Songs By Mahler, Handel & Peter Lieberson

Songs By Mahler, Handel & Peter Lieberson

by Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
     
 
London's Wigmore Hall occasionally releases recordings of memorable performances in its space, and this CD documents a remarkable 1998 recital by Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. She's in gorgeous voice, with a creamy consistency over the broad range that this repertoire traverses. As is typical of her performances, she sings with a passionate intensity that draws the

Overview

London's Wigmore Hall occasionally releases recordings of memorable performances in its space, and this CD documents a remarkable 1998 recital by Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. She's in gorgeous voice, with a creamy consistency over the broad range that this repertoire traverses. As is typical of her performances, she sings with a passionate intensity that draws the listener into the suffering of the character she's portraying, or of the poetry's essence. She brings a special warmth and fervor of Mahler's "Fünf Rückert Lieder," but perhaps the highlight of the album is "As with rosy steps," from Handel's "Theodora." Her astonishingly smooth phrasing, and the strength and vulnerability of her characterization are breathtaking. The collection includes three pieces by her husband Peter Lieberson, two songs from his "Five Rilke Songs," and an aria from his opera "Ashoka's Dream," whose production at Santa Fe in 1996 was the occasion that brought the singer and composer together. Hunt Lieberson has recorded the complete "Rilke Songs" in their orchestral incarnation, but this version for piano reveals them as more lyrical, transparent, and emotionally engaging. The aria from "Ashoka's Dream," while less musically compelling, gives Hunt Lieberson a chance to revel in the virtuosity it requires. Her encores, "Deep River" and Brahms' "Unbewegte laue Luft," are wrenchingly poignant. Roger Vignoles offers sensitive and self-effacing accompaniment. The sound of the live performance includes some ambient noise in the pauses between songs and a low-level hiss at the very quietest moments, but it's generally not enough to be disturbing and the balance is excellent. The CD should be of strong interest to Hunt Lieberson's fans, and to listeners who love vocal music in general.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times - James R. Oestreich
[A] gem of a disc.... Ms. Hunt Lieberson is a force of nature.
Gramophone - Andrew Farach-Colton
Brahms's "Unbewegte laue Luft" ends the recital on an ecstatic note that surely sent the audience out on a cloud. Indispensable.
BBC Music Magazine - David Nice
[Lieberson's] unique warmth of tone is sounded in the first notes even of the lighter Mahler songs. But there's also a spiritual grace in her approach.... Peerless.
Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns
1/2 This is a prime example of Lieberson's intense, entrancing art.
Audiophile Audition - Laurence Vittes
Lieberson seems to wrap herself around the music and the words in an embrace of the closest possible identification. There is no haste, no wasted motion, nothing but pure solitude and, in many of these songs, sadness and consolation.
The Guardian - Tim Ashley
We're reminded of the spiritual conviction that made her artistry unique. An extract from Handel's Theodora conveys such deep religious sincerity that you feel humbled by it. Her performance of Mahler's Rückert Lieder, one of the finest on disc, avoids the usual morbidity and contains flashes of divine revelation..... Essential listening.
Raleigh-Durham News & Observer - David Perkins
The program...seems drenched in tears. At the end, when she sings a consoling "Deep River" as an encore, the tears will be yours.
Bay Area Reporter - Tim Pfaff
Capping this priceless snapshot...is [Lieberson's] achingly beautiful account of the spiritual "Deep River," which wells up from the depths of her voice and soul alike. If you can listen to her sing "I want to cross over into campground" without choking up, you're made of sterner stuff than I.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/10/2007
Label:
Wigmore Hall Live
UPC:
5065000924133
catalogNumber:
13
Rank:
85166

Tracks

  1. Rückert Lieder, song collection for voice & piano (or orchestra)

    1. Ich atmet' einen linden Duft  (02:55)
    2. Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder  (01:33)
    3. Liebst du um Schönheit  (02:47)
    4. Um Mitternacht  (07:03)
    5. Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen  (07:05)
  2. Ariodante, opera, HWV 33: E vivo ancore...Scherza infida

    1. E vivo ancore...Scherza infida  (07:50)
  3. Theodora, oratorio, HWV 68: As with rosy steps

    1. As with rosy steps  (08:08)
  4. Rilke Songs, for voice & piano: O ihr Zärtlichen

    1. O ihr Zärtlichen  (03:07)
  5. Rilke Songs, for voice & piano: Stiller Freund

    1. Stiller Freund  (04:10)
  6. Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's spoken introduction to Triraksha's aria from Ashoka's Dream  (01:02)
  7. Ashoka's Dream: Triraksha's aria

    1. Triraksha's aria  (05:30)
  8. Deep River  (03:21)
  9. Unbewegte laue Luft, song for voice & piano, Op. 57/8  (04:42)

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