Volume I: With more than 150 audio and video excerpts, this presentation offers an interactive way to get to know the voice, personality, and teaching of Lotte Lehmann (1888-1976), one of the greatest singers of the 20th century. Her amazing breadth of activity is covered: her arias, her Lieder, her artwork, her writing, and her poetry. There’s a short bio and a complete Winterreise that allows you to see her drawings, hear her read the poetry, listen to her sing, and hear her teach master classes of each song. There’s a whole chapter on her teaching: some of her master classes in video and audio formats as well as audios of many of her students. You can hear how Lehmann’s recordings compare to her contemporaries in the Comparisons chapter. Early Recordings allows you to discover how recordings were made, even before microphones. And you’ll find exclusive Lehmann photos, and seven audio tracks not heard since she sang them.
Volume II offers extensions of chapters begun in Volume I: more rare and recently discovered Lehmann recordings; comparisons (especially with Maria Jeritza); unusual photos; and interleaved commentary on a few arias and Lieder. Dichterliebe is presented with Lehmann’s singing, speaking, and drawings. There’s a whole chapter on “Her Legendary Marschallin” as well as “Music Academy of the West” and “Frances Holden.” There are more intimate chapters: “The Lehmann I Knew” and “The Lehmann Others Knew.” The extensive Chronology and “What Critics Wrote” take many pages, but are worth it.
Volume III provides the actual sound recordings of over a hundred of Lehmann’s master classes of individual art songs, Lieder, mélodie, and even a spiritual! Each song’s master class can be located from the Index by either its title or under its composer. Lehmann teaches interpretation not vocal technique.
Volume IV provides Lehmann master classes of art song cycles. Though there are the expected German cycles, it’s amazing to discover how much Lehmann had to offer in the world of French mélodie cycles by Berlioz, Ravel, and Fauré. There are master class songs missing from Winterriese, but Dichterliebe and others are quite complete. Remember: Lehmann taught interpretation, not vocal technique.
Volume V provides actual sound recordings of Lehmann’s master classes of opera arias and opera scenes. Besides her classic roles (the Marschallin, Elsa, Elisabeth, Fidelio, Manon), she teaches operas in which she never sang (Aïda, Un ballo in maschera, Samson et Dalila). The roles that she sang for world or Vienna premiers are represented: Intermezzo and Arabella by Strauss, Suor Angelica by Puccini). The master classes were taught at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara; Wigmore Hall, London; Northwestern University, Chicago; and New England Conservatory of Music, Boston; among others). There are also recordings of private lessons that Lehmann taught at her home.
Volume VI offers video and audio interviews with Lehmann in English. The German interviews can be found in Volume VII. The individual interviews are available by their interviewer or the subject matter. Though not an interview, you will find “An Evening With Lotte Lehmann,” which is a 30 minute film in which Mme Lehmann introduces students who sing opera scenes.
Volume VII enthält Lehmanns Rundfunk – und TV Interviews in deutscher Sprache, ihre Lesungen von Monologen aus ‘Der Rosenkavalier,’ Gedichte von Goethe, Schiller, und Rilke, sowie ihr eigenes Gedicht. Der ganze Band ist in deutscher Sprache.
Volume VIII provides a glimpse into the art world of Lotte Lehmann. Gifted as an artist in addition to her singing, teaching, and writing, this series wouldn’t have been complete without an attempt to assemble the wide-ranging expressions of her art. Also, for the first time, her 162 type-written satirical novel and its drawings are being published. You’ll also hear Lehmann sing and speak in the chapters on Winterreise, Dichterliebe, and Die schöne Müllerin for which she created drawings for each song.
Volume IX is called Documents and as such offers a wide scope of Lehmann material. Most importantly there are suggestions on interpretation of songs and arias in Lehmann’s handwriting or typing. Her letters to former students and fans include copies of the “photo-cards” she used, but many more recently discovered Lehmann photos can be found in a separate chapter. There are also chapters that offer her articles written with American magazines in mind. There are playbills, newspaper notices and historic information on the Lehmann Centennials, books about her, and more. Documents from previous volumes include: Lehmann’s Roles/Song Repertoire; Discography; Bibliography; Chronology; Lehmann’s Of Heaven, Hell, & Hollywood; Lehmann’s Conductors; Lehmann Meets Goering; Her Writing.
Lehmann was a busy lady; besides singing, she wrote books, articles, poetry and painted and did other art work. This page will direct you to selections from her various writing, as well as articles and memories of Lehmann written by others. Read what she wrote about Bruno Walter. Or Der Rosenkavalier. The foreword and post script Lehmann wrote to her autobiography are famous and we offer, on the same page, her introduction to her book More than Singing. Lehmann wrote her last book, Eighteen Song Cycles, in 1972. You may read the published as well as the unpublished (and Lehmann-candid) introduction. The page called “misc” writings is interesting to scroll through. You can find Lehmann poetry, articles on Toscanini, her feelings about her own recordings and more.
You can read all 162 pages of Lehmann’s satirical fantasy Of Heaven, Hell and Hollywood.
CD index To help you find the particular song or aria on CDs
The famous Lehmann Profile that Marcia Davenport wrote for the New Yorker, 23 February 1935