An opera singer, except on those rare occasions when he relates the speech of others, maintains the identity of the character in which he is cast. The performer of epical and lyrical music, on the other hand, i.e., the oratorio and Lieder singer, can be a protagonist, i.e., claim his identity with the “acting subject”, only when and as long as the poet and composer demand it. One can almost recognise a good Evangelist by the way he sings the colon after the words “and he said unto them”. But apart from the singer's awareness of direct and indirect speech—a condensation, as it were, of dramatic explicitness into epical stylization—he has to come to terms with the world of inanimate objects, or rather their sensuous perception by poet and composer, that crowds the pages of concerted vocal music. One would think that a bird-call, heard or recollected by the poet, would find its exact, that is, stylistically truthful, representation in the poem; would be taken over and transplanted into the medium of sound by the composer without loss or change of meaning, and would, furthermore, find its exact equivalent when related by the acting subject. That this is at best an over-schematic view of things forms the glory of lyrical music and the despair of its interpreters.