficult to exaggerate the veneration that Lotte Lehmann (1888-1976) enjoyed during her career as a lyric soprano. Glowing reviews regularly appeared in newspapers wherever she sang. In her first career, primarily as an opera singer, she sang at opera houses of Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, London, Paris, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco; she sang local and world premiers of works by Korngold, Richard Strauss, Puccini, and others.

As she sang more and more Lieder, the world-renowned conductor Bruno Walter accompanied her at the piano in wildly successful recitals at the Salzburg Festival. In the US, her name became intimately associated with the world of recital, setting still unbroken records for Town Hall performances in New York City.

In “retirement,” Lehmann as a teacher showed the same level of commitment and imagination she had poured into her singing. She inspired many young artists who went on to successful careers, several achieving greatness. The list is impressive, because Lehmann taught not only the master classes at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA, but others in Chicago, New York, Vienna, Salzburg, and many other cities. Eminent singers who studied with Mme. Lehmann include Marilyn Horne, Grace Bumbry, Benita Valente, and Carol Neblett. And she gave private coaching to already established artists of such standing as Hilde Güden, Rita Streich, Mildred Miller, Gérard Souzay, Jeanette MacDonald, and Risë Stevens.

Long after her famous final Town Hall recital in 1951 and her death in Santa Barbara in 1976, her fame and her legacy live on: five biographies and a book on her teaching; 1988 centennial tributes in Vienna, Santa Barbara, New York, and Washington DC; uncountable LP and CD re-releases of her recordings; two hour-long syndicated radio programs on the 30th anniversary of her death; a foundation in her honor; streets named for her in Salzburg and Vienna; songs written to her poetry; a music festival in her birthplace of Perleberg, Germany; postage stamps from Germany and Nicaragua; concert halls named for her; and Lehmann archival collections at UCSB, Stanford, Yale, University of Missouri-Kansas City; and, as could be expected, at the Vienna Theater Museum. Lehmann was given a last honor to rest in the same Wiener Zentralfriedhof (Vienna Central Cemetery) with Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, and Wolf, whose music she sang with so much devotion.

It is a measure of the staying power of Lehmann’s recorded interpretations that tributes to Lehmann far outstrip those of her contemporaries, Flagstad, Rethberg, Jeritza, or even her friend Elisabeth Schumann, who in their own time garnered similar critical praise.

This release of rare performances will surely add to the Lehmann legacy.


Must everything great singers record be great? We are interested in their broad range of performance because we want to discover as much about their talent as possible. Lotte Lehmann seldom fails. Her enthusiasm, commitment, and ardor come across in spite of the recording limitations and her own. In the “live” recital songs on this set you’ll notice that Lehmann became excited and, not having the words in her hands, changed words and improvised. She was, after all, also a poet and so this wasn’t so difficult for her. I’ve tried to reflect these changes in the texts that are provided.

The many radio offerings are available thanks to Lehmann fans who recorded the broadcasts onto their own acetate discs. It is due to them, not to the radio stations, that we have these precious documents. Luckily, there are archives that preserve such wonderful sounds. And the “test pressings” in this set were provided to the artist for her approval before their publication. They allow us to hear how these studio recordings sounded before any “ambient” intervention was added by well-meaning engineers in LP or CD releases.

I’ve chosen to present these “rarities” in chronological order. You can hear a few songs twice, as recorded at different times in Lehmann’s artistic career.

Don’t try to listen to more than a few of these tracks at once, for Lehmann’s intensity can be overwhelming. Instead,  listen to a little bit at a time, and notice what she does that is unique to her. Not that she tried to be unique! The care that we hear her give to words, phrases, and meanings all came spontaneously to her.

It is of interest to observe the repertoire. When we remember that the radio performances in question were broadcast in the US after Hitler came to power, before and after World War II began, one can assume a degree of hesitancy towards an “all German program.” But generally, Lieder, even during the war, were accepted, in spite of the Nazis, and thanks to the great poets and composers of Germany and Austria. As an American, I’ve always taken it as a matter of pride that Lehmann was allowed to sing so many Lieder at that time, and that some of these live performances were distributed on the same Voice of America 16-inch discs that served up Bing Crosby, the Andrew Sisters, and Tallulah Bankhead to the Armed Forces.

Lani Spahr, recording (restoration) engineer
Mark Obert-Thorn, who provided test pressings
Fred Maroth, who provided test pressings and live taped radio performances
David Seubert, curator of the UCSB Lotte Lehmann Collection
Zak Liebhaber, assistant curator of the UCSB Lotte Lehmann Collection
Chuck Haddix, curator of the UMKC Marr Sound Archives
Judith Sutcliffe, notes editor
Albert Schütz, notes editor
Ann McKinney, notes editor
Dennis Moore, consultant
Damien Top, who transcribed Lehmann’s singing of Vierge d’Athènes
Philip Ulanowsky, who provided his father’s live Dichterliebe excerpts
Ulrich Peter, who helped with German translations
Frank Manhold, who helped with German translations

Translations: CD 1 (below) CD 2 CD 3 CD4

CD 1 Track 1

O, sei er gut, Quinquin… Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding (Oh, be good, Quinquin… Time is a Strange Thing)

Text: Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929) and Harry von Kessler (1868-1937)

Music: Richard Strauss (1864-1949) Op. 59

This is Lehmann’s first recording of the role of the Marschallin that was to become almost synonymous with her name: a 13 December 1927 studio recording of “take 2” that wasn’t usually made available by Odeon. But this matrix xxB 7887-2 did appear on PXO 1014.

Oh, sei Er gut, Quinquin. Mir ist zumut,

Dass ich die Schwäche von allem Zeitlichen recht spüren muss,

Bis in mein Herz hinein,

Wie man nichts halten soll,

Wie man nichts packen kann,

Wie alles zerläuft zwischen den Fingern,

Wie alles sich auflöst, wonach wir greifen,

Alles zergeht wie Dunst und Traum.

Die Zeit im Grunde, Quinquin,

Die Zeit, die ändert doch nichts an den Sachen.

Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding.

Wenn man so hinlebt, ist sie rein gar nichts.

Aber dann auf einmal, da spürt man nichts als sie.

Sie ist um uns herum, sie ist auch in uns drinnen.

