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Mozart: Arias / Strauss: Orchestral Songs Import

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, April 14, 1998
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Product Details

  • Performer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Strauss, Claudio Abbado, Christine Schäfer, Maria João Pires, et al.
  • Audio CD (April 14, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00000613U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,915 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Christine Schafer possesses one of the most beautiful lyric coloratura voices of this century. Her voice is creamy, limpid, and budding with a variety of different tone colors. Her voice has a depth and a richness to it intermingled with a fresh purity of tone.
The Mozart selections are lovely, especially, "Che mi scordi di te?" which Schafer sings with both pathos and brilliance. "Ruhe sanft" is sung with a sweet caress in the voice. Schafer meets the challenging demands of "Mia speranza adorata" with ease, tossing off the high Gs with clarity and managing the difficult coloratura passages without any sound of strain.
The Richard Strauss selections represent some of the most beautiful singing on disc. "Wiegenlied" is sung with an impeccable legato line and is ravishingly lovely. "Morgen!" seeps with longing and dreams of tomorrow. Schafer's singing is both elegant and passionate.
This disc rarely leaves my CD player. You won't be disappointed! Highly recommended.
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Nothing can be lovelier than a recital of Mozart and Strauss arias by a gifted lyric soprano, and those that specialize in the one composer tend to be just as good in the other (Schwarzkopf, of course, but also Battle, Fleming, and Te Kanawa). Chrstine Schager makes a ice impression with her pure, appealing voice, but it seems better suited to the baroque music she specializes in. for music as romantic as Strauss's she's underpowered and rather expressionless. The same is true in the Mozart--listen to Exsultate Jubilate ans decide if she sounds either exultant or jubilant. I didn't find that she did. Abbado's conducting, however, is exemplary throughout, and the orchestra is wonderful.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Where has this wonderful soprano been all my life? Schaeffer's voice is breathtakingly beautiful, simply stunning. One can't bear to have this disc end. It has not left my car, which has a rather good sound system, since I received it. The Mozart is thrilling, of course, and the Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio, new to me, shows -- what to say? -- how remarkably "modern" Mozart's music can be, coupling seamlessly with Strauss's much later Wiegenlied on this disc. How good is Wiegenlied? A lady friend, who never listens to classical music at all (there are those, of course) was overwhelmed by it and wept when she heard it on the way to a dinner out. How could she not? What a wonderful example it is, as are the other Strauss songs offered here, of Strauss's love affair with the soprano voice. I now search for more Schaffer.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a strongly recommendable release giving you some marvelous singing from Christine Schäfer. She has a distinctive, personal style, with very little vibrato, but with such transparity and clarity it is a sheer wonder. Of course - as one might expect from such a voice - the Mozart items come off best (unfortunate, then, that this disc doesn't really contain any real Mozart masterpieces), but the Strauss items are still for the most part very good, and it is interesting to realize, when they are presented side by side, that the connections between the two composers are far more significant than the discontinuities, at least with regards to the selection of songs presented here.

The benefits gained by Schäfer's approach aren't only a clear pronounciation of the texts, but also an at times mesmerizing ability to convey their contents. The emotional and interpretive range provides particularly rewarding readings of `Non temer, amato bene' (with excellent accompaniment by Pires) - although the joyousness of Exsultate, jubilate might come across as a little understated. Among the Strauss songs, 'Morgen' is particularly impressive, in particular because of the sparing but highly effective use of extra intensity. But the artless, clear quality serves her well in most of the repertoire here even if, say, Schwarzkopf's Strauss (or more recently Isokoski's) isn't forgotten.

Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic provides truly gracious and polished orchestral textures, performed with almost equally impressive clarity of line. With a well-neigh perfectly balanced sound, this is a recording that no lover of the human voice should miss - again, it might not quite be to everyone's taste (Schäfer's career following this debut release has been most distinguished in serial and/or contemporary repertoire), but I believe no one could fail to be thoroughly impressed.
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