Lotte Lehmann League Newsletter Spring 1992 Volume IV, No. 1


One can find a great many birthdates given for Lotte Lehmann. I always assumed that vanity lead her to change the date, and since 27 February was Caruso’s birthday, this seemed an intriguing coincidence. Some of the dates I have encountered are 2 July 1888, 1885 or even 1881!

In hopes of resolving the confusion I asked Frank Manhold, a classical radio announcer-producer in Munich, to search for a birth certificate . What follows is his story of the search.–GH

Encouraged by my friend, the tireless LL-researcher Gary Hickling, I made contact last fall with several institutions in Lehmann’s hometown of Perleberg.

Perleberg is a small town of about 14,000 inhabitants in the northeastern part of re-united Germany, located in the state, or as we say, “Bundesland,” of Brandenburg. It takes about two hours by car to get to Berlin from there.

Several calls finally led me to Reinhard Spiess, director of Perleberg’s “Heimatmuseum,” which is situated in a former schoolhouse, actually the school LL attended from 1895 to 1902.

Herr Spiess told me about the LL exhibition of 1988 in his museum, commemorating the artist’s 100th birthday, and also about the LL memorial plaque that was attached to the outside wall of the building on this occasion.

Herr Spiess was first surprised, then quite enthusiastic to hear about the LLL Newsletter and the Lehmann Archive at the University of California Santa Barbara. He hopes for a collaboration between the Archive and the museum, which could make a permanent LL exhibition possible in Perleberg.

In December he wrote me about an exhibition in 1993, perhaps connected with lectures on Lehmann. In addition, Perleberg city officials are considering naming a street and the local music school after the city’s most famous daughter. This is something which, in my opinion, is long overdue.

From the Perleberg registry office I received a copy of the marvelously old-fashioned birth certificate: ‘Before the undersigned registrar today appeared…” etc. The hand-written portion of the document was in “Deutscher Schrift,” the official German writing (Schriftart) used until the 1940’s. I had to ask an 82-year-old friend of mine to “translate” the writing into modern German, because otherwise I couldn’t read it.

Having witnessed the German reunification mainly by reading newspapers and watching TV, it was a completely new and exciting experience for me to be in contact so easily with fellow Germans in the east, with no more walls of stone or ideology between us.

A German realization and an English translation of the birth certificate follows.

Nr. 50
Perleberg am 1. Marz 1888

Vor dem unterzeichneten Standesbeamten erschien heute, der Persönlichkeit nach bekannt, der Ritterschaftsdiätar Karl Heinrich Traugott Lehmann wohnhaft zu Perleberg, Pritzwalkerstrasse Nr. 11 evangelischer Religion, und zeigten an, dass von der Maria Pauline Lehmann geborene Schuster, seiner Ehefrau, evangelischer Religion, wohnhaft bei dem Anzeigenden zu Perleberg in dessen Wohnung am siebenundzwanzigsten Februar des Jahres tausend acht hundert achtzig und acht Nachmittags um siebeneinhalb Uhr ein Kind weiblichen Geschlechts geboren worden sei, welches den Vornamen Charlotte Pauline Sophie erhalten habe

Vorgelesen genehmigt und
Carl Lehmann
Der Standesbeamte.

No. 50
Perleberg on 1 March 1888

Before the undersigned registrar appeared today the person known to me “Ritterschaft” secretary Karl Heinrich Traugott Lehmann residing in Perleberg, 11 Pritzwalker Street, Protestant, and gave notice that Maria Pauline Lehmann née Schuster, his wife, Protestant, living with the person announcing in Perleberg in his residence delivered a female child on 27 February 1888 in the afternoon (sic) at 7:30 who received the first names Charlotte Pauline Sophie

Read, approved and signed
Carl Lehmann
The City Registrar

Lehmann’s Accompanists


Paul Ulanowsky was Lehmann’s principal accompanist from 1938 until 1951, performing with her over 50 times in New York alone. She called him “the ideal accompanist for me. We understood each other musically in perfect time.” He had the ability to adjust to the demands of the moment, which, given Lehmann’s rhythmic freedom, was necessary. Concerning improvisation, he said, “The ideal is that you prepare something extremely well… and then at the moment of performance you make yourself forget (all that) and create, as it were, completely from scratch.”

He memorized the music and could play in any key, which also suited Lehmann’s wishes. In a 1966 master class demonstration of Strauss’ Cäcilie, Ulanowsky, in a whisper which we heard in the balcony, asked in a pleading, hopeful voice, “Mme., what key?” He, like all of us, wanted to hear her, even at the age of 78, sing this exciting song. She replied. “The original key! I’m not going to sing it…I’ll just speak it through.” And so she did, though there was pitch to the words and a projection of emotion that allowed us to understand what critics and audiences had raved about years before.

As Ulanowsky himself said, “The most important thing is the honesty with which you try to identify yourself…with the composer and poet. To go back to what they wanted…in their combined work of sound and word.”

