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Lorraine Hunt Lieberson - Songs By Mahler, Brahms, Lieberson


Release Date: 04/10/2007 
Label:  Wigmore Hall Live   Catalog #: 13   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gustav MahlerGeorge Frideric HandelTraditionalJohannes Brahms,   ... 
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt LiebersonRoger Vignoles
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

There's always the fear of oversentimentalizing an artist who gave a great deal of pleasure and died young: just take a look at how the English have beatified the plum-voiced Kathleen Ferrier. But in the case of the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, each newly discovered recording simply stabilizes her place in the pantheon of great singers. This 1998 recital from London's Wigmore Hall couldn't be more lovely, moving, or simply put across. For a great lieder singer, Lieberson never overstates her case, never abuses a tone, never grabs an opportunity to over-emote or over-articulate. She is truly at the service of the music she sings, and she always sounds beautiful.

Here she sings five of Mahler's Rückert Lieder with
Read more softness, acceptance, and, in "Um Mitternacht", with a searingly intense climax. Of course, hindsight adds extra poignancy, but even free of the circumstances, these are readings for the ages. Two arias by Handel--"Scherza infida" from Ariodante and "As with rosy steps" from Theodora--exhibit two sides of Lieberson's art, a type of rage in the former and a dreamy legato in the latter. The pieces by her husband sit lower in her voice and are sung with great warmth and expressivity. (The accompanying notes claim they were composed in 2001; this recital took place in 1998--quite a trick!) Ravishing, too, are the spiritual "Deep River", with Lieberson intoning cello-like sounds, and Brahms' riveting "Unbewegte laue Luft". Roger Vignoles' accompaniments follow each change of mood with grace and musicality. The sound needs a bit of a volume boost but is otherwise fine. A stunning recital!

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com

"This gem of a disc is drawn from a recital Ms. Hunt Lieberson gave at Wigmore Hall in London in November 1998.
It is vintage material, including Handel’s aria “As with rosy steps,” which — whether performed separately, as here, or in performances of its parent oratorio, “Theodora” — became a signature work for Ms. Hunt Lieberson. This performance is remarkably fluid and organic, and the ornamentations in the return of the main melody are all the more striking for being few and subtle.

Ms. Hunt Lieberson, who inspired so much of her husband’s music and was its greatest champion, here offers two Rilke Songs by Peter Lieberson and an aria from his first opera, “Ashoka’s Dream.” In the spiritual “Deep River,” as so often, Ms. Hunt Lieberson is a force of nature, however restrained at the outset. And a second encore, Brahms’s “Unbewegte laue Luft” (“Mild Motionless Air”), affords a lovely exit.

But the most poignant numbers in the wake of Ms. Hunt Lieberson’s death are Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, especially the soaring final arc, from “Liebst du um Schönheit” (“If You Love for Beauty”) through “Um Mitternacht” (“At Midnight”) to “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen” (“I Am Lost to the World”). The cycle ends with the astonishing line: “I live alone in my heaven, in my love, in my song.”

James R. Oestreich, NEW YORK TIMES
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Works on This Recording

1. Rückert Lieder (5) by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Mezzo Soprano), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/30/1998 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London, England 
Length: 20 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: German 
2. Theodora, HWV 68: As with rosy steps the Morn advancing by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Mezzo Soprano), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749-1750; London, England 
Date of Recording: 11/30/1998 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: English 
3. Deep river by Traditional
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Mezzo Soprano), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 11/30/1998 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Arranger: Henry Thacker Burleigh. 
4. Songs (8), Op. 57: no 8, Unbewegte laue Luft by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Mezzo Soprano), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/30/1998 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: German 
5. Ariodante, HWV 33: Scherza infida, in grembo al drudo by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Mezzo Soprano), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734-1735; London, England 
Date of Recording: 11/30/1998 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: English 
6. Rilke Songs (5): no 1, O ihr Zärtlichen by Peter Lieberson
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Mezzo Soprano), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/30/1998 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: German 
7. Rilke Songs (5): no 3, Stiller Freund by Peter Lieberson
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Mezzo Soprano), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/30/1998 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: German 
8. Ashoka's Dream: So many years have passed by Peter Lieberson
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Mezzo Soprano), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1997; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/30/1998 
Venue:  Live  Wigmore Hall, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: English 

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