|About this Recording
8.557369-70 - SCHUBERT, F.: Lied Edition 18 - Schiller, Vols. 3 and 4
Franz Peter Schubert (1797–1828)
The two great classical writers of German literature, Goethe and Schiller played, in very different ways, important rôles in Schubert’s career as a song composer. Together with Schubert’s friend and admirer Johann Mayrhofer they are also the poets most often set among Schubert’s body of more than seven hundred songs. Yet why did Schubert’s settings of ‘Gretchen am Spinnrade’ (Gretchen at the Spinning-Wheel), ‘Erlkönig’ (The Erl King), and ‘Heidenröslein’ (The Wild Rose) achieve worldwide fame far beyond the circle of dedicated song-lovers, while his settings of poems by Schiller such as ‘Der Jüngling am Bache’ (The Young Man by the Brook), ‘Thekla—eine Geisterstimme’ (Thekla—A Phantom Voice), or his settings of the famous ballads ‘Die Bürgschaft’ (The Hostage) and ‘Der Taucher’ (The Diver) until now bloom unseen, seldom finding their way into song recitals, although they can in no way be regarded as inferior compositions?
If the two groups of Goethe and Schiller settings are compared, it may be seen that, although there are 61 Goethe and 32 Schiller settings, the body of Schiller songs is altogether about the same in length. This is because there are several different versions of fifteen poems, ranging from partial revisions to complete rewriting. By comparison nine of Goethe’s poems exist in different settings, and not a single one of Mayrhofer’s. Then in the Schiller settings with the ballads ‘Der Taucher’ ( Naxos 8.554740), ‘Leichenfantasie’ (Funereal Fantasy), and ‘Klage der Ceres’ (The Lament of Ceres) we have some of the longest Schubert songs. And finally there are, as a small addition to the songs, more than a mere curiosity, some early settings of verses from Schiller’s poems ‘Elysium’, ‘Der Triumph der Liebe’ (Love’s Triumph), texts after Confucius, and so on, which were written as Terzette as part of his composition lessons with Salieri. Besides, Schiller was, much more than Goethe, Schubert’s initial inspiration as a composer of songs. Up to the composition of ‘Gretchen am Spinnrade’ on 19 October 1814, a day generally seen as the birth-date of romantic German song, there had been eight Schiller settings, among them major works such as the already mentioned ‘Leichenfantasie’, D. 7, or inspired monsters such as the first setting of ‘Des Mädchens Klage’ (The Maiden’s Lament), D. 6, after the first-born ‘Hagars Klage’ (Hagar’s Lament), D. 5, the earliest of the completed songs.
Schubert came across Schiller through another composer, in whose works, during his schooldays, he could ‘revel the day long’, as his friend Josef von Spaun later reported. The Kleine Lieder und Balladen (Little Songs and Ballads) of Johann Rudolph Zumsteeg (1760–1802) appeared in seven volumes between 1800 and 1805, and they included, with settings of other poets, compositions on Schiller’s poems. In general Zumsteeg seems to have played an important part in the early Schubert choice of texts, since all the other poets he chose for preference, Kosegarten, Matthisson, Goethe, Claudius, Hölty, and Ossian, are represented in the early songs of Schubert. Above all Zumsteeg’s ballad settings with their strength of expression and illustrative directness inspired Schubert and offered him a challenge, since he consciously and deliberately chose some texts that he set differently (and better) than his musical predecessor. In this way ‘Die Erwartung’ (Expectation), for example, looks directly to Zumsteeg’s setting, and others perceptibly follow his style of composition.
Schiller and Zumsteeg were friends in their younger days. Both were forced to become students at Duke Karl Eugen of Württemberg’s Military Academy ; they also later enjoyed friendly contact, and Schiller knew Zumsteeg’s settings well and valued them. How would he have reacted if he had heard Schubert’s songs based on his poems? Like Goethe, who met Schubert’s settings of his poems with lack of understanding and indifference? He always said that music should follow the texts, accompanying the words decently and inconspicuously. Does this suggest that out of a certain vanity he could not bear to hear with his work music that held its place by its side, newly illuminating and interpreting it? We do not know. When the fourteen-year-old Schubert set the ‘Leichenfantasie’, Schiller was already six years dead.
