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Virgins, Vixens & Viragos

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
As the title suggests, the album Virgins, Vixens, & Viragos by American mezzo soprano Susan Graham is meant to cover songs and operatic selections accompanied with piano having a wide emotional range. It's not always clear which is which in this collection of female figures running from Purcell to Poulenc, and Graham. Graham's strengths -- intelligence and novel choice of repertory -- are fully in evidence here. The album is worth the purchase price for the six "Mignon" songs tracks 3-8 alone. These are settings of texts by Goethe, originally from the novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, and it's hard for a non-German audience to ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
As the title suggests, the album Virgins, Vixens, & Viragos by American mezzo soprano Susan Graham is meant to cover songs and operatic selections accompanied with piano having a wide emotional range. It's not always clear which is which in this collection of female figures running from Purcell to Poulenc, and Graham. Graham's strengths -- intelligence and novel choice of repertory -- are fully in evidence here. The album is worth the purchase price for the six "Mignon" songs tracks 3-8 alone. These are settings of texts by Goethe, originally from the novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, and it's hard for a non-German audience to appreciate how familiar they were to German-speaking listeners of a century ago. Graham's set of six songs ranging from Schubert to the early 20th century one by Tchaikovsky in German, another by Henri Duparc in French gives a feeling of how the original hearers of these songs might have approached them as new versions of very familiar texts. The rest of the program has attractive finds as well: some pleasant Poulenc songs, a nice integration of Broadway tunes into a predominantly European sequence, and a fine rarity of a Shakespearean aria in the form of a selection from Joseph Horovitz's "Lady Macbeth." All this said, though she's vocally in fine form, Graham isn't and, to be fair, has never been a singer with whom the word "fun" comes readily to mind. Although the majority of the material here is not in that language, Graham remains a singer of the French school first and foremost, cultivating a controlled elegance rather than a gutsy set of virgins, vixens, and, the one that would seem to need the fun most, viragos look it up. The bottom line is that Graham fans are likely to eat this up, and it's an offbeat vocal recital for anybody.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/13/2012
  • Label: Onyx Classics Uk
  • UPC: 880040410522
  • Catalog Number: 4105
  • Sales rank: 370,427

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Tell me, some pitying angel, (The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation), sacred song, for soprano & continuo, Z. 196 - Henry Purcell & Daniel Fesquet (7:16)
  2. 2 La Mort d'Ophélie, song for soprano (or tenor) & piano, H. 92a (Op. 18/2) - Hector Berlioz & Daniel Fesquet (7:02)
  3. 3 Lied der Mignon ("Heiss' mich nicht reden"), song for voice & piano, D. 877/2, (Op. 62/2) - Franz Schubert & Daniel Fesquet (3:44)
  4. 4 So lasst mich scheinen, bis ich werde, song for voice & piano (Wilhelm Meister songs), Op. 98a/9 - Robert Schumann & Daniel Fesquet (2:21)
  5. 5 Mignons Lied: Kennst du das Land, song for voice & piano (3 versions), S. 275 (LW N8) - Franz Liszt & Daniel Fesquet (6:12)
  6. 6 Romance de Mignon ("Le connais-tu, ce radieux pays"), song for voice & piano, Op. 2/3 - Henri Duparc & Daniel Fesquet (3:59)
  7. 7 None but the lonely heart, song for voice & piano, Op. 6/6 - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky & Daniel Fesquet (3:02)
  8. 8 Mignon ("Kennst du das Land"), song for voice & piano (Goethe Lieder) - Hugo Wolf & Daniel Fesquet (5:44)
  9. 9 Lady Macbeth: Scena - Joseph Horovitz & William Shakespeare (7:20)
  10. 10–15 Fiançailles pour rire, song cycle for voice & piano, FP 101 - Francis Poulenc & Daniel Fesquet (13:33)
  11. 11 The physician, song (from "Nymph Errant") - Cole Porter & Daniel Fesquet (4:23)
  12. 12 Ages Ago, song for voice & piano - Vernon Duke & Daniel Fesquet (3:27)
  13. 13 Les chemins de l'amour ("Les chemins qui vont"), for voice & piano (or orchestra), FP 106 - Francis Poulenc & Jean Anouilh (3:36)
  14. 14 The Mad Show, musical play: The Boy from Tacarembo La Tumbe del Fuego Santa Ma - Stephen Sondheim & Daniel Fesquet (2:50)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Susan Graham Primary Artist
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