Tuesday, 3 February 2009

How to sing Lieder - Lehmann

What makes a good Lieder singer ? It's lots more than the voice, but the way the singer conveys meaning and music. Here is a clip of Lotte Lehmann giving a masterclass in 1953. The song is Brahms's Sonntag. Love that refrain:
Das tausendschöne Jungfräulein,
Das tausendschöne Herzelein,
Wollte Gott, wollte Gott, ich wär' heute bei ihr!
She's in her 70's, her voice reduced to a guttural growl, but so what ? She "sings" the meaning, the spirit of the song. Suddenly we don't see a middle aged matron but the "persona" in the song. The young man is in love with a nice, pure girl whom he's seen outside her door, and then on her way to church. Obviously no hanky panky or overt flirtation - she might not even know who he is ! They may never even have spoken. It's very inward. But he's so much in love, the intensity shines through the formal simplicity. There's a set of DVDs by VAI of Lehmann's masterclasses for sale, so you can enjoy more of this.


And then she shows how to sing the Marschallin

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