The German soprano Elisabeth Schumann was one of the finest lyric sopranos of the 20th Century. She made her professional debut in Hamburg in 1909 and died in 1952, having given her last public concert the previous year. In 1985 the eminent vocal expert Alan Blyth wrote of her: "No artist so endeared herself to her public as Elisabeth Schumann. The charm of her manner is legendary; so is the attraction of her slivery voice and outgiving style. Whether in her operatic portrayals, her Lieder or her operetta offerings, she captivated her audiences."