- Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Act II. Dich, teure Halle
- Tannhäuser, opera, WWV 70: Act III. Allmächt'ge Jungfrau, hör mein Flehen
- Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), opera, WWV 63: Act II. Johohoe! Traft ihr das Schiff
- Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Act III. Mild und leise
- Wesendonk Lieder, songs (5) for voice & piano (or orchestra), WWV 91
- Dem Unendlichen ("Wie erhebt sich das Herz"), song for voice & piano, D. 291
- Der Winterabend ("Es ist so still"), song for voice & piano, D. 938
- Auflösung ("Verbirg dich, Sonne"), song for voice & piano, D. 807
- Ein deutsches Requiem (German Requiem), for soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 45: Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit
- Les Contes d'Hoffmann, opera in 4 acts: Act IV. Barcarolle: Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour
- Les Contes d'Hoffmann, opera in 4 acts: Act IV. Venus dit à Fortune
- Les Contes d'Hoffmann, opera in 4 acts: Act IV. Qui connait donc la souffrance...O Dieu, d
- Les Contes d'Hoffmann, opera in 4 acts: Act IV. Jusque-là cependant affermis mon courage..
- Roméo et Juliette, for alto, tenor, bass, chorus & orchestra ("symphonie dramatique"), H.79 (Op. 17): Part I. Premiers transports que nul n'oublie!
- Chansons madécasses, song cycle for soprano, flute, cello & piano
- Chanson du rouet, song for voice & piano
- Si morne!, song for voice & piano
- Tu vois le feu du soir, song for voice & piano (Miroirs brûlants), FP 98/1
- La fraîcheur et le feu, song cycle for voice & piano, FP 147
- La belle Hélène, operetta in 3 acts: Act 1. Amours divins!
- La belle Hélène, operetta in 3 acts: Act 2. On me nomme Hélène la blonde
- La belle Hélène, operetta in 3 acts: Act 3. Là vrai, je ne suis pas coupable
- La belle Hélène, operetta in 3 acts: Act 3. Elle vient! C'est elle
The Very Best of Jessye Normanby Jessye Norman
This is a fine introduction to Jessye Norman's work and expands on a couple of her earlier "best of" releases, but even so, it represents a limited portion of her wide repertoire. The first disc is all German Romantic works, beginning with scenes from Wagner that she recorded in the late '80s with the London Philharmonic and Klaus Tennstedt. The first of these are for Elisabeth in "Tannhäuser," the role in which she made her opera debut in 1969, followed by one from "Tristan und Isolde." These scenes are followed by Wagner's "Wesendonck Lieder," a few Schubert Lieder, and an excerpt from Brahms' "Deutsche Requiem." The Lieder, and most of the songs on the second disc as well, are with pianist Irwin Gage and are from very early in her professional career. There are a couple of small spots in the Schubert where she seems not entirely comfortable with these works yet and has some trouble getting the right sound for them. She is otherwise impressive for her sound, range, understanding of the text and context of each work, and confidence; and yet she sounds still more comfortable in the French repertoire, found on the second disc. There are selections from Offenbach, an excerpt from Berlioz's "Roméo et Juliette," and songs by Ravel and Poulenc. The lighthearted nature of the Offenbach, plus the fact that the scenes involve other singers as well (unlike the Wagner), lets her loosen up a little; the action and emotion of each scene don't depend on her alone. The ease with which she interprets the Poulenc cycle "La fraîcheur et le feu" is perhaps attributable to her studies with Pierre Bernac, for whom Poulenc wrote most of his songs.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsJessye Norman Primary Artist
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