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Monteverdi, Gratiani, Schubert, Fauré / Janet Baker


Release Date: 10/23/2007 
Label:  Bbc Legends   Catalog #: 4218   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Claudio MonteverdiBonifazio GratianiMister BarringcloePelham Humphrey,   ... 
Performer:  Dame Janet BakerRaymond LeppardJoy Hall
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



BAKER Janet Baker (mez); Raymond Leppard (hpd, pn); Joy Hall (vc) BBC LEGENDS 4218 (77:10) Live: Aldeburgh 6/14/1971


MONTEVERDI Quel sguardo sdegnosetto. Si dolce è’l tormento. Maledetto sia l’aspetto. GRATIANI Velut palma, velut rosa. BARRINGCLOE Jehovah Reigns. HUMFREY Wilt Thou forgive Read more that sin. PURCELL Bonduca: O lead me to some peaceful gloom. Sir Anthony Love: Pursuing Beauty. Theodosius: Ah! Cruel, bloody fate. SCHUBERT Schwestergruss. Liebe schwärmt auf allen Wegen. Hin und wieder fliegen Pfeile. An die untergehende Sonne. Epistel: Herrn Josef Spaun. FAURÉ 5 Mélodies: Mandoline; En sourdine. La bonne chanson: Soir . Fleur jetée. GOUNOD Sérénade. HANDEL Joshua: O had I Jubal’s lyre &


& Janet Baker Interview with Marjorie Anderson


This is a re-release of a 1996 BBC Music Magazine issue, derived from a single, live concert given at the Aldeburgh Festival on June 14, 1971.


The earlier part of the program, the Baroque Italian and English pieces, succeeds best. These pieces are part of a rich, dramatic tradition that “take stage” with larger-than-life emotions. There is no evidence that their composers and authors intended the pieces to be performed in an emotionally neutral and vocally subdued fashion, though music of this kind has been treated in such a manner on many occasions. Baker’s full-throated singing of Si dolce è’l tormento comes as a distinct relief. It also in no way prevents her from offering interpretative detail as required: scaling down the voice after the broad phrasing that opens Quel sguardo sdegnosetto at the mention of her heart (“vola a ferimi il petto”), or the variety given to the various repetitions of the first word in Maledetto sia l’aspetto . Then, listen in Purcell’s “Pursuing Beauty” to the humorously meek and drained singing on the line, “We Women, like weak Indians, stand,” followed by the stronger “Inviting, from our Golden Coast,” and capped with a blazing “The wand’ring Rovers to our Land” that includes a wonderfully brassy and well-executed bit of coloratura.


Gounod’s Sérénade is a triumph of mind over matter, Baker again scaling down her voice and finding just the ineffably light French manner to do this old charmer up right. The Handel by contrast is a test piece for breath control, tone, and coloratura, and one that Baker manages handily, if not with consummate ease.


Throughout, Leppard is a most responsive partner, both at the piano and harpsichord. (He is joined at the latter by Joy Hall, who manages the cello continuo expertly.) His arrangements of the various Italian works are theatrically effective.


Finally, there’s the 1969 interview with Marjorie Anderson, which I find superficial and frankly hagiographic. What little genuine information it contains could adequately have been provided in a single paragraph added to the pleasant liner notes. No texts and translations are provided in the jewel box, though you can find the Fauré, Gounod, Monteverdi, and Schubert pieces (two without English translation) at www.mediciarts.co.uk/site_manager/includes/docs/.


In short, a magnificent artist at the top of her form, performing a fair amount of material with flair. If you don’t already own this from the original release, give consideration to doing so now.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1.
Scherzi musicali, volume 2: Quel squardo sdegnosetto by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Raymond Leppard (Piano), Raymond Leppard (Harpsichord),
Joy Hall (Basso Continuo)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1632; Italy 
2.
Madrigals, Book 9: Si dolce è'l tormento by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Raymond Leppard (Harpsichord), Joy Hall (Cello), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1624; Italy 
3.
Scherzi musicali, volume 2: Maledetto sia l'aspetto by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Raymond Leppard (Harpsichord), Joy Hall (Cello), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1632; Italy 
4.
Velut palma, velut rosa by Bonifazio Gratiani
Performer:  Raymond Leppard (Harpsichord), Joy Hall (Cello), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
5.
Jehovah Reigns by Mister Barringcloe
Performer:  Raymond Leppard (Harpsichord), Joy Hall (Cello), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
6.
A Hymne to God the father "Wilt thou forgive that sin" by Pelham Humphrey
Performer:  Raymond Leppard (Harpsichord), Joy Hall (Cello), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1688; England 
7.
Bonduca, Z 574: O lead me to some peaceful gloom by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Raymond Leppard (Harpsichord), Joy Hall (Cello), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1695; England 
8.
Sir Anthony Love, Z 588 "Rambling Lady": Pursuing Beauty by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Raymond Leppard (Harpsichord), Joy Hall (Cello), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1690; England 
9.
Theodosius, Z 606: Ah cruel, bloody fate by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Raymond Leppard (Harpsichord), Joy Hall (Cello), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680; England 
10.
Schwestergruss, D 762 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Raymond Leppard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
11.
Claudine von Villa Bella, D 239: Liebe schwärmt by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Raymond Leppard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
12.
Claudine von Villa Bella, D 239: Hin und wieder fliegen... by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Raymond Leppard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
13.
Herrn Josef Spaun, Assessor in Linz, D 749 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Raymond Leppard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
14.
An die untergehende Sonne, D 457/Op. 44 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Raymond Leppard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816-1817; Vienna, Austria 
15.
Mélodies (5), Op. 58 "de Venise": no 1, Mandoline by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Raymond Leppard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; France 
16.
Mélodies (5), Op. 58 "de Venise": no 2, En sourdine by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Raymond Leppard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; France 
17.
Soir, Op. 83 no 2 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Raymond Leppard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 
18.
Fleur jetée, Op. 39 no 2 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Raymond Leppard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; France 
19.
Sérénade by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Raymond Leppard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; France 
20.
Joshua, HWV 64: O had I Jubal's lyre by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Raymond Leppard (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1748; London, England 

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