Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780393088953.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Recordings

Through Life and Love: Louise Alder sings Strauss

Soprano Louise Alder has had an eventful few months. Declared ‘Young Singer of the Year’ at the 2017 International Opera Awards in May, the following month she won the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.

A Master Baritone in Recital: Sesto Bruscantini, 1981

This is the only disc ever devoted to the art of Sesto Bruscantini (1919–2003). Record collectors value his performance of major baritone roles, especially comic but also serious ones, on many complete opera recordings, such as Il barbiere di Siviglia (with Victoria de los Angeles). He continued to perform at major houses until at least 1985 and even recorded Mozart's Don Alfonso in 1991, when he was 72.

Emalie Savoy: A Portrait

Since 1952, the ARD—the organization of German radio stations—has run an annual competition for young musicians. Winners have included Jessye Norman, Maurice André, Heinz Holliger, and Mitsuko Uchida. Starting in 2015, the CD firm GENUIN has offered, as a separate award, the chance for one of the prize winners to make a CD that can serve as a kind of calling card to the larger musical and music-loving world. In 2016, the second such CD award was given to the Aris Quartett (second-prize winner in the “string quartet” category).

Detlev Glanert : Requiem for Hieronymus Bosch

Detlev Glanert's Requiem for Hieronymus Bosch should be a huge hit. Just as Carl Orff's Carmina Burana appeals to audiences who don't listen to early music (or even to much classical music), Glanert's Requiem for Hieronymus Bosch has all the elements for instant popular success.

A Falstaff Opera in Shakespeare’s Words: Sir John in Love

Only one Shakespeare play has resulted in three operas that get performed today (whether internationally or primarily in one language-region). Perhaps surprisingly, the play in question is a comedy that is sometimes considered a lesser work by the Bard: The Merry Wives of Windsor.

A Resplendent Régine Crespin in Tosca

There have to be special reasons to release a monophonic live recording of a much-recorded opera. Often it can give us the opportunity to hear a singer in a major role that he or she never recorded commercially—or did record on some later occasion, when the voice was no longer fresh. Often a live recording catches the dramatic flow better than certain studio recordings that may be more perfect technically.

Karine Deshayes’s Astonishing New Rossini Recording

Critic and scholar John Barker has several times complained, in the pages of American Record Guide, about Baroque vocal recitals that add instrumental works or movements as supposed relief or (as he nicely calls them) “spacers.”

Knappertsbusch’s Only Recording of Lohengrin Released for the First Time

Hans Knappertsbusch was one of the most renowned Wagner conductors who ever lived. His recordings of Parsifal, especially, are near-legendary among confirmed Wagnerians.

Kathleen Ferrier Remembered

Kathleen Ferrier Remembered, from SOMM Recordings, makes available on CD archive broadcasts of British and German song. All come from BBC broadcasts made between 1947 and 1952. Of the 26 tracks in this collection, 19 are "new", not having been commercially released. The remaining seven have been remastered by sound restoration engineer Ted Kendall. Something here even for those who already own the complete recordings.

Color and Drama in Two Choral Requiems from Post-Napoleonic France

The Requiem text has brought out the best in many composers. Requiem settings by Mozart, Verdi, and Fauré are among the most beloved works among singers and listeners alike, and there are equally wondrous settings by Berlioz and Duruflé, as well as composers from before 1750, notably Jean Gilles.

Matthias Goerne - late Schumann songs, revealed

Matthias Goerne Schumann Lieder, with Markus Hinterhäuser, a new recording from Harmonia Mundi. Singers, especially baritones, often come into their prime as they approach 50, and Goerne, who has been a star since his 20's is now formidably impressive. The colours in his voice have matured, with even greater richness and depth than before.

LALO and COQUARD: La Jacquerie

La Jacquerie—here recorded for the first time—proves to be a wonderful opera, bringing delight upon delight.

Urania Remasters Marriage of Figaro

Good news for lovers of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro: the famous Living Stereo recording, a co-production of RCA Victor and English Decca, is now available again, well remastered, on Urania.

Opera Rara: new recording of Bellini's Adelson e Salvini

In May 2016, Opera Rara gave Bellini aficionados a treat when they gave a concert performance of Vincenzo Bellini’s first opera, Adelson e Salvini, at the Barbican Hall. The preceding week had been spent in the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios, and this recording, released last month, is a very welcome addition to Opera Rara’s bel canto catalogue.

Jonas Kaufmann : Mahler Das Lied von der Erde

Jonas Kaufmann Mahler Das Lied von der Erde is utterly unique but also works surprisingly well as a musical experience. This won't appeal to superficial listeners, but will reward those who take Mahler seriously enough to value the challenge of new perspectives.

The "Lost" Songs of Morfydd Owen

A new recording, made late last year, Morfydd Owen : Portrait of a Lost Icon, from Tŷ Cerdd, specialists in Welsh music, reveals Owen as one of the more distinctive voices in British music of her era : a grand claim but not without foundation. To this day, Owen's tally of prizes awarded by the Royal Academy of Music remains unrivalled.

