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Classic Library - Strauss: Four Last Songs / Fleming, Et Al


Release Date: 04/20/2004 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 59408   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Richard Strauss
Performer:  Renée Fleming
Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Renée Fleming's heady, honeyed tone, free, ringing top, and seemingly effortless fluidity make her ideally suited to Strauss' Four Last Songs. While she has neither the commanding power of Jessye Norman nor the focused intensity of Gundula Janowitz, Fleming displays an instinctive feeling for the music's varied moods, skillfully rendering the composer's evocative word setting (her "September" is especially effective in this regard). These same qualities can be found in the five Songs with Orchestra, which provide further exploration of Strauss' large vocal output and give us a somewhat more intimate encounter with Fleming's enchanting singing.


Christoph Eschenbach makes clear he's no mean Straussian
Read more himself, as he leads rapturous performances both of the orchestral song accompaniments and of the Rosenkavalier Suite, where the Houston Symphony takes the opportunity to show its mettle with sumptuous string sonority and burnished bravura from the brass. (Listen to the glittering and appropriately delirious rendition of the opera's famous opening passage.) RCA's recording is a bit weighted toward the high frequencies, but the sound has sufficient depth and positions Fleming's voice in believable perspective with the orchestra. In sum, a finely rendered Strauss collection that, now at mid-price, is especially tempting.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Four Last Songs, AV 150 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1948; Germany 
Language: German 
2.
Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59: Suite by Richard Strauss
Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909-1910; Germany 
3.
Lieder (5), Op. 39: no 4, Befreit by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Language: German 
4.
Lieder (3), Op. 43: no 2, Muttertändelei by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Language: German 
5.
Lieder (5), Op. 41: no 1, Wiegenlied by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; Germany 
Language: German 
6.
Lieder (8), Op. 49: no 1, Waldseligkeit by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Germany 
Language: German 
7.
Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 2, Cäcilie by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
Language: German 

Sound Samples

Frühling
September
Beim Schlafengehn
Im Abendrot
Befreit, Op. 39 No. 4
Muttertändelei, Op. 43 No. 2
Wiegenlied, Op. 41 No. 1
Waldseligkeit, Op. 49 No. 1
Cäcilie, Op. 27 No. 2
Suite

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