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Richard Strauss Four Last Songs

Discussion in 'classical' started by gustavm, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. gustavm

    gustavm pfm Member

  2. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron You're home early...

    And they are difficult to pull off successfully. We have so many technically great recordings of them, not least the recording you link to, you can get lulled into a false sense of security, and in the wrong hands, live.....
     
  3. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    That Jessye Norman recording was the first CD I ever bought.

    Wonderful voice that could pin you to the wall when needed.
     
  4. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

  5. gustavm

    gustavm pfm Member

    Susan Gritton can certainly sing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObD7yCavg08

    I've never heard the Suffolk Philharmonic or conductor Leslie Olive though.
     
  6. Nic Robinson

    Nic Robinson Moderator

    Can be disappointing live. But then again, so can much music. The 4 last songs spoil you with recordings which is sad in a way.

    Maybe we should have a thread about pieces so perfectly nailed in recording, that they're usually a bit of a let-down in reality.
     
  7. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    I think the last of the songs ranks as one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written.

    My favourite recording Karita Mattila's with Abbado and the Berlin Phiharmoniker
     
  8. alanbeeb

    alanbeeb pfm Member

    Soile Isokoski, Marek Janowski, RSO Berlin for me.
     
  9. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    As a veteran of 30 odd years of live performances by the choral society of a large midlands town I can say that even when the performance is quite poor the live event often overcomes the shortcomings and an enjoyable evening can often (not always) be had. The same does not apply to broadcast concerts, a poor performance is a poor performance and I often switch to a good recording rather than endure the whole of a bad broadcast.
     
  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

  11. gustavm

    gustavm pfm Member

    I have that recording as well, but still prefer the one I linked to earlier (Jessye Norman), but its all down to personal taste. Nowadays I do like to listen to different versions of most things, as you often appreciate different aspects in different performances. That's what Spotify is for I think......
     
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I need to hear the Jessye Norman recording, I don't think I've heard it (Four Last Songs is something I'd tend to spin if it landed in the shop).
     
  13. Vinniemac

    Vinniemac pfm Member

    I think I have more versions of this piece of music than anything else. My favourite has to be Gundula Janowitz with Karajan.
     
  14. Vinniemac

    Vinniemac pfm Member

    One version is never enough, no matter how good!
     
  15. gustavm

    gustavm pfm Member

    Got that one too. But I find the tempo in "Im Abendrot" to be too fast for my taste:

    Masur/Norman: 9:54
    Szell/Schwarzkopf: 8:20
    Karajan/Janowitz: 7:04
     
  16. Del monaco

    Del monaco pfm Member

    A beautiful recording with the finest Strauss conductor IMO. Her voice just soars.
     
  17. Vinniemac

    Vinniemac pfm Member

    Absolutely. One of my desert island discs for sure.
     
  18. Nic Robinson

    Nic Robinson Moderator

    Jessye and Schwarzkopf are my #1 and 2. A few linked to here that I need to check out. Gundula Janowitz doesn't do it for me but she has a wonderful voice.

    The first time I heard the Norman recording I was hooked.
     
  19. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron You're home early...

  20. Del monaco

    Del monaco pfm Member

    I've grown up with these recordings. Norman is opulent but I find the orchestral accompaniment fairly pedestrian.Schwarzkopf is an all time classic but I find her too cool and mannered, though I love Szell in anything. The Janowitz just seems so right. Her voice blends so naturally and beautifully folding into the orchestra and her interpretation is heartfelt and unfussy. The conductor and singer appear perfectly in sync.
     

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