In den Gesichtern rieselt sie,

Im Spiegel da rieselt sie,

In meinen Schläfen fliesst sie.

Und zwischen dir und mir

Da fliesst sie wieder, lautlos, wie eine Sanduhr.

Oh, Quinquin! Manchmal hör’ ich sie fliessen —


Manchmal steh’ ich auf mitten in der Nacht

Und lass die Uhren alle, alle stehn.

Allein man muss sich auch vor ihr nicht fürchten.

Auch sie ist ein Geschöpf des Vaters, der uns alle erschaffen hat.

Oh, be good, Quinquin, I feel I know

That all things earthly are but vanity,

Deep in my heart I know,

How one shouldn’t grasp,

How one can’t cling,

How everything flows through our fingers,

How everything dissolves, wherever we reach,

Everything evaporates like mist and dream.

Time, fundamentally, Quinquin,

Time doesn’t change anything.

Time is a strange thing.

When one’s living one’s life away, time means nothing.

But then suddenly, one isn’t aware of anything else.

It is all around us, it’s also inside us.

In our faces it flows,

It trickles in the mirror there,

It throbs in my temples.

And between you and me

It flows again, silently, like an hour glass.

Oh, Quinquin! Often I hear it flowing—


At times I arise in the middle of the night

And stop all the clocks.

Yet one mustn’t be afraid of it.

Time, too, is a creation of the Father, who has created us all.

CD 1 Track 2  

Sie lebt hier ganz allein…Sie atmet leicht…Es gibt ein Reich (She lives here completely alone…She breathes lightly… There is a realm)

Text: Hugo von Hofmannsthal

Music: Richard Strauss Op. 60

When we hear Lehmann sing Ariadne’s most famous aria, we may recall that she’d sung in the original play/opera version in Berlin, as well as the Vienna world premiere of the revision in 1916, albeit as the Composer.

This is a rare “alternative take” recording from 4 September 1928 that begins eight measures earlier than the most often heard release. Odeon matrix xxB 8169-1 did appear on O 8731.

Sie lebt hier ganz allein…

Sie atmet leicht, sie geht so leicht,

Kein Halm bewegt sich, wo sie geht,

Ihr Schlaf ist rein, ihr Sinn ist klar,

Ihr Herz ist lauter wie der Quell:

Sie hält sich gut, drum kommt auch bald der Tag,

Da darf sie sich in ihren Mantel wickeln

Darf ihr Gesicht mit einem Tuch bedecken

Und darf da drinnen liegen

Und eine Tote sein!

Es gibt ein Reich, wo alles rein ist:

Es hat auch einen Namen: Totenreich.

Hier ist nichts rein!

Hier kam alles zu allem!

Bald aber nahet ein Bote,

Hermes heissen sie ihn.

Mit seinem Stab

Regiert er die Seelen:

Wie leichte Vögel,

Wie welke Blätter

Treibt er sie hin.

Du schöner, stiller Gott!

Sieh! Ariadne wartet!

Ach, von allen wilden Schmerzen

Muss dies Herz gereinigt sein,

Dann wird dein Gesicht mir nicken,

Wird dein Schritt vor meiner Höhle.

Dunkel wird auf meinen Augen,

Deine Hand auf meinem Herzen ruhe sein.

In den schönen Feierkleidern,

Die mir meine Mutter gab,

Diese Glieder werden bleiben,

Stille Höhle wird mein Grab.

Aber lautlos meine Seele

Folget ihrem neuen Herrn,

Wie ein leichtes Blatt im Winde

Folgt hinunter, folgt so gern.

Dunkel wird auf meinen Augen

Und in meinem Herzen sein,

Diese Glieder werden bleiben,

Schön geschmückt und ganz allein.

Du wirst mich befreien,

Mir selber mich geben,

Dies lastende Leben,

Du, nimm es von mir.

An dich werd’ ich mich ganz verlieren,

Bei dir wird Ariadne sein.

She lives here completely alone…

She breathes lightly, she walks lightly,

No stalk moves, where she goes,

Her sleep is pure, her mind is clear,

Her heart is pure as the spring:

Free from sin, that’s why there comes soon the day,

When she will wrap herself in her cloak

Will shroud her face with a cloth

And will lay there within

And become a dead person!

There is a realm, where all things are pure:

It also has a name: Death’s Domain.

Here nothing is pure!

Here everything comes and goes!

Soon, however, comes an herald,

Hermes, he’s called.

With his staff

He rules the souls:

Like light birds,

Like withered leaves,

He drives them away.

You beautiful, silent God!

See! Ariadne awaits!

Oh, from all wild pain

This heart must be purified,

Then you will turn your face to me,

Take the path to my cavern.

Darkness will fall on my eyes,

Your hand will lie silent on my heart.

In the beautiful festal garments,

Which my mother gave me,

I will wrap my weary body,

This silent cave will be my grave.

But my soul silently

Follows her new lord,

Like a light leaf in the wind

Follows downward, follows gladly.

On my eyes there falls darkness

And peace will be in my heart,

These limbs will remain,

Beautifully adorned and all alone.

You will free me,

Give me my self,

This oppressive life,

You, take it from me.

To you I will loose myself completely,

Ariadne will dwell with you.

CD1 Track 3

Die Trommel gerühret! (Bang the Drum!)

Text: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Music: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Op. 84 No. 2

Throughout her recital career, Lehmann performed Die Trommel gerühret! and Freudvoll und leidvoll, two songs from Goethe’s Egmont. Beethoven wrote them originally for orchestra as part of his incidental music to the play. Later he arranged them for piano accompaniment, but as was often the case in 1932, Odeon recorded such pieces with small orchestras, in this case with a piano, violins and ‘cello. As far as I know, these performances have never previously been released on either LPs or CDs. Recorded 25 April 1932; Odeon matrix Be 9912 and Be 9913 were published on 78s as O 4835.

Die Trommel gerühret,

Das Pfeifchen gespielt!

Mein Liebster gewaffnet

Dem Haufen befiehlt,

Die Lanze hoch führet,

Die Leute regieret.

Wie klopft mir das Herz!

Wie wallt mir das Blut!

O hätt’ ich ein Wämslein

Und Hosen und Hut!

