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Edita Gruberova: The Teldec Recordings

Mozart / Haydn / Ambrosian Singers / Haider
Release Date: 05/29/2012 
Label:  Teldec   Catalog #: 662047   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Edita Gruberova
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 4 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Not all of the Lieder, certainly; but a marvellous selection, skilfully chosen, sensitively programmed, and sung and played with as much Kling and lnnenklang as Strauss himself could have wished. Compared with her opera recordings, a song recital on disc is something of a rarity from Edita Gruberova: when she does turn her attention here, she does so with a will. She, and her regular accompanist Friedrich Haider (whose essay on tone symbolism and stylistic pluralism is as astute as his playing) have approached Strauss's output chronologically, taking in a rewarding number of less frequently performed songs, and providing satisfactory ballast in a second disc of songs composed from 1918 onwards. There is, however, both Morgen! and Malven Read more (imaginatively translated, by the way, as "Hollyhocks"-a form of mallow, after all, which genuinely does ragen-"tower up"-from rose, phlox and zinnia level).

Here, at last, is the early Wer hat's gethan?, originally intended as number six in the eight songs of Op. 10, but published only in 1974. With its 19-bar piano epilogue, it has Schumannesque undertones, and its drumming minor darkness, describing the dormancy of song itself, seems to look back even further and summon up the shades of a Doppelgdnger or two. Here, too, is the fanciful and melancholy Junghexenlied, much sung by Pauline Strauss, and the dizzy turn-of-the-century waltz of Ein Obdach gegen Sturm und Regen with its vertiginous vocal and harmonic unpredictability.

Gruberova's gently scented Rote Rosen unfolds into a tenderly pianodelineated Zueignung. Gruberova and Haider, both of whom have spent considerable time sleuthing through Munich autographs, respect Strauss's every expressive indication: this is truly sung mit Weihe, with just that sense of consecrating inspiration which few singers really achieve.

Nichts is, by the same token, properly capricious, with moments of easeful legato suddenly bouncing off into a light-filled "Lichts" and a ringing "Nichts!". Here, and throughout the recital, technical achievement (freely ringing top Bs, unbroken half-voice, effortless coloratura) is no more and no less than total identification with that moment's expressive intent. This is further realized by skilful production which, for the enraptured melismas of the later Brentano settings of Op. 68, clearly adjusts the acoustic distance between singer and piano in order to maintain maximum fluidity.

The control of each song's pulse and tempo is taken very much from the natural pace of speech, heightened into song through melody. Morgen! is not over-slow, and Gruberova slightly aspirates through the vowels to achieve a legato which grows by similar means to full ripeness in her Blauer Sommer. Gruberova acknowledges and enjoys the sudden new remoteness of register and key in Winterweihe and An die Nacht. And the heady, coloratura of Siiusle, liebe Myrthe and the Rheingolden flames fanned by Cupid's wing in Amor seem to cause her no pain at all. Although Gruberova's voice and Haider's playing are totally unwearied and unwearying, it is with some relief that von Arnim's Der Stern comes into almost Schubertian orbit, before the final Malven, truly a letzt Lied manqué.

-- H.F., Gramophone [6/1991]
Reviewing original Strauss Lieder release
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Works on This Recording

1. Mia speranza adorata...Ah, non sai qual pena, K 416 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Period: Classical 
Written: 1783; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Live  Stefaniensaal, Graz 
Length: 9 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2. Voi avete un cor fedele, K 217 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Live  Stefaniensaal, Graz 
Length: 7 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3. No, che non sei capace, K 419 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Period: Classical 
Written: 1783; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Live  Stefaniensaal, Graz 
Length: 5 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
4. Ma che vi fece...Sperai vicino il lido, K 368 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779-1780; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Live  Stefaniensaal, Graz 
Length: 9 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5. Misera! dove son...Ah! non son io, K 369 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Live  Stefaniensaal, Graz 
Length: 8 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
6. A questo seno deh vieni...Or che il cielo, K 374 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Live  Stefaniensaal, Graz 
Length: 9 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
7. Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio, K 418 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Period: Classical 
Written: 1783; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Live  Stefaniensaal, Graz 
Length: 7 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
8. Ah, se in ciel, benigne stelle, K 538 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/1991 
Venue:  Live  Stefaniensaal, Graz 
Length: 7 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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