Music: It Is Time

The audience in Manhattan's Town Hall one night last week was prepared for an evening of fine lieder singing from Lotte Lehmann. When Soprano Lehmann remained standing in the curve of the piano at intermission, it was clear that she had something further on her mind. Said she: "This is my farewell recital in New York."

It was a surprise to all but a few of her friends. Some in the audience shouted "No! No!" German-born Lotte Lehmann, handsome, dignified, less than a fortnight away from her 63rd birthday, shook her head. "Don't argue with me. I started to sing in public...