Let me change your mind about Lieder

Let me change your mind about Lieder


norman lebrecht

March 26, 2021

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

A cultured Russian friend was telling me the other day she cannot bear to listen to Lieder — “all that shrieking and, worse, in German”. It’s not easy to find an antidote to such national prejudices, but one landed on my doorstep the very next day….

Read on here.

And here.

Ici en francais.

More languages follow.



  • caranome says:

    Anna Russell making announcement before a lieder recital: I regret to inform you that our soloist is indisposed today. She’s in bed with the doctor.

  • Zandonai says:

    I’ll admit most lieder are pretty boring if you don’t follow closely with the texts in hand; even then, the poetry can be rather dense and hard to follow.

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    There is also woofing, barking, and yawping.

  • Alexander T says:

    Dichterliebe? Shrieking?
    Your Russian friend may not be as cultured as you make her out to be.

  • Guest says:

    As somebody said to Schubert “Take me to your … ‘

  • Maria says:

    Many singers don’t even like singing it or sitting through in large chunks.

  • msc says:

    In response to a similar comment from a friend, I suggested he focus on the baritone voice, and recommended some French, Russian, and, above all, English song. He’s not a convert, but finds some pleasure in classical art song.

  • Kenny says:

    Define “cultured,” fer chrissakes. She ever heard of Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff?

  • Walter Winterfeldt says:

    I highly recommend the new Andrè Schuen Schubert “Die schöne Müllerin just out on DG. Wonderful singing and piano playing. I’ll get the new Goerne as well. I just wish he’d stop singing female repertoire. Wesendonck Lieder and Frauenliebe und Leben…..really? How about Brahms “Die schöne Magelone” with Yuja Wang. They performed it a few years ago in Verbier and Salzburg.

  • wililam vestal says:

    Why not go to the source -Schubert: Im Abendroth Dieskau/Moore. Surely not a shriek there!

  • MWnyc says:

    Does your friend feel the same way about Russian art song?

    (In other words, is it about the German or the shouting?)