Dichterliebe/Im wunderschönen Monat Mai
Im wunderschönen Monat Mai
|Original German||English Translation|
Im wunderschönen Monat Mai,
In the wonderful month of May,
Lotte Lehmann's Advice
Be careful not to sing this song sentimentally. It is a young man who tells of his love; never forget this. What the young girl might perhaps express shyly and hesitantly becomes enthusiasm and glowing passion when expressed by this enamoured poet.
Submerge yourself in the flowing poetry of the prelude which has the quality of flowering branches swaying in the breeze of spring. Begin piano but rapturously. Sing 'Im wunderschönen Monat Mai' with ecstatic expression--feel the wonder and beauty of spring, paint delightedly, as if you saw before you a garden filled with flowers.
Sing with a broad crescendo up to 'die Liebe aufgegangen'. This phrase is vocally very difficult. You can make the word 'aufgegangen' easier by not making the consonants too distinct. This advice seems to be rather a sin against the Holy Ghost of expression, but it is better here to choose the lesser of two evils: better here (as an exception, please!) to be indistinct rather than to struggle vocally and give the impression that you cannot master the phrase from a technical standpoint. Sing the syllable 'gen' in 'aufgegangen' very broadly, making the 'e' in 'gen' sound like the 'a' in 'gang'. Bring the dreaming delight of the first verse to a passionate exuberance in the second verse. Be careful to give each dotted note and each semiquaver its exact value. They take from the song all trace of sentimentality. And above all avoid any scooping or sliding.