Ulanowsky was born in Vienna in 1908 and lived until 1968. He accompanied many great artists besides Lehmann and was also a gifted teacher. I had the pleasure of hearing him accompany Ernst Haefliger at Carnegie Hall and teach at Yale Summer School of Music and Art. Later I turned his pages when he played Bach Aria Group concerts at Town Hall. Each occasion offered the opportunity for me to enjoy his ready wit and to hear Lehmann stories.

Regarding Lehmann’s Town Hall farewell recital in 1951, Ulanowsky said that only a few people knew, and he wasn’t among them. She asked him to remain on stage while she spoke to the audience, telling them that it was indeed her farewell recital in New York. Ulanowsky remembered, “There wasn’t a tearless eye…except Lotte Lehmann. With incredible discipline she carried through the speech and the rest of the program (until) just a few seconds before the end…when she broke down. This was not a studied thing. She didn’t expect it to happen and as she went . . . out the door of Town Hall she said to me, ‘This is terrible!'”

Many thanks to Philip Ulanowsky for providing a tape which included a masterclass and interviews of his father, from which this article borrowed. He is interested in collecting more material relating to his father which should be sent to him at 801 W. Holly Lane. Purcellville. VA 22132. –GH


In a recent interview Gwendolyn Williams Koldofsky, one of Lehmann’s last accompanists, spoke of her memories of Lehmann. “She possessed a rare, heavenly quality of voice and was a great actress. In her teaching and her singing she could do the same lieder over and over again, bringing fresh thoughts and a new vocabulary to the work. The artistic convictions and charisma we hear about so much—it was a beautiful experience! I have been with great singers all my life, but there was something about the unique quality, the sound of her voice, and her interpretations that were wonderful…”

Mme. Koldofsky joined Lehmann for her West Coast tours after 1943. She was Lehmann’s accompanist for the “farewell” recital at the Music Academy of the West in 1951. She continued teaching the art of accompaniment both there and at the University of Southern California, until her recent retirement. One of her famous students, Martin Katz, is now teaching at the Music Academy. Koldofsky now lives in Santa Barbara. [Website readers please note: she has died. There’s also a page about her on this site.]

Koldofsky brought the same sensitivity to Lehmann’s needs that Ulanowsky possessed. Able to adjust the rhythm to allow the extra breath, the nuances of phrasing, knowledgable in the repertoire and seemingly unflappable, Koldofsky was a perfect choice.

While at the Music Academy of the West I met Mme. Koldofsky and observed her patient work with fellow students. I’m grateful to have known this elegant, dignified, and respected person. –GH

Balogh on Lehmann

In the Summer Newsletter of 1989 we reported the death of Ernö Balogh, one of Lehmann’s major accompanists. He appeared on LL’s RCA lieder recordings. In Opera News, 31 Dec. 1956, Balogh spoke about his career and his work with Mme. Lehmann. “My happiest artistic association was with Lotte Lehmann, fortunately the longest in years though my last as an accompanist. With her, not merely every concert but every rehearsal had the intensity and importance of a music festival. Whether she sang alone in a room or before several thousands, it was the same for her. If her whole career had depended on every song she could not have poured more into it… Lehmann radiated a constant glow of warmth. She could mould an audience after a few songs into a happily united group which seemed to enjoy a holiday reunion. I heard her from both sides of the concert stage and in the opera houses of two continents; she created a happy atmosphere everywhere and always. She was the happiest when she could give, and she gave endlessly.”

Of Strauss’ Ständchen he wrote ‘(It) has a flowing melody which requires a vocal outpouring that is used sometimes with discretion, sometimes with its full glamor. Lehmann’s infallible feeling for words and music always directed her to the right mood. Her comparatively slower tempo gave her opulent voice just the right majestic flow and her rendition brought this beloved Strauss song to a triumphant end.” –GH


From EMI Classics, Ken Jagger, Historical Productions Co-ordinator, we received the following:
“I am pleased to tell you of our plans to re-issue two recordings featuring Lehmann. The first is the famous 1935 recording of. . . Act 2 of Die Walküre. . . now available with the number CDH 764255 2. For the October 1992 re-issue of Der Rosenkavalier… we are using metal originals for everything. The catalogue number…is CHS 764487 2. This will also contain Strauss Lieder sung by Schumann and Lehmann. Both these recordings will appear on our artist-based historical reissue label ”Références.” Lotte Lehmann is also featured on ‘Les Introuvable du Chant Wagnerian’ (recently re-issued on CD CMS 7640082) singing ‘Euch Lüften’ from Lohengrin in the Odeon recording made in Berlin in 1930 (and) ‘Glück das mir verblieb’ from Korngold’s Die Tode Stadt with Richard Tauber . . . in a CD compilation of Tauber on CDH 764029 2.” –GH

Another digitally remastered CD appeared in Europe on the “Masterworks Portrait” series of CBS. It is called “Songs & Waltzes from Vienna” and features Lehmann with Ulanowsky. The CD also contains waltzes played by the Columbia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bruno Walter. The songs includes LL’s 1941 recordings of Dostal’s “Heut’ mach die Welt Sonntag für mich,” Leopoldi’s “Wien, sterbende Märchenstadt,” Benatzky’s “Ich muss wieder einmal in Grinzing sein!,” Arnold’s “Da draussen in der Wachau,” Stolz-Rubitschek’s “Im Prater bluh’n wieder die Bäume,” Sieczynski’s “Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume” as well as the non-Viennese items: “Auf Flüglen des Gesanges” by Mendelssohn, and three French folk songs, “C’est mon ami,” “Maman, dites-moi” and “La Mere Michel.” Concerning this CD, Frank Manhold writes, “It’s wonderful how Lehmann is able to make great Art from these simple songs.”


