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Lotte Lehmann
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Carl Maria von Weber, Ludwig van Beethoven
Lotte Lehmann
Genre: Classical


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A Sample of Lotte Lehmann's Superb Artistry
scshu | 07/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lotte Lehmann is one of the great German sopranos of the Twentieth Century. For many years, from her creation of the role of the Composer in the revised version of Richard Strauss's "Ariadne auf Naxos" in 1916 up to her departure in 1937 prior to the Nazi occupation of Austria, she was a star at the Vienna State Opera and a darling of the Viennese audience. She was also enthusiastically received at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, as well as the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

During the years of her prime Lehmann created a couple of Strauss's operatic heroines, including the Dyer's Wife in "Die Frau Ohne Schatten" and Christine in "Intermezzo." She also sang a great variety of roles ranging from Wagner's romantic heroines to the Italian verisimo parts by Giordano and Puccini. Puccini was said to have been one of her bigget admirers, especially for her renditions of Mimi in La boheme and Suor Angelica. However, her most famous roles were the Marshallin in Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier" and Sieglinde in Wagner's "Die Walkure."

The current Presier issue documents Lehmann's electrical recordings, made between 1927 and 1933 when she was at the height of her powers. Although in some of the arias collected here her voice is not as fresh as in her earlier accoustic recordings [please refer to the page on "The Young Lotte Lehmann," also issued by Preiser], she often enunciates the text with even greater intensity, vividness and conviction. Newly added to her recorded repertoire in the electrical recording phase were Leonore's aria from Beethoven's "Fidelio," the Marshallin's farewell to Octavian in Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier" and the Liebestod from Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde." All these pieces receive passionate, heart-rending, moving readings from Lehmann.The Liebestod is especially precious, since Lehmann had aspired to sing the role of Isolde on stage, but was prevented from doing so because of warnings from friends and colleagues.

This disc is one of the gems in Preiser's famous historic singers series and anyone interested in operatic singing should consider investing in it. The CD transfer unavoidably contains some surface noise but the vibrancy and color of Lehmann's voice are faithfully recaptured."