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BBC Legends - Janet Baker

Schubert / Chausson / Berlioz / Baker / Svetlanov
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Bbc Legends   Catalog #: 50062   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz SchubertErnest ChaussonHector BerliozArnold Schoenberg,   ... 
Performer:  Graham JohnsonDame Janet BakerMartin IseppGeoffrey Parsons
Conductor:  Yevgeny SvetlanovCarlo Maria GiuliniNorman Del Mar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraLondon Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 3 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



CHAUSSON Poème de l’amour et de la mer 1. BERLIOZ Les Nuits d’été 2. SCHOENBERG Gurrelieder: Song of the Wood Dove 3 & Janet Baker (con); 1 Evgeny Svetlanov, 2 Carlo Maria Giulini, Read more class="SUPER12">3 Norman del Mar, cond; 1,3 London SO; 2 London PO BBC BBCL 5006-2 (3 CDs: 226:25) Live: London 1 4/17/1975, 2 5/14/1975, 3 11/7/1963


& SCHUBERT 19 Lieder. Graham Johnson, Martin Isepp, Geoffrey Parsons (pn). Live: Snape Maitings 10/2/1977, London 4/20/1970, Edinburgh 9/1/1980. Songs and arias by GLUCK, LULLY, MARCELLO, BERKELEY, FINZI, VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, BRITTEN, PURCELL, WARLOCK. Geoffrey Parsons (pn). Live: Cheltenham 7/4/1983, Snape Maitings 10/6/1968


I think I can assert with little risk of disagreement that Janet Baker was the greatest singer produced by the British Isles in the second half of the 20th century (Joan Sutherland being, of course, an Australian). Once again BBC Music has taken three previously issued full-price releases, wrapped them in a cardboard outer sleeve, and now offers them as a mid-priced set. Raymond Beegle reviewed the first disc (the Schubert Lieder) in Fanfare 25:3 and the second disc (the Chausson, Berlioz, and Schoenberg items) in 25:4. I have only two comments to add to his glowing endorsement of those discs: The recorded sound of the “Song of the Wood Dove” from Gurrelieder is decidedly inferior to that of the other items, and this live performance of the Berlioz cycle is superior in interpretive expressiveness to her studio recordings with John Barbirolli (EMI) and Richard Hickox (Virgin), though even better is the live outing with Colin Davis and the Boston Symphony, included as a filler on a three-CD Ponto set of Handel’s opera Tamerlano.


The third disc in this set is a particularly fortunate addition: It features several composers and their works that Baker never had an opportunity to record commercially, and shows the considerable breadth of her musical palette. Coming from very late in her career—the previous year she retired from stage performances in the Covent Garden production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, preserved on DVD by Kultur—the 1983 recital shows the voice itself in a state of mild decline, and it is not until she gets past the first three numbers to the English-language repertoire that her top becomes completely steady. Once there, however, she is absolutely riveting, vocally and interpretively, and one must invoke the legendary Gerald Moore to find an accompanist as accomplished as Geoffrey Parsons. By contrast, the Purcell and Warlock items from the 1968 recital catch the singer—what an inadequate word to describe her!—in her glorious prime. The stereo sound quality is quite acceptable, with the earlier items having a somewhat greater degree of tape hiss and occasional audience noises. The only drawback is that song texts are not included. Strongly recommended alike to fans of Baker and of great singing in general.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

