Lieder of Richard Strauss

Gillian Keith: “Bei Strauss”

Strauss, R:

  • Fünf Lieder, Op. 48
  • Fünf kleine Lieder, Op. 69
  • Ständchen, Op. 17 No. 2
  • Schlagende Herzen Op. 29 No. 2
  • Das Bächlein, Op. 88 No. 1

Performed by Gillian Keith, soprano, and Simon Lepper, piano

One of Canada’s leading sopranos, Gillian Keith, made her Royal Opera Covent Garden debut as Zerbinetta in Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos”, a role she has gone on to repeat with great success. A past winner of the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award, she seems to have a strong connection with Richard Strauss’ music.

In this recital of Strauss Lieder are many songs which have earned their place in the repertoire, along with less-often heard works such as “Mädchenblumen” and “Drei Lieder der Ophelia”, which compliment those more familiar and are at the heart of this recital.

Strauss displayed a consistent ability to bring out the best in a singer, and soprano Gillian Keith – accompanied here by pianist Simon Lepper – beautifully present Strauss’ unique reverence for the female voice.

And Strauss commented once: “I thank my Almighty Creator for the gift and inspiration of the female voice.”
In song-writing, as in orchestral music, Richard Strauss showed his capabilities at an early age. His range and confidence is displayed in this group of songs; as the selection shows, he wrote some superb examples in his teens, and by his mid-twenties was already an assured master of the Lied; mastery which continued to develop into old age. It has been written that Strauss’ wife, also a singer, was often an inspiring force for his creativity.

Many generations of singers have been inspired by Strauss’ devotion to song; from the dramatic, to the lyric, to the coloratura, Strauss’ songs offer something very special. Singers such as Lotte Lehmann, Kiri Te Kanawa, and many others have paid tribute to Richard Strauss’ genius.

Here is Gillian Keith accompanied by Simon Lepper, singing Strauss:

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Tags: Gillian Keith, soprano, Richard Strauss, Lieder

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