Louis Langrée, conductor; Orchestra of the
Age of Enlightenment
VIRGIN 7243 5 45447 2 9 - texts and
translations in English, French and German
Arias from Zauberflöte,
Lucio Silla, Zaïde, Ascanio in Alba, Entführung aus dem
Dessay's second disc devoted to Mozart focuses on excerpts from
operas, covering a wide range from the expected Queen of the Night to
the more lyric effusions of Zaïde or Konstanze. It is clear that
the soprano wishes to break out of the mold into which she has been
cast, while at the same time not repudiating her
from Lucio Silla or Ascanio in Alba show that she is
still able to embark on death-defying coloratura, while now able to
meet the very different requirements of such roles as Ilia or Pamina.
Louis Langrée and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
offer ideal support, the winds particularly succulent.
Il Sogno di Scipione
Malin Hartelius (Costanza); Lisa Larsson
(Fortuna); Christine Brandes (Licenza)
Bruce Ford (Scipione);
Charles Workman (Publio); Jeremy Ovenden (Emilio)
der Goltz, conductor
ASTREE E 8813
(2 cds) - texts and translations in English, French and German
adolescent works have not always fared well on disc, particularly
under the leaden baton of Leopold Hager in the Philips complete
edition. Gottfried von der Goltz and the Freiburger Barockorchester
demonstrate the enormous musicological progress since those earlier
recordings, with a much lighter and brisker approach. Malin Hartelius
and Lisa Larsson may not be in the same category as Lucia Popp and
Edita Gruberova, but are nonetheless more than capable of singing some
difficult music. Christine Brandes does better in her one aria to
close the work, but all three sopranos offer a bright, shallow tone.
The tenors do better, especially Bruce Ford in the title role, and
Charles Workman's bleat is slightly less in evidence than on other
Mozart: Die Hochzeit des Figaro
Braun (Countess); Irma Beilke (Susanna); Gerda Sommerschuh
(Cherubino); Hans Hotter (Count); Erich Kunz (Figaro); Res Fischer
Josef Witt, Gustav Neidlinger, William Wernigk, Franz Normann, Liane
Clemens Krauss, conductor;
Vienna Staatsoper Chorus
MUSIC & ARTS CD 1052
(3 cds) - notes by Alan Blyth in English only
Music & Arts offers us a recording of limited interest, a live
performance from the Salzburg Festival in August 1942. Yes, the
conducting of Clemens Krauss is in the "modern" mold, but
why should we be listening today to a performance sung in German
translation, where the women are not really up to the demands of the
music. The only point of interest is the Count of Hans Hotter, a
portrayal new to disc. There are some bonus tracks of concerts
featuring Mengelberg, Krauss, and Ernest Ansermet (what was he doing
in Nazi territory in 1942?).
Nmon Ford: The
Sweetest Brilliance - Songs of Bolcom and Weinstein Nmon Ford,
baritone; Victoria Kirsch, piano
THREE THINGS TT2301-2 - texts in
is a huge terrain between classical song (lied, mélodie) and
popular song, one which has been investigated-usually with success-by
such composers as Arnold Schönberg and Kurt Weill (the latter
with Bertolt Brecht) in what are also known as Brettl-lieder, Benjamin
Britten with W.H. Auden and now William Bolcom with Arnold Weinstein.
These songs were mostly written for Joan Morris (Ms. Bolcom), but Nmon
Ford gives them a different twist. Weinstein's texts lose none of
their mordancy in Ford's interpretation, while at the same time the
warm-voiced baritone is able to modulate between the various vocal
modes required by Bolcom. My only complaint is that with less than 37
minutes of music, you might feel short-changed, but give it a
preliminary listen in your local store and you will be captivated.
This recording is also available at www.nmonford.com.
Biggs: Songs of Laughter, Love and Tears.
Songs of Love and Parting.
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Coplas.
Jonathan Mack, tenor;
David Amos, conductor
Marni Nixon, soprano
Ernest Gold, conductor
CRYSTAL CD 501 - texts and notes in English
disc of many contrasts, ranging from the pseudo-Britten of John Biggs,
an impression heightened by the well-schooled tenor voice of Jonathan
Mack, to the highly individual Coplas of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco in
his own orchestration. Ernest Gold may be best known for his film
scores (Exodus, among others), but he has put together an
interesting group for Marni Nixon in which two settings of Emily
Dickinson particularly stand out. The Biggs was recorded in 1992,
while the remainder of the disc dates from 1974.
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