Lotte Lehmann & Her Legacy: Volume 1
A second chapter of Comparisons can be found in Volume II.
- “Liebestod” from Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde
- “Wenn du mein Liebster” by Hugo Wolf
- Arabella excerpt by Richard Strauss
- “Zueignung” by Strauss
- “Im Abendrot” by Franz Schubert
- “O Sachs, mein Freund!” from Wagner’s Die Meistersinger
- “Verborgenheit” by Wolf
- “La vie antérieure” by Henri Duparc
- “Du bist der Lenz” from Wagner’s Die Walküre
- “Der Erlkönig” by Schubert
- “Schmerzen” by Wagner
- “Nacht und Träume” by Schubert
- “Morgen!” by Strauss
This chapter allows you to compare Lehmann recordings with other singers generally of her era. Various recording techniques and venues–live, acoustic, electric–make for engaging listening and fascinating comparisons.
Do the singers set the mood? Are they able to tell the story? Notice the colors of the voice (strident or gentle, bold or flirtatious) that the artists employ. How do they shape a phrase so that we know what’s important and where the music is heading? Much more is involved than just “a beautiful voice.” Does the singer bring a feeling that there’s a person behind the singing who is affected by the words, the situation, the emotion? There are obviously many ways to sing a particular piece; many singers can make a convincing case.
Lehmann recordings with a three digit number are part of the Discography in the Appendix.
In his Singers of the Century, Volume 3, J.B. Steane writes:
At the start of her career it sometimes had to be explained that the Lehmann announced for that evening’s performance was not Lilli but Lotte. Not that it could have taken anybody very long to tell the difference. With forty years between them, Lilli was old enough to be Lotte’s mother if not her grandmother (there was in fact no family relationship at all).…Yet even that amounted too little compared with the difference in personality. Lotte was charming, Lilli was stately. Lilli was respected; Lotte was loved.