Dealing with the Schiller settings is in general like a tour through Schubert’s workshop as a song composer. All devices, compositional possibilities from simple and varied strophic song to the recitative-aria operatic model and to freely composed song fantasies are found, all compositional strategies available at the beginning of the nineteenth century are present. Notable, however, is the development not from simple to complex, but, taken altogether, from the grand, luxuriant and exuberant form of the very early songs to the concentrated, extremely economical structure of the late compositions. What Schubert ‘learned’ from working with Schiller’s poems was economy of means. His path led here from the dramatic pictorial illustration of individual elements to the lyrical, musically unified meaning of the poem as a whole.
We notice too, in this connection, at first the different versions of the same poems on the two CDs. The first setting of ‘Des Mädchens Klage’ (The Maiden’s Lament) is a breakneck gallop through the heights and shallows of tempestuous and impulsive feeling, common to Schubert and Schiller in their adolescence. Highly dramatic, passages recklessly ignoring every rule of vocal writing alternate with sections of the highest sensibility and tenderness. The metrical division of the poem, its strophic structure, is continuously disregarded and is cruelly sacrificed to the impetuous flow of the music. In this respect we may hear the quite deliberate musical connection of the third and fourth stanzas; the poem would at this point, by the change of persons speaking, have suggested a distinct musical break. Nevertheless, here a young composer responds to the text, having undertaken an unmistakably demanding task, and in many passages his music is actually and in the original sense of the word, overwhelming.
When we hear the second, completely new version of this Wallenstein text (D. 191), written three to four years later, we are astonished to have before us a simple periodically constructed strophic song that does without any word-painting and restricts itself, with clear, simple musical means, to reflecting the basic character of the poem. Here there is a change from the complex to the simple, from the chaotic to the structured, from the exuberant to the concentrated. The quietly flowing chordal piano accompaniment and the cautious wave-like up and down of the vocal part create on the one hand a narrative tranquillity that preserves distance from the persons speaking or singing, but at the same time produces an astonishing emotional depth. The music acts magically as an ‘expression’ of what is said and a declaration of sympathy, of the compassion of the narrator and listener—a balancing act that Schubert here manages successfully with the surefootedness of a sleepwalker. It is not easy to understand why, almost a year later, he took on a further setting of the poem (third version, D. 389). The restless piano figuration and the wider intervals of the melodic line suggest that he was again broadly attempting a more dramatic accentuation of the music, but keeping strictly to the strophic lay-out.
Completely similar stages in development can be observed in the three settings of ‘Der Jüngling am Bache’ (The Young Man by the Brook). The first version (D. 30) is again through-composed, but in comparison with the first, probably earlier version of ‘Des Mädchens Klage’ very much more clearly structured: Schubert gives the same music to the first pair of lines of all four stanzas, then continuing each of them differently. This successful early attempt at a pseudo-strophic structure while preserving the freedom of through-composition is formally astonishing, even if the relatively harmless-sounding melody of the stanza openings may seem to us somewhat foreign to Schiller’s elegiac text. Instead Schubert surprises us at the end of the second stanza ( ‘wecken in dem tiefen Busen…’ / ‘wake in the depths of my heart’) with a dramatic break, the fearless gloominess of which would have done honour to a ghostly baroque ombra scene. With its gently enticing horn fifths, the final invitation to the maiden to leave her proud castle sounds thoroughly optimistic, in complete opposition to the two later versions (D. 192 and D. 638). There the use of the continued strophic form produces a change of meaning: the mournful minor of both versions is not abandoned in the final stanza, and the wish for union with the ’sweet fair one’ is relegated to the realm of Utopia. The poem expresses hope, while the music is already resigned. The second version, written almost four years before the last version, is inclusive and convincing; it takes up the basic melodic and rhythmically declamatory elements of the first and changes them into a melodic gesture that truly reflects the basic mood of the poem, while retaining sufficient flexibility for an analogous and differentiating representation of the different stanzas and their nuances of expression. The five-bar prelude alone with its urgent sighs and chromatically painful progress offers an inimitable representation of the emotional situation of the young man. After that it is worth noting the vocal writing, rather more exact in its relationship with the text; after the initially simple steps mostly of a second with generally downward contour the movement changes at the words ‘und er sah sie fortgerissen’ (‘and he saw them carried away’) pressing upwards (as the narrator craned his neck, startled, to see the flowers floating away), and similarly again at ‘treiben in der Wellen Tanz’ (‘floating away in the dance of the waves’), letting it sink down. The following ‘Und so fliehen meine Jugend’ (‘And so flies my youth’) brings hesitant circling melodic movement, as the young man now wavers in direct speech between resignation and revolt. Finally at ‘und so bleichet meine Jugend’ (‘and so my youth fades’) there follows a characteristic, as it were weakly falling diminished seventh, as well as a sudden leap of an octave at ‘wie die Kränze schnell verbün’ (‘as the garlands quickly wither’), which expresses the young man’s fear, without falling into mere word-painting. To this one may add the pattern of the piano accompaniment with its unobtrusive yet precise modifications, continuous motion with the first phrases of the song, appoggiaturas, restless semiquavers at ‘und er sah sie fortgerissen’, a shift to rapider sextuplets at ‘Und so fliehen…’ as the equivalent of transitoriness. The ’simplicity‘ of this kind of Schubert song is something quite other than naïve lack of reflection or literal simplicity.