Ich folgt’ ihm zum Tor ‘naus

Mit mutigem Schritt,

Ging’ durch die Provinzen,

Ging’ überall mit.

Die Feinde schon weichen,

Wir schiessen da drein;

Welch’ Glück sondergleichen,

Ein Mannsbild zu sein!

Bang the drum,

Sound the fife!

My love is armed for war

And commands his troops,

He holds the lances high

And rules his men.

How my heart pounds!

How my blood races!

O if only I had a doublet,

And breeches and helmet!

I would follow him through the gate

With courageous tread,

And march through the provinces,

March everywhere with him.

The enemies yet lose ground,

We fire at them;

What happiness without equal

To be a man!

CD 1 Track 4

Freudvoll und leidvoll (Joyful and Sorrowful) see the notes for track 3).

It’s instructive to also hear how Lehmann performed Freudvoll und leidvoll with piano accompaniment (in a lower key) in 1949 (CD 4 Track 19). The basic interpretation is the same, but if anything, there’s a deeper commitment to individual words.


Und leidvoll,

Gedankenvoll sein;


Und bangen

In schwebender Pein;

Himmelhoch jauchzend

Zum Tode betrübt;

Glücklich allein

Ist die Seele, die liebt.

Being joyful

And sorrowful,



And anxious

In lingering anguish;

To Heaven rejoicing

To death saddened;

Happy alone

Is the soul that loves.

CD 1 Track 5

Vierge d’Athènes (Maid of Athens)

Original text: George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824); unknown French translation

Music: Charles Gounod (1818-1893) 1872

On 13 March 1936 Lehmann recorded this for RCA Victor with piano accompaniment provided by Ernö Balogh. This test pressing allows us our first chance we have to hear Lehmann singing in French, her second language. The matrix is BS 99458-1, but this wasn’t released in 78 or LP formats.

Originally Maid of Athens to words of Lord Byron, this song was very successful in Gounod’s own lifetime. Lehmann doesn’t sing the French that is usually associated with the song. The noted French tenor, Damien Top, has listened to the recording and provided the French.  Here are his impressions of Lehmann’s French:  In verse 2: she mispronounces « Archange » (the French say Arkange, not Arschange) then, « livrés au pas amoureux » possibly « livrés au pas (t)amoureux » with a ‘t’ or is it “au pâtre amoureux”?

The English “translation” gives Byron’s original words.

Fleur d’Athènes, je te quitte,

Belle vierge, ô mon amour,

Rends-moi mon cœur, rends-le vite

L’as-tu pris et sans retour ?

En partant ma voix te crie :

Douce vierge, toi ma vie,

Par le ciel, je suis à toi,

Dans tes rêves, pense à moi.

Par tes blonds cheveux d’archange

Livrés au pas amoureux, [possibly au pâtre amoureux]

Par tes cils, dont (?) l’ombre blanche,

Les saphirs de tes beaux yeux,

Par ton front, merveille pure,

Par ta lèvre, doux murmure,

Par le ciel, je suis à toi,

Dans tes rêves, pense à moi.

Adieu donc, vierge d’Athènes,

Le destin va m’emporter.

Tant légères seront mes chaines

Si tu dois toujours m’aimer.

A Stamboul, si je succombe,

Je dirai jusqu’à ma tombe :

Par le ciel je suis à toi,

Dans tes rêves, pense à moi.

Maid of Athens, ere we part,

Give, oh give me back my heart !

Or, since that has left my breast,

Keep it now, and take the rest !

Hear my vow before I go,

By those tresses unconfined,

Woo’d by each Ægean wind;

By those lids whose jetty fringe

Kiss thy soft cheeks’ blooming tinge;

By those wild eyes like the roe,

By that lip I long to taste;

By that zone-encircled waist;

By all the token-flowers that tell

What words can never speak so well;

By love’s alternate joy and woe,

Maid of Athens !    I am gone:

Think of me, sweet !    when alone.

Though I fly to Istambol,

Athens holds my heart and soul:

Can I cease to love thee? No !

CD 1 Track 6

Du Ärmste kannst wohl nie ermessen (You poor woman, can never measure)

Text and Music: Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

Lehmann recorded this in the “acoustic” era, but not with a microphone until this radio broadcast of 10 Jan 1937. She performed it on an RCA Magic Key program with the NBC Orchestra conducted by Frank Black. As far as I can tell, this is the first publication in any format. This performance documents Lehmann’s intense connection with Elsa, her first great success.

In Act II of Lohengrin, evil Ortrud tries to sow seeds of doubt in Elsa’s mind by threatening fear of abandonment in order to shake her innocent faith. This is Elsa’s reply. Note the intensity with which Lehmann sings the repeated words “es gibt ein Glück.”

Du Ärmste kannst wohl nie ermessen,

Wie zweifellos mein Herze liebt!

Du hast wohl nie das Glück besessen,

Das sich uns nur durch Glauben gibt!

Kehr’ bei mir ein! Laß mich dich lehren

Wie süß die Wonne reinster Treu’!

Laß zu dem Glauben dich bekehren:

Es gibt ein Glück, das ohne Reu’.

You poor woman, can never measure

How free of doubt my heart loves!

You have indeed never known the happiness

That is only given us by faith!

Come in with me! Let me teach you

How sweet the bliss of perfect [or pure] trust is!

Let yourself be converted to faith:

There is joy without regret.

CD 1 Track 7

The Spring

Text: unknown author

Music: Anton Rubinstein (Op. 44 No. 1)

As tension with Germany increased, it was natural for Lehmann to program non-German material. Pushkin’s Noch (Night) inspired this Rubinstein “romance.” Lehmann sang this in English; the words of the “poetry” (doggerel) are transcribed from the recording and are only approximate.

This performance was heard on the RCA Magic Key radio broadcast of 10 Jan 1937 and is available here for the first time. Ernö Balogh was the pianist.

The Spring with blossoms sweet
Has come in all its glory
We heard the birds repeating songs,
Love songs of story.
I did not then believe in two those dark eyes glowing,
Our hearts in joy o’er flowing
Joy’s alit in love and peace.

And in those wondrous eyes
I’ve seen a blue bird of night,
I lived, I knew before
Oh never, never leave me.

