Brahms & Schumann: Lieder sees Dame Ann Murray, one of the great vocal artists of the past decades, return to the recording studio to perform a personal selection of Lieder. Brahms & Schumann: Lieder, Ann’s first solo album in over a decade, will be her final Lieder recording and a fitting way to draw her long and distinguished recording career to a close.
This 6-CD set captures Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Daniel Barenboim in some of their most significant recordings together and features the astonishingly beautiful and highly regarded lieder of Hugo Wolf.
Although highly productive and respected in his lifetime as a composer of Lieder, Robert Franz (1815–92) has since become a peripheral figure in music history. One reason may be that he avoids dramatic contrasts and instead aims at an emotional ambiguity: ‘My representation of joy is always tinged with melancholy, whilst that of suffering is always accompanied by an exquisite sensation of losing oneself’, he once wrote to Liszt. As a consequence his music appeals to those who are able ‘to admire the nuances of a charcoal drawing without longing for the colours of a painting’, to quote from Georges Starobinski’s liner notes to this recording. As they began to explore the songs of Franz, Starobinski and the baritone Christian Immler were moved by their findings to devise a programme which includes 23 of the composer’s often quite brief songs. Using the poet Heinrich Heine as their guiding star, they present these – all Heine settings but from different opus groups – in the form of two ‘imagined’ song cycles.
This 31 CD box set is being released to celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday in December 2015. The set contains all the recital programmes of song, opera and operetta tha t she recorded for EMI between 1952 and 1974, and also included two live recitals.
All the recordings have been newly remasteredto the highest standards by various studios including Abbey Road.
Christiane Karg feels close to Richard Strauss, and not simply because they both grew up amid Bavarian landscape. Together with Mozart, the great late Romanticist now plays an ever greater part in her repertoire: she was recently acclaimed in both Antwerp and Ghent as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier. Since Strauss has always figured in her lieder recitals, this CD of Strauss lieder comes as no surprise, especially in view of the forthcoming anniversary year, marking the composer's 150th birthday. Indeed, anyone who has followed Christiane Karg's career will see this new release as a logical consequence. You only have to listen to the timbres in her voice and the skill with which she lends them an artistic and natural touch, and you will hardly be able to avoid comparisons with the great voices of her Fach.
"Dass Prégardien zu den ganz großen lyrischen Tenören unserer Zeit gehört, ist seiner Interpretation durchweg anzumerken: Er überzeugt durch eine ungemein stimmungsvolle, technisch makellose Wiedergabe, er arbeitet mit feinsten Nuancen, die er bei souveräner Stimmbeherrschung in fast allen Lagen zur subtilen Ausleuchtung der Liedtexte anwendet… Gees erweist sich als sehr sensibler und aufmerksamer Begleiter, der mit weichem und doch sprechendem Anschlag die Stimmungen der Lieder zu erfassen und nachzuzeichnen versteht."
Swedish Mezzo-soprano and former winner of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, Katarina Karnéus is joined on this disc by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki to perform three of Gustav Mahler’s orchestral songs. As a composer, Gustav Mahler was absorbed by song and symphony as complementary genres deeply involved with each other. In his first symphony, Mahler included two themes from the song cycle Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, originally scored for voice and piano, which he had recently composed to his own poems. It was perhaps the experience of orchestrating these themes in his symphony that a few years later inspired Mahler to create the version for voice and orchestra.