For those interested in reading Lehmann’s biography in German, Alan Jefferson’s has been published by Schweizer Verlagshaus, Zürich. Its price is DM 58. In the March 1992 “Fono Forum”, a German magazine, Thomas Voigt writes that Jefferson compiled a “sometimes too detailed, but always pleasant factual (account), never with the effusions of a glowing fan.”

The biggest failure, according to Voigt, is that there is too little from Lehmann herself. Until the last chapter Jefferson omits “the disarming candor found in her writings and especially in interviews.” Jefferson is also criticized for not disclosing the sources for some of the detailed historical passages.

The book includes the excellent discography by Floris Juynboll which has been corrected since its appearance in the English version. It doesn’t list the complete “non-commercial” items.

Lotte Lehmann League Newsletter Fall/Winter 1992 Volume IV No. 2 & 3

Perleberg Collection Growing Rapidly

As we reported in the last newsletter, there is interest in expanding the Lehmann collection in the City Museum of Perleberg, Germany, which is housed in the very building in which Lehmann attended school. We received a letter from the museum’s director, Reinhard Spiess: “For the future I plan to face the art and the person of Lotte Lehmann more intensively to the public than it has been done during the last years…We have a lot of newspaper articles, some photographs, a few letters and one record: Sterne der Gesangskunst; Odeon 0-6950.”

Within a few days, I searched my collection and sent to Perleberg my duplicate recordings, books and framed photos in a large, carefully packed box. Since many readers may wish to respond similarly to Perleberg’s need, I’ll list what I have sent so that duplication can be avoided.

Books: More Than Singing by LL; Lotte Lehmann, A Life In Opera & Song by Beaumont Glass.

10″ 78rpm recordings: Die Toten Augen/Marriage of Flgaro (arias) PO158; Tannhäuser (arias) Be 8883; Lohengrin (arias) PO 152;”D’une Prison/Tonerna” (songs) 1972-A.

12″ records Fidelio (aria) PXO1013;
“Träume/Im Treibhaus” (songs) 74169-D;
Die Walküre Act I (8 records).

LPs: Presier LV 94 & LV 180 (arias);
LL Centennial Album (3-record set of songs),
Frauenliebe und -leben and Dichterliebe, Odyssey 32160315; Arias & Songs, Seraphim 60060;
Songs of Brahms & Wolf, Victor VICS 1320e;
LL Sings Lieder, Camden CAL 378;
LL Die Lyriken der Gesangskunst, Da Capo C 147-29 116/117 (2 disks); The Art of LL, Seraphim 18-6105 (2 discs); In Memoriam LL (songs & arias) BWS 729;
Die Goldene Stimme (arias and LL speaking in German) Odeon 083 396.

This package arrived in Perleberg on August 26, the 16th anniversary of Lehmann’s death.

“It was an enormous joy, and I thank you wholeheartedly,” wrote Director Spiess. The local newspaper ran an article about the museum with two photos of the books, photos and records shipped.

I wrote the Lotte Lehmann Archive at the University of California Santa Barbara about the Perleberg project, and the head of Special Collections, David Tambo, answered with interest “to establish contact with the Perleberg Museum and see what form such a liaison might take.”

He also included a thought that many of our readers might like to know: “In response to your questions whether we want photocopies of articles about Lehmann, …we are happy to accept such materials, which are housed in a subject vertical file in the collection.”

So–when you run across LL newspaper or magazine clippings, old or new, memorabilia, programs, personal recollections, etc., by all means send them to the Lotte Lehmann Archive, Special Collections, Library, UCSB, Santa Barbara 93106.

And send the LL League copies as well. We especially appreciate copies of reviews of new CD issues.

And remember Perleberg: Reinhard Spiess, Museum Perleberg, Mönchort 7-10, 0-2910 Perleberg, Germany. [Herr Spiess has moved on, and the museum is being renovated at this time {September 2014}, so you might consider waiting a bit.]

“Here’s the REAL Rosenkavalier to buy!”

Those were the words Gary Hickling scrawled across a photocopy of the newest reissue of the great Lehmann Rosenkavalier. There is only one studio recording, (although abridged), this from 1933. It was issued first on 78rpms, and later reissued on LPs. When Gary and I visited Horst Wahl in Freiburg in 1989, he waxed ecstatic over a CD version by EMI that he had just heard over the radio. We awaited its release. It was not forthcoming. In the interim, Pearl released a two-disk version, but to Gary’s ears, it was not as good as it could have been, because it was transferred from 78rpm records (with no noise reduction) and not from the original masters.

