Lotte Lehmann Tribute CD

If you wish to read the reviews Lehmann received for her performances and recordings, click here.

You may enjoy listening to what various people who had contact with Lehmann said in various interviews.

Below is the second recorded Lehmann tribute. The first one was originally available on Arabesque records CD and is now offered here as MP3s. It includes the following spoken and sung tributes:

Grace Bumbry Speaks, Bumbry Sings Wolf’s “Anakreons Grab“;

Beaumont Glass Speaks;

Kurt Ollmann Sings Schubert’s “Auf dem Flusse“;

Lotfi Mansouri Speaks;

Jennifer Larmore Sings Barber’s “Sure on this shining night“;

Paul Sperry Speaks, Sperry Sings Pessard’s “Bonjour Suzon“;

Dalton Baldwin Speaks;

Marcella Reale Sings Puccini’s “Sole e Amore“;

Mildred Miller Speaks;

Wolfgang Holzmair Sings Schubert’s “Das Zügenglöcklein“;

Luba Tcheresky Speaks;

Judith Kellock Sings Hindemith’s “Stillung Mariä mit dem Auferstandenen“;

Norman Mittelmann Speaks, Mittlemann Sings Schumann’s “Die beiden Grenadiere“;

Marni Nixon Speaks, Nixon Sings Schoenberg’s “Galathea”;

Nathalie Stutzmann Sings Hahn’s “A Chloris“;

Christophe Prégardien Sings Schubert’s “Frühlingstraum“;

Alice Marie Nelson Speaks, Nelson Sings Brahms’ “Von ewiger Liebe“;

Lois Alba Speaks;

Juliane Banse Sings Brahms’ “Feldeinsamkeit”; and

Speight Jenkins Speaks.

Here is a link to the liner notes with the original words and translations.

The generosity of all of those mentioned above (and their pianists) and the following artists, singers, pianists, speakers, and in many cases, the recording engineers, in giving of their time and talent with no payment, is beyond comprehension. If it weren’t for their respect for Lotte Lehmann, the first tribute, as well as the following one would never have been possible. My thanks to all participants!

The following section offers the speaking and/or singing of those artists whose recordings weren’t included on the Arabesque CD heard above.

Lehmann Students:

One of Lehmann’s final students was Jeannine Altmeyer, who went on to an international career, specializing in the Wagner heroines that she studied with Lehmann. Her Bayreuth years have been well documented on DVD, but her dedication to song is less recognized. In the following performance (made especially for this tribute) of Schubert’s Gretchen am Spinnrade with Val Underwood, piano, you’ll hear Jeannine’s complete involvement with every aspect of the words of Goethe and Schubert’s setting. (I’ve provided the text and translation below).

Lincoln Clark, one of Lehmann’s earlier students at the MAW, recalls working with her.

Evangeline Noël Glass studied opera and Lieder with Lehmann (in Santa Barbara 1958/59 and the summer of 1961, Vienna, and Salzburg in 1964) and has recorded Schumann’s Aus den hebräischen Gesänge with her husband, Beaumont Glass. We’ve provided the song’s German words and English translation. Both the singer’s spoken tribute and the pianist’s memories are available.

Marilyn Horne worked with Lehmann at the MAW in the 1950’s, and remained in touch with her by mail and returned for advice. Her spoken memory provides ample evidence of how these two strong personalities interacted.

It is as an opera singer that Carol Neblett is best known, although she has sung and taught the solo song repertoire. Her memories of Lehmann’s private lessons are obviously part of her teaching now. Carol shares some of these memories in her spoken tribute.

Katsuumi Niwa began study with Mme. Lehmann in 1962 and besides Lieder, he studied opera roles and even Japanese folk songs, such as the one Niwa sings for this tribute: The Wooden Ladel-Seller’s Song. His pianist is Shoko Matsui. Included is a background commentary on the words of this song. You may also hear an extended interviews with Niwa  concerning his studies with Mme. Lehmann.

Shirley Sproule was a Lehmann student from the early years at the Music Academy of the West. In her 80th year at the time of this performance of Schumann’s Der Himmel hat eine Träne geweint, her spoken introduction demonstrates her devotion to Lehmann. She used the pianist Paula Fan, from the University of Arizona, with whom she had taught before her retirement.

