Graham Johnson’s complete Schubert and Schumann songs series for Hyperion are landmarks in the history of recorded music. Now this indefatigable performer and scholar turns to the songs and vocal works of Brahms. Each disc of this Hyperion edition takes a journey through Brahms’s career. The songs are not quite presented in chronological order but they do appear here in the order that the songs were presented to the world. Each recital represents a different journey through the repertoire (and thus through Brahms’s life). In a number of these Hyperion recitals an opus number will be presented in its entirety (in the case of this disc, Op 48). The folksongs of 1894 will be shared between all the singers in the series.
This second volume of Hyperion’s newest Lieder series features the great dramatic and musical gifts of mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager. Internationally renowned on the opera stage, the concert hall and the recording studio, Kirchschlager is an ideal performer of these most varied, complex and emotionally charged songs. She is accompanied by the multi-Gramophone Award-winning Julius Drake, who curates the series.
Angelika Kirchschlager has a committed following among lovers of Baroque music and the release of this superb CD should bring raves of applause from that audience as well as from anyone new to her voice fortunate to hear this fine recital. In excess of an hour of music is on this handsome CD with Kirchschlager magnificently collaborating with Lawrence Cummings conducting the period instrument ensemble of the Kammerorchester Basel.
Recorded live in 2011 at the Aldeburgh Festival, which Benjamin Britten founded in 1948, this performance of his dark, intense chamber opera The Rape of Lucretia stars Angelika Kirchschlager, Peter Coleman-Wright and Ian Bostridge, with Oliver Knussen conducting. “Everything, without exception, was right on the money,” said The Guardian,” … a dazzling success.”
These head notes take some explaining. Leave Me Alone is presented twice: the original song, sung by Angelika Kirchschlager, plus a version for cello and piano played by Jan Vogler. In the op. 55 Gypsy Songs, she sings Nos. 2, 5, and 6, while he plays the other four. Ms Kirchschlager sings both Stephen Foster ballads; Wilt Thou Be Gone, Love? includes a cello solo, as well. Pianist Helmut Deutsch accompanies it all.
“Kurt Rydl crowns a fine stage career with a gloriously eccentric impersonation of La Roche…The singing honours belong entirely to Angelika Kirchschlager as Clairon.” (BBC Music Magazine). “this Countess's preference for 'Ton' over 'Wort' is clear from the start…The greatest pleasure of the performance, for me, undoubtedly comes in the wonderful playing of the Staatsoper orchestra, the sweet, tender strings and the mellifluous horns in particular; and Christoph Eschenbach conducts a leisurely and loving account of Strauss's gorgeous score.” (Gramophone Magazine)