Obsessions: Wagner and Strauss Arias and Scenes

Obsessions: Wagner and Strauss Arias and Scenes

by Deborah Voigt
     
 
It's an opera axiom nowadays that mezzos get all the press and standout sopranos are few and far between, especially in the taxing German Romantic repertoire. But along comes the golden-voiced Deborah Voigt with this first-rate solo debut disc, featuring extracts from Wagner and Strauss operas, and shows that she's got the goods to stand

Overview

It's an opera axiom nowadays that mezzos get all the press and standout sopranos are few and far between, especially in the taxing German Romantic repertoire. But along comes the golden-voiced Deborah Voigt with this first-rate solo debut disc, featuring extracts from Wagner and Strauss operas, and shows that she's got the goods to stand among the legendary dramatic sopranos of the past. True, we've tasted Voigt's talents in this repertoire before, most notably on a blissful disc of Wagner love duets with Plácido Domingo and on a dazzling live version of Strauss's rarely heard The Egyptian Helen. With Obsessions, though, Voigt has truly arrived. These are bold, powerful roles, and with Voigt's strong, lustrous voice, it's music she's made to sing. The ten tracks are divided evenly between the two composers, beginning with a confident "Dich, teure Halle" from Wagner's Tannhäuser and continuing with two of Sieglinde's scenes from Die Walküre, followed by a pair of sections from Tristan und Isolde, including the Curse Scene and the famous "Liebestod," which makes up for any lack in transcendence with fullness and beauty of tone. Voigt's Strauss is similarly assured, beginning with a thrilling Elektra monologue and continuing with selections from Ariadne and Die Frau ohne Schatten. The final 18 minutes of Salome supply the ravishing conclusion to the disc, and if Voigt doesn't fully plumb the demented depths of Salome's character, never mind. Settle in and bask in the glorious sound of an extraordinary artist.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Allen Schrott
"Obsessions" is Deborah Voigt's long-overdue solo recording debut. Blazing her way through excerpts from the dramatic roles of Wagner and Strauss, she shows why she has dominated that repertory on the world's biggest stages since the early '90s. It's exciting to hear a voice with such carrying power, but also a youthful beauty that many singers of lighter music would envy. Her singing is never forced, never harsh, and always lyrical. Best of all, she invests these vocally imposing excerpts with genuine drama, turning them into vivid character portraits. For the most part, "Obsessions" is drawn from the operas that Voigt sings regularly on-stage, but it also includes arias from roles Voigt has yet to tackle, like Elisabeth's "Dich, teure Halle" from "Tannhäuser," and Salome's "Es ist kein Laut zu vernehmen." In every case, she pretty much hits the nail on the head. It would be hard to find a better modern recording of this repertory. Richard Armstrong and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra are magnificent -- sometimes electric, sometimes expansive, and always in perfect balance with Voigt. The sound and production are as good as they get.
New York Times - Anthony Tommasini
One of the great dramatic sopranos of all time, in radiant voice, gives enthralling performances.
Gramophone - Vivien Schweitzer
The arias highlight Voigt's extraordinary ability to soar effortlessly and luminously above the orchestra with her trademark rich, lustrous, never hard or brittle voice.
Opera News
Of course Voigt’s opulent voice -- in waves of glorious, lustrous sound -- is perfect in these, her signature roles, but what is so thrilling about her performances is how she specifically defines each character vocally, with a different color scheme for each, and powers her delivery with a keen musical intelligence.
San Francisco Chronicle - Joshua Kosman
The 10 Wagner and Strauss excerpts included here find [Voigt] singing the repertoire she does best and conjuring up all the most vibrant aspects of her artistry -- her strong, opulent vocal tone, her elegant diction and phrasing, the emotional vitality she brings to every role.
Evening Standard
Voigt employs her golden voice in gracefully phrased and assured performances that hold their own next to the legendary Wagnerian sopranos of the past, demonstrating why she is coming to be acknowledged as one of the greatest dramatic sopranos of this generation.
Boston Herald - T. J. Medrek
I hope "Obsessions" sells at least a million copies. It deserves to. No one could possibly play this disc and not be utterly dazzled by the gleaming sound of one of the great voices of our time singing some of the greatest music of all time.
Pittsburgh Tribune - Mark Kanny
Magnificent performances.... Voigt's range of vocal weight, color and intensity is stunning.
Baltimore Sun - Tim Smith
Sumptuous work.... A feast for the ears.... This is one terrific talent.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/06/2004
Label:
Angel Records
UPC:
0724355768124
catalogNumber:
57681
Rank:
270780

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Act 2. Scene 1. Dich, teure Halle
  2. Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b: Act 1. Scene 3. Du bist der Lenz
  3. Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b: Act 1. Scene 3. Der Männer Sippe
  4. Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Act 1. Scene 3. Weh', ach wehe dies zu dulden
  5. Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Act 3. Scene 3. Mild und leise
  6. Elektra, opera, Op. 58 (TrV 223): Ich kann nicht sitzen
  7. Ariadne auf Naxos, opera, Op. 60-I (TrV 228) (original version): Es gibt ein Reich
  8. Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow), opera, Op. 65 (TrV 234): Act 1. Ist mein liebster dahin
  9. Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow), opera, Op. 65 (TrV 234): Act 2. Wehe mein Mann
  10. Salome, opera, Op. 54 (TrV 215): Es ist kein Laut zu vernehmen

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