I’ll ne’er deceive thee
I’ll never leave thee
I love but thee
Thou art my soul’s delight.

But though cold winds oppressed,
Of all my joys bereft me
Although the hands of death
No hope on Earth has left me,

I will not weep nor dream
I will not e’er believe
That daily joined in love
Shall meet in realms above.

Oh love dost hear me cry
Oh come, Oh come,
With heart no more,
My heart forbid a sigh,

My failing heart bring nigh
Oh love, I come to thee,
I love thee!

CD 1 Track 8

Kennst du das Land (Do You Know the Land)

Text: Goethe

Music: Hugo Wolf (1860-1903) (1888; Goethe Songs from Wilhelm Meister)

The following 20 songs (and five encores on the next CD) are taken from a radio broadcast of Lehmann’s 18 January 1938 Town Hall recital that featured songs of Hugo Wolf. It was an unusual move on Lehmann’s part; one-composer recitals weren’t common at the time, and certainly not “all Wolf.” It also strikes me as strange or courageous, or both, to begin such a recital with the most demanding Wolf song, which is challenging for both the pianist and singer, Kennst du das Land. Many other composers, including Beethoven, Liszt, Schubert, and Schumann successfully set these words, but none achieved a more passionate result than Wolf.

This is the first appearance on these discs of Paul Ulanowsky as Lehmann’s pianist. There were many reasons she chose him over Ernö Balogh, her previous regular pianist in the USA. Ulanowsky was a fairly strong pianist, but it was his gift for being there with Lehmann, through her rubati and improvisations, that made him essential to her Lieder career.

A word about the transfers: these are originally acetates that were recorded by a fan, an amateur recording engineer, from the radio. The professional restoration engineer, Lani Spahr, has done wonders in eliminating noise, while allowing the sound of the voice and piano to retain their original sound. It’s a joy to hear Lehmann sing these songs “live.” As far as I know there was only an LP release on Unique Opera Recordings UORC 235 and that did not include Anakreons Grab. The tracks you hear on this CD are from the original acetates, remastered and re-pitched.

Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blühn,

Im dunkeln Laub die Gold-Orangen glühn,

Ein sanfter Wind vom blauen Himmel weht,

Die Myrte still und hoch der Lorbeer steht?

Kennst du es wohl?

Dahin! dahin

Möcht ich mit dir, o mein Geliebter, ziehn.

Kennst du das Haus? Auf Säulen ruht sein Dach.

Es glänzt der Saal, es schimmert das Gemach,

Und Marmorbilder stehn und sehn mich an:

Was hat man dir, du armes Kind, getan?

Kennst du es wohl?

Dahin! dahin

Möcht ich mit dir, o mein Beschützer, ziehn.

Kennst du den Berg und seinen Wolkensteg?

Das Maultier sucht im Nebel seinen Weg;

In Höhlen wohnt der Drachen alte Brut;

Es stürzt der Fels und über ihn die Flut!

Kennst du ihn wohl?

Dahin! dahin

Geht unser Weg! O Vater, laß uns ziehn!

Do you know the land where the lemon trees blossom,

Among dark leaves the golden oranges glow,

A gentle breeze from blue skies drifts,

The myrtle is still, and the laurel stands high?

Do you know it well?

There! there

I would go with you, my beloved.

Do you know the house? On columns rests its roof.

The great hall glistens, the chamber shines,

And the marble statues stand and look at me:

What have they done to you, poor child?

Do you know it well?

There! there

I would go with you, oh my protector.

Do you know the mountain and its path amidst the clouds?

The mule searches in the fog for its way;

In caves dwells the dragon of the old breed;

The cliff falls, and over it the flood!

Do you know it well?

There! there

Leads our way! oh father, let us go!

CD 1 Track 9

Frühling übers Jahr (Spring Throughout the Year)

Text: Goethe

Music: Wolf (1888; Goethe Songs)

Goethe’s poem combines Spring and Love; Wolf invokes them with both the piano and voice. Listen to the way the opening rapture changes to a more dedicatory feeling during the second half, until the word “Scherz” when the opening joyful motives return. Notice how Lehmann plays with the words of the flowers’ various dispositions.

Das Beet, schon lockert sichs in die Höh!

Da wanken Glöckchen so weiß wie Schnee;

Safran entfaltet gewaltge Glut,

Smaragden keimt es und keimt wie Blut;

Primeln stolzieren so naseweis,

Schalkhafte Veilchen, versteckt mit Fleiß;

Was auch noch alles da regt und webt,

Genug, der Frühling, er wirkt und lebt.

Doch was im Garten am reichsten blüht,

Das ist des Liebchens lieblich Gemüt.

Da glühen Blicke mir immerfort,

Erregend Liedchen, erheiternd Wort,

Ein immer offen, ein Blütenherz,

Im Ernste freundlich und rein im Scherz.

Wenn Ros und Lilie der Sommer bringt,

Er doch vergebens mit Liebchen ringt.

The flower-bed is swelling up with life!

Little bells sway, as white as snow,

Crocuses unfold their intense glow,

Emerald shoots spring forth, and buds blood-red;

Primroses flaunt so saucily ,

Roguish violets hidden with care;

And as for all else there stirs and weaves,

Enough: Spring is here, active and alive.

But what in the garden most richly blossoms,

That is my darling’s sweet disposition.

Her ever-glowing glances continually,

Stirring song, cheery words,

An ever-open, a blossoming heart,

Kindly earnest, and pure in jest.

Even though summer brings rose and lily,

It vies with my sweet love in vain.

CD 1 Track 10

Und willst du deinen Liebsten sterben sehen (And If You Would See Your Lover Die)

Text: Tuscan folk poetry translated by Paul Heyse (1830-1914)

Music: Wolf (1891; Italian Songbook I)

The piano arpeggios help describe the maiden’s flowing hair. Lehmann’s treatment of the word “niederwehen” stresses the tumbling half of the word. Notice the strange harmony on the word “ungezählt,” as if the lover were transfixed.

Und willst du deinen Liebsten sterben sehen,

So trage nicht dein Haar gelockt, du Holde.

Laß von den Schultern frei sie niederwehen;

Wie Fäden sehn sie aus von purem Golde.

