Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Bach, Bafo, Amf|
Arias & Cantatas
Genres: Pop, Classical
Dame Janet Baker's fans will need no prompting. Others won't, either, after sampling one of the great mezzos of our time in classic recordings of great music to which she brought a voice of individuality and beauty, as wel... more »
Listen to Samples
Dame Janet Baker's fans will need no prompting. Others won't, either, after sampling one of the great mezzos of our time in classic recordings of great music to which she brought a voice of individuality and beauty, as well as peerless interpretive gifts. These selections are made the more moving by the tear in Baker's voice, her richly personal timbre, and her absolute mastery of music and texts. Everything on these ample discs dates from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, when Baker was at her peak. The Bach cantatas are led by Yehudi Menuhin; the mezzo version of "Ich hab genug" is brighter in tone than the more familiar one for bass-baritone, but Baker's dignified reading fully captures the spirit of the piece. In the arias, her partner is Neville Marriner, and Handel's dramatic Italian Cantatas are firmly supported by their arranger, Raymond Leppard. Listeners used to male altos or period instruments will find their preferences challenged by the sheer artistry on display here. --Dan Davis
Profoundly moving. Unqualifiedly recommended.
altoman | Springfield, VA | 01/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Bach cantatas on this disc are both unusual. "Ich habe genug" is usually sung by baritones, but Bach's intentions as shown in the autograph score are less than clear: the autograph begins for soprano, but the first movement is not completed; the second version of the first movement is for alto; but the final version is for bass. At any rate, it makes you listen to this magnificent music afresh to hear it sung by a different voice-type than usually heard. "Gott soll allein" is a wonderful cantata that features an organ obbligato part in several movements instead of a violin or wind instrument. Then there is the collection of arias. Bach wrote some truly beautiful music for the alto voice, expressive and heartfelt. Although many of these arias tend to the reflective, there is no routine here. Particularly remarkable is the drama of "Es ist vollbracht" from the St. John Passion. Baker conveys the negative meaning of the words "it is finished" at the beginning, then rips through the section that foreshadows the Resurrection ("Der held von Juda"). But when she returns to the first phrase she conveys the alternate meaning of the words--"It is accomplished." Yes, it is sung softly and slowly, but there is a quality of the voice that is triumphant. Wow!Dame Janet was also well known for her abilities in the music of Handel, and here she puts all her vocal acting ability at the complete service of the music."