31 March 2012

R.Strauss: Four Last Songs

EAC | FLAC+CUE+LOG | Covers | 532 Mb
2 CD | September 27, 2010 | Decca | 119:27
CD 1
This very generous two disc release has so many positive aspects that it hopefully will manage to garner the attention of music lovers around the world despite the negative comments being published in some quarters. Fame of an artist is accompanied by that very public eye and ear that references previous performances and recordings of repeated works as being superior to a new issue, and while that may gather the ire of some, it is simply part of the joy of encountering new performances: some boo, some shout Brava! Renée e Fleming is a bona fide star of the opera and concert stage, a physically beautiful woman with a soaring, rich, intelligent voice who manages to inhabit a number of roles that she makes her own - be those her signature Strauss roles or her favorite 'Rusalka' and 'Thais'. For the opening songs on this 2008 live recording from Munich in collaboration with the superb Strauss conductor Christian Thielemann at the helm of the Munich Philharmonic Fleming offers the Strauss 'Four Last Songs'. Yes, they are different from her 1995 recording but thirteen years have passed and for this listener the depth of character in the poetry of these gorgeous songs is finer and the voice remains one of the few truly Straussian soprano voices before the public today. Plus, after the 'Four Last Songs' we are gifted with three excerpts form 'Ariadne auf Naxos' and these are impeccably performed as are the four songs that follow and the 'Zweite Brautnacht!' from Strauss' 'Die AEgyptische Helena' that conclude the 'concert'. Fleming and Thielemann are as superb a team for Strauss as one could imagine. The second CD on the package is called 'Signature Roles at the Met Opera' and these include Tchaikovsky's 'Letter Scene' form 'Eugen Onegin, Dvorak's 'O Silver moon' aria from 'Rusalka', and Verdi's 'Willow song/Ave Maria' from 'Otello' - with Fleming accompanied by Sir Georg Solti and the London Symphony Orchestra 'Ah! Je suis seule...' from Massenet's 'Thais' with Yves Abel conducting the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitane and the 'Mondscheinmusik' from Strauss' 'Capriccio' joined by Walter Berry and with Christoph Eschenbach and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. This is Fleming's realm and to have each of these special interpretations on one recording is a gift. Renée e Fleming is an extraordinary artist, a true diva, and this collection is a rich one. 'Habe dank!' Highly recommended. Grady Harp
Ariadne auf Naxos, Op. 60: Wo war ich?
Ariadne auf Naxos, Op. 60: Ein schönes war
Ariadne auf Naxos, Op. 60: Es gibt ein Reich
Gesänge, Op. 33: no 1, Verführung
Lieder Op. 48: no 1, Freundliche Vision
Lieder Op. 48: no 4, Winterweihe
Lieder Op. 10: no 1, Zueignung.
Die ägyptische Helena, Op. 75: Zweite Brautnacht, Zaubernacht "Helen's Awakening"
Eugene Onegin, Op. 24: Tatiana's letter scene by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Rusalka, Op 114/B 203: O moon high up "Song to the moon" by Antonín Dvorák
Otello: Piangea cantando...Ave Maria by Giuseppe Verdi
Thaïs: Ah! je suis seule by Jules Massenet
Capriccio, Op. 85: Interlude "Moonlight Music"
Capriccio, Op. 85: Wo ist mein Bruder?
Four Last Songs, AV 150 by Richard Strauss
I'm beginning here to resurrect some of the works that "disappeared" from Avax or were "abandoned" from the original uploaders. There's not a real thought behind it, I'm just cleaning up my HDs and following the wind. What I downloaded long ago is flowing back. All credits go to the first uploader. Enjoy...

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