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Deborah Voigt: Obsessions (Wagner & Strauss: Arias and Scenes)

3.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 6, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Here the beautiful-voiced Deborah Voigt tackles music her sound is made for: big, powerful moments from works of Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner. All 10 selections are handsomely sung, with gleaming, even tone, and some are true standouts. Elisabeth's Greeting from Tannhaeuser is sort of matter-of-fact, but both of Sieglinde's solos from Walküre are filled with urgency and depth and seem to be happening in real time. Ariadne's monolog is suitably ethereal and fantastic (in the true sense of the word) and the "chunks" from Die Frau ohne Schatten and Chrysothemis's monolog from Elektra, though weird out of context, are vocal showpieces. Her Isolde is nuanced and potent, if without the ultimate rage in the Narrative and Curse or the heavenly transfiguration of the Liebestod, and the final scene of Salome, ravishingly sung, does not quite probe this character's berserk Freudian issues. But she's a remarkable singer and this CD is sure to delight; one can bathe in her warm, rich sound. --Robert Levine
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Product Details

  • Performer: Natascha Petrinsky
  • Orchestra: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Sir Richard Armstrong
  • Composer: Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (April 6, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Angel Records
  • ASIN: B0001O3YGM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,572 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Charles Richards on April 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
After I posted my initial, lukewarm review of this album (titled "Lovely, but Not Thrilling"), I noticed the large number of rave reviews this recital was receiving, both on this site and in the press. So, knowing that a first hearing usually can be deceptive, particularly if one brings pre-conceived expectations to it, I decided to give this recital a second chance.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
This review appears at OperaOnline.us.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
In general, Wagner and Strauss do not do well as excerpts. Arias plucked from the operas do not fare well in recording studios the way arias and duets from Puccini or Verdi operas can stand alone. This is probably why good studio recordings of Wagner and Strauss operas are rare. Both composers wrote beautiful music, but more often than not it lacks something when taken out of context. Perhaps this is why Deborah Voight's new recording OBSESSIONS is a rare find.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
I posted this two days ago but let's try again:
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.
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