Wie goldne Fäden, die der Wind bewegt –

Schön sind die Haare, schön ist, die sie trägt!

Goldfäden, Seidenfäden ungezählt –

Schön sind die Haare, schön ist, die sie strählt!

And if you would see your lover die,

So don’t wear your hair in curls, you lovely one.

Let it tumble free round your shoulders;

Like threads of pure gold.

Like golden threads, stirred by the breeze –

Beautiful is the hair, beautiful is she whom it crowns!

Golden threads, silken threads uncountable –

Beautiful is the hair, beautiful she who combs it!

CD 1 Track 11

Wenn du, mein Liebster, steigst zum Himmel auf (When You, my Dearest, Ascend to Heaven)

Text: Folk poetry translated by Paul Heyse

Music: Wolf (1896; Italian Songbook II)

An interesting combination of religious and love fervor, in which, predictably, Lehmann stresses the latter. Note the strange drop in harmony on the third line and the piano postlude that certainly reflects the flames of heaven!

Wenn du, mein Liebster, steigst zum Himmel auf,

Trag’ ich mein Herz dir in der Hand entgegen.

So liebevoll umarmst du mich darauf,

Dann woll’n wir uns dem Herrn zu Füßen legen.

Und sieht der Herrgott unsre Liebesschmerzen,

Macht er Ein Herz aus zwei verliebten Herzen,

Zu Einem Herzen fügt er zwei zusammen,

Im Paradies, umglänzt von Himmelsflammen.

When you, my dearest, ascend to heaven,

I will carry my heart to you in my hand.

So lovingly will you then embrace me,

Then we will lie at the Lord’s feet.

And when the Lord God sees our love’s sorrows,

He will make one heart out of two loving hearts,

He will join two together to  make one,

In Paradise, shone all around by heaven’s flames.

CD 1 Track 12

In der Frühe (In the Early Morning)

Text: Eduard Mörike (1804-1875)

Music: Wolf (1888: Mörike Songs)

The opening chords have always seemed to me to illustrate the feeling we’ve all experienced of not wanting to wake up in the morning. But by the end of the song, with Lehmann’s ecstatic “Freu’ dich!” the sleepyhead welcomes the beautiful day.

Kein Schlaf noch kühlt das Auge mir,

Dort gehet schon der Tag herfür

An meinem Kammerfenster.

Es wühlet mein verstörter Sinn

Noch zwischen Zweifeln her und hin

Und schaffet Nachtgespenster.

— Ängste, quäle

Dich nicht länger, meine Seele!

Freu’ dich! Schon sind da und dorten

Morgenglocken wach geworden.

No sleep yet cools my eyes;

There day’s already beginning

Outside my chamber window.

My troubled senses rummage still

Here and there among my doubts,

Creating nightly phantoms.

— Frighten and torment yourself

No longer, my soul!

Be happy! Already, here and there,

Morning bells are awakening.

CD 1 Track 13

Auch kleine Dinge (Even Little Things)

Text: Paul Heyse’s translation from the Italian

Music: Wolf (1891; Italian Songbook I)

Wolf has crafted a song whose music exactly mirrors its contents. It has become one of the most frequently performed of his Lieder. It is also a summation, in its celebration of small things, of the elements we most appreciate in Lieder. Lehmann sings this straight. The words tell it all. This is an excellent example of Lehmann’s famous rubati that never faze Ulanowsky.

Auch kleine Dinge können uns entzücken,

Auch kleine Dinge können teuer sein.

Bedenkt, wie gern wir uns mit Perlen schmücken;

Sie werden schwer bezahlt und sind nur klein.

Bedenkt, wie klein ist die Olivenfrucht,

Und wird um ihre Güte doch gesucht.

Denkt an die Rose nur, wie klein sie ist,

Und duftet doch so lieblich, wie ihr wißt.

Even little things can delight us,

Even little things can be precious.

Think how we gladly adorn ourselves with pearls;

They are heavily paid for, and yet are small.

Think how small is the olive’s fruit,

And is nevertheless sought for its goodness.

Think only on the rose, how small it is,

And yet, smells so sweet, as you know.

CD 1 Track 14

Der Knabe und das Immlein (The Lad and the Bee)

Text: Mörike

Music: Wolf (1888; Mörike Songs)

This was one of Lehmann’s most popular songs, and at this recital was so enthusiastically received that she encored it. One hears the bee buzzing in the piano. The song builds from the opening boredom to a really passionate conclusion. Has the lad grown into a man? Lehmann is able to bring real warmth to the final words: “herzt und küßt.”

Im Weinberg auf der Höhe

Ein Häuslein steht so winde bang;

Hat weder Tür noch Fenster,

Die Weile wird ihm lang.

Und ist der Tag so schwüle,

Sind all’ verstummt die Vögelein,

Summt an der Sonnenblume

Ein Immlein ganz allein.

Mein Lieb hat einen Garten,

Da steht ein hübsches Immenhaus:

Kommst du daher geflogen?

Schickt sie dich nach mir aus?

“O nein, du feiner Knabe,

Es hieß mich Niemand Boten gehn;

Diese’ Kind weiß nichts von Lieben,

Hat dich noch kaum gesehn.

Was wüßten auch die Mädchen,

Wenn sie kaum aus der Schule sind!

Dein herzallerliebstes Schätzchen

Ist noch ein Mutterkind.

Ich bring’ ihm Wachs und Honig;

Ade! ich hab’ ein ganzes Pfund;

Wie wird das Schätzchen lachen,

Ihm wässert schon der Mund.”

Ach, wolltest du ihr sagen,

Wie ich wüßte, was viel süßer ist:

Nichts Lieblichers auf Erden

Als wenn man herzt und küßt!

In a vineyard up on the hill

Stands a cottage that’s open to the elements;

It has neither door nor window

And time hangs heavy on it.

However the sultry the day,

Even if all the birds are silent,

Buzzing is heard on the sunflower

It’s a bee all on its own.

My love has a garden

In which there’s a pretty beehive:

Is that where you have flown from?

Did she send you to me?

“Oh no, my fine lad,

No one has sent me with any message;

That child knows nothing of love.

She’s hardly seen you.

