Elena Gerhardt was one of the greatest lieder singers of the 20th century. She was unique in that she appeared in both opera and lieder recitals. This is not usually the case. I have been very particular about the lieder that I have chosen. There are many postings on youtube, where the material dates from about 1925-1930. These recordings have been remastered to remove the surface noise. Unfortunately, unless you know what you’re doing, removing the surface noise also removes half the voice. I have selected Japanese reissues of vinyl records that have not been cleaned up. You will hear surface noise but you will also hear Elena Gerhardt’s voice.
There are several things that I would like to point out. There is no pressure on this voice. In her later recordings, there might be problems with pitch, but the voice production is spectacular. Also, the last recording, Mariä Wiegenlied was made on a wax cylinder around 1907 and was later transferred to vinyl. This recording is 20 years earlier that all the other recordings selected, and you can hear Gerhardt’s voice when she was young.