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Liszt, Strauss: Lieder / Brigitte Fassbaender, Irwin Gage


Release Date: 05/15/2008 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 419238  
Composer:  Franz LisztRichard Strauss
Performer:  Irwin GageBrigitte Fassbaender
Number of Discs: 1 
Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 weeks.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Compelling performances of LIszt and Strauss by an interpreter who speaks personally to the listener, not in generalities.

The extraordinary hold Fassbaender exerts over audiences, in the concert hall and on record, surely derives from her singular strength of personality reflected in her dark, vibrant mezzo with its emotional overtones evident in every bar she sings. Even when an excess of vibrato intervenes, which happens seldom in this recital, it seems part of the very individual and immediately recognizable Fassbaender manner.

The Liszt half of this programme was presented by the singer at a Christie's recital in London a year or two ago. Then, even though a storm beat down on the roof (or perhaps
Read more because of it), her listeners, many of them unfamiliar with Liszt's songs and without translations before them, were compelled to attention and divined the meaning of what she was relating, so meaningful was and is her diction and her colouring of the words — right from the very first, Vergiftet, and how she conveys the poison in the girl's soul.

That, and her other Liszt choices, have been judiciously made, exhibiting the composer's wayward but often pertinent style in Lieder at its best. How vivid here are the three gypsies, how rapt the telling of love's bliss in Es muss ein Wunderbares sein. The Oh! quand je dors sounds more appealing in a higher key, but Fassbaender catches its mood of unfettered ardour well enough, managing the difficult melismas in the middle and the rising phrase at the end with skill, though she takes an unwanted breath before the final "Laura." The lighter Hugo settings are done with spirit, the repeated "aimer" in Comment, disaient-ils subtly inflected, the final line "Pour un baiser de toi!" in Enfant, si j'etais roi sensually exclaimed.

Her Strauss is equally compelling. She catches all the sinuously threatening atmosphere of Die Nacht, not taken too slowly. Similarly, in Allerseelen, she avoids sentimentality at just three minutes. On the other hand, Fassbaender fully justifies the slow tempo of her account of Morgen, its timeless quality suggested both by the singing and by Irwin Gage's soft-grained postlude. Strauss's Funf Lieder are hardly on the level of inspiration of his other songs included here, the popular "Heimkehr" excepted, but Fassbaender makes out a case for them, even the oddly formal setting of Michelangelo's "Madrigal." In sum, here is one interpreter today who speaks personally to the listener, not in generalities. She and her perceptive pianist are excellently recorded.

-- Alan Blyth, Gramophone [4/1987]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Vergiftet sind meine Lieder, S 289 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
2.
Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh, S 306 "Wandrers Nachtlied II" by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848/1859; Weimar, Germany 
3.
Die drei Zigeuner, S 320 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1860; Weimar, Germany 
4.
Es muss ein Wunderbares sein, S 314 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; Weimar, Germany 
5.
Oh! quand je dors, S 282 "Élégie Etienne Monnier" by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842/1859; Germany 
6.
Comment, disaient-ils, S 276 no 1 (1st version) by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
7.
S'il est un charmant gazon, S 284 no 1 (1st version) by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1844; Germany 
8.
Enfant, si j'etais roi, S 283 no 1 (1st version) by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Weimar, Germany 
9.
Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam, S 309 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855/1860; Weimar, Germany 
10.
Lieder (5), Op. 32: no 3, Liebeshymnus by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
11.
Lieder (8), Op. 10: no 3, Die Nacht by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Germany 
12.
Lieder (8), Op. 10: no 8, Allerseelen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Germany 
13.
Lieder (8), Op. 10: no 1, Zueignung by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Germany 
14.
Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 4, Morgen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
15.
Lieder (5), Op. 41: no 3, Am Ufer by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
16.
Lieder (5), Op. 15: no 1, Madrigal by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1886; Germany 
17.
Lieder (5), Op. 15: no 2, Winternacht by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1886; Germany 
18.
Lieder (5), Op. 15: no 3, Lob des Leidens by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1886; Germany 
19.
Lieder (5), Op. 15: no 4, Aus den Liedern der Trauer by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1886; Germany 
20.
Lieder (5), Op. 15: no 5, Heimkehr by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Irwin Gage (Piano), Brigitte Fassbaender (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1886; Germany 

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