Page Swift studied with Lehmann at the MAW in 1954 and has always enjoyed singing Lieder, though her professional singing career has been with the San Francisco Opera Chorus. In her spoken prelude she mentions the importance that Die Mainacht by Brahms holds for her. The pianist is Dietrich Erbelding.

In 2021 Janet Baker was interviewed in Wigmore Hall, where she’d sung Frauenliebe und -leben in master classes with Lehmann. Her memory of the event isn’t positive. She recalls Lehmann forcing her to do things with her hands that didn’t feel natural to her. I wish we had a recording of the event; Lehmann always discouraged her students from doing anything with their hands that wasn’t essential to the song.

Artists who were not Lehmann students:

Juliane Banse recorded for the first Lehmann Tribute, but her spoken thoughts were not included on that CD.

Hugues Cuénod spoke about Lehmann and even sang a bit in this telephone interview recorded in his 105th year.

Mary Dibbern recorded with Kurt Ollmann for the first Lehmann Tribute, but there wasn’t space on that CD for her spoken comments.

Alexander Farkas performs Fauré’s En Sourdine with tenor Damien Top and speaks his Lehmann memories as well. Here are Damien Top’s comments.

Thomas Hampson speaks profoundly about Lehmann’s interpretations. He could be considered a “grand” student of Lehmann, because his first teacher, Sister Marietta Coyle, had studied with her.

Graham Johnson never met Lehmann, though he knows many who knew her and of course, knows her recordings and books. He is able to articulate, in his spoken tribute, his insights into her special interpretive genius.

Kurt Ollmann sang on the first Lehmann Tribute, but there was not enough space to include his spoken remarks.

Countertenor Derek Lee Ragin has chosen the Negro spiritual This Little Light of Mine for his Lehmann tribute. His pianist is Andrew McMillan. I have heard Lehmann masterclasses in which she coached African Americans in spirituals with the same demands of her Lieder classes.

Frederica von Stade’s vast repertoire includes opera, American song, French mélodie, and German Lieder, but I am not aware of her recording Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben, from which she chose Seit ich ihn gesehen to present for this Lehmann tribute, which she recorded with Jim Meredith.

Brian Zeger appeared on the first Lehmann tribute with Juliane Banse. Space didn’t permit his comments from appearing on that recording.

Lehmann Colleague:.

British author Charles Osborne recalls Lehmann at the Met and in her European trips.



Gretchen am Spinnrade (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel) is one of the most famous songs that Schubert wrote and he accomplished this feat at the tender age of 17! Listen to the spinning in the piano part and when she sings of his kiss, the movement stops and little by little starts up again, as a spinning wheel would. Goethe, the poet of these words, never heard this song, but I’m quite sure he would have liked it, despite his dictum that the mind’s ear shouldn’t be distracted from the words.
Meine Ruh’ ist hin,
Mein Herz ist schwer,
Ich finde sie nimmer
Und nimmermehr.Wo ich ihn nicht hab
Ist mir das Grab,
Die ganze Welt
Ist mir vergällt.Mein armer Kopf
Ist mir verrückt,
Mein armer Sinn
Ist mir zerstückt.Nach ihm nur schau ich
Zum Fenster hinaus,
Nach ihm nur geh ich
Aus dem Haus.Sein hoher Gang,
Sein’ edle Gestalt,
Seine Mundes Lächeln,
Seiner Augen Gewalt,Und seiner Rede
Sein Händedruck,
Und ach, sein Kuß!Mein Busen drängt sich
Nach ihm hin.
Ach dürft ich fassen
Und halten ihn,Und küssen ihn,
So wie ich wollt,
An seinen Küssen
Vergehen sollt!
My peace is gone,
My heart is heavy,
I will find it never
and never more.Where I do not have him,
It is like the grave to me.
The whole world
Is bitter to me.My poor head
is deranged.
My poor mind
distracted.For him only, I look
Out the window
Only for him do I go
Out of the house.His tall bearing
His noble form,
The smile of his lips,
His eyes’ power,And his talk’s
Magic flow,
The clasp of his hands,
and ah! his kiss!My heart yearns
for him.
Ah, might I grasp
And hold him!And kiss him,
To my heart’s content,
Under his kisses
to swoon!