WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Strauss: Four Last Songs, Etc / Isokoski, Janowski, Et Al


Release Date: 05/21/2002 
Label:  Ondine   Catalog #: 982   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


As a great fan of Jessye Norman's first recording of Richard Strauss' Four Last Songs, I can say without impugnity that this brand new version is as fine, and can be seen as the anti-Norman at the same time. Where Norman lingers (and lingers, and lingers), pouring out buckets of lavish, dark tone and dizzying us with the finality of both the vision and the composer's biography, Soile Isokoski, with her infinitely brighter tone is accepting and loving, and her final song is the epitome of simple peace. Indeed, the four-song cycle clearly aims in that direction, but it is more often chock-filled with a sentimentality that, while not entirely unwelcome, in essence is unnecessary given the lushness of
Read more the music. Isokoski's reserve is almost religious in the purest sense of the word--there's faith written all over the four steps of the four songs. And needless to say, she has the technique to carry Strauss' long lines upward and back downward with ease, and her sound is beautiful.

The other 11 songs on the CD are similarly well thought through and performed. Most of the tempos she and Marek Janowski opt for are quick, and the decisions are wise and all of a piece: Even in the endlessly recorded Zueignung, the final "Habe dank!" is not deep and heavy--it's glorious. The Three Kings song comes across as a simple, lovely tale, told with clarity and directness; the Wiegenlied is a lullaby of gratefulness. Three Brentano songs, all filled with nature and flowers, are handsomely put forward, with the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin's accompaniments clear and clean, woodwinds ideally played, and Ondine's engineers capturing every nuance in Strauss' orchestration without unnaturally underlining any one of them. I can't praise this beautiful release enough. Despite the many wonderful versions of the Four Last Songs (and many of the others) by singers as diverse and great as Norman, Schwarzkopf, and Janowitz, no lover of Strauss' songs or of great, elegant, un-prima-donna-ish singing should be without Isokoski's. [3/24/2002]

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Lieder (4), Op. 36: no 1, Das Rosenband by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: German 
2.
Lieder (6), Op. 68: no 2, Ich wollt' ein Sträusslein binden by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Lieder (6), Op. 68: no 3, Säusle, liebe Myrthe by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: German 
4.
Lieder (6), Op. 68: no 4, Als mir dein Lied erklang by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: German 
5.
Lieder (5), Op. 39: no 4, Befreit by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: German 
6.
Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 1, Ruhe, meine Seele by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: German 
7.
Lieder (5), Op. 41: no 1, Wiegenlied by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: German 
8.
Lieder (6), Op. 37: no 3, Meinem Kinde by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: German 
9.
Lieder (8), Op. 10: no 1, Zueignung by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: German 
10.
Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 4, Morgen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: German 
11.
Lieder (6), Op. 56: no 6, Die heiligen drei Könige by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1906; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: German 
12.
Four Last Songs, AV 150: no 1, Frühling by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1948; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: German 
13.
Four Last Songs, AV 150: no 2, September by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1948; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: German 
14.
Four Last Songs, AV 150: no 3, Beim Schlafengehen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1948; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: German 
15.
Four Last Songs, AV 150: no 4, Im Abendrot by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1948; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Christ Church, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: German 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title