WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

The Exquisite Hour - Brahms, Etc / Connolly, Asti


Release Date: 03/28/2006 
Label:  Signum U.k.   Catalog #: 72   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Joseph HaydnJohannes BrahmsReynaldo HahnErich Wolfgang Korngold,   ... 
Performer:  Sarah ConnollyEugene Asti
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

What an exquisite hour (and a quarter)

Almost seven years ago we went to the Wigmore Hall expecting to hear a well known soprano only to find that she had been replaced by a less well known mezzo. Sarah Connolly had already appeared with the English National Opera in major roles such as Handel’s Xerxes and Donizetti’s Mary Stuart, but I was among those in the audience who had still not heard her. Disappointment at missing the scheduled artist vanished with the completion of the substitute’s first phrases. Delight took its place and increased steadily throughout the recital. It was a clear, fresh and powerful voice, used with intelligent assurance, and by the final groups (Duparc and Falla) she had established with the
Read more audience the rapport of a much more experienced artist. What was true at the Wigmore holds for this concert at St John’s, Smith Square, where her success with the audience is again unmistakable and fully merited.

Again, her choice of programme contributes to the success: a judicious mixture of the familiar and out-of-the-way, and well suited to voice and style. The Brahms group is particularly satisfying, with Die Mainacht broadly phrased, Nachtwandler imaginatively hushed and Von ewiger Liebe warmly felt. The Hahn songs are equally (if contrastingly) delightful, the two pastiche pieces, A Chloris and Quand je fus pris au pavillon charmingly in period. Korngold leaves me cold, I’m afraid, but Weill’s Speak Low and Ireland’s Her Song are winning encore pieces.

That leaves Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos, the long and demanding concert aria which opens the programme. Here we find a substantial achievement and a limitation. The style is admirably clean and the emotional range well probed, but the whole remains a little impersonal and one is driven to comparisons. Janet Baker brings warmer humanity and a more memorable timbre while Cecilia Bartoli is more vivid – hear her intense ‘Tradita io sono’ for instance, or the pale ‘Già più non reggo’ or the furious final ‘Barbaro ed infedel’.

That comparison does, however, throw into a very favourable light Eugene Asti’s accompaniment: where András Schiff is over-assertive, Asti is sensitive and keeps proportion. And indeed he does so throughout: a constant pleasure and a major contribution to the recital’s undoubted success.

-- John Steane, Gramophone
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Arianna a Naxos, H 26b no 2 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 19 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2.
Songs (5), Op. 106: no 1, Ständchen by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1888; Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: German 
3.
Deutsche Volkslieder (49), WoO 33: no 6, Da unten im Tale by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1894; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 1 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: German 
4.
Songs (6), Op. 86: no 3, Nachtwandler by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1877-79; Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: German 
5.
Songs (6), Op. 86: no 2, Feldeinsamkeit by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Eugene Asti (Piano), Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1877-79; Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: German 
6.
Songs (5), Op. 72: no 1, Alte Liebe by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Eugene Asti (Piano), Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: German 
7.
Songs (4), Op. 43: no 2, Die Mainacht by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1864; Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: German 
8.
Songs (4), Op. 43: no 1, Von ewiger Liebe by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1864; Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: German 
9.
A Chloris by Reynaldo Hahn
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; France 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: French 
10.
L'enamourée by Reynaldo Hahn
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: French 
11.
Mélodies (20), Volume 1: Trois jours de vendange by Reynaldo Hahn
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1895; France 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: French 
12.
Chansons grises (7): no 5, L'heure exquise by Reynaldo Hahn
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1893; France 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: French 
13.
Rondels: Quand je fus pris au pavillion by Reynaldo Hahn
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; France 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 1 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: French 
14.
Lieder (5), Op. 38: no 1, Glückwunsch by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: German 
15.
Lieder (5), Op. 38: no 3, Alt-spanisch by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 1 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: German 
16.
Abschiedslieder, Op. 14: no 1, Sterbelied by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: German 
17.
Abschiedslieder, Op. 14: no 4, Gefasster Abschied by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Performer:  Eugene Asti (Piano), Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: German 
18.
Lost in the Stars: Lost in the stars by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: English 
19.
One touch of Venus: Speak Low by Kurt Weill
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; New York, USA 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: English 
20.
Songs (5) to poems by Thomas Hardy by John Ireland
Performer:  Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Eugene Asti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; England 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: English 
21.
Tit for Tat: Tit for Tat by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Eugene Asti (Piano), Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 10/03/2005 
Venue:  Live  St. John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Composition written: England (1928/68 - 1931/68). 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In