Our third triple setting is of Schiller’s poem ‘Thekla—eine Geisterstimme’ (Thekla—A Phantom Voice). It seems that Schiller wrote the poem to answer the question of a friend on the final whereabouts and health of Thekla, Max Piccolomini’s beloved in the play Wallenstein, after Max’s death. The tragic entanglements and catastrophes of the Wallenstein drama here become resolved into a so-to-speak posthumous, utopian, other-worldly ‘All is well’. Appropriately the first three stanzas of the poem are respectively questions and answers of varying length. Schubert’s first version (D. 73), again in through-composed form, embarks on this structure with a constant change between recitative and arioso passages, the question the recitative, the answer as arioso. As the fourth stanza does not start with a question, accordingly here there is no recitative. At the liberating words ‘Dorten wirst auch du uns wiederfinden…’ (‘There you will find us again…’) the music flows freely and unchecked. Although now the fifth and sixth stanzas too are not built on the pattern of question and answer, Schubert returns for these last two passages to the initial structure. In this way he achieves, on the one hand, a formal end to the composition, while, on the other hand the recitative-arioso arrangement once again fits into the structure of the text. The second halves of both stanzas consist of summaries of the poem; ‘Denn wie jeder wägt, wird ihm gewogen…’ (‘For as each man judges shall he be judged’), and ‘Wagen du zu irren und zu träumen…’ (‘Dare to err and to dream’) are brought out and stressed through the melodic setting.
In all of the threefold settings we find works that in the beginning were through-composed, but in the later versions brought a clear musical structure increasingly to the fore. In ‘Thekla—eine Geisterstimme’ (D. 595, second setting, versions 1 and 2) too Schubert moves towards a structurally unified setting in strophic form, and here he perhaps succeeds at his most gifted. While the first version of the second setting is without a prelude and in the unusual key of C sharp minor/major, although only the two first stanzas are prepared for performance, the second version is transposed into the more conventional but also elementary key of C minor/major and provided with a prelude that is more than an introduction, but rather summarises an essential musical and intellectual aspect of the whole composition. Here Schubert combines two of the stanzas of the poem into one big musical stanza. This again consists of four sections: the second ( ‘Hab ich nicht beschlossen…’ /‘Have I not finished…’) is a repetition of the first ( ‘Wo ich sei…’ / ‘Where am I…’), nevertheless changing from the initial gloomier minor to a warmer consolatory major. In this way it is made clear to the listener by musical means as simple as they are practical that the phantom voice that speaks to him, is not horrific, but has good news to tell. The third section ( ‘Willst du nach den Nachtigallen fragen…’ / ‘Will you ask the nightingales…’) begins on the dominant; this is ambivalent, insofaras it may lead either to the minor or the tonic major. In fact at first it leads back to the initial dark minor, which nevertheless is not able to establish itself. The harmony changes to the mediant ( ‘Die mit seelenvoller Melodie’ / ‘Who with soulful melodies’) and then, surprisingly, in the middle of the fourth section ( ‘…in des Lenzes Tagen’ / ‘…in the days of spring’) reaches the major key, which is then firmly established until the end. These harmonic changes, fluctuations and developments in their unobtrusive and subtly effective presence can be heard and interpreted as the fulfilment of the vagaries of Thekla’s life and its good ending. The music as a whole, apparently so simple and unified, conceals a very highly complex harmonic structure that forms an indissoluble textual and musical unity between the words and the song. The vocal part manages with the range of a fourth, that is, it restricts itself in both minor and major to a range of four whole tones.