Early Swedish opera - Stenhammer world premiere

The Feast at Solhaug : Henrik Ibsen's play Gildet paa Solhaug (1856) inspired Wilhelm Stenhammer's opera Gillet på Solhaug. The world premiere recording is now available via Sterling CD, in a 3 disc set which includes full libretto and background history.

Walter Braunfels Orchestral Songs Vol 2

Honours yet again to Oehms Classics who understand the importance of excellence. A composer as good, and as individual, as Walter Braunfels deserves nothing less.

The Tallis Scholars: Josquin's Missa Di dadi

‘Can great music be inspired by the throw of the dice?’ asks Peter Phillips, director of The Tallis Scholars, in his liner notes to the ensemble’s new recording of Josquin’s Missa Di dadi (The Dice Mass). The fifteenth-century artist certainly had an abundant supply of devotional imagery. As one scholar has put it, during this age there was neither ‘an object nor an action, however trivial, that [was] not constantly correlated with Christ or salvation’.

A Venetian Double: English Touring Opera

Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto was the composer’s fifteenth opera, and the ninth to a libretto by Giovanni Faustini (1615-1651). First performed at the Teatro Sant’Apollinaire in Venice on 28th November 1651, the opera by might have been sub-titled ‘Gods Behaving Badly’, so debauched are the deities’ dalliances and deviations, so egotistical their deceptions.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Recordings

Erwartung
25 Aug 2006

Erwartung — Lieder by Schoenberg, Wagner, Strauss et al.

Internationally acclaimed soprano, Solveig Kringelborn, now has recorded a delightful selection of late nineteenth-century German Lieder on the NMA label.

Erwartung

Solveig Kringelborn (Soprano), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)

Norway Music Aurora NIMA 5 [SACD]

$16.99  Click to buy

The carefully planned selection includes Vier Lieder, op. 2 by Schoenberg, three selections from Strauss’ op. 39, Wagner’s Fünf Gedichte von Mathilde Wesendonck, Four Mignon-Lieder by Wolf, and three selections from Max Reger’s Schlicte Weisen, op. 76.

Unfortunately, the album is entitled Erwartung, with Schoenberg’s name credited first on the cover. This may lead some buyers to believe the selections will be Schoenberg’s dramatic psycho-thriller or a monodrama, Erwartung, op. 17. However, the album takes it title from the first song of his Vier Lieder, also entitled “Erwartung,” and a very different piece indeed. “Erwartung,” like the three other songs in the set, is richly chromatic and winds through several distantly related key areas over its brief course. Truly, it is a far cry from the expressively athematic Erwartung, composed ten years later.

Kringelborn has selected songs that are sometimes overlooked by recording artist, yet she has done a remarkable job interpreting them, crafting an exciting recital. Furthermore, the collaboration between Kringelborn and her accompanist, Malcolm Martineau, is one of sensitivity and true collaboration.

Inspire by Dehmel’s poetry, the Vier Lieder are very compact, both in their succinct settings and in the smaller ensemble required for lieder. Two of the three selections from Strauss oeuvre are also inspired by Dehmel’s poetry; the third is a poem of Otto Julius Bierbaum. Apparently the poet criticized Strauss’ setting as being too sentimental, but the poetry almost seems to demand it, especially “Befreit,” a tender poem from the perspective of a dying man speaking to his beloved wife.

Wagner’s Fünf Gedichte von Mathilde Wesendonck are some of his most frequently performed lieder, specifically the third and fifth selections, which are well known as studies for Tristan und Isolde.

The climax of the album, however, is Wolf’s Vier Mignon-Lieder. Based on Goethe’s tale of Mignon, the daughter of an incestuous relationship between brother and sister, the poems are sung from the perspective of the thirteen-year-old Mignon who is a tortured soul. Indeed this is a situation most beautifully portrayed by Wolf’s emotional setting.

Closing with the three Reger songs makes excellent sense, considering Reger’s vocal writing was deeply influenced by Strauss, Wolf, and Wagner. The three songs presented here come from his sixth and final book of songs published as Schlichte Weisen between 1903 and 1912.

The album goes above and beyond expectations. The published material includes informative liner notes by Richard Stokes in English, German, French and Norwegian, song text in German and English, and photos of Schoenberg, Strauss, Wagner, Wolf and Reger. Special touches include a thoughtful note from Solveig Kringelborn, as well as a reproduction of an oil painting by Norwegian artist Karina Paulen titled "Erwartung," which was commissioned especially for this album. Paulen listened many times to the recording sessions and painted with the sound of the performance in her memory.

Visually and aurally this album is quite stimulating, and a lovely addition to any collection, whether one collects voices, late Romantic music, German Lieder, or excellent music in general.

Megan Jenkins
The Graduate Center- CUNY

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):