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Sacred Songs - Renee Fleming

Fleming,Renee
Release Date: 04/11/2006 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 000629709  
Composer:  Charles GounodJohann Sebastian BachSiegfried OchsFranz Schubert,   ... 
Performer:  Renée FlemingSusan Graham
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



RENÉE FLEMING SINGS SACRED SONGS Renée Fleming (sop); Trevor Pinnock, cond; Mainzer Domchor; Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen; Andreas Delfs, cond; 1 Royal PO 1 DECCA DVDB0006297-09 (DVD: 70:00) Live: Mainz 11/13/2005


HANDEL Water Music: Hornpipe. Messiah: Rejoice greatly. HAMMERSCMIDT Read more Machet die Tore weit. FRANCK Panis angelicus. FAURÉ Dolly Suite: Berceuse. REGER Wiegenlied. TRAD Adeste fideles. The Holly and the Ivy. 1 HUMPERDINCK Hansel and Gretel: Prayer. SCHUBERT Ave Maria. MOZART Mass in c: Laudamus te. BERLIOZ L’Enfance du Christ: L’Adieu des bergers. BACH Orchestral Suite No. 4: Réjouissance. OCHS Dank sei dir, Herr. ADAM Cantique de Noel. BERNSTEIN Mass: A Simple Song. 1 GRUBER Silent Night 1


It has become fashionable to criticize Renée Fleming these days—how often have we heard the charge of “artificiality,” worded differently perhaps, hurled at her work? And yet here is a program where it would have been easy for her to add an artificial spirituality, a kind of fake holiness, to the proceedings—but in fact what she gives us is simply beautiful, eloquent, highly natural singing. Everything here seems genuine and deeply felt, and she is in magnificent voice. Her tone is pure, free and open on top, warm throughout the wide range. She sings with agility and abandon—appropriately (and virtuosically) decorating the second verse of “Rejoice greatly,” and spinning a lovely line in Schubert’s classic Ave Maria , and one of the loveliest performances I’ve ever heard of Franck’s Panis angelicus.


Fleming doesn’t sing in everything here—the Water Music, Fauré, and Bach are orchestral only (and terrifically performed by Pinnock and the Bremen forces), and the Hammerschmidt and “Adeste fideles” are for the excellent chorus alone.


The visual element is pleasant—shots are not changed too often and the Mainz Cathedral is a gorgeous setting (and we are given many views of it). The sound is appropriately warm and resonant, but with no loss of detail. Interestingly, there are no titles onscreen, but translations and texts are provided in the accompanying booklet.


It is hard to imagine anyone being disappointed in this DVD; it represents Fleming at the peak of her considerable powers, in performances given strong shape by Pinnock, and an appropriately glorious visual setting.


There are three encores: the Bernstein, Gruber, and “The Holly and the Ivy”—all performed in a less formal setting with the Royal Philharmonic under Andreas Delfs. They too are lovely. Also included is a documentary about the Mainz Cathedral, which I did not view.


FANFARE: Henry Fogel
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Works on This Recording

1.
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesu bleibet meine Freude "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Cantata con stromenti: Dank sei dir, Herr by Siegfried Ochs
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
3.
Ellens Gesang III, D 839/Op. 52 no 6 "Ave Maria" by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Mass in C minor, K 427 (417a) "Great": Laudamus te by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782-1783; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Panis angelicus by César Franck
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
6.
Messiah, HWV 56: He shall feed His flock by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1741; England 
7.
Mass: A Simple Song by Leonard Bernstein
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; USA 
8.
Requiem, Op. 48: Pie Jesu by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888 rev 1893; France 
9.
Gloria in G major: Domine Deus by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; France 
10.
Vesperae solennes de confessore, K 339: Laudate Dominum by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1780; Salzburg, Austria 
11.
Messiah, HWV 56: Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
12.
Hänsel und Gretel: Abends will ich schlafen gehn "Evening Hymn" by Engelbert Humperdinck
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano), Susan Graham (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Germany 
13.
L'enfance du Christ, Op. 25: L'adieu des bergers by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1850-1854; France 
14.
Schlichte Weisen (60), Op. 76: no 52, Maria Wiegenlied by Max Reger
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1912; Germany 
15.
Amazing Grace by Traditional
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Delfs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

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