Eighteen Song Cycles by Lotte Lehmann



Such a book deserves to be assessed in its own terms. So just imagine a young singer striding along life’s road, free from care, in search of fame and fortune. You are this young singer. Providence has sent you this book as a guide. Never mind the price; never mind the copious repetitions from More than Singing (1945). What are such matters to those who float in the lofty regions of art? You hold your purchase aloft in zestful triumph. You take a deep breath, as you realize that it is written in this style throughout. You see that it is bound in green, “die liebe Farbe”, the colour of nature, springtime, the renewal of life itself. Your eyes sparkle, the blood pulses through your veins, here is no dull grey theory, nothing hard or technical about poetry or music. Here is just the pure shining gold of your own deepest emotions. simply and directly expressed in the very words of the songs with which you will thrill and enchant your audiences, and yourself. Our hearts go out to you, young singer. “Lebe wohl!” we cry; and (for the Chanson is not neglected) “bon voyage!”        


The Musical Times, Nov. 1971 (p. 1973) © the estate of eric sams, 1971