Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|R. Strauss, Popp, Tilson Thomas|
4 Last Songs
Genres: Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
A mixture of frailties
firstname.lastname@example.org | Kampen, The Netherlands | 02/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Strauss's Four Last Songs brought me back to classical music after a teenage rebellion into alternative pop and the first recording I bought was Lucia Popp with Tennstedt and the LPO (not available on CD, alas). These songs became such a passion that I think at one stage I had eleven different performances on record. The Popp had remained a firm favourite (I had to replace the record, because it was literally played out) and I have been looking for it on CD ever since. Thus I pounced on this current recording. As I'm writing, I am listening to it for the third time and, alas, it is with a mixture op pleasure and pain. At this extremely late stage of her career Popp was still a supremely musical artist, but the voice was not what it should be. There are sublime moments, particularly in "September", but the moment she goes into the murderous high tessitura some wear and tear spoils the incredible insight she has. She cannot sustain the high notes and it is all too obvious that she would have liked to. Yet, the musicality and intelligence make up for the flaws to such a degree that I keep returning to listen again. It is perhaps a perfect swansong from a great artist - compelling in its imperfection.Gruberova is likewise a passion and she is rather attractively captured in the Op. 68 songs. The great showpiece "Amor" is the obvious ear-catcher, but her oft-overlooked artistry and musicality are better reflected in the other songs. The voice is in its prime and the repertoire ideally suited to this great artist.I recently acquired Matilla's Strauss recital with Abbado, which also showcases radical highs and lows, as does her performance on this disc. "Zueignung" is less than successful, although "Die heilige drei Konige" is one of the highlights of the disc. It is interesting to compare her performance of the fiendish "Fruhlingsfeier" here to the one under Abbado, the latter being far more secure and exciting.Tilson Thomas does sterling work with the LSO, the approach being clear and direct, without too many frills and yet with some profound insights, especially in the Four Last Songs. The postlude of "Im Abendrot" is a study in understatement and the violin solo in "Beim Schlafengehen" hauntlingly beautiful in its simplicity and avoiding sentiment.Final analysis: I will keep on coming back to this disc. It is a fascinating document of great artists not always at their best, but at times arrestingly brilliant."
Lucia Popp's last "Four Last Songs"
Nozomi Terabayashi | Sapporo, Japan | 07/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lucia Popp had recorded "Four Last Songs" with Tennstedt. So this one is her second recording of it. Unfortunately, this recording is also said to be her last recording. Exactly, this is her four "Last" songs. After I came to know about her death, this recording was released. It looked as if her "testament". Compared with the first version (available as CD), her voice is sadly, weak. But she must have been understood the feeling of Richard Strauss. I heard this version for the first time, I came to cry beause she told me about death though her weak voice. In spite of her weak voice, there are something special in her voice, too. This one is one of the best recordings of "Four Last Songs"."
Popp produces the ultimate Four Last Songs
janus_kreisler_sachs | 10/14/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After judging Gundula Janowitz the best interpreter so far of Strauss masterpiece Four Last Songs, I was one day surprised by Lucia Popp on the radio. The charm of the unearthly even performance of straight, solidly laid notes of Janowitz had to be put aside for the unusually energetic rendering of emotion at its spiritual best: controlled, wise, and mystically penetrating. So much for Popp. Gruber? These two Slovak singers need a special review, and I wanted to convey my enthusiasm for Lucia Popp. Let someone else do Gruber justice."