But now the real thing is here from EMI, and as it says in the fine print, “Transferred from 78s, digitally remastered and audio restoration carried out. . .” The EMI Reference recording is CDHB 64487. It’s a two-disk pack and is filled out with Strauss lieder as interpreted by Elisabeth Schumann and Lotte Lehmann. The protagonists of the Strauss Rosenkavalier masterpiece are, of course, Lehmann, Maria Olszewska, Richard Mayr, and Elisabeth Schumann.

Frank Manhold in Munich sent Gary a photocopy of his CD booklet of the recording and asked, “Gibt es ihn auch schon in USA zu kaufen?” Gary assures me that it is definitely available in the U.S., though I haven’t located it at the Wherehouse just yet. But I can hardly wait. —JS

Auch kleine Dinge–Lehmann pearls found among a great variety of CD collections

For those of you who want every CD on which Lehmann sings or for the opposite, those who like Lehmann, but would like to hear other singers as well, I’ve assembled the following list of CDs. These also are great gifts to introduce people to a broad range of singers while allowing them to hear Lehmann.

Lauritz Melchior, Wagner, Schumann, Arias, Duets With Flagstad & Lehmann. LL joins Melchior in the Robert Schumann duets “Er und Sie,” “So wahr die Sonne,” “Unter’m Fenster,” “Familien-Gemälde” & “Ich denke dein” with orchestra accompaniment. Good transfer; no texts or transIations. RCA 7914-2-RG

The Vintage Collection: Operetta, Great Performances of Viennese Operetta from the Twenties and Thirties; includes such singers as Schmidt, Ivogün, Tauber, Patzak, Hüsch etc. LL sings in ensembles that include Tauber, in selections from Strauss’ Der Ziguenerbaron & Die Fledermaus. BBCZCR 716.

Les Introuvable du Chant Wagnerien includes LL singing “Euch Lüften” from Lohengrin recorded in 1930. Many great Wagnerian voices sing on this CD: EMI CMS 7 64008 2.

Richard Tauber’s EMI compilation includes LL singing the duet “Glück das mir verblieb” with him from Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt. CDH 7 4029 2.

Royal Opera House Covent Garden: An Early History on Record includes the last act trio from Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier in the 1933 recording with Schumann and Olszewska. Nimbus Prima Voce NI 7819.

Another Nimbus CD is called Divas 1902-1935. It includes LL singing “Komm, O Hoffnung” from Beethoven’s Fidelio. Other artists who are included: Tetrazzini, Melba, Patti, Hempel, Galli-Curci, Ponselle, Turner, etc. German, French and English synopses, and, as with the above mentioned Nimbus, this uses the Ambisonic process; NI 7802.

Nimbus has also released Great Singers in Mozart on which LL sings “Porgi Amor” (in German) in the 1927 recording. Tauber, Schorr, Ivogün, Schumann-Heink, Kipnis, Supervia, Patzak, Hüsch and Schöne appear on this CD. Summary translations in German, French and English. NI 7822.

Be prepared for surface noise on the Pearl CDs which, in an a 78rpm recording, use no noise reduction. Pearl has released Covent Garden on Record: A History, in which LL appears in Vol II (1910-1925) singing “Es gibt ein Reich” from Ariadne auf Naxos by Strauss, and from a 1917 recording of “Porgi Amor” (in German) from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. Other singers include De Luca, Melchior, Chaliapin, Piccaver, Schorr, Melba, Schumann, Rethberg, Muzio, etc. 3-disc set with no texts or translations; thumb-nail bios of the singers and their Covent Garden data; GEMM CDS 9925.

LL sings once in Pearl’s Vol IV of the Covent Garden on Record series “Mein Herr, was dächten Sie?” from Die Fledermaus recorded in 1931. This 3-disc set, again without texts or translations, includes arias sung by Tauber, Pinza, Gigli, Flagstad, Tibbet, Kipnis, Leider, etc. GEMM CDS 9926.

The Metropolitan Opera has several CDs on which LL sings. Sunday Night Concert at the MET includes her famous 1941 recording of “Ständchen” by Strauss with Ulanowsky. Sembrich, Melba, Gluck and more recent singers are included on 2 CDs. CD 04244; Cassette 04345. To order call 800/892-2525 or write Met Opera Guild, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York NY 10023-6593.

Other Met CDs include Der Rosenkavalier with LL as well as Crespin, Lear, Schwarzkopf, Te Kanawa, etc. CD 04225.

An Old Met Christmas includes LL, Caruso, Martinelli, McCormack, etc. CD 04241. These Met releases are also available as cassettes.

LL is included in a 3-CD set: 50 Great Moments in Opera. Produced by RCA & Angel “Special Projects,” these offer no frills packaging (no texts or translations), but a broad range of singers in their most famous repertoire. From Caruso’s “Celeste Aida,” to Callas singing “Casta Diva,” one can find what many consider the “classic” recordings. Contemporary singers such as Domingo are included. LL sings “O sei er gut…Die Zeit sie ist…” from Der Rosenkavalier, but instead of the classic recording of 1933, they have used the 1927 version. Beautiful Music Co., 777 Larkfield Road, Commack, NY 11725 and request CDs “OPD”, LPs “OPR” or Cassettes “OPC”.

