Watch Christa Ludwig sing Lieder by her favourite composers, accompanied by pianist Charles Spencer, filmed during her farewell tour in 1994.
Knowned for her perfectly homogeneous tone of voice even at the end of her career, Christa Ludwig has impressed the operatic stage during almost 48 years before her retirement in 1994. She is widely recognised as one of the most significant and distinguished singers of the 20th century. In 2010, to honour her long and brilliant career, she received the prestigious title of Commander of the Legion of Honour.
In addition to her opera performances, Ludwig regularly gave recitals of Lieder, alone or as a soloist with orchestras. She did a farewell tour with her friend Charles Spencer on the piano, and performed Lieder by Schubert, Mahler, Bernstein, Wolf and Richard. Strauss, after having given a concert performance of Schubert's Winter Journey.
"In times where personalities are thinly sown, we have first class, yes excellent, musical practitioners, who lack intuition, imagination, and a feeling for composers, who, even though they lived in the past, can speak to us about today. Courage is needed to reveal one's own feelings in interpretation and not tell the audience with raised forefinger: 'The composer wanted it like this, and no other way.' But at the same time we singers must never forget that we are only the servants of the great minds who created all the wonderful pieces of music we enjoy today." - Christa Ludwig, In My Own Voice (p.119) translated by Regina Domeraski
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