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Richard Strauss: Orchestral Songs

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
It is unfair to say that Soile Isokoski is a discovery -- she's had a successful international career for more than a decade before making this recording -- but this disc of Strauss orchestral lieder, including the Four Last Songs, is so good that one wonders why we haven't heard more from her. Isokoski has the ideal voice for this music: It gleams and glistens from top to bottom, and although finely focused, it projects over the orchestra with apparent ease. There is something in the tiny flutter of her high singing that brings Schwarzkopf to mind, even if the instrument itself is not so idiosyncratic. She is also a marvelous musician, phrasing naturally in ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
It is unfair to say that Soile Isokoski is a discovery -- she's had a successful international career for more than a decade before making this recording -- but this disc of Strauss orchestral lieder, including the Four Last Songs, is so good that one wonders why we haven't heard more from her. Isokoski has the ideal voice for this music: It gleams and glistens from top to bottom, and although finely focused, it projects over the orchestra with apparent ease. There is something in the tiny flutter of her high singing that brings Schwarzkopf to mind, even if the instrument itself is not so idiosyncratic. She is also a marvelous musician, phrasing naturally in expansive arcs and emphasizing line over text -- yet there is no lack of expressive intensity. Listen, for example, to how she makes the final paragraph of Frühling the emotional and musical high point of the song. Marek Janowski is an apt partner, for he too takes a rather "classical" approach to this music, with flowing tempos and clean orchestral textures. Ondine's engineers have done a superb job capturing the bright glint of silver in Isokoski's voice. Highest possible recommendation.
All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
In this collection of orchestral songs by Richard Strauss, including the "Four Last Songs," Finnish soprano Soile Isokoski demonstrates that this is obviously repertoire in which she is fully at ease and which is ideally suited to her voice. Strauss demands a nuanced command of a broad range of vocal colors and weights, and Isokoski shows an idiomatic mastery of his style. She has the suppleness and lightness to make "Säusle, liebe Myrte" really sparkle, and she brings a rich warmth to "September" and "Im Abendrot." And she can radiantly soar over the orchestra in "Befreit," and in all the "Four Last Songs." Isokoski's voice doesn't have the natural luminosity or openness to put this in the very top ranks of recordings of these songs, but hers is a very fine performance; it should delight her fans and also be of interest to listeners who love the songs and who savor hearing a variety of interpretations. Marek Janowski leads Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin in a rhythmically supple performance, although the strings don't have the richness of the most acclaimed orchestras. He doesn't fully capture the twilight glow of the "Four Last Songs," and the ending of "Im Abendrot" comes across as flaccid rather than evocative. The sound of Ondine's 2001 recording is warm and nicely ambient, but it tends to slightly favor the orchestra, so that Isokoski doesn't always shine with the brightness of which she is clearly capable.
Gramophone - Alan Blyth
Strauss singing doesn’t come much better than this. I suspect that the composer himself, with his love of the soprano voice, would have been enthralled by Isokoski’s glorious singing.... [A] highly recommended collection from a treasurable singer.
International Record Review - Stephen Pruslin
This is a very great treat for Strauss lovers and above all for Isokoski's growing number of admirers.
Daily Telegraph - Richard Wigmore
Isokoski's performance is one of rare grace and lyrical tenderness, soaring ecstatically in "Frühling", sensitive without indulgence to the resigned, autumnal moods of the later songs. Her hushed, rapt singing of the final presentiment of death sets the seal on a great performance, moving in its luminous vocal beauty and emotional sincerity.

Strauss singing doesn’t come much better than this. I suspect that the composer himself, with his love of the soprano voice, would have been enthralled by Isokoski’s glorious singing.... [A] highly recommended collection from a treasurable singer.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/21/2002
  • Label: Ondine
  • UPC: 761195098226
  • Catalog Number: 982
  • Sales rank: 61,029

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Das Rosenband ("Im Frühlingsschatten fand ich sie"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 36/1 - Richard Strauss & Marek Janowski (3:01)
  2. 2 Ich wollt' ein Sträusslein binden, song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 68/2 - Richard Strauss & Marek Janowski (3:35)
  3. 3 Säusle, liebe Myrthe!, song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 68/3 - Richard Strauss & Marek Janowski (4:58)
  4. 4 Als mir dein Lied erklang ("Dein Lied erklang! Ich habe"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 68/4 - Richard Strauss & Marek Janowski (3:56)
  5. 5 Befreit ("Du wirst nicht weinen"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 39/4 - Richard Strauss & Marek Janowski (5:34)
  6. 6 Ruhe, meine Seele ("Nicht ein Lüftchen regt sich leise"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 27/1 - Richard Strauss & Marek Janowski (4:10)
  7. 7 Wiegenlied ("Träume, träume, du mein süsses Leben"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 41/1 - Richard Strauss & Marek Janowski (3:48)
  8. 8 Meinem Kinde ("Du schläfst und sachte neig' ich mich"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 37/3 - Richard Strauss & Marek Janowski (2:50)
  9. 9 Zueignung ("Ja, du weisst es, teur Seele"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 10/1 - Richard Strauss & Marek Janowski (1:40)
  10. 10 Morgen ("Und morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 27/4 - Richard Strauss & Marek Janowski (3:39)
  11. 11 Die heil'gen drei Kön'ge aus Morgenland, song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 56/6 - Richard Strauss & Marek Janowski (6:18)
  12. 12 Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs), for voice & orchestra, AV 150 - Richard Strauss & Marek Janowski (20:49)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Soile Isokoski Primary Artist
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