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Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder; Strauss, Brahms / Janet Baker


Release Date: 02/25/2010 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 47854  
Composer:  Richard WagnerRichard StraussJohannes Brahms
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic OrchestraJohn Alldis Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A distinguished collaboration, a satisfying program, and performances to treasure.

A distinguished collaboration, a satisfying programme, and performances to treasure. Among the many recordings of the Alto Rhapsody and the Wesendonk Lieder there are few to match these. A very slight loosening of vocal texture marks the five-year interval between the date of the recordings—the Brahms having the perfect firmness of the singer in her prime, while in the Wagner we are aware every now and then of the individual vibrations. But in each of the Wagner songs the mood is beautifully caught and the interplay between voice and instruments exquisitely judged. Sir Adrian is a most wonderful accompanist here, giving support to the
Read more voice with a finely judged crescendo in the climax of "Stehe still" and providing a bed of the softest down for "Träume". I like too how in that song he does not make unmarked accelerations yet still quickens the emotional pulse in the dotted-note sequences, and similarly how he respects the composer's directions to take "Schmerzen" langsam and breit. Throughout, Dame Janet colours, phrases and gives herself to the songs like the great artist she is.

On the occasion of the original issue I found the Strauss songs less idiomatic and a shade too heavy, yet now the robust forthrightness of the singer's approach makes me less inclined to invoke the names of fairly obvious rivals for comparison. The fervent lustre of Liebeshymnus makes a particularly exciting effect after the Wagner, and always there are beauties of orchestration to enjoy. The epic quality of Ruhe, meine Seete has rarely been more stirring, and the playfulness of Muttertändelei has the kind of warmth and vitality that Strauss may well have had in mind when he dedicated it to Ernestine Schumann-Heink.

-- Gramophone [8/1988]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Wesendonck Lieder by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857-1858; Germany 
2.
Lieder (5), Op. 32: no 3, Liebeshymnus by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
3.
Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 1, Ruhe, meine Seele by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
4.
Lieder (4), Op. 36: no 1, Das Rosenband by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; Germany 
5.
Lieder (3), Op. 43: no 2, Muttertändelei by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
6.
Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869; Austria 

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