WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Women's Lives & Loves / Lott, Kirchschlager, Johnson


Release Date: 06/13/2006 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67563   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Robert SchumannJohannes BrahmsHugo WolfCarl Loewe,   ... 
Performer:  Felicity LottGraham JohnsonAngelika Kirchschlager
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  
On sale! $21.98
CD:  $19.99
Low Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

I am not always convinced by programmes that seek to unite a number of artists and composers around a given theme. Graham Johnson puts his finger on the challenge to be faced in that there must be "some musical reason for two voices to come, and stay, together for an evening." There must be "a strong enough unifying thread" and often there is not. Johnson’s task was made all the harder by the fact that here he wanted a purely lieder programme, in German and without recourse to other musical styles. The choosing of the thread is key to the ultimate success of the recital, whether it is to be given in concert or on record.

Johnson’s thread, or "crucial idea" as he calls it, is to "follow the
Read more shape of Adelbert von Chamisso’s cycle of poems entitled Frauenliebe und –leben". His choice of that cycle offers a particularly rich musical pool to draw from, with settings by Schumann and Loewe, in addition to the arrangement of Schumann’s setting for solo piano by Theodor Kirchner. This Johnson employs most profitably to set the scene and to act as interludes at points along the way. That Johnson proves as admirably persuasive in his playing as his writing is something one cannot escape.

Persuasiveness is a factor found to a large degree in the singing of both Lott and Kirchschlager. That they have spent much time working together not just on this recording but on a wide variety of projects over recent seasons pays dividends here. Although for the most part each singer follows her own path through Chamisso’s poems, Lott singing Schumann and Kirchschlager singing Loewe, there are key points when they join in duet or separately explore repertoire by other composers. Within a succession of sequences we are taken along the life experiences of these women, who explore similar emotions yet do not – until the very end – comment upon the situation of the other.

Subtlety of textual inflection and interpretation are central to the approach of both singers, and this is much required given Johnson’s intricate ordering of the material. Oftentimes only a word or two serves to form the link between one song and another. The alert listener, following the supplied texts, is likely to pick up on them. The more casual listener will be rewarded by the inherent musicality of the performances. This is a disc that one can dip into – either listening to a sequence of songs or a song in isolation – and get much from the experience, but I recommend hearing it complete to get your bearings.

Having done just that a half dozen times now I still find that on revisiting it there is some aspect in either song or interpretation that I had not fully noticed before. Lott’s bright-toned soprano contrasts cleanly with the darker palette Kirchschlager brings to proceedings. Together they have the ability to blend effortlessly also, often displaying a remarkable similarity of tone. That the carefully balanced and clear recording maintains a distinctly chamber scale in proceedings is also much to the disc’s benefit. With the piano discretely recessed both singers are caught as if in a private salon. Shifting moods and emotional states are sketched with the finest of lines.

This is the most intelligently conceived and executed lieder disc I’ve heard for some time. Deeply rewarding; a disc to live with and love.

-- Evan Dickerson, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Work(s) by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano), Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
2.
Work(s) by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano), Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
3.
Lied(er) by Hugo Wolf
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano), Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
4.
Lied(er) by Carl Loewe
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano), Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
5.
Work(s) by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano), Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
6.
Work(s) by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano), Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 

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 TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In