chapter  10
16 Pages

Performing Lieder: The Mysterious Mix

WithRobert Spillman

Upon hearing the soprano Victoria de los Angeles, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi was moved to state: “When listening to her, one perceives that ideal point at which, when words are sung, the thought and the sound meet; the point at which two otherwise irreconcilable worlds find a common ground.” This is high praise; it also describes perfectly what is so magical, elusive, and satisfying in concert singing. The same ideal fusion of words and music is also beautifully described in the title of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s memoirs, Töne sprechen, Worte klingen, which can be translated “Notes speak, words ring.”