No other song composer has at any time been able to convey the formal intellectual and emotional levels of a poem so exactly and at the same time with such apparently economical naturalness and assurance in the musical structure of his settings. Schubert does not accompany the text, he does not illustrate it, he presents not only its feeling, but lets it grow anew out of the music, word for word, sentence for sentence. Schiller’s poetry was a good training-ground for him, since it forced him finally to concentrate on the essential, if he wanted to develop further from his chaotically inspired beginnings.
This poetry was at the same time very dear to him and was a challenge, so that he often had to work hard, as the many different versions show, but it also sometimes brought cheerful social occasions, as for example in the form of the light-hearted poem ‘An den Frühling’ (To Spring). After a first dance-like composition in 1815 (D. 283), in the following year he wrote a quartet version for male voices (D. 338); in 1817 Schubert took the poem in hand again, writing a second version for voice and piano (D. 587), which is similar in character to the first but has completely new music. It seems to be not the result of a wish to do better as rather a ‘You could also sing it like this’. He revised this second version slightly once more, in 1819.
The first of the two versions of ‘Das Geheimnis’ (The Secret, D. 250) was written in August 1815 and shows Schubert at the time of his first storm-and-stress phase. A strophic song with simple continuing crotchet beats, as if walking on tiptoe, at the beginning recalls the old passacaglia form, and in the middle with attractive unconventional chromatic clashes. In this way Schubert’s music comes close to the discreet charm of Schiller’s poem that changes between a declaration of love and a philosophical discourse on the threatened existence of love in spiteful reality. The changes in the second version, written almost eight years later (D. 793), sound modest, but are decisive and of inspired profundity to careful listeners. From the simple version came a varied strophic song; little variations in melody, harmony and accompaniment figuration throw, as it were, new light on the recurrent strophic musical material. These changes are generally small and on the surface not obvious, almost imperceptible, yet they must not be underestimated. Perhaps since they are only unnoticed or half noticed, they lead the listeners‘ feelings unobtrusively, carefully and truly through the intellectual paths and changing emotions of the poem.
There remain the three most extended works here included, ‘Leichenfantasie’ (Funereal Fantasy), ‘Die Erwartung’ (Expectation) and ‘Klage der Ceres’ (The Lament of Ceres). They follow the principle of sectional through-composition, a procedure that Schubert, as we have seen, turned to above all in his early years, together with Schiller’s poems, particularly the great epic of Ossian (alias James Macpherson) (Naxos 8.554795 and 8.557026–27). To these two poets we owe music by Schubert that in its formal freedom, harmonic skill and illustrative emotional directness is unique in the whole body of his work. The last composition of this kind is ‘Einsamkeit’ (Solitude, D. 620) by Mayrhofer from July 1818. After that Schubert took a completely new course in his setting of longer poems; he settled on uniformity rather than diversity of musical material. The great settings of poems by Ernst Schulze ( Naxos 8.555780) mark the culmination and end of this kind of compositional procedure.
The three aforementioned works, however, show different kinds of inner structure and again offer evidence of Schubert’s development as a song composer. Schiller wrote his ‘Leichenfantasie’ (D. 7) in 1780 after the sudden death of a friend and dedicated it to the latter’s father. Many poems from his early years are, as a contemporary poet writes ‘in shape and form…nevertheless wild and raw productions, full of exuberantly sensual fantasies that partly lose themselves in metaphysical effusiveness, partly carry on a repulsive game with images of the past and decay behind the smiling appearance of life…’ Perhaps today one might no longer judge the young Schiller so drastically; that the poem, nevertheless, shows a more than obvious tendency to the morbid cannot be denied. This tendency appealed to the fourteen-year-old Schubert who astonishingly was preoccupied in many of his early poems with the themes of death and the transitory. Yet the preference for such subjects surely sprang not only from the musings on longing for death of a boy coming to puberty, but also from his actual background. Four siblings who ‘survived’ childhood can be set against nine who died between the ages of one day and five years—these numbers were normal for the time. Moreover, leaving aside such matters, Schubert passed the first four years of his life with his parents and siblings in a 35-square-metre ‘apartment’ with a kitchen (in which he was born) and a room, without any sanitary arrangements, and in such living conditions nothing remained hidden, birth, death, pain, illness, love, quarrels. In contrast to this was surely the brilliant description of the now destroyed, once glowing future of the dead young man: in the middle of the poem an ideal focus for the dreams and wishes for the future of Schubert, who at the time of composition had already spent three years as a pupil at the Stadtkonvikt and at this time may have started to think about his own future beyond the narrow confines of the school walls as a great musician and artist.
