Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Maurice Ravel, Ernest Chausson|
Janet Baker sings Ravel: Sheherazade; Chausson; Duparc; Schumann; Brahms (2 CDs)
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
Thank God for this collection! It gives you just about everything you need from the French song repertoire, and a good chunk of the German, on two discs for the price of one. It's a first-rate bargain, particularly as J... more »
Thank God for this collection! It gives you just about everything you need from the French song repertoire, and a good chunk of the German, on two discs for the price of one. It's a first-rate bargain, particularly as Janet Baker's performances are invariably outstanding. What you don't get, unfortunately, are the texts, which is a real bummer. But don't worry too much, because just about any song from any time, place, and composer are about either the misery of love or the need for love, or the lack of love, or someone who is dying for love or of love, or who loves to love--you get the idea. All the rest is merely local detail. --David Hurwitz
A great singer at the hieght of her powers
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 12/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't let the mix-and-match diversity of the program deter you. Janet Baker, like all the greatest singers, felt challenged to sing everything she could lay her voice on, and her quotient of brilliant successes is very high. She's surprisingly good at French songs, given her non-native pronunciation. Style, musicality, and beauty of voice carry the day on CD 1, where her Ravel 'Sheherazade' is a triumph, even though Baker was never innately sensual. Even better are the obscure (to Anglo-Americans) orchestral versions of masterpieces by Duparc and Chausson. These chansons are essential listening for anyone who wants an introduction to both composers and their unique contributions.
CD 2, devoted to German repertoire, brings us back to Baker's area of acclaim. The 'Frauenlibe und Leben' with Barenboim would be fine except that the singer is competing with her younger self; the version with Martin Isepp at the piano, originally released on Saga, was a thrilling high point in Baker's early career. To my mind, it has only been equalled by her great predecessor, Kathleen Ferrier. The Schumann duets with Fischer-Dieskau are great (too bad the whole recital wasn't reissued), and we end strongly with a passionate, totally committed Brahms 'Four Last Songs,' again standing comparison with Ferrier's profound account.
It's a shame this two-fer is out of print. The same material can be found in a recent box set included in EMI's "Icon" series at bargain price. Either way, most of what's here is a treasure."