(Original image from Hulton Archive/Getty Images (chaise) & Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr Commons (piano). Photo illustration by Tablet Magazine. )

At the turn of the 20th century, Viennese culture experienced a golden age, with the Art Nouveau movement, and the revolutionary music of composers like Mahler, Strauss, and Schoenberg. At the same time, Sigmund Freud‘s theories about dreams and desires were finding expression in art, literature, and music.

This week a pair of recitals titled “Art Song on the Couch: Lieder in Freud’s Vienna” promises to transport audiences to the salons of that era. The program was conceived and curated by Steven Blier, the co-founder and artistic director of the New York Festival of Song. Michele Siegel talks with Blier about this strange and captivating era of song.