Follow the “Lieder”

November 28, 2013 — 50 Comments


This year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland I am working on German Lieder.   ‘Lied’ is a German and Dutch word meaning “song” and I fell in love with this style of singing when I was first introduced to classical repertoire.  The songs are so emotively written and they challenge the singer to perform these songs as they were originally intended.

These songs are mainly from the Romantic period (the 19th Century) and are highly charged with emotional music and expressive lyrics.    The earliest lieder date from the 12th and 13th Century and were the work of poet-musicians called ‘minnesinger’ poets and singers of courtly love, longing and the beauty of nature.

Romantic Lieder is one of my favourite genres to sing at the moment.  I have sung with some amazing accompanists at many music festivals, the piano part sets the mood of the score rather than remaining in the background.  There are many key changes and colourful harmonies and I love working on the colour and vocal interpretation of these beautiful pieces.

I chose to sing two Lieder composed by Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949 ) “Zueignung” and “Freundliche Vision” for my entry into this year’s Ferrier competition and I have attached a copy of my performance of “Freundliche Vision” (A Pleasant Vision) from the final round.


Richard Strauss

The strong lyrical melodies and the rich harmonies within this song made it a joy to perform.  To perform Lieder well you need to have a seamless relationship between piano and voice, the piano does far more than accompaniment, it forms an equal partnership with the voice and the skill of the pianist is very important to how the song is portrayed.  The accompanist in this performance was a talented RCS third year student from Romania, George Todica, and I hope you enjoy our version.

I found a translation for lyrics of this song here in English French, Italian alongside the original German.

If you would like to read some additional information here are a couple of links:

Within the translation of the lyrics there is a line “and I walk with one who loves me”, on this Thanksgiving I hope that you can be with those you love and say thanks to them 🙂

50 responses to Follow the “Lieder”


    I enjoyed your ‘Lied’, greetings from the Netherlands!


      Hi Settia, I’m glad you enjoyed it, I’m working hard on improving my lieder every week which is brilliant, I can’t wait to hear what this song sounds like at the end of the year 😉
      Best wishes


    I can see why you love singing these… so beautiful! 😀
    And thanks for the happy Thanksgiving wishes; hope you had a great day as well! 🙂


    Une belle fusion entre voix et musique, une interprétation pleine de couleur, d’harmonies, de sensualité. Un beau mélange printanier entre la douce fraicheur de la nature et la lumière colorée des sentiments. Bravo à vous deux.
    Merci Charlotte.


      My Mum translated this for me tonight but her French is rusty 😉
      There is a great translate button on google + its a shame they don’t have it on wordpress then I would be able to see more French conversation. I’m really pleased you mentioned colour it is something I’ve been working on a lot this term.

      Merci beaucoup


        Ho sorry Charlotte, so : “A beautiful fusion between voice and music, an interpretation full of color, harmonies, sensuality. A beautiful spring mix between the fresh coolness of the nature and the colored light of feelings. Bravo to you two ” 😉
        And yes, you really put lot of colour and harmonic in your song, and it’s easy when we listen to you to imagine some pictures.


        Hi Pascal, I didn’t study French at school, and I love seeing the French words, Mum wasn’t too far off with her interpretation. I’ll be learning French next year. I was thinking of getting some Disney sing-along DVDs in French lol, I know all of the English words so if I sing along in French they might stick 😉
        Best wishes


        Well, so now, i’ll send you some bilingual mail…..I mad a mix french/engllish in my last wordpress post…….
        Bon, alors maintenant, je vais vous envoyer ds courriers bilingues. J’ai fait un mélange de français et d’anglais dans mon dernier article wordpress…..


    Wonderful photograph! – and splendid dress!


      Thanks Stephen, the photo was taken off the video, it is a magnificent dress I love wearing it. I need to try to get a dress sponsor or I’ll spend all my money on performance wear 😉
      Best wishes


    You are both wondrous and beautiful. Thank you so much.


    You are both amazing……


    Beautiful song & video…love the first photo of you as well ~ you look so happy & in your element.


    Beautiful, Charlotte, as always! Thank you!


    This is lovely! And can I just say I love the dress too 🙂


    Very nice performing from both. Happy Thanksgiving!


      Happy thanksgiving to you too 😉
      I have a lot to be thankful for this year and lots of people to thank so I think this is a wonderful concept that we don’t celebrate sadly in the UK.
      Best wishes


    Thank you this bought back happy memories from school days when small groups of us were lucky enough to be taken from our boarding school to recitals, often of lieder, in country houses nearby. My ears were seduced by the piano voice combination.


    Lovely, Charlotte. 🙂 I like singing lieder as well. I’m currently working on “Hexenlied” by Mendelssohn. It’s lots of fun to sing and the lyrics are hilarious. You should check it out. I sing it in the version for medium voice, but there are versions for both low and high voice as well. 🙂


    You are simply stunning in every way.


    Loved your voice and the lyrics are really beautiful 🙂


    Beautiful singing, and a beautiful setting. Thank you for sharing


      Hi Peter, thank you, it was a beautiful room, very large with an upstairs balcony that’s why you can hear an echo on the recording. I’d love the opportunity to perform there again.
      Best wishes


    You write with such joy about your singing and that feeling bursts through your voice in a kind of enchantment. Thank you.


    Well done!
    Full of energy and life. Keep it up.


    Absolutely lovely! Would love to hear you sing Schubert’s Der Fluss.


    Beautiful on all counts! You are stunning in that purple dress.


    Beautiful! I applaud you 🙂


    Beautiful singing as always & love your dress!!!!!! 🙂 Where did you get this one this time? hehe


      Hi Violet, hope you’re good. It was from a store in the Bluewater when I was there on holiday in the summer. I wish I could get a concert dress sponsor people get fed up seeing me in the same dresses. I thought I should get a skirt made and different matching tops 😉
      Best wishes


    You have a wonderful presence on stage 🙂


    Charlotte, dieses Lied hast du wunderbar präsentiert und mit einer klaren, gefühlvollen Stimme vorgetragen.
    Beeindruckend schön.
    Und dein Kleid sieht fantastisch aus.
    Greetings from the beautiful Rhine-Highlands in Germany….

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.