Lieder anyone?

This niche within classical music, largely leaves my cold a defect in my character I'm sure. I suppose it reached a sort of peak in 19th century Germany, becoming an important part of Schubert's output for example. 

But and it's a big but, there is Mahler and Richard Straus, two of my favourite 20th century composers anyway. They both produced achingly beautiful, melancholic song cycles and I never tire of listening to them. If you want to explore them, then anything by Janet Baker or Elizabeth Scwarzkopf are just perfect for Mahler and Leontine Price's 4 Last Songs for Strauss. You can't go wrong with them.




I don't understand the languages of most of the lieder I listen to, but, I do know what the songs are about from having read the translations.  I think this does ad to the experience.

There are plenty of songs that are sung in English, such as those of Eric Whitacre that I mentioned above.  Another living American song composer that is quite interesting is Craig Urquhart.  British mid-century composers, like Britten, also wrote some interesting songs too.  

I agree with you regarding The Four Last Songs in that I love Gundula Janowitz singing them but I also love the great Jessye Norman in them also. I remember one year going to the Usher Hall in Edinburgh for a performance of Mahler's Second Symphony The Resurrection and as the four soloists were coming on to the stage I saw this magnificent presence coming into view and it was The great Jessye  Norman She was first heard in the Uhrlicht and then in the Finale and I thought she was awesome with her voice floating over that huge orchestra effortlessly. Well she is the other soloist I love in The Four Last Songs. She also was magnificent in lots of Strauss's Lieder.

I also love the Norman Four Last Songs.  

One more suggestion: Cantaloube “Songs of the Auverne.”  

I get so tired of the war horses and the mutable times they end up getting rereleased. When I go to the record stores and I see the classical bins flooded with Bernstein on Columbia, I think, do people really believe Bernstein to be better than the hundreds of other conductors during his generation or do they just not know any different? I will go out of my way to find music that is anomalous.

How can I have forgotten Songs of the Auverne, Kiri Te Kanawa or Vittoria de Los Angeles for me.