BRAHMS Liebestreu. Meine lieder. An eine Äolsharfe, Auf dem Kirchhofe. Über die Heide. Im garten am Seegestade. Verzagen. Es hing der Reif. Regenlied. O kühler Wald. Wehe, so willst du mich wieder, Gestille Sehnsucht.1 Geistliches Wiegenlied.1 Mädchenlied. Die Mainacht. Ständchen. In stiller Nacht. Von ewiger liebe • Brigitte Fassbaender (alt); Irwin Gage (pn); 1Thomas Riebl (va) Read more class="BULLET12"> • ACANTA 233493 (51:29 Text and Translation)
Good grief, is there nothing Brigitte Fassbaender couldn’t sing? When one goes back to the 20th century and surveys the greatest contraltos of all time, judging them by that rare combination of vocal superiority and interpretive genius, you’ll be surprised how few stand up to the test of time. Fassbaender was certainly one of them.
This album, recorded in 1982, was last available on Arts Music 47614 in 2003, and according to ArkivMusic it is still available on that label. But this issue has remastered the recordings using the latest technology, and the sound quality is staggering. Every nuance of Fassbaender’s interpretations—on par with the greatest of the great, such as Ludwig and Baker—and Irwin Gage’s piano come forth as if the artists were in your living room. Simply amazing. And she holds your attention from first note to last; not a single moment on this recital is sloughed through or tossed off as if it didn’t count. This one goes on the short list of Desert Island recordings of Brahms Lieder, along with Alexander Kipnis’s fabulous 1927–36 recordings.