Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Richard STRAUSS (1864 – 1949)
Amor - Opera Scenes and Lieder
Grossmächtige Prinzessin (Ariadne auf Naxos) [11.15] (1)
Kindskopf! Merkt auf, wir spielen mit in dem Stück (Ariadne auf Naxos) [7.07] (1, 4)
An Ihre Plätze (Ariadne auf Naxos) [4.14] (1, 2, 4, 5)
Brentano Lieder Op.68, Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5 [13.47] (1)
Aber der Richtige (Arabella) [8.56] (1, 2)
Mir ist die Ehre widerfahren (Der Rosenkavalier) [7.04] (1, 3)
Marie Theres’, wie gut Sie ist (Der Rosenkavalier) [5.25] (1, 2, 3)
Ist ein Traum (Der Rosenkavalier) [7.40] (1, 3)
Zerbinetta, Zdenka, Sophie - Natalie Dessay (soprano) (1)
Primadonna, Arabella, Marschallin – Felicity Lott (soprano) (2); Octavian – Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo) (3); Komponist – Sophie Koch (mezzo) (4); Musiklehrer, Faninal - Thomas Allen (baritone) (5)
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Antonio Pappano
rec. Studio No. 1 Abbey Road Studios, London; Lyndhurst Hall, Air Studios, London, 4, 7, 15, 18, 29 April, 2 May 2004
VIRGIN CLASSICS 6419332 [65.35]

Experience Classicsonline


This disc is something of a curiosity. Originally issued in 2005 and now re-issued, its cover gives Natalie Dessay headline billing in Opera Scenes and Lieder by Richard Strauss. The odd thing is that many of the opera scenes here feature an array of singers and hardly give Dessay top billing. In fact, it has the look of something rather hastily assembled. But for all that, there is some fine Strauss singing here and it bears consideration.

The disc opens with Grossmächtige Prinzessin, Zerbinetta’s showpiece aria from Ariadne auf Naxos. Zerbinetta is one of Dessay’s signature roles; the booklet includes pictures of her in the role from three very different productions. There is no doubt about her technical proficiency and security in what is a fiendishly tricky aria, but for much of the time her tone seems a little edgy and she lacks the smile and sweetness that would be ideal here. That she brings smile and sweetness into other pieces on the disc would seem to suggest that the recording caught her on an off day.

This is followed by the lovely duet for Zerbinetta and the Composer from the opera’s prologue, with the final aria for the composer. Here Sophie Koch contributes a finely sung and wonderfully passionate Composer. Frankly, her closing aria is the most fully rounded item from these Ariadne auf Naxos excerpts.

Next come four of Strauss’s Brentano Lieder. These were written for Elisabeth Schumann and orchestrated many years later. Dessay is on better, sweeter form here and the songs are lovely. But why didn’t we get all six, after all there was room; granted the songs are not really a cycle and there are few recordings of all six.

After the Brentano Lieder we revert to opera. Whereas Zerbinetta is a role for which Dessay is well known, she is not so much associated with Sophie or Zdenka. Though her web-site lists Sophie as one of her roles, it does not mention Zdenka, In fact it includes Fiakermilli from Arabella and I was slightly surprised that the disc did not include Fiakermilli’s aria from that opera. Instead we get the Act 1 duet between Arabella and Zdenka, Aber der Richtige. With this duet we come to the main reason for buying this disc: Felicity Lott. Lott appears briefly as the Primadonna in the Ariadne auf Naxos excerpts, but here we get the full flavour of her Arabella. Lott’s performance is beautifully considered, every word placed and gloriously sung. Perhaps her tone is not quite as refulgent as it once was, but she still floats her line finely and effortlessly and, it has to be said, makes the spine tingle.

Finally we get two excerpts from Der Rosenkavalier: the Act 2 duet between Octavian and Sophie and the Trio and final Duet from Act 3. In the Act 2 duet Dessay’s Sophie is partnered by Angelika Kirchschlager’s Octavian. Dessay is a fine, but not great Sophie, with Kirchschlager a very strong Octavian. The blend between the voices is near ideal and the result is entrancing. This mood is continued into the closing scene from Act 3 when they are joined by the Marschallin of Felicity Lott. Like her Arabella, Lott’s Marschallin repays listening and the final two tracks on the disc go onto my desert island compilation disc.

Thomas Allen provides well judged support as the Music Master and as Faninal.

Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House make fine accompanists, moving easily from the chamber-like Ariadne to the full-toned score of Der Rosenkavalier.

The booklet comes with an essay by David Nice, photos of Dessay as Zerbinetta plus studio photos of the other singers. Texts are provided but for some reason, my copy only had German and French texts with no English translations.

This is a disc that Strauss lovers will probably want. Not so much because it showcases Natalie Dessay as because she is surrounded by an ensemble of singers who lift the operatic scenes into something special, and because the disc does showcase the incomparable Strauss singing of Felicity Lott.

Robert Hugill


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.