An otherwise instrumental three-CD Schubert set is available in Europe and includes four songs from LL’s recording of Die schöne Müllerin; Sony 35K 48136.

LL sings “Dich teure Halle” from Wagner’s Tannhäuser (recorded in 1930) on Great Voices of the Century. Memoir Records, PO Box 66, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 25A, England. Others on this “Great Sopranos” CD include Teyte, Lemnitz, Vallin, Ponselle, etc. –GH

Eleanor Steber remembers Lehmann

Sherman Zelinsky sent us a photocopy of a chapter in the new “Eleanor Steber: An Autobiography” in which she recalls her “geliebte Lotte.”

He suggests Video Artists International as one source for the book, which is $29.95. Toll-free number is 800-477-7146. Ads for it have also run in Opera News.

In 1943, during a time when she was singing Sophie with Lehmann’s Marschallin, Steber attended Lehmann’s annual Town Hall concert in New York. In her journal she wrote: “I am almost glad I had to wait until now to hear her in concert, for now my own experience makes it possible for me to at least glimpse her perfect gift. She is divine! Had I only heard her earlier, perhaps I might have realized sooner that miracle which comes from such complete sublimation of ‘self’ to the ‘song.’ Lehmann was so completely absorbed and surrounded by the music and the poetry, I felt as if I were in a holy place.”

Steber studied with Lehmann shortly thereafter, working on Brahms and Schumann songs. “She taught me how to create my own uniquely personal relationships to my songs.”

In a 1943 letter from Lehmann, her teacher and friend exhorts her, “Your words will be as expressive as your melody. You will become a ‘singing actress.’ Music and poem will float into one being. There is, however, always the danger of exaggerating the word. One has to be very subtle and to balance music with poem in the right way…My God, it took me half a lifetime to develop my way! But I had no one to show me. I had to go quite alone on a path which seemed, to many singers, exaggerated, and was perhaps exaggerated before it settled down into my whole being. Now it is a part of me and cannot be separated from me any more. Even if I would not have success with my singing or would not find understanding, I know with all my heart and brain that what I do is right!”

Steber in 1951 received a wire from a friend warning her that Lehmann’s upcoming Town Hall concert might be her last. Steber grabbed a plane and rushed home in the midst of a concert tour to gather with the crowd of friends and fans who packed the concert hall that day. She describes the beautiful concert and the heartbreak of the encore, “An die Musik,” in which Lehmann’s voice broke with emotion on the final phrase, leaving accompanist Paul Ulanowsky to finish the last line alone. It was an immensely moving moment, witnessed by a friend and colleague who appreciated Lehmann’s gift. —JS

Memories in Vienna

One of Lehmann’s most faithful friends and fans is Hertha Schuch of Vienna. Her love for Lehmann goes back further than most, because she was starstruck when quite a young girl. She and several friends admired the Vienna diva with such ardent passion that they were not only noticed by the star, but cherished and nourished. They became a small group of loyal friends whom Lehmann could count on when she needed help of any sort.

“After a concert in October 1934 in Innsbruck, which I had helped with by being her ‘chauffeuse,’ she was surrounded by fans at the exit door, clamoring for autographs. LL had to meet a train back to Vienna that was due to leave shortly, and so I broke in in order to get her to the train on time. In the station we heard that the train was three hours late. LL’s reaction: ‘Oh, I could have given my fans more autographs!’ The evening ended with dinner at the hotel, along with her accompanist Leo Rosenek. Naturally, I was very happy and proud. Yet it was LL who thanked me, ‘for your dear company.’ That was the way she was, always unassuming and modest.”

Hertha Schuch collected 78rpm recordings of Lehmann and still has them today in her apartment within walking distance of the opera. She has lived there her entire life. During the 1945 bombings, she carried those recordings in a backpack down into the shelters, where they survived intact.

“After 1938 LL attempted as long as it was possible to stay in communication with Vienna. I have correspondence with her up until 1940, all having gone through the censor! Then things broke off. But as soon as the possibility of renewing contact was there, LL shipped CARE packages to friends and naturally to me, also. She forgot no one.”

Mrs. Schuch sent us a copy of a booklet she has which contains a breakdown of all the Rosenkavalier performances in the Wiener Staatsoper by year (1911 through 1949), with number of performances, and who the lead singers were for each performance. If anyone would like a copy of this, please write to the LL League. [Website readers: this is no longer available.]

In December 1991 Hertha Schuch wrote: “I am 84 years old and cannot decide whether to buy a CD player. I have almost all the records [of LL) in 78 and 33, and I am doubtful that the difference is so colossal. Also, I dearly love my old records. However, if there were Fidelio with Toscanini [and LL], I would risk getting one and having it copied by a friend onto tape.”

