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Deborah Voigt: Obsessions (Wagner & Strauss: Arias and Scenes)
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And, in retrospect, I think my first review was dead wrong. I went in expecting to hear another Nilsson, without respecting Voigt's own, considerable talents. Sweeping these foolish fancies aside, and upon hearing it a second time, I revelled in Voigt's glorious voice. This recital is truly an experience, especially for the Wagner and Strauss lover, and Voigt sounds exquisite in almost every selection.
I was won over by Voigt's majestic Empress and pristine Chrysothemis the first time around, but on the second hearing I "fell" for her magnificent Liebestod and her truly moving Sieglinde. This, truly, is an album to treasure, and I apologize to any of Voigt's fans for my initial reaction to it. Heartily recommended, a great example of contemporary Wagner and Strauss singing.
Whatever other controversy might have swirled around Deborah Voight the past few months, on this point there can be no doubt: her latest CD, "Obsessions: Arias and Scenes" is a triumph of sheer technical expertise and power both with regard to orchestration and the magnificent voice of this inimitable singer. It is impossible to listen to this selection of wonderful songs and not be in awe of the clarity, the depth, the control and emotions that go into each presentation. Voight's voice catapults one right into soprano heaven as title after title she delivers a bravura performance that lifts, soothes, and moves the listener along a journey she takes us through as she sings some of Wagner and Strauss' finest operatic moments. What strikes me most about this CD is the clarity of performance, throughout, and the eloquence that marks this soprano's range as she delivers with such obvious dedication - and this is coming from someone who places a high value on a CDs consistent mood. I don't like interruption once a mood is set. Here, the mood from the start is grand. Not grand in the sense that "isn't this wonderful", but grand in the sense of GRAND opera. When you listen Voight's Obsessions you know you are listening to something very special and to be treasured. This CD, I will treasure and listen to often. I recommend it. You won't be disappointed.
Voight sings arias from three Wagner operas: TANNHAUSER, TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, and DIE WALKURE and four Strauss operas :ELEKTRA, DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN, SALOME, and ARIADNE auf NAXOS. For Wagner, we see Voight's vocal power and beauty. Fir Strauss, we see Voight's ability for dramatic intensity. In each aria, Voight's beautiful voice is evident, but this is hardly a recital album. Voight does not merely sing as is so often the case in a recording of excerpts. In each aria, she gives the arias individual attention and listeners realize that different characters are telling a story in each aria.
I decided to purchase this recording after listening to Voight sing Elizabeth's aria "Dich tuere Halle" from TANNHAUSER. So many sopranos have attempted this aria, many of whom have never performed the role on stage and more often than not butcher it. Voight handles the aria with ease and beauty and it is an invitation to the rest of the recording. I will have to admit I found her Liebestod from TRISTAN UND ISOLDE intoxicating. I will not go so far as to say it is the best recording of the work, but it may be the best contemporary recording of the work.
Serious Wagner and Strauss listeners may wonder if a recording called OBSESSIONS with a rather prima donna like Voight on the cover is nothing more than fluff. Well, this is a rather good recording and there is substance behind the glitz.
This is truly a feast for lovers of the dramatic repetory and musical intelligence. Voigt is a true dramatic soprano. She combines the womanliness of Flagstad with the incisiveness of Nilsson and outdoes both of her predecessors in terms of sheer vocal flexibility and range. Voigt's voice is even from top to bottom: a chilling low range, a golden middle, and piercing highs (instead of the shrillness that we associate with most of today's "dramatic sopranos". But for me, the joy of this disc is in Voigt's interpretations. Isolde's rage will scorch your speakers. Ariadne's "burdensome life" will weigh deep within your soul (the rubato shift in the final "lastende" is marvelous as is the little flourish on the final "mir an dir"). Sieglinde radiates with the excitement of true love. We're in an era in which "opera fans" confuse overracting with interpretation. Voigt's choices are always musical, always intelligent. It's refreshing to hear a singer uses rubato, dimuendo, etc. instead of a shriek here and a sob there. I pray that EMI will grant Voigt and her fans another opera arias disc in addition to the planned B'way and recital discs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A compendium of Voigt at the very peak of her vocal abilities........I am privileged to have heard her in Chicago in most of her major roles,
particularly Salome and Isolde
Ms. voice is grand and yet enticing. You want to hear more. All I can say is thhat she shines and this is definitely not background music.Published 17 months ago by Ronald G. Scheraga
This was a library edition! There were two sticker all over the cover leaflet which is hard to take off without damage to the leaflet itself. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jean
Deborah Voigt singing Wagner & Strauss at her very best. Excellence personified. Glorious artistry. Stunning interpretations. Sheer perfection. Meticulous articulation.Published on January 27, 2014 by Karen M. Ditman
Quite a disappointing voice this one is:
Compared with her glorious voice of eight years before as it was captured on the Metropolitan/Levin/2DVD gala 1966 - where she sings... Read more
First of all is quite necessary for "A Customer" to post so many times when only managing to say the same thing?
I feel Amazon should prune these posts. Read more
One of the greatest voices I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Fabulous and georgous!!!Published on May 2, 2008 by Cynthia Hickox
Unfortunately, some nutcase is posting multiple negative reviews of this recital disc on Amazon US but I see that for some reason no-one has reviewed it on Amazon UK - so I shall... Read morePublished on April 12, 2008 by Ralph Moore
This review is kind of dated; since this album was released, the fat lady had lost a bunch of weight. Read morePublished on June 17, 2007 by Robert C. Hufford