Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  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

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
Sound Samples & Downloads

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Songs
Track listing after review
Felicity Lott (soprano)
Graham Johnson (piano)
rec. Music Room, Champs Hill, Pulborough, England, 18-20 February 2002. DDD
CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD037 [72:42]

Experience Classicsonline



 
This is a re-release of a recording that originally appeared on ASV in 2003 (CD DCA 1155) and has been mastered anew for Champs Hill by Alexander Van Ingen. It is in fact the second recital of lieder by Strauss to appear on the label within a year, following Gillian Keith and Simon Lepper's recital, which garnered enthusiastic reviews - here. Evergreen Felicity Lott is still more popular with Champs Hill - see reviews of her Plum Pudding, Call Me Flott and Summertime discs. The equally perennial Graham Johnson appears with her on two of those three. The pair cropped up again last year on a Hyperion reissue of a much earlier recording (review).
 
Strauss's numerous songs date predominantly from his earlier years; after the Great War he focused more on opera and orchestra. The music here thus belongs to the great Germanic Lieder tradition established by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. It sits stylistically between those and Wolf and Mahler: late-Romantically tuneful and passionate, with the later ones expressively intensified by chromaticism and harmonic ambiguity.
 
For their part, Lott and Johnson have divided their programme into five neat if loose sections, beginning with a set of songs under the heading 'Nocturnes and Fantasies'. They follow this with four songs under 'Flowers', seven under 'Valedictions and Lullabies' and four under 'Girls in and out of Love', before rounding off their amply-proportioned set with Three Ophelia Songs and Morgen!
 
"I thank my Almighty Creator for the gift and inspiration of the female voice", Richard Strauss once said. Music-lovers since have had Strauss himself to thank as creator of countless gifts of inspiration written for the female voice: not only incredible operatic roles like Salome and Elektra, but lieder like Cäcilie, Morgen!, Ständchen and the (so-called) Four Last Songs. Strauss never makes it easy for either singer or pianist/orchestra, to put it mildly, but Lott and Johnson rise to his many challenges with seemingly plenty to spare. With Johnson's charmingly modest and unfailing attendance, this is a recital peppered with exquisite moments of Olympian power and heroic breath control from Lott. These qualities give the lie to the fact that her remarkable voice is into its sixth decade! It is almost ideal for Strauss here: warmly lyrical, clear, lithe and sensuously intoned, majestic in its dynamic and emotional colourings.
 
Moreover, Lott's German pronunciation is very good, and that gives her a certain advantage over most of the non-native competition, who fling themselves regularly into the linguistic traps and pits that the German language lays - vowel length, final -'er'/-'e' distinction, glottalisation, lip-rounding and so on. Only seldom, as in Allerseelen, does Lott let slip her foreignness, and mistakes - like 'Leid' for 'Lied' in Wiegenlied, 'zu' without the initial [t] sound in Das Rosenband - are conspicuous only by their rarity. Her diction is generally impeccable - on the odd occasion when clarity is momentarily lost, Strauss with his outrageous vocal demands is surely as much to blame!
 
Most importantly, though, her phrasing is convincing. Unlike some singers, she seems to understand the meaning of every word. She communicates the emotional content of the poet's text, as twee as it occasionally is, to impressive effect. Actresses often see the portrayal of Shakespeare's Ophelia as an excuse for bathos, but Lott is not one of them: hers is not Ophelia the raving lunatic, but a young woman in much emotional turmoil, distraite, saying things in a stream of consciousness.
 
The recording is a little on the quiet side, but sound and general technical quality are very good. The booklet contains decent notes by Michael Kennedy (imported from the ASV disc) that discuss the songs under their allocated headings, detailed performer biographies and full song texts in German and well-translated English. As with the Gillian Keith recording, the track-list is slightly misleading, giving the impression that Strauss's op.67 is entitled Three Songs of Ophelia, whereas they are in fact only the first half of a six-song cycle. There are a few typos in the German texts, but of little consequence.
 
In sum, this is singing as it should be, so many planes of ability above what passes for it in popular culture. A must for connoisseurs of the musical voice.
 
Byzantion
Collected reviews and contact at reviews.gramma.co.uk
 
Track Listing
Waldseligkeit, op.49 no.1 (1900-01) [2:48]
Die Nacht, op.10 no.3 (1885) [2:59]
Ständchen, op.17 no.2 (1886) [2:31]
Leises Lied, op.39 no.1 (1898) [2:27]
Schlechtes Wetter, op.69 no.5 (1918) [2:30]
Des Dichters Abendgang, op.47 no.2 (1900) [5:20]
Der Stern, op.69 no.1 (1918) [1:53]
Die Verschwiegenen, op.10 no.6 (1885) [1:20]
Die Zeitlose, op.10 no.7 (1885) [1:42]
Blauer Sommer, op.31 no.1 (1895-96) [2:22]
Ich Wollt ein Sträußlein Binden op.68 no.2 (1918) [2:58]
Ruhe, Meine Seele!, op.27 no.1 (1894) [3:43]
Allerseelen, op.10 no.8 (1885) [3:32]
Einerlei, op.69 no.3 (1918) [2:48]
Meinem Kinde, op.37 no.3 (1897) [2:27]
Wiegenlied, op.41 no.1 (1899) [4:34]
Muttertändelei, op.43 no.2 (1899) [2:20]
Zueignung, op.10 no.1 (1885) [1:55]
Winterweihe, op.48 no.4 (1900) [2:52]
Das Rosenband, op.36 no.1 (1897) [3:21]
Cäcilie, op.27 no.2 (1894) [2:05]
Ach! was Kummer, Qual und Schmerzen, op.49 no.8 (1901) [2:05]
Drei Lieder der Ophelia, op.67 nos.1-3 (1918) [7:46]
Morgen!, op.27 no.2 (1894) [4:05]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.