Mrs. Schuch and husband Michael have visited Lehmann’s Santa Barbara home many times. —JS

Moran Sends LL Clipping

The clipping includes the following notice and program:

Lotte Lehmann, the only singer whose New York programs are sold out a year in advance, will appear November 18. Her program will be:

Tu lo sai by Torelli; Plaisir d’amour by Martini; If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On by Clifton; She Never Told Her Love by Haydn; Hark, Hark the Lark, Im Abendrot, and Staendchen by Schubert; Schilflied by Mendelssohn; Es traeumte mir and O liebliche Wangen by Brahms; Connais tu le pays–from Mignon by Thomas; L’Ivitation au Voyage by Duparc, Le Miroir by Ferrari, Chere Nuit by Bachelet; Verborgenheit and Auch kleine Dinge by Wolf; and Allerseelen, Morgen and Zueignung by Strauss.

“Above tumbled out of some file. No idea of date, but this is the sort of thing that can help provide the LL repertory.” W. R. Moran

The yellowed clipping was sent by William Moran, the grand godfather of discography and founder of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound. Discography, though it is comprised of interminable dull lists of disk numbers, dates, takes, and other arcane material, is the backbone of recording and research in music history.

Perhaps one has to be certifiably insane about old music recordings to have the patience to attend to all the minute detail accurate discography involves. But an ever-growing number of enthusiasts seem to be entering the field. You may have noticed that many of the newer biographies of singers (and other recorded musicians) will have not only a bibliography in the back of the book, but also a discography, a complete listing, carefully researched, of all the recordings made by the singer, with as much subsidiary data as can be fit in.

Much of this discography making can be traced to Mr. Moran’s expert, long-term influence.

A yellowed clipping may tell us what the singer sang, but did not record. Or, recorded…and lost? –JS

TV documentary possibly in the works

Rita Nasser was scouting information sources in the US this summer for potential material for a proposed TV documentary on the life and work of Lotte Lehmann. It has been proposed by a German/Austrian television production group, with some possibilities of US public television aid as well.

Nothing is written in stone or tape as yet, but the prospects look good. [Website users note: the documentary was successful and broadcast in German and Austria in 1996 and called “Stimme des Herzens” and is available on YouTube.] Old 1930s home movie footage of and by Lehmann was unearthed by Frances Holden during Ms. Nasser’s visit to Santa Barbara. The films are being restored.

Gary Hickling discussed with her the various other video formats on which LL appears. If anyone has material to share, contact her at:

2018 1/2 Fifth St., Santa Monica, CA 90405, tel/fax 310/450-4356; Hitzelerstr. 71, D-5000 Köln 51, tel/fax 221-3873 12.

She never left Perleberg

Reinhard Spiess of the Perleberg Museum sent photocopies of articles from a local magazine, Prignitzer Heimat. One article told of local peoples’ hopes that Lehmann would be able to visit her birthplace in the years after World War II. She first returned to Europe in 1955, but not to Perleberg. In 1971, five years before her death, the editorial staff of the Prignitzer Heimat attempted to invite her to visit, and there was an exchange of letters between Albert Hoppe and Lehmann (written through go betweens in West Berlin, apparently). But it was still too difficult and dangerous in the years prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, so no visit took place. The magazine printed the text of the letter which Lehmann wrote, however.

Lieber Herr Hoppe! Sie werden es kaum glauben, und ich kann es auch kaum. Die Lotte ist da. Wie sehr sie an Perleberg hing, bestätigt ein Bild und eine Widmung, die meine Eltern im Dezember 1971 erhielten. Lieber Herr Hoppe—alles erdenklich Gute für Sie und Gemahlin für 1972. Perleberg ist sehr in meinen Gedanken—ach das war eine schöne echte Weihnacht. Herzlich grusst Sie—Ihre Lotte Lehmann.

My rough translation of this: “Dear Mr. Hoppe, You will hardly believe it, and I can hardly believe it either. Lotte is here. How devoted she was to Perleberg is confirmed by a picture and a dedication” [Sorry, but my translating skills failed at this point, and two friends were no help, and time passed.] One other sentence is clear: “Perleberg is much in my thoughts.” Rest is warm greetings. –JS

New LL CDs and Videos Proposed

I received a call from Ernest Gilbert of Video Artists International, who is interested in re-releasing Lehmann material on CDs. In spite of his company’s name, they also publish CDs, usually of archival interest. He is obviously a Lehmann fan and though he says that he really wants to put together a series of CDs of Lehmann rarities, the first focus is “to achieve the best possible transfer of the Town Hall farewell recital.” [Website readers note: he did release this on CD. See Recommended CDs on the MegaIndex page.] To that end he is looking for the original tapes (or something close). If anyone has this or other rare Lehmann items, they should contact him: Ernest Gilbert, VAI, 109 Wheeler Ave., Pleasanteville, NY 10570.

Since future CDs would attempt to fill in the gaps of the LL discography not presently available on other labels, I have sent him tapes of various commercial and “live” Lehmann performances for his consideration. He was amazed at LL’s “God Bless America” as well as by the great number of recordings which haven’t been re-released.

His company obviously deals in videos and Mr. Gilbert has expressed interest in the various LL master class video tapes available.