With ‘Leichenfantasie’ then came a gifted young man’s monster-work, in which he developed, apparently unconcerned with overheated identification with the images of the poem, his in part drastically realistic musical ideas for the text, illustrating these with never tiring fantasies of sound. We hear the pale unison of voice and piano, for example, at ‘sterne trauern bleich herab’ (‘stars look palely down in mourning’) in the first stanza, the melodic change in the vocal part at ‘seine Silberhaare bäumen sich’ (‘His silver hair stands on end’) in the second, the extreme melodic leaps at ‘stolz wie die Rosse sich sträuben und schäumen’ (‘Proud as horses that rear up and foam’) in the fifth stanza, or the strangling upward motion at ‘wimmernd schnurrt das Totenseil empor’ (‘humming and rattling the grave-rope rises’) in the eighth. Ideas of this kind are found by the dozen, but this is in no way detrimental to the astonishing artistic skill of each element. Less gifted composers could not consistently achieve the same, and at the end of this mighty work, in the ninth stanza, the impressive return of the opening music bears witness, at the least, to the intention to provide a formal rounding-off and conclusion.
In comparison ‘Die Erwartung’, D. 159, sounds harmless, a setting of Schiller’s poem on the waiting lover, who, after his eyes and ears have again and again conjured up the arrival of his beloved, disappointed and exhausted by long waiting, falls asleep and is finally wakened ‘with kisses’. Here the structure is clearly and openly presented through the constant alternation of recitative and arioso passages. Yet the music in no way slips into operatic drama; Schubert’s song achieves its effect through its discreet and yet unbelievably charming musical transformation, which often suggests an almost rococo style and only here and there, as if with a sly smile, assumes a pose of pathos—one of the few examples in Schubert’s songs without any seriousness and melancholy, unconcerned, humorous and playful, a splendid counterpart of Schiller’s poem.
‘Klage der Ceres’, D. 323, is much more violently dramatic. In the structure and expression of this great work we experience Schubert as the potential opera composer: recitativo secco, arioso, recitativo accompagnato, and arias alternate with fine regularity and make up the great monologue of the protagonist Ceres. The goddess of the earth, of growth and fruitfulness (in Greek Demeter), she has been robbed by Hades/Pluto, with the consent of Zeus/Jupiter (who is the brother of Demeter/Ceres and her daughter’s father), of her daughter Persephone/Proserpina, whom he has taken down to Orcus. At the beginning of the poem we see Ceres during her nine-day search for her lost daughter (first and second stanzas). From Helios, the all-seeing Titan, she finally learns where she is, but entry to Orcus is denied the goddess. In her bitterness of heart she does not return to Olympus and lays the earth waste with barrenness. Finally a compromise is reached between her and Zeus: Proserpina must spend half the year in the Underworld with Hades, her ‘gloomy spouse’, while she lives for the other half with her mother on Olympus. In Greco-Roman mythology this explained the change of the seasons between summer and winter, fruitfulness and barrenness. Winter is the expression (in Schiller ’sprache‘, eighth stanza) of mourning for the departed, summer of joy at being together again.
