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Christine Schafer - Arias


Release Date: 01/31/2012 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 91399  
Composer:  Richard StraussGeorge Frideric HandelVincenzo BelliniAmbroise Thomas,   ... 
Performer:  Christine SchäferBjörn ColellAnna Carewe
Conductor:  Julien Salemkour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Import   
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Schäfer is in magnificent form...fascinating.

This is Christine Schäfer’s debut release for Sony Classical. I have admired this German soprano’s voice since her 1997 Berlin recording of Mozart concert arias and Richard Strauss orchestral songs with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Claudio Abbado (Deutsche Grammophon 457 5822).
 
Throughout the booklet there are numerous pictures of Schäfer in artistic poses together with what looks like a cheese plant in four of the frames. To my untrained eye on the front cover Schäfer looks as if she has the hairstyle of a wealthy Parisian middle class women in the time of Marie Antoinette. All very arty but no more than I would expect
Read more from this superb and highly individual performer. There are eleven tracks and Schäfer sings on eight of them. I had the pleasure of hearing the DSO Berlin in concert last September at the Musikfest Berlin 2011 under Leo Hussain; the featured work was the Saint-Säens Symphony No. 3 C minorOrgan’. As well as accompanying Schäfer this orchestra plays a fascinating if curious mix of three orchestral works. I was hearing the Overture from Amboise Thomas’s opera Raymond or Le secret de la reine for the first time. I loved this appealingly melodic score. The Adagietto from Bizet’s Arlésienne suite No. 1 is simply ravishing and their superb performance of Schoenberg’s Farben: Sommermorgen an einem See ( Colours: Summer Morning by a Lake) which is No. 3 from the Five Orchestral Pieces, Op. 16 has a stunning, cool beauty.
 
Christine Schäfer has selected her scores well in repertoire that ranges from the baroque of Handel to the sumptuous late-Romantic of Richard Strauss. The first score on the disc, the dramatic Sein wir wieder gut from Ariadne auf Naxos really tests the extremes and power of Schäfer’s range. Not surprisingly in this difficult aria the results felt a touch forced and not totally comfortable in the lower notes. Schäfer is eminently suited to Handel’s O sleep, why dost you leave me? This is sung with fine English diction and evident tenderness. I delighted in Schäfer’s creamy timbre in Bellini’s charming Ah! non credea mirarti from La Sonnambula. Her impressive coloratura is presented splendidly in Ambroise Thomas’s Je suis Titania from that sorely neglected opera Mignon. Most impressive of all is her Desdemona in Verdi’s dramatically presented Willow Song. Here she is in radiant form and explodes up to the highest notes to wonderful effect.
 
Recorded in the Teldex Studios, Berlin the sound quality is crystal clear and well balanced. I enjoyed this release from first note to last. It is good to see full texts included together with English translations.
 
Schäfer is in magnificent form in this fascinating Sony Classics release.

-- Michael Cookson, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Ariadne auf Naxos, Op. 60: Sein wir wieder gut by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christine Schäfer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julien Salemkour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911/1916; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/2011 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
2.
Semele, HWV 58: O Sleep, why dost thou leave me? by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Björn Colell (Theorbo), Christine Schäfer (Soprano), Anna Carewe (Cello)
Conductor:  Julien Salemkour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1744; London, England 
Date of Recording: 03/2011 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
3.
La sonnambula: Ah, non credea mirarti by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Christine Schäfer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julien Salemkour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Date of Recording: 03/2011 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
4.
Raymond: Overture by Ambroise Thomas
Conductor:  Julien Salemkour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2011 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin 
Length: 8 Minutes 2 Secs. 
5.
Mignon: Je suis Titania la blonde by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Christine Schäfer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julien Salemkour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2011 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin 
Length: 5 Minutes 2 Secs. 
6.
Capriccio, Op. 85: Morgenmittag um elf! by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Christine Schäfer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julien Salemkour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1940-1941; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/2011 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin 
Length: 14 Minutes 39 Secs. 
7.
L'arlésienne: Suite no 1 - 3rd movement, Adagietto by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Julien Salemkour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
Date of Recording: 03/2011 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
8.
Otello: Canzone del salice by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Christine Schäfer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julien Salemkour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
Date of Recording: 03/2011 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin 
Length: 10 Minutes 17 Secs. 
9.
Ave Maria by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Christine Schäfer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julien Salemkour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Italy 
Date of Recording: 03/2011 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
10.
Pieces (5) for Orchestra, Op. 16: no 3, Farben by Arnold Schoenberg
Conductor:  Julien Salemkour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/2011 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
11.
Saint François d'Assise: Ah! Dieu nous éblouit par excès de vérité by Olivier Messiaen
Performer:  Christine Schäfer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Julien Salemkour
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 03/2011 
Venue:  Teldex Studio Berlin 
Length: 7 Minutes 46 Secs. 

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