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Strauss: Four Last Songs, etc.
     

Strauss: Four Last Songs, etc.

by Jane Eaglen
 
We've been waiting almost two decades for a young soprano with enough vocal heft to sing Isolde. Opera lovers were in despair, and then along came Jane Eaglen. Here, at long last, was a voice strong enough to ride the huge waves of Wagnerian melody. Eaglen garnered madly enthusiastic reviews for her interpretation of Isolde at the

Overview

We've been waiting almost two decades for a young soprano with enough vocal heft to sing Isolde. Opera lovers were in despair, and then along came Jane Eaglen. Here, at long last, was a voice strong enough to ride the huge waves of Wagnerian melody. Eaglen garnered madly enthusiastic reviews for her interpretation of Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera in 1999. She hasn't recorded that role yet, but we do have this ravishing album of late-Romantic orchestral song cycles to tide us over until she does. Wagner's Wesendonck-Lieder were actually composed concurrently with Tristan und Isolde and share that opera's darkly ecstatic musical character. Listen to how Eaglen soars effortlessly over the orchestra in the stormy second song, "Stehe Still!," unleashing a steady stream of solid, lustrous tone. More impressive still is her performance of Berg's opulent Seven Early Songs -- delirious music whose luxurious harmonies are more potent than Isolde's famous love potion. In Richard Strauss's exquisitely elegiac Four Last Songs, Eaglen's mighty instrument doesn't allow her to negotiate the billowing lines as gracefully as, say, Renée Fleming. But Eaglen's vocal power and beauty of tone allow her to soar over the lush, luminous orchestral textures -- one of the music's essential demands, and one that's rarely been fulfilled so impressively. The London Symphony copes well with the often brisk tempos favored by conductor Donald Runnicles, and the recorded sound is clear and spacious. This album should have Wagner lovers jumping for joy.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Ira Rosenblum
Eaglen infuses the Berg with a generous measure of passion. Likewise, Wagner's set is delivered with the same dramatic intensity that made her Met performances so gripping.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/21/2000
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646172025
catalogNumber:
61720

Tracks

  1. Der Engel ("In der Kinkheit frühen Tagen"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra) (Wesendonk Lieder), WWV 91/1  - Richard Wagner  - Jane Eaglen  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - Donald Runnicles
  2. Stehe still! ("Sausendes, brausendes Rad der Zeit"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra) (Wesendonk Lieder), WWV 91/2  - Richard Wagner  - Jane Eaglen  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - Donald Runnicles
  3. Im Treibhaus ("Hochgewölbe Blätterkronen"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra) (Wesendonk Lieder), WWV 91/3  - Richard Wagner  - Jane Eaglen  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - Donald Runnicles
  4. Schmerzen ("Sonne, weinest jeden Abend..."), song for voice & piano (or orchestra) (Wesendonk Lieder), WWV 91/4  - Richard Wagner  - Jane Eaglen  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - Donald Runnicles
  5. Träume ("Sag, welch wunderbare Träume"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra) (Wesendonk Lieder), WWV 91/5  - Richard Wagner  - Jane Eaglen  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - Donald Runnicles
  6. Early Songs (7), for voice & piano  - Alban Berg  - Jane Eaglen  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - Donald Runnicles
  7. Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs), for soprano & orchestra, o.Op. 150 (TrV 296, AV 150)  - Richard Strauss  - Jane Eaglen  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - Donald Runnicles

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