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4 Last Songs / 12 Lieder
R. Strauss, Schwarzkopf, Szell
4 Last Songs / 12 Lieder
Genres: Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf was one of those singers whom one either loves or hates. She was a "stylist," who inflected every phrase, every note in her urge to communicate what she considered to be the meaning of the text. Ot...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: R. Strauss, Schwarzkopf, Szell
Title: 4 Last Songs / 12 Lieder
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Angel Records
Release Date: 9/16/1997
Genres: Pop, Classical
Styles: Vocal Pop, Opera & Classical Vocal, Historical Periods, Modern, 20th, & 21st Century
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724355624123

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf was one of those singers whom one either loves or hates. She was a "stylist," who inflected every phrase, every note in her urge to communicate what she considered to be the meaning of the text. Others feel that the only thing she communicated was her own need to impress people with her ability to communicate, and I believe she often forgot the difference between art and artfulness. Be that as it may, she was an outstanding Strauss singer, and her performance of the Four Last Songs, in particular, is legendary. Of course, having George Szell on the podium doesn't hurt either. He ensures that the music shows the singer in the best possible light. --David Hurwitz

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CD Reviews

A Reminder
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With the many memorial concerts honoring the life of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf appearing around the globe (performances of operas with which she was so closely identified such as Der Rosenkavalier, Capriccio, Ariadne auf Naxos, Marriage of Figaro, Falstaff etc, recitals of the songs of Strauss, Wolf and Mozart, concerts performed by her pupils, etc) it seems appropriate to once again encourage listening to the definitive work that seemed as though it were written specifically for her - Richard Strauss' 'Four Last Songs'.

The 'song cycle' as performed here with George Szell was only one of her several recordings of this cycle, but this particular CD is the most perfectly transferred mastering from the original LP to CD. Her voice was still in its prime and the balance between the voice and the orchestra is as perfect as can be achieved. Szell understands not only Strauss, but he also completely understood Schwarzkopf. The result is magic.

The recording includes twelve other Strauss songs, many of which served as Schwarzkopf encores for her recitals. They also belong to her. She will be greatly missed as an artist and as a teacher of master classes and as part of the pioneering blossoming of the recording of classical music of which she was so important a part. This is a treasure to own. Grady Harp, August 06"
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf sings Strauss like an angel
Grady Harp | 10/09/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"No one interperates Richard Strauss with as much color and nuance as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. This recording shows her attention to the smallest detail. The recording is carefully crafted. Miss Schwarzkopf is not miked too closely (as in Kiri Te Kanawa's performance of the Four Last Songs), and the pairing with Szell is masterful. Nothing is exagerated or under-emphasized. This recording will be treasured by any Strauss lover."
Masterful selection and performance
Grady Harp | 10/31/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Four Last Songs are Richard Strauss' final masterwork, and are in themselves a good reason to buy the recording. But in addition there is a selection of earlier orchestral songs that are just incomparable, each one more beautiful than the last, enough to bring tears to your eyes every time you hear them, especially if you understand the text. Complete texts and translations are included. The sound is a bit thin, but more than acceptable given the age of the recording."