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Wolf, Strauss, Rachmaninov, Ives, Weill / Dawn Upshaw, Margo Garrett


Release Date: 03/10/2009 
Label:  Nimbus   Catalog #: 2521   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Hugo WolfRichard StraussSergei RachmaninovCharles Ives,   ... 
Performer:  Margo GarrettDawn Upshaw
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



DAWN UPSHAW SINGS WOLF, STRAUSS, RACHMANINOFF, IVES, and WEILL Dawn Upshaw (sop); Margo Garrett (pn) NIMBUS NI 2521 (52:22 Text and Translation)


WOLF Anakreons Grab. Die Spröde. Die Bekehrte. Blumengruss. Mignon III. Gleich und Gleich. Frühlings übers Jahr. Ganymed. STRAUSS Three Songs of Ophelia. RACHMANINOFF In My Read more Garden at Night. To Her. Daisies. The Pied Piper. A Dream. A-oo. IVES Berceuse. The World’s Highway. WEILL Berlin im Licht-Song. Je ne t’aime pas


We expect imaginative programming from Dawn Upshaw, and we certainly get it in this brilliantly assembled collection. This is a reissue, and depending on whether you read the back of the jewel box or the inserted booklet, it was originally issued on Music Masters in 1990 or 1988.


Because the music world tends to typecast, we associate Dawn Upshaw with contemporary music, music by Adams, Golijov, and Harbison, to give three examples. Because of this syndrome, we find ourselves surprised that she is an idiomatic and deeply satisfying singer of Rachmaninoff, Wolf, and Strauss. But it should come as no surprise. The requirements are an attractive voice, innate musicality, and the intelligence to dig beneath the surface of the music, and those are qualities we know she has.


The Hugo Wolf songs are all settings of poems by Goethe, and the texts are as important as the music. Upshaw understands that, and the music and words are inflected with specificity. She finds the right vocal color for the mood of each. Strauss’s cycle of three songs is a setting of words of Ophelia from the fourth act of Hamlet , and they are superb portraits of a lady losing her grip. Again, Upshaw brings Ophelia to life through careful inflection, an emphasis here, a de-emphasis there, all of it done without artifice.


In the Rachmaninoff songs Upshaw shows a sheer vocal beauty that we may not have been aware of because she has chosen a career direction that doesn’t emphasize that aspect of her singing. The voice glows with a rich beauty at all levels of volume, and her control over it is phenomenal (listen to the soft beginning and then crescendo on a long held note at the climax of “To Her”). It won’t surprise you that she is completely at home with the Ives and Weill songs.


You would expect someone like Upshaw to work with a pianist who is more than a mere accompanist, and that is the case with Margo Garrett. Her playing reflects the same musical values of the singer. The recording is clear and natural, except that the balance favors the singer just a bit too strongly. Kurt Oppens’s notes are helpful, though there are moments when I would beg to differ. In talking about Strauss’s setting of the mad Ophelia’s words, he writes “Although Strauss was a master in depicting female hysteria (as in Salome and Elektra ), he had always considered insanity to be outside his ken; there is indeed not a single ‘mad scene’ in any one of his 15 operas.” Well, in the Donizettian sense, with flute-accompanied cadenzas, I suppose that is the case. But if the final scene of Salome is not a mad scene, I don’t know what is. Gregor Benko provides the excellent brief note on Kurt Weill. And Nimbus also provides full texts and translations. A truly glorious CD, and if you missed it the first time around, this reissue is the perfect opportunity to add it to your collection now.


FANFARE: Henry Fogel
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Works on This Recording

1.
Goethe Lieder: no 29, Anakreons Grab by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Margo Garrett (Piano), Dawn Upshaw (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Goethe Lieder: no 26, Die Spröde by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Margo Garrett (Piano), Dawn Upshaw (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Goethe Lieder: no 27, Die Bekehrte by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Soprano), Margo Garrett (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Goethe Lieder: no 24, Blumengruss by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Soprano), Margo Garrett (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Goethe Lieder: no 7, Mignon III "So lasst mich scheinen" by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Soprano), Margo Garrett (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Goethe Lieder: no 25, Gleich und Gleich by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Soprano), Margo Garrett (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Austria 
7.
Goethe Lieder: no 28, Frühling übers Jahr by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Soprano), Margo Garrett (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Goethe Lieder: no 50, Ganymed by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Soprano), Margo Garrett (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Vienna, Austria 
9.
Lieder (6), Op. 67: Nos 1-3 "Ophelia Lieder" by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Soprano), Margo Garrett (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
10.
Songs (6), Op. 38 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Soprano), Margo Garrett (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916; Russia 
11.
Berceuse by Charles Ives
Performer:  Margo Garrett (Piano), Dawn Upshaw (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; USA 
12.
The World's Highway by Charles Ives
Performer:  Margo Garrett (Piano), Dawn Upshaw (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; USA 
13.
Berlin im Licht by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Margo Garrett (Piano), Dawn Upshaw (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Berlin, Germany 
14.
Je ne t'aime pas by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Margo Garrett (Piano), Dawn Upshaw (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; France 

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