What on earth can girls know,

When they’re scarcely out of school?

Your dearest little treasure

Is still her mother’s darling.

I’m taking her some wax and honey;

Bye! I’ve got a whole pound;

How your little treasure will laugh,

Her mouth is watering already.”

Oh, I wish you’d tell her

I know something that’s much sweeter:

There is nothing on earth more delightful

Than when hugging and kissing!

CD 1 Track 15

Er ist’s (Spring’s Here)

Text: Mörike

Music: Wolf (1888; Mörike Songs)

This Mörike poem inspired great songs from both Schumann and Wolf. Ulanowsky and Lehmann chose a relaxed tempo that allows real excitement to build by the final lines. This is one of the few examples of Wolf’s repeating words of a poem.

Frühling läßt sein blaues Band

Wieder flattern durch die Lüfte;

Süße, wohlbekannte Düfte

Streifen ahnungsvoll das Land.

Veilchen träumen schon,

Wollen balde kommen.

Horch, ein Harfenton!

Frühling, ja du bist’s!

Dich hab ich vernommen!

Spring lets its blue ribbon

Flutter again in the breeze;

Sweet, familiar scents

Drift full of promise through the countryside.

Violets are dreaming already,

And will soon arrive.

Listen, a soft harp tone!

Spring, yes it’s you!

It is you that I’ve heard!

CD 1 Track 16

Storchenbotschaft (Storks’ Message)

Text: Mörike

Music: Wolf (1888; Mörike Songs)

Mörike devised his own kind of fairy tale, which Wolf fully illustrates, down to the very bowing of the storks. Their flapping at the end is always amazing, and a challenge for the pianist. And Lehmann uses a kind of story-telling voice. The audience’s response to the little joke demonstrates the kind of rapport with them that Lehmann enjoyed.

Des Schäfers sein Haus und das steht auf zwei Rad,

Steht hoch auf der Heiden, so frühe, wie spat;

Und wenn nur ein Mancher so’n Nachtquartier hätt’!

Ein Schäfer tauscht nicht mit dem König sein Bett.

Und kommt in der Nacht auch was Seltsames vor,

Er betet sein Sprüchel und legt sich auf’s Ohr;

Ein Hexlein, ein Geistlein, so luftige Wicht’,

Sie klopfen ihm wohl, doch er antwortet nicht.

Doch, einmal da ward es ihm wirklich zu bunt:

Es knopert am Laden, es winselt der Hund;

Nun ziehet mein Schäfer den Riegel – ei schau!

Da stehen zwei Störche, der Mann und die Frau.

Das Pärchen, es machet ein schön Kompliment,

Es möchte gern reden, ach, wenn es nur könnt’!

Was will mir das Ziefer? ist so was erhört?

Doch ist mir wohl fröhliche Botschaft beschert.

Ihr seid wohl dahinten zu Hause am Rhein?

Ihr habt wohl mein Mädel gebissen in’s Bein?

Nun weinet das Kind und die Mutter noch mehr,

Sie wünschet den Herzallerliebsten sich her.

Und wünsche daneben die Taufe bestellt:

Ein Lämmlein, ein Würstlein, ein Beutelein Geld?

So sagt nur, ich käm’ in zwei Tag oder drei,

Und grüßt mir mein Bübel und rührt ihm den Brei!

Doch halt! warum stellt ihr zu Zweien euch ein?

Es werden doch, hoff’ ich, nicht Zwillinge sein?

Da klappern die Störche im lustigsten Ton,

Sie nicken und knixen und fliegen davon.

The shepherd’s house stands on two wheels,

Stands high on the heath, from morning till night;

And if only more people had such night lodgings!

A shepherd wouldn’t exchange his bed with the king.

And should something strange come by night,

He prays his little text and lays down on his ear;

A witch, a spirit, and other such airy sprites,

May knock on his door, but he won’t answer.

But once it became just too much:

The banging on the shutter, the whining of the dog;

So my shepherd draws back the bolts – and behold!

There stand two storks, the husband and the wife.

The couple makes a beautiful bow,

And wish to speak, oh, if only they could!

What do these creatures want of me? Isn’t this unheard of?

But they’re bestowing happy news.

Are you at home back there on the Rhine?

So presumably you’ve bitten my girl in the leg*?

Now the child’s crying and the mother still more,

She wishes for her beloved to come home.

And she wishes also to arrange the baptism:

A lamb, a sausage and a purse of gold?

Well, tell her I may come in two or three days,

And greet my boy and stir his gruel!

But wait! why are you both here?

But it won’t, I hope, mean twins?

The storks clap their wings with a merry sound;

They nod and curtsey, and fly away. * Part of the stork fairy tale: the girl is bitten and gets pregnant.

CD 1 Track 17

An eine Äolsharfe (To an Aeolean Harp)

Text: Mörike

Music: Wolf (1888; Mörike Songs)

The Aeolean harp was supposed to be played by the wind. This conceit inspired both Mörike and Wolf to a creation that reflected classical Greek times. Can anyone ever sing “wie süß” more sweetly than Lehmann did?

Angelehnt an die Efeuwand

Dieser alten Terrasse,

Du, einer luftgebor’nen Muse

Geheimnisvolles Saitenspiel,

Fang’ an,

Fange wieder an

Deine melodische Klage!

Ihr kommet, Winde, fern herüber,

Ach! von des Knaben,

Der mir so lieb war,

Frischgrünendem Hügel.

Und Frühlingsblüten unterweges streifend,

Übersättigt mit Wohlgerüchen,

Wie süß, wie süß bedrängt ihr dies Herz!

Und säuselt her in die Saiten,

Angezogen von wohllautender Wehmut,

Wachsend im Zug meiner Sehnsucht,

Und hinsterbend wieder.

Aber auf einmal,

Wieder Wind heftiger herstößt,

Ein heisser Schrei der Harfe

Wiederholt mir zu süßem Erschrecken

Meiner Seele plötzliche Regung,

Und hier, die volle Rose streut geschüttelt

All’ ihre Blätter vor meine Füße!

Leaning against the ivy-covered wall

Of this old terrace,

You, of an air-borne muse,

Mysterious lute melody,


Begin again,

Your melodious lament!

