Lieder Recordings 1941

COMPOSERS: Schubert,Wagner
LABELS: Romophone
PERFORMER: Lotte Lehmann with Paul Ulanowsky (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 81032-2 ADD mono

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LOTTE LEHMANN’s American Columbia recordings (1941-2) are mostly devoted to German Lieder (including a complete performance of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin), and Romophone’s edition of them is welcome for its inclusion of seven unissued titles (two more of Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, four Wolf songs, and Schubert’s ‘Liebesbotschaft’).

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The recorded sound is problematic: Lehmann is balanced far forward in relation to the piano, which results in both occasional ‘blasting’ (largely suppressed by these fine transfers) and the false impression that Lehmann’s artistry is heavy-handed. True, her willingness to inflect tempo in wordy songs like Schubert’s ‘Der Jäger’ may seem extreme to modern tastes, and her frequent breaths are quite apparent, but her captivating and heartfelt immediacy of expression does not preclude subtlety.