Elisabeth Schwarzkopf is universally acknowledged to be one of the greatest singers of the 20th century. Blessed with a voice of exquisite beauty, as well as a striking physical presence, she shone brightly in opera, excelled in the concert hall and brought a unique artistry to the recital platform. She was signed exclusively to EMI in 1946 and released a stream of magnificent recordings over almost 30 years. Schwarzkopf could translate her charismatic stage presence into purely vocal terms through the medium of recording, and still convey all the dramatic meaning of her songs and operatic characters to listeners who could hear but not see her. This rare quality is evident in all the recordings in this unique collection, which covers a lifetime of work and reveals the development of her art.