You come, winds, from far away,

Ah! from the boy

Who was so dear to me,

From his hill so freshly green.

On your way, streaking over spring blossoms

Saturated with sweet scents,

How sweetly, how sweetly you besiege this heart!

You rustle the strings here,

Drawn by harmonious melancholy,

Growing louder in the pull of my longing,

And then dying down again.

But all at once,

The wind blows violently

And a wild shout of the harp

Echoes, to my sweet terror,

The sudden stirring of my soul,

And here, the ample rose shakes and strews

All its petals at my feet!

CD 1 Track 18

In dem Schatten meiner Locken (In the Shadow of my Tresses)

Text: Heyse

Music: Wolf (1889; Spanish Songbook: Secular Songs)

Lehmann is flirtatious in this song. She also brought out some of the onomatopoetic words, such as “Windessausen.” Do you notice the soft bolero-like rhythm in the piano? And what will her answer be? The piano keeps us in suspense before the “Ach nein!”

In dem Schatten meiner Locken

Schlief mir mein Geliebter ein.

Weck ich ihn nun auf? – Ach nein!

Sorglich strählt ich meine krausen

Locken täglich in der Frühe,

Doch umsonst ist meine Mühe,

Weil die Winde sie zerzausen.

Lockenschatten, Windessausen

Schläferten den Liebsten ein.

Weck ich ihn nun auf? – Ach nein!

Hören muß ich, wie ihn gräme,

Daß er schmachtet schon so lange,

Daß ihm Leben geb’ und nehme

Diese meine braune Wange,

Und er nennt mich eine Schlange,

Und doch schlief er bei mir ein.

Weck ich ihn nun auf? – Ach nein!

In the shadow of my tresses

My beloved has fallen asleep.

Shall I awaken him now? Oh, no!

Carefully I comb my curly

Locks, early every day;

Yet my trouble is in vain,

For the wind dishevels them again.

Tress-shadows, wind-whispers,

Have lulled my darling to sleep.

Shall I awaken him now? Oh, no!

I must listen to him complain,

That he pines for me so long,

That life is given and taken from him

By this, my brown cheek,

And he calls me a snake,

Yet he fell asleep by me.

Shall I awaken him now? Oh, no!

CD 1 Track 19

Gebet (Prayer)

Text: Mörike

Music: Wolf (1888; Mörike Songs)

This poem reminds us that Mörike was a preacher and, at least at times, took his spiritual life seriously (even if this Golden Mean philosophy is more Grecian than Christian). Wolf responds with complete sincerity, as does the team of Lehmann/Ulanowsky. Her legato is exemplary.

Herr, schicke was du willt,

Ein Liebes oder Leides;

Ich bin vergnügt, daß beides

Aus Deinen Händen quillt.

Wollest mit Freuden

Und wollest mit Leiden

Mich nicht überschütten!

Doch in der Mitten,

Liegt holdes Bescheiden.

Lord, send what You will,

Be it love or sorrow;

I am content, that both

From Thy hands flow.

May You with delights

And may You with sorrows

Not overwhelm me!

For in the middle

Lies pure humility.

CD 1 Track 20

Nun laß uns Frieden schließen (Now Let Us Make Peace)

Text: Paul Heyse from the Tuscan

Music: Wolf (1890; Italian Songbook I)

The piano part rocks lullingly, and in the end the sincere, serene music convinces us that the quarrel will be patched up.

Nun laß uns Frieden schließen, liebstes Leben,

Zu lang ist’s schon, daß wir in Fehde liegen.

Wenn du nicht willst, will ich mich dir ergeben;

Wie könnten wir uns auf den Tod bekriegen?

Es schließen Frieden Könige und Fürsten,

Und sollten Liebende nicht darnach dürsten?

Es schließen Frieden Fürsten und Soldaten,

Und sollt’ es zwei Verliebten wohl mißraten?

Meinst du, daß, was so großen Herrn gelingt,

Ein Paar zufriedner Herzen nicht vollbringt?

Now let us make peace, dearest life.

It has been too long that we have feuded.

If you’re unwilling, I’ll yield to you;

How could we wage war to the death?

Kings and princes make peace,

And should not lovers crave it?

Princes and soldiers make peace,

Should two who are in love fail to do likewise?

Do you think that what such great men succeed in,

A pair of contented hearts shall not achieve?

CD 1 Track 21

Der Gärtner (The Gardener)

Text: Mörike

Music: Wolf (1888; Mörike Songs)

We can hear the white horse’s elegant riding entrance in Wolf’s piano part. Listen to Ulanowsky’s precise rhythmic way of playing the prancing music. And Lehmann’s pleading “und willst du dagegen eine Blüte von mir” is answered by “tausend” that’s filled with “thousands.”

Auf ihrem Leibrößlein

So weiß wie der Schnee,

Die schönste Prinzessin

Reit’t durch die Allee.

Der Weg, den das Rößlein

Hintanzet so hold,

Der Sand, den ich streute,

Er blinket wie Gold!

Du rosenfarb’s Hütlein

Wohl auf und wohl ab,

O wirf eine Feder,

Verstohlen herab!

Und willst du dagegen

Eine Blüte von mir,

Nimm tausend für eine,

Nimm alle dafür!

On her favorite pony

As white as the snow,

The fairest princess

Rides down the avenue.

On the path down which her pony

So finely prances,

The sand that I strewed there

Glitters like gold!

You rose-colored little hat,

Bobbing up and down,

Oh toss a feather

Secretly down!

And if, for that, you would like

A flower from me,

Take a thousand for your one,

Take them all!

CD 1 Track 22

Du denkst mit einem Fädchen (You Think With a Tiny String)

Text: Heyse

Music: Wolf (1891; Italian Songbook I)

Lehmann is able to ride on the conversational elements of the music and words, making the most of every important word, and drawing laughter from the audience at the joke.

Du denkst mit einem Fädchen mich zu fangen,

Mit einem Blick schon mich verliebt zu machen?

Ich fing schon Andre, die sich höher schwangen;

Du darfst mir ja nicht trau’n, siehst du mich lachen.

Schon Andre fing ich, glaub’ mir sicherlich.

Ich bin verliebt, doch eben nicht in dich.

You think that, with a tiny string, you can catch me,

With one glance, you can make me fall in love?