Perhaps, he suggests, highlights from various video sources could be combined to create a wonderful item of value to both educators and the vocal aficcianados. Anyone with unusual material should contact Mr. Gilbert at the address given above or by phone: 800 477-7146. He also seeks LL photos which haven’t been seen too often. The Lehmann Archive at UCSB has cooperated with him already.

It is gratifying to see the vivid interest shown by the various media in the art of LL. In the notes that accompany the Great Voices of the Century CD mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter, author Tony Watts writes: “Few singers had such great ability to project their personality on to record as Lotte Lehmann. A fine musician whose beautiful voice was always used with impeccable taste, she made many recordings of a wide range of repertoire, and few of them fail to shed some new light on the music. Always totally immersed in the character she was portraying, and alive to every nuance of the text, it is no wonder that she was a great Lieder singer. Her interpretive ability was, no doubt, the result of keen intelligence, imaginatively applied, but the listener is never made aware of the mechanics. Hers was truly the art that conceals art.”

We who know about this great art should feel compelled to share this with our friends and colleagues. And if any Lehmann unpublished material is discovered, we should share it with the archive or media that can best use it. –GH

List of Lists

A few years ago, we published a list of record dealers with lists that often offer Lehmann recordings on shellac or vinyl. In this newsletter we’ll concentrate on the European dealers.

Richard Bebb, 22 Temple Fortune Lane, London NW 11, England; Tel (081) 455 5048; publishes lists on an infrequent basis.

Gramex, operated by Roger Hewland, is located in London directly behind Waterloo train station at 84 Lower Marsh Road, London SE1 7AB, England; Tel: (071) 401 3830. Hours: 12:30-6:00, Tues.-Sat.

Peter Lack, 3 Grosvenor Gardens, London, N10 3TB, England Tel (081) 444 9786. A collector who publishes lists; active in vinyl re-issues.

Serge Cheze, 75 Rue de Meaux, La Ferte Milon, 02460 France, Tel: 33 (2396) 70 6; serious collector of French classical vocal 78s with occasional lists.

Guy Deuazert, 54 Rue Blanche, Paris, 75009 France; Tel 33 (1) 48 74 68 47; frequent lists of 78s & LPs; active in publishing CDs of historical vocal material.

Dr. Gunter Meyer, Auf der Lied 18, 4925 Kalletal 1, Germany; Tel 49 (526) 48 900; an active collector who also publishes lists; an authority on German vocal artists.

Harold Schmidt, Eppsteiner Strasse 30, 6000 Frankfurt am Main 1, Germany; Tel: 49 (69) 72 91 36; sends lists of classical 78s from time to time and is a serious collector of classical vocal recordings.

Kevork Marouchian, Cosima Strasse 103, 8000 Munich 81, Germany; Tel 49 989 957 8224; publishes regular lists of classical music and though specializing in violin recordings, always has many vocal 78s for sale.

Marco Contini, Via Botticelle 22, Milano, Italy; Tel 39 (2) 738 3838; large collection of 78s, LPs and CDs and has published a 6 CD set of La Scala artists from Tamagno to Callas.

J. Neil Forster, PO Box 186, 209 South Street, Foxborough, MA 02035, USA; not listed in our previous list.

Letters, We Get Letters

Jason Serinus, Oakland: I thought you’d want to see the enclosed letter about the new Sony Masterworks CD of Lehmann, Ulanowsky and Walter. [Letter to Sony Customer Relations complains that MPK 47682, “Songs and Waltzes from Vienna,” has Lehmann’s birthdate listed as July 2, 1885, when “sources as varied as Lehmann’s official biography and the spring 1992 issue of the Lotte Lehmann League, which contains a reproduction of her original birth certificate, verify that Lehmann was born on February 27, 1888.” Letter also points out that the original LP “Songs of Vienna” contained three more selections not included on the new CD.]

Speaking of CDs, some time back you mentioned one that contained the second act of Walküre from a 1936 SF Opera broadcast. If I remember correctly, you. . .did not recommend it because of its poor sound. I have an lp version of that performance and have always cherished the scene beginning, “Hinweg, hinweg!”. ..the performance is radically different from Lehmann’s studio recording of the previous year. Though from my perspective the voice is not as clear or beautiful, the emotion behind it is so much more immediate and palpable as to make Sieglinde’s experience hair-raising. Unless the CD was made from an inferior transfer or badly deteriorated master, I would hate to see people miss the chance to hear it.

As for your publication, it is a rare gift. I first discovered Lehmann on a Seraphim reissue around the time I was entering my senior year at Amherst. She and Schumann quickly became two of my most profound spiritual teachers, teaching me so much about the essence of love. . .

Question. Has it ever been clearly determined that Schumann was born in 1888 rather than 1885? Is there any publication similar to yours devoted to her, or any source such as the Santa Barbara Archives for rare Schumann recordings?