1.
Die junge Nonne, D 828/Op. 43 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/02/1977 
Venue:  Live  Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: German 
2.
Das Rosenband, D 280 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/02/1977 
Venue:  Live  Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Auf dem See, D 543 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/02/1977 
Venue:  Live  Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: German 
4.
Blumenlied, D 431 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/02/1977 
Venue:  Live  Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: German 
5.
Der Gondelfahrer, D 808 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/02/1977 
Venue:  Live  Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: German 
6.
Die Götter Griechenlands, D 677 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/02/1977 
Venue:  Live  Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: German 
7.
Der Jüngling und der Tod, D 545 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Martin Isepp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/20/1970 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: German 
8.
Schwestergruss, D 762 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Martin Isepp (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/20/1970 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: German 
9.
Amalia, D 195/Op. 173 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/01/1980 
Venue:  Live  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: German 
10.
Der Jüngling am Bache, D 30 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/01/1980 
Venue:  Live  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: German 
11.
Entzückung an Laura, D 390 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/01/1980 
Venue:  Live  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: German 
12.
Sehnsucht, D 636/Op. 39 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1821; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/01/1980 
Venue:  Live  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: German 
13.
Der Sieg, D 805 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/01/1980 
Venue:  Live  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: German 
14.
Abendstern, D 806 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/01/1980 
Venue:  Live  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: German 
15.
Atys, D 585 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/01/1980 
Venue:  Live  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: German 
16.
Augenlied, D 297 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1817; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/01/1980 
Venue:  Live  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: German 
17.
Memnon, D 541/Op. 6 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/01/1980 
Venue:  Live  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: German 
18.
Auflösung, D 807 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/01/1980 
Venue:  Live  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: German 
19.
Der Musensohn, D 764/Op. 92 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/01/1980 
Venue:  Live  Usher Hall, Edinburgh, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: German 
20.
Počme de l'amour et de la mer, Op. 19 by Ernest Chausson
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882-1890; France 
Date of Recording: 04/17/1975 
Venue:  Live  Royal Festival Hall, London, England 
Length: 28 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: French 
21.
Les nuits d'été, Op. 7 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840-1841; France 
Date of Recording: 05/14/1975 
Venue:  Live  Royal Festival Hall, London, England 
Length: 33 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: French 
22.
Gurrelieder: Lied der Waldtaube by Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Norman Del Mar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900-1911; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/07/1963 
Venue:  Live  Royal Festival Hall, London, England 
Length: 13 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: German 
23.
Paride ed Elena: O del mio dolce ardor by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1770; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
24.
Amadis, LWV 63: Bois épais by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1683-1684; France 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: French 
25.
Il mio bel foco by Benedetto Marcello
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
26.
Let us garlands bring, Op. 18 by Gerald Finzi
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 14 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: English 
27.
Songs of travel: no 2, Let beauty awake by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901-1904; England 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: English 
28.
Last Songs (4): no 2, Tired by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; England 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: English 
29.
House of life: no 2, Silent Noon by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; England 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: English 
30.
Linden Lea by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; England 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: English 
31.
Folksongs (7), Volume 1: no 1, Salley Gardens by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: English 
32.
Folksongs (7), Volume 1: no 4, O can ye sew cushions? by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; England 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: English 
33.
Folksongs (7), Volume 3: no 6, O waly, waly by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; England 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
34.
Folksongs (7), Volume 3: no 7, Come you not from Newcastle? by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; England 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: English 
35.
Sleep, Adam, sleep and take thy rest, Z 195 by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1683; England 
Date of Recording: 06/10/1968 
Venue:  Live  Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: English 
36.
Lord, what is man?, Z 192 by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1693; England 
Date of Recording: 06/10/1968 
Venue:  Live  Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: English 
37.
Sleep by Peter Warlock
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; England 
Date of Recording: 06/10/1983 
Venue:  Live  Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: English 
38.
Pretty ring time by Peter Warlock
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; England 
Date of Recording: 06/10/1983 
Venue:  Live  Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: English 
39.
Rest sweet nymphs by Peter Warlock
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; England 
Date of Recording: 06/10/1968 
Venue:  Live  Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: English 
40.
The Jolly Shepherd by Peter Warlock
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Geoffrey Parsons (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; England 
Date of Recording: 06/10/1968 
Venue:  Live  Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: English 
41.
Poems (5) of W. H. Auden, Op. 53 by Lennox Berkeley
Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons (Piano), Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; England 
Date of Recording: 07/04/1983 
Venue:  Live  Town Hall, Cheltenham, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: English 

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