Music: More!

"One must take things lightly, holding and taking with a light heart and light hands—holding and letting go . . ."

These words of sage advice, sung to her mirror image by the aging Marschallin in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, are largely ignored by grand-opera stars. But to 61-year-old German-born Soprano Lotte Lehmann, who for 25 years sang them with unsurpassed eloquence, they have long had the weight of dogma.

Although her last singing of the Marschallin at the Metropolitan in 1945 brought her a 20-minute ovation, she decided soon afterward that it was time to "let go." Two years ago she resolved...

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