When English songs are performed in German

There are surprises in store on the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

Viennese masters, always short of cash, picked up commissions from rich British tourists for composing drawing-room settings of national heritage. Haydn and Beethoven filled their boots with Scottish and Welsh ballads for two ducats a song. Haydn wrote about 200, dressed up with piano, violin and cello accompaniments. Easy money.

The first surprise in this absorbing recital by Christian Gerhaher is that he sings the Haydn ditties in German, in a 1920s translation….

Read on here.

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