I’ve caught others already who soared higher;

You mustn’t trust me when you see me laugh.

I’ve caught others already, believe me.

I am in love, but just not with you!

CD 1 Track 23

Heimweh (Homesickness)

Text: Mörike

Music: Wolf (1888; Mörike Songs)

Wolf’s strange and uneasy harmonies seem to represent this foreign land. And every attempt to feel comfortable is thwarted. “But not anything like there,” (i.e. home) is the tone of both the words and music. Lehmann stays out of the way, not becoming too upset about leaving the beloved. Since this song doesn’t have a strong melodic component, it deserves multiple hearings.

Anders wird die Welt mit jedem Schritt,

Den ich weiter von der Liebsten mache;

Mein Herz, das will nicht weiter mit.

Hier scheint die Sonne kalt in’s Land,

Hier däucht mir Alles unbekannt,

Sogar die Blumen am Bache!

Hat jede Sache

So fremd eine Miene, so falsch ein Gesicht.

Das Bächlein murmelt wohl und spricht:

Armer Knabe, komm bei mir vorüber,

Siehst auch hier Vergißmeinnicht!

— Ja, die sind schön an jedem Ort,

Aber nicht wie dort.

Fort, nur fort!

Die Augen gehn mir über!

The world becomes different with every step

That takes me farther away from my beloved;

My heart does not want to go further.

Here the sun shines coldly upon the land,

Here everything seems unfamiliar to me,

Even the very flowers along the stream!

Every thing has

So strange a look, so wrong a face.

The stream murmurs well and speaks:

“Poor boy, come along beside me,

You see forget-me-nots here as well!”

Yes, they are beautiful everywhere,

But not anything like there.

Onward, only onward!

My eyes spill over! [I’m crying]

CD 1 Track 24

Schweig einmal still (Be Silent for Once)

Text: Heyse

Music: Wolf (1896; Italian Songbook II)

Wolf doesn’t offer us the offensive serenade, but rather the singer’s reaction to it, and more important, to the serenader. The piano part sets up this little argument and we hear the bray of the donkey throughout. Lehmann is so involved that she can make us believe in the quarrel.

Schweig einmal still, du garst’ger Schwätzer dort!

Zum Ekel ist mir dein verwünschtes Singen.

Und triebst du es bis morgen früh so fort,

Doch würde dir kein schmuckes Lied gelingen.

Schweig einmal still und lege dich aufs Ohr!

Das Ständchen eines Esels zög ich vor.

Be silent for once, you detestable babbler!

Your cursed singing makes me sick.

And if you carried on so until tomorrow morning,

You would still not manage a decent song.

Be silent for once, and go to sleep!

I’d prefer the serenade of a donkey!

CD 1 Track 25

Ich hab’ in Penna (I Have in Penna)

Text: Heyse (from the Tuscan)

Music: Wolf (1896; Italian Songbook II)

An echo of the catalog aria from Mozart’s Don Giovanni: there’s a lover in every port. Though Lehmann sings with her usual vigor, this is also our chance to hear some really virtuosic playing from Ulanowsky.

Ich hab in Penna einen Liebsten wohnen,

In der Maremmeneb’ne einen andern,

Einen im schönen Hafen von Ancona,

Zum Vierten muß ich nach Viterbo wandern;

Ein Andrer wohnt in Casentino dort,

Der Nächste lebt mit mir am selben Ort,

Und wieder einen hab’ ich in Magione,

Vier in La Fratta, zehn in Castiglione.

I have a lover living in Penna,

Another one in the Maremma plain,

One in the lovely harbor of Ancona,

And for the fourth I must go to Viterbo;

Another one lives in Casentino,

The next lives with me in the same place,

And yet another one have I in Magione,

Four in La Fratta, ten in Castiglione.

CD 1 Track 26

Anakreons Grab (Anacreon’s Grave)

Text: Goethe

Music: Wolf (1888; Goethe Songs)

A meditative text and setting combine to make this a profoundly moving song that obviously touched the poet in Lehmann.

Wo die Rose hier blüht,

Wo Reben um Lorbeer sich schlingen,

Wo das Turtelchen lockt,

Wo sich das Grillchen ergötzt,

Welch ein Grab ist hier,

Das alle Götter mit Leben

Schön bepflanzt und geziert?

Es ist Anakreons Ruh.

Frühling, Sommer, und Herbst genoß

Der glückliche Dichter;

Vor dem Winter hat ihn endlich der Hügel geschützt.

Here where the rose blooms,

Where vines entwine the laurel,

Where the turtledove calls,

Where the cricket delights,

Whose grave is here,

That all the gods with life

Have so beautifully planted and decorated?

It is Anacreon’s rest [resting place].

Spring, summer, and autumn delighted

The happy poet;

From winter the mound has finally sheltered him.

CD 1 Track 27

Verborgenheit (Seclusion)

Text: Mörike

Music: Wolf (1888; Mörike Songs)

Verborgenheit is one of Wolf’s most successful Mörike settings. Lehmann offers powerful, almost religious insight into the work. One can well imagine why it was also popular in Wolf’s own time.

Laß, o Welt, o laß mich sein!

Locket nicht mit Liebesgaben,

Laßt dies Herz alleine haben

Seine Wonne, seine Pein!

Was ich traure, weiß ich nicht,

Es ist unbekanntes Wehe;

Immerdar durch Tränen sehe

Ich der Sonne liebes Licht.

Oft bin ich mir kaum bewußt,

Und die helle Freude zücket

Durch die Schwere, so mich drücket,

Wonniglich in meiner Brust.

Laß, o Welt, o laß mich sein!

Locket nicht mit Liebesgaben,

Laßt dies Herz alleine haben

Seine Wonne, seine Pein!

Oh, world, let me be!

Entice me not with gifts of love,

Let this heart in solitude have

Its bliss, its pain!

What I mourn, I know not,

It is an unknown pain;

Forever through tears shall I see

The sun’s love-light.

Often, I am scarcely conscious,

And the bright joys break

Through the pain, thus pressing,

Blissfully into my breast.

Oh, world, let me be!

Entice me not with gifts of love.

Let this heart in solitude have

Its bliss, its pain!