Lotte Lehmann - Victor recordings 1935-40

Author: 
Alan Blyth

Lotte Lehmann - Victor recordings 1935-40

  • An Chloe
  • (Der) Verschweigung
  • (Die) Schöne Müllerin, No. 7, Ungeduld
  • Im Abendrot
  • (3) Gesänge, No. 2, Die Kartenlegerin
  • Liederkreis, No. 3, Waldesgespräch
  • (4) Lieder, Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht (wds. Heine)
  • (6) Lieder, No. 1, Therese (wds. Keller)
  • (9) Lieder, No. 5, Junge Lieder I - Meine Liebe ist grün (wdn)
  • Goethe Lieder, Anakreons Grab
  • Spanisches Liederbuch, 'Spanish Songbook', In dem Schatten meiner Locken (trans Heyse)
  • Do not chide me
  • My native land
  • Midsummer
  • Fa la nana, bambin
  • Canto di primavera
  • Zärtliche Liebe, 'Ich liebe dich'
  • Schlafe, mein süsses Kind
  • D'une prison
  • Vierge d'Athénes
  • (5) Lieder, Gretel (wds Busse)
  • Selige Nacht
  • Mörike Lieder, Der Gärtner
  • Mörike Lieder, Storchenbotschaft
  • Italienisches Liederbuch, 'Italian Songbook', Du denkst mit einem Fädchen
  • (6) Lieder, Für Musik (wds. Geibel)
  • (12) Lieder, Gute Nacht (wds. Eichendorff)
  • Lehn deine Wang' an meine Wang'
  • Gretchen am Spinnrade
  • Wiegenlied
  • Myrthen, No. 24, Du bist wie eine Blume (wds. Heine)
  • Liederkreis, No. 12, Frühlingsnacht
  • (12) Gedichte, No. 12, Alte Laute
  • (5) Lieder, No. 1, Botschaft (wds. Daumer after Hafis)
  • (5) Lieder, No. 3, Das Mädchen spricht (wds. Gruppe)
  • (49) Deutsche Volkslieder, Mein Mädel hat einen Rosenmund
  • Tonerna (Visions)
  • Drink to me only with thine eyes
  • Mörike Lieder, Der Knabe und das Immlein
  • Mörike Lieder, Auf ein altes Bild
  • Mörike Lieder, In der Frühe
  • Mörike Lieder, Gebet
  • Mörike Lieder, Peregrina I
  • Mörike Lieder, Heimweh
  • Italienisches Liederbuch, 'Italian Songbook', Und willst du deinen Liebsten
  • Italienisches Liederbuch, 'Italian Songbook', Auch kleine Dinge
  • Italienisches Liederbuch, 'Italian Songbook', Nun lass uns Frieden schliessen
  • Goethe Lieder, Frühling übers Jahr
  • (4) Duette, Er und Sie (wds. Kerner)
  • (4) Duette, Ich denke dein (wds. Goethe)
  • (12) Gedichte aus 'Liebesfrühling', No. 12, So wahr die Sonne scheinet (S,T)
  • (4) Duette, Umterm Fenster (wds. Burns, trans. Gerhard)
  • (4) Duette, Familien-Gemälde (wds. Grün)
  • Winterreise, No. 5, Der Lindenbaum
  • Winterreise, No. 8, Rückblick
  • Winterreise, No. 13, Die Post
  • Winterreise, No. 15, Die Krähe
  • Winterreise, No. 17, Im Dorfe
  • Winterreise, No. 18, Der stürmische Morgen
  • Winterreise, No. 19, Täuschung
  • Winterreise, No. 20, Der Wegweiser
  • Winterreise, No. 21, Das Wirtshaus
  • Winterreise, No. 22, Mut
  • Winterreise, No. 23, Die Nebensonnen

This is another invaluable example of complete documentation from Romophone, including much material new to the British catalogue. Lotte Lehmann was at the height of her powers as a song interpreter in the late 1930s: the bloom of youth is still in the tone, now enhanced by the experience of many years of stage interpretation. Thus, her characters in extremis become something of a talisman of suffering women. Her impassioned Gretchen in Schubert’s great song is sister to, and inhabits the same world as, Lehmann’s Leonore and Sieglinde. The searing intensity of “Was hor ich alte Laute?” in Schumann’s Alte Laute goes through you, becomes etched in the mind, just as do certain phrases in her operatic portrayals. Yet while the passions are felt on a large scale throughout these songs – has the climax of Brahms’s Der Tod, das ist die kuhle Nacht ever sounded so soul-searching? – the intimate mould of Lieder singing is never breached. The readings are generous and free, never dull, careful or limited, or by another token overladen with detailed word-painting in the Schwarzkopf manner.
Unlike many of her contemporaries Lehmann ranged wide in her choice of repertory. She digs out Jensen’s Lehn’ diene Wang’ an meine Wange and makes you believe this little sentimental song is a masterpiece. She does the same for her partner, Balogh’s Do not chide me, a paltry song transmuted into gold by this vocal alchemist’s skill. She pierces through to the depths of Hahn’s D’une prison, the passage about lost youth as impassioned as one could hope to hear it. Then there are the endearing 1940 duets with Melchior, the old sparring partners taking a day off from Wagnerian duties, to come, as it were, to our fireside and delight us with their charming intimacies.
However, it is for the Schubert (including the 12 songs from Winterreise, so immediate in effect, no holds barred), Schumann, Brahms and Wolf, more of the last-named than I had remembered, that the myriad admirers of this artist will want these two lavishly filled CDs. I found the transfers clean and clear, but at times digitalization has imparted a slight glare to Lehmann’s tone. I turned to RCA’s disc of selected songs (4/90 – nla) and found the sound there a shade warmer – try Schumann’s Fruhlingsnacht (on both) if you can, and the point is made. But this offering, which includes titles unpublished until that RCA issue appeared, is an essential addition to the Lehmann discography on Compact Disc.'

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