Nice profile by Fred Cohn of bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni in the Feb. 2015 Opera News.
The paragraph on the unique nature of the solo vocal recital caught my attention:
In recent years, Pisaroni has embarked on a series of recital tours, concentrating on German lieder — a rare choice for an Italian singer. “We don’t have a song culture, and the few that we have, the song helps showcase the voice,” he says. “The thing that fascinates me about the lieder repertoire is the dialogue between the voice and the piano. That’s the thing I love about the collaboration [with his pianist, Wolfram Rieger]. I have a phrase and give it to him, then he completes it and hands it back. To learn a recital program is the most difficult task ever, but it’s the most rewarding thing I do. There is nothing that gives you pleasure more than ending a song and feeling the audience has not taken a breath. It feels like time is standing still. There is no opera in the world that gives you that feeling.”
When he was in DC he sang German lieder by Liszt (German was in fact Liszt’s mother tongue), and had us all rapt, particularly in Die Lorelei, the arch-Romantic legend set by the arch-Romantic composer.
His is not on YouTube, but here’s a nice rendition by Kiri Te Kanawa (of the peaches and cream voice).
and another great recitalist in lieder, Ian Bostridge, in Schubert: