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Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs, Songs with Orchestra, Der Rosenkavalier Suite Original recording reissued

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, April 20, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

STRAUSS:FOUR LAST SONGS
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Houston Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach
  • Composer: Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (April 20, 2004)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 68 minutes
  • ASIN: B0001TSWIW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,702 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It is hard for me to imagine that Renee Fleming began her career singing Mozart and Strauss roles, considering the career that has been skyrocketing her into the international scene with bel canto roles and recently, Handelian successes. Most sopranos who succeed in the "Mozart and Strauss" repertoire do not usually become great Italianate sopranos, but Renee Fleming apparently has the throat to sing them all. Now to get to the matter of this recording, I would like to look back to many of the great recordings of these four pieces. Great Straussian staples like Jessye Norman and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf have given these pieces a genius of interpretation that puts a lot of the Vier Vetzte Lieder to substandard class. Schwarzkopf, whose interpretation of the pieces is considered by many the quintessential recording of the work, is in my opinion one of the most expressive renderings of Strauss' final masterpiece. Indeed, one can listen to the emotional inflections Madame Schwarzkopf inserts in every word, and although her attention to detail may bother some, I think in the realm of interpretation no one can ever surpass her. Not even Kirsten Flagstad, who pioneered these songs. Jessye Norman is of course, by far, one of the greatest Straussian vocalists, and it may seem to others that La Norman has a more beautiful timbre, but then I think her recording lacks the intelligence of Schwarzkopf's recording. Janowitz is another great singer of the role, but then Elisabeth's intreprative skills will usually stick to you when you listen to it enough that you find value in every word she utters. Then comes along Renee Fleming.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
As Renee Fleming conveyed her dramatic ability in "Homage The Age Of The Diva", she also demonstrates superb depth and intimacy in the Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss!
Fleming has outdone herself here, by the remarkable serenity she delivers throughout all of the songs. Fleming's musical output is enormously varied, and when she encounters Strauss's moments of operatic oeuvre, her expansive sound allows these moments to blossom with superb adore! Fleming's respect to the texts is quite distinguished. Her capacity for sublime melody and rhapsodic melodic variation, or "Schwung", is almost always strung together, and creates an element of fantasy or fable with real drive and eloquence. The Four Last Songs are, I think, Strauss's most perfect realization of the form. The songs are extremely difficult, but Fleming never hesitates in diction, expression or balance between herself and the ensemble, consequently never tearing the fabric, or rendering it banal and awkward. Even when Fleming is concluding, she lingers, moves, and sidesteps as if asking the songs to last a little longer. This is Fleming's way of linking herself to the modernist movement. It is strangely fitting that the last of the Songs,"Aberdrot," (At Dusk), is literally elegiac, but in fact opens out at the end, with a quizzical doubt as if the actual reality of ending--"can this perhaps be death?"- as if to suggest that it might not be! Throughout the Four Songs, and even the additional ones, Fleming's resolutely minute economy of aesthetic, makes her a sovereign, as well as a supreme figure, in the genre of post-Romanticism.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm in LOVE with Strauss...someday I'll sing this and I can't wait!!!! Renee is amazing and molto expressivo, as usual. She soars as if she's as light as a feather yet her voice carries with it so much emotion and heaviness...wow! A MUST have for any serious music lover/collector!
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A great recording and I love the "Four Last Songs." Fleming's rendition is beautiful and reminds me of Schwartzkopf's but sometimes, Fleming's rendition is almost "too mannered." Still a beautiful rendition of a masterpiece by a great singer.
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