I don’t know, [now established: 1888], but maybe some of our readers would. And, if you love Schumann, why nor find some Schumann enthusiasts and start a newsletter like this one? As you mention above, this publication is a “gift” to those who receive it from Gary Hickling and me. We take turns being editor. We’ve been doing two issues each. But I procrastinated too long this year and am putting out a single double issue for my part. Then back to Gary. If any of our recipients do not enjoy the newsletter, please send a postcard canceling out. Postage costs are high (many go to Europe), and we try to keep a small, manageable, actively interested mailing list of Lehmann enthusiasts. Many thanks to those who have sent helpful checks for postage. —JS

Neal Klenke, Arlington, Va: I was a senior in high school when I first became really interested in classical music, especially Wagner & Strauss. This was just after her (LL’s) retirement, but she was still spoken of in the present tense as still performing. And I remember well so many persons speaking of her, her way with lieder and opera, and urging me to listen to her recordings, and playing them for me.

Because of these interests I chose German as my foreign language in college. . .My knowledge of German greatly enhanced my appreciation of both German opera and lieder, enabling me to truly hear and sense all the incredible nuances of Lehmann’s interpretations. Few singers have ever “colored” their voices and colored the texts, the vowels, like she did. Even in high school—LPs just coming out and reprints of LL records available—I sensed the rapture in Walküre Act I, and all the many moods she conveyed in Rosenkavalier.

One of the most wonderful things about the LLL is the record reviews. Some I would never have heard of. And I am so glad you warned about the terrible reproduction of Rosenkavalier on the Pearl recording. . .I look forward to the recording from the remastered matrix with clean sound.

It’s now available! See article in this newsletter.—JS

Stephen M. Fry, Music Librarian at UCLA: I have just seen a copy of the Lotte Lehmann League newsletter dated Autumn 1991. The UCLA Music Library receives many inquiries about the life and work of Miss Lehmann. I am glad to know where we can send our patrons to find recordings by and information about her. Would you please send me copies of your previous newsletter issues and put us on your mailing list.

Henry L. Snyder, Riverside, CA: I very much enjoy receiving your newsletter. I am a great admirer of Lehmann. I saw her sing twice at Berkeley, in 1949 and 1950. . .I have given the programs, one of them autographed, to a foundation…

I have given away all my 78s. I would very much like to have the LP editions of her Columbia Lieder recordings, including the Winterreise and Brahms songs which were issued only in Japan. Is there any chance of persuading Sony to issue them on CD?

Try: Customer Relations, Sony Music Entertainment, Inc, 666 Fifth Ave. PO Box 4452, New York, NY 10101-4452

Response: Lehmann recorded the entire Winterreise, but part with Columbia and part with RCA. So far no rapport reported. This would make a terrific CD. [Website readers, note that several CD versions of Winterreise are now available. See Recommended CDs on the MegaIndex page.] A wonderful video is available from the Archive for about $35—LL’s Winterreise paintings and her complete Schubert cycle. –JS

Jerry Minkoff, NYC: Here are a few articles I’ve collected. Read the “Studs” Terkel profile for a reference to Lehmann.

Jerry sent a May 6, 1992, New York Times article about Chicago’s 8O-year-old master interviewer and writer. Studs Terkel recounts some of his most memorable interviewees. “…and, of course, Lotte Lehmann, the great singer. She was my North Star. She never retired; neither will I.”

Jerry also sent a letter-to-the editor from November 1990 by Jill Scharff. If any of you want to try convincing Sony & RCA to cooperatively reissue Lehmann’s version of Winterreise, this may help:

Matthew Gurewitsch’s article “Can a Woman Do a Man’s Job in ‘Winterreise’?” [Oct. 28] missed the point. ..The winter’s journey in Schubert’s 24 songs is a dark journey of the soul. Anyone, man or woman, who has ever felt the gloom of Schubert’s protagonist can easily relate to the despair of Winterreise. ”

As Mr. Gurewitsch stated, certain songs or song cycles should be sung by members of only one sex, i.e., Frauenliebe und -leben is a song cycle for a woman. As adamant as Mr. Gurewitsch is in his belief that Winterreise is no material for a woman, many of us are just as tenacious about the fact that German lieder should be sung only by native German-speaking people. An English-speaking male, regardless of his attention to pronunciation, cannot produce the German sound or approach the subtleties and nuances of the German language that are necessary for Winterreise. Brigitte Fassbaender’s and Christa Ludwig’s renditions are on a far higher interpretive level than that of any non-native German-speaking male I have ever heard.

There are so few good lieder singers around today that we should rejoice when superior exponents of the art of the lied have the good sense to help save it from extinction by venturing into repertory that convention decided was not for them.

Dr. Bernhard von Barsewisch: The “letters” [LLL) are continuously of interest to me. I am purchasing the estate building (Guts-Haus, not the estate as such) of Gross-Pankow (in former East Germany), where Lotte sang for my grandfather Baron Konrad zu Putlitz, who then sponsored the final lessons. More details later.

CJ Niles, Carroll, IA: Look who is in Vanity Fair this month! Enclosed was a photocopy of page 198 of the August 1992 Vanity Fair: a portrait photograph of Lehmann as the Marschallin taken by Steichen. It apparenrly ran in the magazine once before, in January 1935.—JS

[A brief biography of Lotte Lehmann was included in this Newsletter, but I refer the web user to the various bios available on this site.]