Back to the opera composer. In contrast to ‘Erwartung’ the piano part here is conceived orchestrally throughout; the introductory part (Stanza 1) suggests the sound of woodwind, the first arioso (‘Ach wie lang ist’s’ / ‘Ah how long it is’) (Stanza 2) the soft sound of strings, the following with the depiction of the dark Underworld is clearly for brass and string timbres, the depiction of the onset of winter (‘Wenn des Frühlings Kinder sterben’ / ‘When Spring’s children die’) (Stanza 8) is accompanied by dry pizzicato imitations, the closing section (‘O so lasst euch froh begrußen’ / ‘O so let me greet you’) (Stanza 11) is inspired by the higher and lower orchestral groups with sections of tutti (‘meinem Schmerz und meiner Lust’ / ‘my pain and my pleasure’). The vocal part continues with a wide-ranging rich palette between dry parlando, the purest cantabile and dramatic vehemence. It makes the highest demands of the singers, both in the more tranquil passages requiring the qualities of the lyric soprano, and in the Underworld scenes those of a dramatic mezzo. At the same time the ‘classical’ style of this composition is surprising, at the beginning recalling Haydn, in the middle Gluck, finally Mozart. It may be that Schubert intended a style of composition corresponding to the ancient classical theme of the poem. The musical structure of the composition arises, with the formal operatic lay-out, from the dramatic range of the fictional ‘plot’, the development of the ideas and emotions of Ceres. In the whole bulk of the text there arises a single grandiose mythological panorama, comparable in the whole body of Schubert’s work only with the very similar ‘Uraniens Flucht‘ (Urania’s Flight), D. 554 ( Naxos 8.554739).
There remain two ‘outsiders’ among the songs presented here: Der Graf von Habsburg (Count von Habsburg), D. 990, a twelve-stanza ballad, written by Schubert as a simple strophic song for his brother Ferdinand for teaching purposes. Not to be numbered among his art-songs, it is included here above all because of its melodic charm. On the contrary Die Götter Greichenlands (The Gods of Greece), D. 677 must be reckoned among the high points not only of Schubert’s songs but of all song literature. Very seldom has there been a song so successfully united in simplicity of outward structure and depth of expression as this. We listen and are amazed.
We come back to the question first posed about the different reception of the Goethe and Schiller songs. Goethe’s poems came directly to Schubert, many of them he set quickly, often as if intoxicated, in one day, at one stretch. The differing precondition for this impetuous ‘chemical reaction’ was Goethe’s personally coloured poems drawn from experience, his instinctive grasp of concrete situations in life, his concentrated narrative art in the ballads, his art of generating unmistakable moods with a few words. All this met absolutely the requirements of musical setting. This is naturally reflected in Schubert’s music; the Goethe settings are almost all easily accessible to the ‘prepared’ listener, without further persuasion.
With Schiller, however, Schubert struggled, and yet he always returned to him again, challenged by his texts, adapting to them, competing with them. Schiller himself often struggled with the definitive form of his works, as he thought and felt in such complex ways and could not or would not separate what he instinctively felt went together: ‘Usually the poet hurried me on where I should philosophize, and the philosophical spirit where I would write poems’. This thoroughly self-critical commentary on his poetic work shows too, however, his special character, his often contradictory, stubborn individuality. This is reflected in Schubert’s music with his at times hybrid flights of genius. The final concentration on the absolute essence too is common to both. In this way Schubert’s Schiller songs are often difficult to absorb, not always basking in balanced harmonies but always exciting, challenging and, at first hearing, surprising.
About The Edition
In 1816 Franz Schubert, together with his circle of friends, decided to publish a collection of all the songs which he had so far written. Joseph Spaun, whom Schubert had known since his school days, tried his (and Schubert’s) luck in a letter to the then unquestioned Master of the German language, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
The Deutsche Schubert-Lied-Edition follows the composer’s original concept. All Schubert’s Lieder, over 700 songs, will be grouped according to the poets who inspired him, or according to the circle of writers, contemporaries, members of certain literary movements and so on, whose works Schubert chose to set to music. Fragments and alternative settings, providing their length and quality make them worth recording, and works for two or more voices with piano accompaniment will also make up a part of the edition.
Schubert set the poetry of over 115 writers to music. He selected poems from classical Greece, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, from eighteenth-century German authors, early Romantics, Biedermeier poets, his contemporaries, and, of course, finally, poems by Heinrich Heine, although sadly the two never met.
The entire edition is scheduled for completion by 2008. Thanks to the Neue Schubert Ausgabe (New Schubert Edition), published by Bärenreiter, which uses primary sources—autograph copies wherever possible—the performers have been able to benefit from the most recent research of the editorial team. For the first time, the listener and the interested reader can follow Schubert’s textual alterations and can appreciate the importance the written word had for the composer.
The project’s Artistic Advisor is the pianist Ulrich Eisenlohr, who has chosen those German-speaking singers who represent the élite of today’s young German Lieder singers, performers whose artistic contribution, he believes, will stand the test of time.
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