Lotte Lehmann: The Complete Acoustic Recordings
54006-2 (4 CDs) | $72 ($54 to preferred customers)
Lotte Lehmann enjoyed a 40-year career spanning 1910 to 1950 on stage in opera and on the concert platform. Remembered now primarily for her portrayals of Wagner and Strauss roles and as a consummate interpreter of German Lieder, her early recordings are all but unknown and give us a broader picture of this great artist. It will, perhaps, not come as a surprise to hear Lehmann in her now familiar roles: Sieglinde, Elsa, Eva, and the Marschallin. What really makes these records outstanding is the ease and beauty of Lehmann's vocal production, and the chance of hearing her in repertoire not usually associated with her. We are treated to a generous sprinkling of Mozart, including two duets with baritone Heinrich Schlusnus, as well as arias by Weber, Lortzing, and Nicolai. Although she sings in German, we hear French opera arias from La Juive, Faust, Mignon, Carmen, Tales of Hoffmann, and Manon. From Italian opera, we hear the Ave Maria from Otello, followed by Puccini arias from Manon Lescaut, Bohème, Tosca, Butterfly, and even two excerpts from Soire Angelica. The real surprises are Lehmann's recordings of Tatyana's Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin, an aria from d'Albert's Die toten Augen, and an exquisite aria and duet with Richard Tauber from Korngold's Die tote Stadt, all of which are among the great treasures of the acoustic recording era.